Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)



First Advisor

Raymond DiGiuseppe

Second Advisor

Wilson McDermut

Third Advisor

Jeffrey Nevid


Traditional CBT and third-wave CBT, namely ACT, are widely used psychotherapy approaches. These psychotherapies have distinct philosophical and theoretical roots and, in turn, emphasize divergent approaches to emotions. The current study explored beliefs about emotions (emotion beliefs) associated with both approaches to psychotherapy, the relationship between emotion beliefs and emotion outcomes, as well as factors that mediate these relationships. Specifically, the study examined correlations between emotion beliefs (emotion controllability beliefs, acceptance of emotions, and emotion control values) and depression, anxiety, and anger. Correlation coefficients were compared to determine significant differences in associations between different emotion beliefs and emotion outcomes. It also examined whether emotion beliefs predicted depression, anxiety, and anger. Finally, this study investigated if emotion beliefs impacted depression, anxiety, and anger through different emotion regulation mechanisms (cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression). Participants were undergraduate university students and adults in the general population, who completed a series of questionnaires through an online survey platform. Results demonstrated significant negative correlations between malleable emotion controllability beliefs and negative emotion outcomes and nonjudgmental attitudes about emotions and negative emotion outcomes. Emotion control values were not associated with negative emotion outcomes. Emotion controllability beliefs and nonjudgmental attitudes predicted all negative emotion outcomes examined in the present study, whereas emotion control values only predicted anxiety. The effect of emotion beliefs on depression and anxiety were partially mediated by cognitive reappraisal, but not expressive suppression. The effect of emotion beliefs on anger was not mediated by cognitive reappraisal. Limitations, future research, and implications for interventions are discussed.