Emotion Regulation Questionnaire

Author of Tool: 

Gross, J.J., & John, O.P.

Key references: 

Gross, J.J., & John, O.P. (2003). Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: Implications for affect, relationships, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 348-362.

Primary use / Purpose: 

Assesses processes of emotion regulation.

Background: 

Emotions have long been viewed as passions that come and go, more or less of their own accord (Solomon, 1976). However, there is a growing appreciation that individuals exert considerable control over their emotions, using a wide range of strategies to influence which emotions they have and when they have them (Gross, 1998). The Emotions Regulatio Questionnaire (ERQ) items were rationally derived, and indicated clearly in each item is the emotion regulatory process intended for measurement, such as “I control my emotions by changing the way I think about the situation I’m in” (reappraisal) and “I control my emotions by not expressing them” (suppression). In addition to these general-emotion items, the Reappraisal scale and the Suppression scale both included at least one item asking about regulating negative emotion (illustrated for the participants by giving sadness and anger as examples) and one item about regulating positive emotion (exemplified by joy and amusement). Moreover, care was taken to limit the item content to the intended emotion regulatory strategy, and to avoid any potential confounding by mentioning any positive or negative consequences for affect, social functioning, or well-being. The final 10 items are rated on a scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7(strongly agree).

Psychometrics: 

Alpha reliabilities averaged .79 for Reappraisal and .73 for Suppression. Test–retest reliability across 3 months was .69 for both scales. Results replicated closely across samples and were consistent with the hypothesis that minority status is associated with greater use of suppression to regulate emotion. There were no ethnic differences in Reappraisal.

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