In this paper, the authors use the term 'affective control' or the slightly longer form 'affective cognitive control capacity' to mean 'the ability to regulate emotions or manipulate emotional material in the service of task goals'. However wherever I Google 'affective control' I get results that seem to pertain to either Affective Control Theory (which is a much broader theory and seems to be unrelated) or the study in question.

Is there another expression for the ability to manipulate or regulate emotions and emotional material? Are there any domains I can research to learn more? I've heard Emotional Intelligence before (full disclosure though, I haven't read the Daniel Goleman book), but that seems to relate more to learned knowledge - whereas it seems affective control is more related to working memory and capacity to process and manipulate material.

  • $\begingroup$ Emotional quotient: intellect/ability to understand one's emotional aspects. $\endgroup$ – karen Dec 16 '17 at 20:56

There is a huge body of literature on emotion regulation. The main person to look up is James Gross. He's recently published a second edition of the Handbook of Emotion Regulation if you'd like a comprehensive review of the field. He also just published a target article in Psychological Inquiry about the present status of emotion regulation research and theory (a good starting place, in my opinion). His name will be on the majority of papers published in this area (he collaborates with a lot of people).


Emotion regulation as mrt mentioned above is a good term. Affective control seems more task and goal-focused than emotion regulation though.

This definition of emotion regulation outlined by Hoffman et al. 2012 is quite helpful -

Emotion regulation has been defined as the process by which people influence which emotions they have, when they have them, and how they experience and express these emotions. Based on this conceptualization, an emotion can be regulated at various stages in the process of emotion generation: (1) selection of the situation, (2) modification of the situation, (3) deployment of attention, (4) modification of cognitive appraisal, and (5) modulation of responses.


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