A model of emotional schemas Report uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Child Development
  • Cognition
  • Economics
  • Human Rights
  • Social Justice


  • Three theoretical models of the relationship between cognition and emotion are examined: (a) ventilation theory (i.e., the greater expression of emotion, the better the outcome), (b) emotionally focused therapy (i.e., activation, expression, and validation of emotion facilitate acceptance and self-understanding), and (c) a cognitive model of emotional processing (i.e., individuals differ in their conceptualization and strategies in responding to emotion). A self-report assessment of emotional schemas reflecting 14 dimensions related to cognitive processing and strategies of emotional response is presented. Fifty-three adult psychotherapy patients were assessed and their responses on the emotional schemas evaluation were correlated with the Beck Depression Inventory and the Beck Anxiety Inventory. There was strong support for a cognitive model of emotional processing. Depression was related to greater guilt over emotion, expectation of longer duration, greater rumination, and viewing one's emotions as less comprehensible, less controllable, and as different from, the emotions others have. Anxiety was related to greater guilt over emotion, a more simplistic view of emotion, greater rumination, viewing one's emotions as less comprehensible, less acceptance of feelings, viewing emotions as less controllable, and as different from the emotions others have. Dimensions related to the strict ventilation model-such as validation, numbness, and expression-were not related to depression or anxiety, although acceptance of feelings was related to less anxiety. Support was found for the emotional-focus model. Validation was related to less guilt, less simplistic ideas of emotion, expectation of shorter duration, less rumination, and to viewing emotion as more comprehensible, more controllable, more similar to emotions of others, and more acceptance of feelings.

publication date

  • June 2002



  • Report


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/S1077-7229(02)80048-7

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 177

end page

  • 190


  • 9


  • 3