Estimating individual subjective values of emotion regulation strategies

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


Individuals have a repertoire of emotion regulation (ER) strategies at their disposal, which they can use more or less flexibly. In ER flexibility research, strategies that facilitate goal achievement are considered adaptive and therefore are subjectively valuable. Individuals are motivated to reduce their emotional arousal effectively and to avoid cognitive effort. Perceived costs of ER strategies in the form of effort, however, are highly subjective. Subjective values (SVs) should therefore represent a trade-off between effectiveness and subjectively required cognitive effort. However, SVs of ER strategies have not been determined so far. We present a new paradigm for quantifying individual SVs of ER strategies by offering monetary values for ER strategies in an iterative process. N = 120 participants first conducted an ER paradigm with the strategies distraction, distancing, and suppression. Afterwards, individual SVs were determined using the new CAD paradigm. SVs significantly predicted later choice for an ER strategy (χ 2 (4, n = 119) = 115.40, p < 0.001, BF 10 = 1.62 × 10 21). Further, SVs were associated with Corrugator activity (t (5, 618.96) = 2.09, p = 0.037, f 2 = 0.001), subjective effort (t (5, 618.96) = - 13.98, p < 0.001, f 2 = 0.035), and self-reported utility (t (5, 618.96) = 29.49, p < 0.001, f 2 = 0.155). SVs were further associated with self-control (t (97.97) = 2.04, p = 0.044, f 2 = 0.002), but not with flexible ER. With our paradigm, we were able to determine subjective values. The trait character of the values will be discussed. PROTOCOL REGISTRATION: The stage 1 protocol for this Registered Report was accepted in principle on July 19, 2022. The protocol, as accepted by the journal, can be found at: .


Original languageEnglish
Article number13262
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2023

External IDs

PubMedCentral PMC10427653
Scopus 85168059949
ORCID /0000-0002-9426-5397/work/141543203
ORCID /0000-0003-4296-963X/work/141543658
ORCID /0000-0003-2892-884X/work/142240935
ORCID /0000-0002-5632-419X/work/142246601


DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards


  • Humans, Emotional Regulation/physiology, Emotions/physiology, Self-Control, Arousal, Self Report

Library keywords