Information modalities in endogenous emotion generation
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Description: Research indicates that training in self-generating emotions can be a potent “vaccine” against negative stressors and help alleviate affective psychopathology. As of yet, it is unclear how such interventions should be designed, in part due to a lack of knowledge about the determinants for variation in this ability. In the current study, we investigated usage preference for and efficacy of four different information modalities (Visual Imagery, Auditory Imagery, Bodily Interoception, and Semantic Analysis) in self-generation of emotional states. A representative sample of 293 participants self-induced positive and negative emotional states using these modalities singly or in combination. No single modalities or combinations thereof showed differential efficacy for generation of positive or negative emotion. Rather, usage of all modalities (except Auditory Imagery) predicted success at generation of both positive and negative emotional states. While no evidence was found for superiority of specific combinations of modalities, the degree to which participants adopted multimodal implementations did predict generation efficacy. In addition to showing that fluency at emotion generation is closely related to how one implements generation efforts, these findings inform the development of interventions aimed at improving the capacity to self-generate emotion, showing that such interventions should focus on training generation using several information modalities, with the aim of enhancing the capacity to generate multimodal representations
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