Emotion regulation


Dr. Sander Koole

People’s feelings and emotions don’t just happen to them. Indeed, people continuously engage in emotion regulation, attempting to change and redirect their emotional states. Emotion regulation is vital to mental and physical wellbeing. Indeed, emotion regulation problems are implicated in virtually all forms of mental illness, and the effectiveness of psychotherapy depends, at least in part, on teaching people better emotion regulation skills. To gain more insight into emotion regulation processes, the Amsterdam Emotion Regulation Lab studies how people self-regulate their feelings and emotions. 

Main projects:

The Amsterdam Emotion Regulation Lab is currently devoted to the main project on EMBodied Emotion Regulation (EMBER), funded by the European Research Council (ERC). This project is concerned with the broad question how emotion regulation is instantiated by the body. This project is conducted under the supervision of Dr S. L. Koole (PI), and is the focus of four PhD projects (L. Veenstra, MSc., D. Samur, MSc., C. Schlinkert, MSc. and M. Tjew A Sin, MSc), one postdoc (Dr I. Schneider), and one assistant professor (Dr M. Tops).

Future directions:

Research at the Amsterdam Emotion Regulation Lab is mostly experimental. However, members of the Lab are very much interested in extending our work to clinical and educational settings. The Lab is also in the process of developing new kinds of psychological interventions on the basis of experimentally validated principles. More information about the Amsterdam Emotion Regulation Lab can be found at www.emotionregulationlab.com

Representative publications:

  • Koole, S. L., Tjew A Sin, M., & Schneider, I. K. (2014). Embodied terror management: (Simulated) Interpersonal touch alleviates existential concerns among individuals with low self-esteem. Psychological Science, 25(1), 30-37.
  • Koole, S. L. (2009). The psychology of emotion regulation: An integrative review. Cognition and Emotion, 23, 4-41.
  • Tops, M., Koole, S. L., IJzerman, H., Buisman-Pijlman, F. T. (in press). Why social attachment and oxytocin protect against addiction and stress:  Insights from the dynamics between ventral and dorsal corticostriatal systems. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior.