On the Rationality of Emotion Regulation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Much of the recent work in psychology (and affective science) has shown that humans regulate their emotions nearly constantly, sometimes well and sometimes poorly. I argue that properly regulating one’s emotions displays emotional rationality, and failing to do so displays emotional irrationality. If an agent feels an emotion that is obviously problematic for the agent to feel and she is aware that it is problematic, then the agent ought to regulate her emotions in future similar situations. To capture this aspect of emotional rationality, I introduce the concept of imprudence, which is meant to capture a familiar way that we assess each other’s emotions, despite the fact that it has yet to be a factor in the literature on emotions in philosophy, psychology, or affective science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-473
Number of pages21
JournalPhilosophical Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • affect
  • Emotion
  • emotion assessment
  • emotion regulation
  • imprudence
  • rationality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology


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