A multi-country test of brief reappraisal interventions on emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Amit Goldenberg, Charles A. Dorison, Jeremy K. Miller, Andero Uusberg, Jennifer S. Lerner, James J. Gross, Bamikole Bamikole Agesin, Olatz Campos, Luis Eudave, Karolina Grzech, Daphna Hausman Ozery, Emily A. Jackson, Shira Meir Drexler, Anita Penić Jurković, Kafeel Rana, Maria Antoniadi, Kermeka Desai, Zoi Gialitaki, Elizaveta Kushnir, Khaoula NadifRafia Nauman, Marlies Oosterlinck, Myrto Pantazi, Natalia Pilecka, Anna Szabelska, I. M.M. van Steenkiste, Katarzyna Filip, Andreea Ioana Bozdoc, Gabriela Mariana Marcu, Elena Agadullina, Matúš Adamkovič, Marta Roczniewska, Cecilia Reyna, Angelos P. Kassianos, Minja Westerlund, Lina Ahlgren, Sara Pöntinen, Gabriel Agboola Adetula, Pinar Dursun, Azuka Ikechukwu Arinze, Nwadiogo Chisom Arinze, Chisom Esther Ogbonnaya, Izuchukwu L.G. Ndukaihe, Ilker Dalgar, Lady Grey Javela Delgado

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has increased negative emotions and decreased positive emotions globally. Left unchecked, these emotional changes might have a wide array of adverse impacts. To reduce negative emotions and increase positive emotions, we tested the effectiveness of reappraisal, an emotion-regulation strategy that modifies how one thinks about a situation. Participants from 87 countries and regions (n = 21,644) were randomly assigned to one of two brief reappraisal interventions (reconstrual or repurposing) or one of two control conditions (active or passive). Results revealed that both reappraisal interventions (vesus both control conditions) consistently reduced negative emotions and increased positive emotions across different measures. Reconstrual and repurposing interventions had similar effects. Importantly, planned exploratory analyses indicated that reappraisal interventions did not reduce intentions to practice preventive health behaviours. The findings demonstrate the viability of creating scalable, low-cost interventions for use around the world. Protocol registration: The stage 1 protocol for this Registered Report was accepted in principle on 12 May 2020. The protocol, as accepted by the journal, can be found at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4878591.v1

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1089-1110
Number of pages22
JournalNature Human Behaviour
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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