News Release 

Dalal & Kaplan studying adaptive interventions for emotion regulation in the workplace

George Mason University

Grant Announcement

Reeshad Dalal, Professor, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and Seth Kaplan, Professor, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, are conducting two studies in which participants will repeatedly be randomly (re-)assigned to different cognitively focused emotion reappraisal interventions or to no intervention (control condition) over the course of several work weeks.

The reappraisal strategies to be contrasted against each other (and against a control condition) include imagining that a negative emotional stimulus or situation had a positive outcome, altering the impact of the emotional stimulus by adopting a more or less objective perspective, and interpreting the focal emotion in a manner that facilitates an accepting, observing, non-judgmental relationship to emotions. The first study is a micro-randomized trial that will provide causal inferences regarding emotion and the effects of three cognitive reappraisal Just-in-Time Adaptive Interventions (JITAIs) in achieving proximal (i.e., decision-point and day-level) emotion and performance outcomes.

The results from the first study will permit the optimization of decision rules (e.g., dropping a less effective intervention, including decision rules for which intervention should be used when based on context) to inform the second study.

The second study is a randomized control trial that will evaluate the effectiveness of the JITAIs in achieving distal (i.e., end-of-study and post-study) outcomes against control conditions.

"This research represents a novel, personalized paradigm for the study of emotion regulation at work and has the potential to help individuals improve their work lives and performance," Dalal said.

The researchers received $400,000 from the National Science Foundation for this work. Funding began in March 2021 and will end in late February 2023.

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About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 38,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Learn more at http://www.gmu.edu.

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