Does cognitive control predict everyday emotions and control strategies? An ecological momentary assessment study

Wai Kai HOU, S. M. NG, K. M. LAU, Tsz Wah MA

Research output: Other contribution


Background: This study aims to examine the associations of cognitive control with positive affect (PA), negative affect (NA), and control strategies (Heckhausen, 1998) in everyday life. It is hypothesized that cognitive control is associated with higher PA, lower NA, higher primary control strategies, and lower secondary control strategies.
Methods: A total of 108 younger and older adults were recruited and administered the Simon Task for assessing cognitive control. Following the baseline assessment, the participants reported their PA, NA, and four control strategies, namely primary selective, primary compensatory, secondary selective, and secondary compensatory control, five times a day over seven days. Multilevel modeling was used to test the study hypothesis. All models consisted of two levels, sessions (Level 1) and individuals (Level 2). Level 1 included PA, NA, and the four control strategies (dependent variables), whereas Level 2 included the scores on cognitive control (independent variable).
Findings: Cognitive control signigicantly predicted primary selective control (β=0.02, SE=0.01, p=0.02), but not PA (β=0.02, SE=0.01, p=0.11), NA (β=0.00, SE=0.01, p=0.90), primary compensatory control (β=0.01, SE=0.01, p=0.23), secondary selective control (β=0.02, SE=0.01, p=0.15), secondary sompensatory control (β=0.02, SE=0.01, p=0.13).
Discussion: Participants who have higher cognitive control might invest more cognitive resources for primary selective control strategies, which facilitate attainment of important personal goals. Agerelated differences in cognitive control and their associations with everyday emotions and control strategies will be discussed. Copyright © 2016 EHPS/DHP 2016.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016



Hou, W. K., Ng, S. M., Lau, K. M., & Ma, M. T. W. (2016, August). Does cognitive control predict everyday emotions and control strategies? An ecological momentary assessment study. Poster presented at the European Health Psychology Society and British Psychological Society Division of Health Psychology Conference 2016 (EHPS/DHP 2016): Behaviour change: Making an impact on health and health services, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland.