Date of Award

Summer 8-2015

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type



Functionalist theories of emotion posit that people regulate their emotions in ways that help them accomplish their goals, suggesting that goals may be important for strategy selection. Two studies were conducted to examine reappraisal and suppression use when pursuing emotional and instrumental goals, and to assess the utility of those strategies in achieving distinct goals. Both studies found a stronger link between emotional goals and reappraisal than between emotional goals and suppression, but found no preference between strategies when pursuing an instrumental goal. Study 1 found that reappraisal had higher utility than suppression in achieving emotional goals, but not instrumental goals. In Study 2, individuals who used suppression more experienced more negative emotion and thought they made a worse impression on their partner, but they were not actually seen more negatively by others. Together these studies suggest that emotional goals may influence strategy selection and that strategies differ in their utility.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Tammy English

Committee Members

Renee J. Thompson, Heike Winterheld


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