Reappraisal and suppression emotion-regulation tendencies differentially predict reward-responsivity and psychological well-being

Nicholas J. Kelley*, James E. Glazer, Narun Pornpattananangkul, Robin Nusslock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Individuals who suppress their emotions experience less positive emotions, worse relationships, and a reduced quality of life whereas those who tend to reappraise show an opposite pattern. Despite this divergent pattern, few have asked how the use of these emotion-regulation strategies relates to reward responsivity. We predicted that elevated suppression would be associated with blunted reward responsivity, whereas reappraisal would be associated with elevated reward responsivity. To test this hypothesis, participants completed a measure of individual differences in emotion-regulation strategies, measures of self-reported reward responsivity, and then a reward time-estimation task (Kotani et al., 2003) while electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded. Results revealed that individual differences in cognitive reappraisal were unrelated to self-report measures of reward responsivity, whereas suppression was associated with blunted reward responsivity. At the neural level, reappraisal was associated with greater attention to the rewarding cues, as indexed by the P300 event-related potential (ERP) component, whereas suppression was related to blunted reward anticipation, as indexed by the stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN) ERP component. Suppression prospectively predicted worse psychological well-being 2.5 years later and blunted neural reward anticipation partially explained this association. Taken together with past research, these results suggest reappraisal tendencies may lead to better outcomes due, in part, to enhanced reward responsivity, whereas the negative consequences of suppression may be associated with blunted reward responsivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-47
Number of pages13
JournalBiological Psychology
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Emotion-regulation
  • Event-related potential
  • Psychological well-being
  • Reward

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • General Neuroscience


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