18 Emotion Regulation Effectiveness: What Works When

Personality and Social Psychology


  1. Gal Sheppes PhD,
  2. James J. Gross PhD

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop205018

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Sheppes, G. and Gross, J. J. 2012. Emotion Regulation Effectiveness: What Works When. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 5:II:18.

Author Information

  1. Stanford University, Department of Psychology, Stanford, California, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


We open this chapter by defining emotion and describing how emotions are generated in a series of temporal stages. We then define emotion regulation, consider precursors to the contemporary study of emotion regulation, and review the process model of emotion regulation, which holds that different emotion regulation strategies can be differentiated according to where they intervene in the emotion generation process. According to this model, emotion regulation strategies that intervene early on are likely to be more effective than strategies that intervene later on, after emotional response tendencies are activated. A growing corpus of evidence supports this account. Drawing on new data and theory, we elaborate on the process model with the aim of further specifying the effectiveness of different regulation strategies. On this expanded account, the success of any particular emotion regulation attempt is thought to be a joint function of the underlying operation of different regulation strategies, levels of emotional intensity, and regulation goals. We conclude by discussing implications and future research directions.


  • emotion;
  • emotion regulation;
  • self-regulation