Using a within subjects design, three emotion regulation strategies (compassion‐focused reappraisal, benefit‐focused reappraisal, and offense rumination) were tested for their effects on forgiveness, well‐being, and event‐related potentials (ERPs). Participants (N = 37) recalled a recent interpersonal offense as the context for each emotion regulation strategy. Both decisional and emotional forgiveness increased significantly for the two reappraisal strategies compared to offense rumination. Compassion‐focused reappraisal prompted the greatest increase in both decisional and emotional forgiveness. Furthermore, both reappraisal strategies increased positively oriented well‐being measures (e.g., joy, gratitude) compared to offense rumination, with compassion‐focused reappraisal demonstrating the largest effect on empathy. Late positive potential (LPP) amplitudes in response to unpleasant affect words were larger following the benefit‐focused reappraisal strategy, indicating frontal LPP augmentation due to affective incongruence of the unpleasant stimuli with the positive, silver‐lining orientation of the benefit‐focused reappraisal emotion regulation strategy.
Baker, J. C., Williams, J. K., Witvliet, C. V. O., & Hill, P. C. (2017). Positive reappraisals after an offense: Event-related potentials and emotional effects of benefit-finding and compassion. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 12(4), 373–384. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2016.1209540
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