My research project will be on emotion regulation. This is the process of modifying your reaction to emotional triggers. These can be environmental or based on what is running through your head at the time. There are two types of emotion regulation: antecedent based (prepping yourself for something to come) and response based (changing the way you react after the fact). There have been many studies done that discuss the benefits and problems associated with each. I will be exploring which of the two is more effective.
The methods involved in regulating emotion will be my primary focus, but if I have space I will also explore whether trying to control them causes physical harm. There is some research that suggests psychological benefits may be outweighed by additional strain on the body. Cardiovascular side effects are an important concern that I want to cover. I hope to find research that links the two together, but if not I will cover one briefly and focus on the other topic listed above.
This topic is very interesting to me because been informally modifying my emotion for many years. Most of us have. When at a funeral, we don’t let a humorous thought cause us to laugh or smile. We might even make ourselves look somber to convey the appropriate emotion. Being able to do this in other situations can have great benefits. Our environment is malleable, but we have to understand what happens when we change things, and how to go about it best.
Anger and frustration are two emotions that are sometimes warranted, but usually unproductive. This is especially true if they’re left unchecked for long periods of time. Some even think they can’t be controlled and make no attempt to do so because they are so intense. I hope my project offers useful insight on the topic.