A multi-country test of brief reappraisal interventions on emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic
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 which modifies how one thinks about a situation. Participants from 87 countries/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 (vs. both control conditions) consistently reduced negative emotions and increased positive emotions across different measures. Reconstrual and repurposing 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.