Negative and Positive Reappraisal After a Romantic Break-Up
Keywords:love, reappraisal, regulation, event-related potentials (ERP), late positive potential (LPP)
This study compared negative reappraisal of an ex-partner and positive reappraisal of a situation after a break-up. Negative reappraisal was expected to reduce love, increase unpleasantness, reduce upsetness about the break-up, and reduce motivated attention to the ex-partner as measured by the late positive potential (LPP) compared to positive reappraisal. In this study, twenty-four participants who were upset about a break-up viewed pictures of their ex-partner in two reappraisal conditions and a no reappraisal condition. In the negative reappraisal condition, participants thought about negative aspects of their ex-partner. In the positive reappraisal condition, participants thought about positive aspects of the situation. Subsequently, participants viewed ex-partner pictures and the LPP was measured. Participants rated infatuation, attachment, valence, and upsetness about the break-up. Even though numerical differences were in line with our hypotheses, we found no evidence of significant differences between conditions for infatuation, attachment, valence, upsetness, or LPP amplitude in the preregistered analyses.
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