Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Psychological Theories on Regulation - Dictionary of Arguments

Corr I 64
Regulation/psychological theories/Reisenzein/Weber: Research on habitual tendencies of ‘handling’ anger initially distinguished two coping styles: anger-out (showing overt, aggressive reactions) and anger-in (suppressing the overt expression of anger; Spielberger 1999)(1). Neither of these strategies is very effective in reducing anger, however (Deffenbacher, Oetting, Thwaites et al. 1996)(2).
More recent research has taken a broader range of anger regulation strategies into view (Linden, Hogan, Rutledge et al. 2003)(3), including effective anger-reduction strategies such as non-hostile feedback and humour (e.g., Geisler, Wiedig-Allison and Weber in press; Weber and Wiedig-Allison 2007)(4).
Theory and research on anxiety regulation focused traditionally on the dichotomy of avoiding versus approaching anxiety-related information (e.g., Byrne 1964(5); Krohne 2003)(6). For example, Krohne (2003) distinguished between cognitive avoidance and vigilance as the two fundamental forms of anxiety regulation and proposed that avoidance is motivated by the short-term hedonistic desire to reduce the feeling of fear, whereas vigilance is motivated by the epistemic desire to gain information about the threatening event. According to Krohne, these two coping strategies are uncorrelated at the dispositional level, that is, individuals may score either low or high on both dimensions.
A general taxonomy of emotion regulation methods that subsumes the described strategies was proposed by Gross (1998)(7); John and Gross 2007)(8). This taxonomy distinguishes five classes of emotion regulation strategies: situation selection, situation modification, attentional deployment (e.g., vigilance versus avoidance), reappraisal and response modulation.


1. Spielberger, C. D. 1999. Manual for the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources
2. Deffenbacher, J. L., Oetting, E. R., Thwaites, G. A., Lynch, R. S., Baker, D. A., Stark, R. S., Thacker, S. and Eiswerth-Cox, L. 1996. State-trait anger theory and the utility of the trait anger scale, Journal of Counseling Psychology 43: 131–48
3. Linden, W., Hogan, B. E., Rutledge, T., Chawla, A., Lenz, J. W. and Leung, D. 2003. There is more to anger coping than ‘in’ or ‘out’, Emotion 3: 12–29
4. Weber, H. and Wiedig-Allison, M. 2007. Sex differences in anger-related behaviour: comparing expectancies to actual behaviour, Cognition and Emotion 21: 1669–98
5. Byrne, D. 1964. Repression-sensitization as a dimension of personality, in B. A. Maher (ed.), Progress in experimental personality research, vol. I, pp. 169–220. New York: Academic Press
6. Krohne, H. W. 2003. Individual differences in emotional reactions and coping, in R. J. Davidson, K. R. Scherer and H. H. Goldsmith (eds.), Handbook of affective science, pp. 698–725. New York: Oxford University Press
7. Gross, J. J. 1998. The emerging field of emotion regulation: an integrative review, Review of General Psychology 2: 271–99
8. John, O. P. and Gross, J. J. 2007. Individual differences in emotion regulation, in J. J. Gross (ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation, pp. 351–72. New York: Guilford Press


Rainer Reisenzein & Hannelore Weber, “Personality and emotion”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Psychological Theories
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018


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