Positive Cognitive Reappraisal Is Benefcial for Women’s but Not for Men’s IGT Decision‑Making

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College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology


Emotion regulation, Cognitive reappraisal, Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), Gender


Real-life decision-making involves a balance between emotion and cognition, a process that is mirrored in the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). Previous studies suggest that negative emotion affects IGT performance, and that this effect may be moderated by gender. In the current study, we experimentally instructed the use of a strategy for ameliorating the incidental negative emotion induced by negative images while men and women solved the IGT. To do this, we asked 38 men and 38 women to either only look at negative images (non-reappraisal group) or to use positive cognitive reappraisal when facing these negative images (reappraisal group) to ameliorate the negative emotion associated with them while trying to solve the IGT. Both men and women in the reappraisal group successfully used positive reappraisal to decrease their negative emotion compared to the control, non-reappraisal group. Critically, we observed that women performed better in the reappraisal group compared with the non-reappraisal group, in the second half of the task (performance phase). Conversely, men performed worse in the reappraisal group compared to the non-reappraisal group in the second half of the task (performance phase). Finally, a multigroup analysis revealed a gender moderation of the direct and indirect effects of positive reappraisal on IGT performance, indicating that reappraisal benefited women’s IGT performance through the regulation of negative emotion. Conversely, for men, the decrease of negative emotion through reappraisal did not impact IGT performance. Our results demonstrate that while the use of positive reappraisal is useful to ameliorate negative emotions for men and women, positive reappraisal benefits women’s decision-making, and impairs men’s.

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Copyright is held by the authors, under exclusive license to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. User is responsible for all copyright compliance. This article was originally published as:

Flores-Torres, J., Gómez-Pérez, L., & Kateri, M. (2022). Positive cognitive reappraisal is beneficial for women’s but not for men’s IGT decision-making. Motivation and Emotion, 46(3), 350-365. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-022-09927-4

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Jorge Flores‑Torres, Lydia Gómez‑Pérez, and Kateri McRae


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English (eng)


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1.6 MB

Publication Title

Motivation and Emotion





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