"Consider the anger that arises in a heated argument with your romantic partner, or the dreadful anxious anticipation in the dentist's waiting room prior to a root canal procedure. Our daily lives are densely populated with events that make us emotional. Luckily, however, we developed numerous ways to control or regulate our emotions in order to adapt (Gross, 2007;Koole, 2009 for reviews). A central remaining challenge to explain adaptation, involves understanding how individuals choose between the different emotion regulation strategies in order to fit with differing situational demands. Specifically, when is the aforementioned romantic partner or dental patient more likely to “put aside” or disengage from the emotional situation, and when are they more likely to “make sense” or engage with their emotional reactions?
In this opinion article we concentrate on the intersection between affective science and decision making as manifested in emotion regulation choice, defined as the act of making an autonomous choice between different regulation strategies that are available in a particular context."
Sheppes, G. & Levin, Z. (in press). Emotion regulation choice: Selecting between cognitive regulation strategies to control emotion. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00179