Understanding the Processes that Regulate Positive Emotional Experience: Unsolved Problems and Future Directions for Theory and Research on Savoring

Fred B. Bryant, Erica D. Chadwick, Katharina Kluwe


In this paper, we focus on unanswered questions and future directions in positive psychology, with a special emphasis on savoring processes that regulate positive emotions. To advance our understanding of the savoring processes underlying positive experience, we highlight three unresolved issues that must be addressed: (1) discriminating the distinctive neuropsychological profiles associated with different savoring processes; (2) developing viable methods of measuring and analyzing the mediational mechanisms involved in real-time savoring; and (3) clarifying the developmental processes through which people acquire different strategies to savor positive experiences across the life span. We propose several potentially fruitful lines of attack aimed at addressing these unsolved problems, each of which requires new methods of assessment to advance theory and refine our conceptual understanding of savoring.


positive psychology, savoring, neuropsychological profiles, mediation, development, emotion, wellbeing, well-being

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