Many of our emotions arise in social contexts, as we interact with and learn about others. What is not yet clear, however, is how such emotions unfold when we either react to others or attempt to regulate our emotions. To address this issue, 30 healthy volunteers reacted to or reappraised positive or negative information that was paired with neutral faces. While they were doing this task, we assessed pupillary responses. We also asked participants to provide ratings of accountability and experienced emotion. Findings indicated that appraised accountability increased in response to emotional information, and changes in accountability were associated with commensurate changes in valence reports and increased pupil diameter. During reappraisal, accountability and emotion decreased, but pupil diameter increased. The findings highlight the importance of accountability appraisals during the generation and regulation of emotional reactions to others, while also documenting pupillary increases during emotional reactivity and regulation.
View details for PubMedID 30092708