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Bartsch, Anne; Vorderer, Peter; Mangold, Roland and Reinhold, Viehoff (2008): Appraisal of emotions in media use. Toward a process model of meta-emotion and emotion regulation. In: Media Psychology, Vol. 11, No. 1: pp. 7-27 [PDF, 507kB]


Over the past 20 years, research on meta-emotion and related concepts such as meta-mood and need for affect has become fruitful and prominent across a variety of disciplines, including media psychology. This paper reviews the literature on meta-emotion and considers problems regarding the definition and operationalization of this construct. We propose a process model of meta-emotion and emotion regulation to integrate and extend existing work. Drawing on appraisal theories of emotion, we understand meta-emotion as a process that monitors and appraises emotions and recruits affective responses toward them, which results in a motivation to maintain and approach emotions, or to control and avoid them. This meta-emotion process plays an important role in media users' selection or rejection of specific media offerings and their invitation to experience emotion. We discuss how this framework may integrate previously unrelated findings on the role of emotions in guiding selective media use and conclude with directions for further research.

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