Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science






performance, participants, frustration, differences, regulation


Child and Waterhouse (1953) found participants who respond to frustration with self-justification, self-blame and aggression showed lowered performance on an activity following frustration, whereas those who do not showed improved performance. Our study investigated whether individual differences in emotional regulation strategies (e.g., Gross and John, 2003) also moderated the effect of frustration on performance. Participants completed an ambiguous test that participants could not gauge their performance on. Some participants were told they performed poorly, while others were told they did well. Participants were then given an unrelated test. We were interested in participants’ scores on the DAT and whether the effect of frustration (from receiving negative feedback on the first task) on performance would be moderated by the use of emotional regulation strategies reappraisal and suppression. Habitual reappraisers spent less time on the second test following frustration but showed improved performance suggesting that reappraisal requires fewer interfering cognitive resources. No effects were found among those who habitually use suppression. Thus, whereas previous research found that individual differences in emotion regulation strategies have implications for relationships, affect and wellbeing , this thesis suggests that these differences also have implications for performance.