Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Qin Zhao, Michelle Durham, Sungjin Im

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This study examined the effects of different beliefs about emotions (controllability vs. control value) on emotion regulation strategies and psychological health, specifically depression. Little research has examined how different types of beliefs about emotions may interact to impact the emotion regulation strategies they implement, whether that be cognitive reappraisal, expressive suppression, or acceptance. Online questionnaires measuring beliefs about emotion controllability, emotion control values (i.e., whether emotions should be controlled), emotion regulation, psychological health, and coping strategies were completed by 164 participants (117 females; 42 males; 4 non-binary). The participants ranged from 18 to 33 years old. The study found evidence that belief of emotion controllability was associated with greater use of cognitive reappraisal and acceptance strategies, but less expressive suppression. Additionally, belief of emotion controllability was linked to lower depression and stress. In contrast, beliefs that emotions should be controlled (emotion control values) were associated with more expressive suppression. No interaction effect between these two types of beliefs was observed. The findings indicate that beliefs about emotion controllability have a greater and more positive impact on emotion regulation and psychological health than emotion control values.


Counseling | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences