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RESEARCH FINDINGS ON:

GENERALIZED EXPECTANCIES FOR

NEGATIVE MOOD REGULATION

By

Salvatore J. Catanzaro

Illinois State University

Jack Mearns

California State University, Fullerton

photo Catanzaro & Mearns

Research Overview:

This research focuses on people's generalized expectancies for negative mood regulation (NMR). NMR expectancies represent beliefs individuals have that, when they are in a bad mood, they can do something to make themselves feel better. We have developed the Negative Mood Regulation (NMR) Scale to measure these expectancies.

Our research suggests that people with strong beliefs in their ability to alleviate negative moods cope more adaptively with stress. They also experience less negative affect (anger, anxiety, depression, guilt) and fewer health problems.

Our research has been done on a variety of populations, including college students, caregivers for individuals with Alzheimer's disease, teachers and police officers.

This research is based in Julian B. Rotter's (1954) social learning theory. To learn more about J. B. Rotter and his theory, please click here. NMR expectancies can be considered response expectancies, which are beliefs about the occurrence of non-volitional behaviors. These expectancies tend to be self-confirming: believing you will have a response makes that response more likely. The placebo effect is another example of a response expectancy.

Substantial research evidence suggests that NMR expectancies are important predictors of affect, cognition and behavior. People with strong NMR expectancies become less distressed when experiencing aversive circumstances; they react to aversive events by thinking more positive thoughts; and they are better able to use strategies to repair their mood. Recent evidence also suggests that the NMR Scale is a useful measure for assessing progress in psychotherapy. People with stronger NMR expectancies seem to benefit more from psychotherapy than do people with weak expectancies. Thus, changing NMR expectancies is an important goal of psychotherapy, as people are more likely to use mood enhancing techniques of psychotherapy is they have confidence those techniques will be successful.


Foreign Language Versions of the NMR Scale:

Our colleague Matthias Backenstrass has led the effort to create a German language version of the scale. Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean versions of the scale exist. Dr. Mearns is very interested in recruiting Japanese students for California State University Fullerton's M.S. Program, who are interested in doing research on this topic.

In addition, the NMR-Y is a children's NMR Scale. English and Japanese NMR-Y's exist.


Our NMR Publications:

Below are listed articles published by us and our colleagues. Click on the citation to view a summary of the article.


Others' NMR Research:

Click here to see citations for the work of other researchers using the NMR Scale.

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Obtaining the NMR Scale:

Items and instructions for the NMR Scale are printed in Catanzaro & Mearns (1990). If you wish more information, please send a description of your research to Dr. Catanzaro or Dr. Mearns.

Translating the NMR Scale:

We are open to working collaboratively with researchers in other countries who are interested in translating the NMR Scale into other languages. Please contact us if you wish to propose a translation of the scale.

Send e-mail to:

Dr. Catanzaro

Send e-mail to:

Dr. Mearns

Go to Jack Mearns's Homepage

Go to Salvatore J. Catanzaro's Homepage



Text copyright © Jack Mearns, 2000-2014. All rights reserved.

rev. 4/21/14