The Effect of Physical Enclosing on Negative Emotion Regulation

Xiuping Li, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Liyuan Wei, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
The research investigates whether the physical experience of enclosing an emotional laden stimulus can help regulate negative emotions. In three studies, we show that the act of enclosing relieved corresponding negative emotions. Using recalled negative experience such as regrettable decisions and unsatisfied strong desires in Studies 1A and 1B respectively, we showed that emotion negativity was reduced for participants who put the write-up of such experience inside an envelope. Study 2 found similar effects of enclosing on emotions after reading a sad story, but further demonstrated that enclosing a stimulus unrelated to the story did not have the same effect.
[ to cite ]:
Xiuping Li and Liyuan Wei (2010) ,"The Effect of Physical Enclosing on Negative Emotion Regulation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 852-853 .