Conceptualising and measuring digital emotion regulation

Project overview

Cartoon by Ellen Wadley of people waiting on a platform, reading their phones while waiting for a train

This project aims to develop a theoretical framework and novel technologies to investigate how, where, when and why people engage in digital emotion regulation. Existing research shows that individuals often use digital technologies to shape their emotions in response to situations; yet social norms often cast such technology use as disrespectful or distracting. The discrepancy between the practice and perception of digital emotion regulation is due to the lack of a systematic understanding of these practices. This project aims to develop a novel framework for better understanding digital emotion regulation, ways to study it in everyday settings, and evidence-based recommendations for managing it in ways that benefit individuals and society.

The evidence provided by this project will inform the societal debate about technology overuse and its impact on work, education and interpersonal relationships. The created knowledge will inform policy-makers, designers, and end-users about appropriate use of technology in everyday settings.

Project team

Research fellows

Project information

Funding source Funding source ARC DP190102627
Project time frame 2019–2021


Article in Pursuit: Do Devices Help Us Regulate Our Emotions?

Wadley, G., Smith, W., Koval, P., Gross, J. (2020) Digital Emotion Regulation. Current Directions in Psychological Science

Sarsenbayeva, Z., Marini, G., van Berkel, N., Luo, C., Jiang, W., Yang, K., Wadley, G., Dingler, T., Kostakos, V., Goncalves, J. (2020) Does Smartphone Use Drive our Emotions or vice versa? A Causal Analysis. CHI 2020.

Wadley, G., Krause, A., Liang, J., Wang, Z. and Leong, T. (2019) Use of music streaming platforms for emotion regulation by international students. Proceedings of OzCHI 2019.

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