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Banned EmotionsHow Metaphors Can Shape What People Feel$
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Laura Otis

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190698904

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190698904.001.0001

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Metaphors Matter in Emotion Regulation

(p.151) Chapter 7 Conclusion
Banned Emotions

Laura Otis

Oxford University Press

Recent studies of emotion regulation show that reappraisal modulates emotion more effectively than suppression, which can impair memory, raise blood pressure, and inhibit social interactions. Lisa Feldman Barrett and her colleagues offer an alternate psychological construction model of emotion regulation in which emotions shift as ongoing sensations are compared to different patterns of past sensory activity. All of these scientific studies indicate that emotion and emotion regulation involve the same neural processes and that emotion is best understood as occurring within a human self, not in opposition to a self that is separate from the emotions. Metaphors of darkness, paralysis, filth, and foul smells will likely lead to suppression rather than reappraisal because they encourage self-censorship. Emotion metaphors need to catch up with science, since they can drive people to stifle emotions that reassure people of their human value.

Keywords:   emotion regulation, reappraisal, suppression, process model, psychological construction, situated conceptualization, conceptual act theory

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