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The Undoing Effect of Positive Emotions

By Roberta A. Mancuso, Christine Branigan, Michele M. Tugade and Barbara L. Fredrickson

Abstract

Positive emotions are hypothesized to undo the cardiovascular aftereffects of negative emotions. Study 1 tests this undoing effect. Participants (n = 170) experiencing anxiety-induced cardiovascular reactivity viewed a film that elicited (a) contentment, (b) amusement, (c) neutrality, or (d) sadness. Contentment-eliciting and amusing films produced faster cardiovascular recovery than neutral or sad films did. Participants in Study 2 (n = 185) viewed these same films following a neutral state. Results disconfirm the alternative explanation that the undoing effect reflects a simple replacement process. Findings are contextualized by Fredrickson's broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions (B. L. Fredrickson, 1998)

Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers; Plenum Publishing Corporation ; Springer Science+Business Media
Year: 2000
DOI identifier: 10.1023/A:1010796329158
OAI identifier: oai:deepblue.lib.umich.edu:2027.42/45369
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