Research Topic

The Role of Emotional Granularity in Emotional Regulation, Mental Disorders, and Well-being

About this Research Topic

Emotional granularity, also known as emotion differentiation, describes the ability to make fine-grained distinctions between similarly-valenced affective feelings. Research in 2001 by Barret and colleagues suggests that people who are low in emotional granularity tend to differentiate emotions only on arousal or valence, whereas those high in granularity have more fine-grained categories of emotion. Furthermore, according to Barrett and colleagues in 2001 and Kalokerinos and colleagues in 2019, individuals high in emotional granularity are less likely to resort to maladaptive self-regulation strategies and apply emotion regulation strategies more effectively. In addition, low emotional granularity has been linked to affective disorders such as major depressive disorder, as found in a study by Demiralp and colleagues in 2012, and social anxiety disorder, as shown by Kashdan & Farmer in 2014. More recently, research done by Erbas and colleagues in 2016 and Israelashvili in 2019 suggest that high emotional granularity also appears to have implications for how we perceive others’ emotions.

This Research Topic will address the role that emotional granularity plays on mental disorders, general (emotional) well-being, and social relations. Together the articles will explore low emotional granularity as a general and transdisorder vulnerability factor, in which imprecise and poorly differentiated conceptualizations of emotion might limit regulatory efficacy and lead to maladaptive coping. We welcome individual contributions that focus on:
• The implications of emotional granularity for mental health and general well-being;
• The role of emotional granularity in clinical samples;
• Processes and pathways through which emotional granularity might affect mental health and well-being (in both clinical and non-clinical samples);
• The links between emotional granularity and maladaptive coping (e.g., in the context of eating disorders, substance abuse, or self-injury);
• The role of emotional granularity in the context of social relationships;
• Interventions aimed at increasing emotional granularity.

Special emphasis will also be given to the role that language and emotional granularity play among adolescents and in early adulthood, as this development time period is often disproportionately affected by these disorders.


Keywords: emotional granularity, emotional differentiation, emotional regulation, emotional well-being, social relationships


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Emotional granularity, also known as emotion differentiation, describes the ability to make fine-grained distinctions between similarly-valenced affective feelings. Research in 2001 by Barret and colleagues suggests that people who are low in emotional granularity tend to differentiate emotions only on arousal or valence, whereas those high in granularity have more fine-grained categories of emotion. Furthermore, according to Barrett and colleagues in 2001 and Kalokerinos and colleagues in 2019, individuals high in emotional granularity are less likely to resort to maladaptive self-regulation strategies and apply emotion regulation strategies more effectively. In addition, low emotional granularity has been linked to affective disorders such as major depressive disorder, as found in a study by Demiralp and colleagues in 2012, and social anxiety disorder, as shown by Kashdan & Farmer in 2014. More recently, research done by Erbas and colleagues in 2016 and Israelashvili in 2019 suggest that high emotional granularity also appears to have implications for how we perceive others’ emotions.

This Research Topic will address the role that emotional granularity plays on mental disorders, general (emotional) well-being, and social relations. Together the articles will explore low emotional granularity as a general and transdisorder vulnerability factor, in which imprecise and poorly differentiated conceptualizations of emotion might limit regulatory efficacy and lead to maladaptive coping. We welcome individual contributions that focus on:
• The implications of emotional granularity for mental health and general well-being;
• The role of emotional granularity in clinical samples;
• Processes and pathways through which emotional granularity might affect mental health and well-being (in both clinical and non-clinical samples);
• The links between emotional granularity and maladaptive coping (e.g., in the context of eating disorders, substance abuse, or self-injury);
• The role of emotional granularity in the context of social relationships;
• Interventions aimed at increasing emotional granularity.

Special emphasis will also be given to the role that language and emotional granularity play among adolescents and in early adulthood, as this development time period is often disproportionately affected by these disorders.


Keywords: emotional granularity, emotional differentiation, emotional regulation, emotional well-being, social relationships


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

01 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

01 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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