Short-term implications of long-term thinking: Temporal distancing and emotional responses to daily stressors.
Emily Willroth (Psychological & Brain Sciences), 8/22
WashU Affiliated Authors: Emily Willroth (Psychological & Brain Sciences)
Abstract: Temporal distancing (TD) is a promising yet understudied emotion regulation strategy that involves reflecting on how one will feel much later in the future. Although limited, the available evidence suggests that TD is a beneficial way to appraise negative events. Experimental studies have demonstrated causality: Situational use of TD (e.g., when thinking about a negative event) confers short-term emotional benefits in the laboratory. In addition, correlational studies show that habitual use predicts better long-term well-being. However, several open questions remain. First, we do not fully understand associations between habitual TD and emotions in daily life. Second, we do not fully understand daily TD, either on average across days or fluctuating within person. We conducted an 8-day diary study to test associations between TD and emotional responses to daily stressful events for three distinct measures at two levels of analysis: habitual TD assessed with a survey, average daily TD across days, and within-person fluctuations in TD across days (N = 155 participants, 837 observations). TD was associated with lower negative emotion at the within-person level and with greater positive emotion at both levels. Overall, these findings suggest that TD—on average and fluctuating within person—is associated with a beneficial pattern of daily emotional experiences, which may support overall well-being. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)
Citation/DOI: Benkley, D., Willroth, E. C., Ayduk, O., John, O. P., & Mauss, I. B. (2022). Short-term implications of long-term thinking: Temporal distancing and emotional responses to daily stressors. Emotion. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1037/emo0001140