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Emotion Differentiation Moderates Aggressive Tendencies in Angry People: A Daily Diary Analysis

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Abstract

Anger is commonly associated with aggression. Inefficient anger-coping strategies increase negative affect and deplete the regulatory resources needed to control aggressive impulses. Factors linked with better emotion regulation may then weaken the relationship between anger and aggression. The current work explored one factor associated with emotion regulation-differentiating one's emotions into discrete categories-that may buffer angry people from aggression. Three diary studies (N = 628) tested the hypothesis that emotion differentiation would weaken the relationship between anger and aggression. In Study 1, participants high in emotion differentiation reported less daily aggressive tendencies when angry, compared to low differentiators. In Study 2, compared to low differentiators, high differentiators reported less frequent provocation in daily life and less daily aggression in response to being provoked and feeling intense anger. Study 3 showed that high daily emotional control mediated the interactive effect of emotion differentiation and anger on aggression. These results highlight the importance of considering how angry people differentiate their emotions in predicting their aggressive responses to anger.

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... Based on the GAM, the branch that perceive emotions (personal factor) which reflects individual's ability to recognise other's emotion is included in the first stage, while the managing branch that facilitate emotional state regulation in producing non-aggressive responses should be in the final stage of GAM model . The emotional regulation has been studied as a predictor of aggression in different populations (Garofalo et al., 2015;Maldonado, DiLilo & Hoffman, 2014;Pond, Jr. et al., 2012). The studies that include emotional regulation has been suggested to be beneficial in explaining the tendency of aggressive behaviours. ...
... Regulation of emotion has been regarded as an important aspect in emotional experience of an individual. While it has been proven that frustration as the result of negative mood states does not always cause aggressive behaviours, how a person controls their emotions are being emphasised as an aspect of adaptation, whereby improved emotional regulation strategies may undermine the association between negative mood states and aggression (Pond, Jr. et al., 2012). Since it is known that there is a close link between anger and poor strategies of emotional regulation, Pond, Jr. et al., (2012) conducted three different studies on how emotion differentiation can moderate aggression when a person is angry. ...
... While it has been proven that frustration as the result of negative mood states does not always cause aggressive behaviours, how a person controls their emotions are being emphasised as an aspect of adaptation, whereby improved emotional regulation strategies may undermine the association between negative mood states and aggression (Pond, Jr. et al., 2012). Since it is known that there is a close link between anger and poor strategies of emotional regulation, Pond, Jr. et al., (2012) conducted three different studies on how emotion differentiation can moderate aggression when a person is angry. In his cross-sectional, mixed method studies using daily diary analysis, as well as measurements including Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and Aggression Questionnaire (AQ), he proved the hypothesis that the ability to differentiate emotion leads to lesser aggressive behaviour in people. ...
Article
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The frustration-aggression theorists generally posit aggression based on the influence of negative emotion or affect. Recently, investigation on the principles that influence the tendencies for aggressive responses play out in the mediating pathway, with the context that negative affect may or may not directly lead to aggression. Within the exploration at modifying the frustration-aggression concept, emotional regulation is an identified mechanism that buffers aggression resulting from negative emotional experiences. In turn, this has challenged the traditional frustration-aggression theory that indicates frustration (negative affect) does not always lead to aggression, in the case where the intense emotion from the relevant external situation has a chance to be modulated. However, little studies have documented the role of emotional regulation on negative affect and aggression. Therefore, this paper presents the nature of negative affect and emotional regulation strategies on aggression, while relating their pathway based on the contemporary General Aggression Model (GAM). We utilised the Google Scholar as the database in locating the relevant articles, with the terms focused on “Emotional Regulation” AND “Negative Affect” OR “Negative Mood” OR “Negative Emotion” AND “Aggression”. Reviews on the past studies that have investigated the role of emotional regulation on the relationship between aspects of negative affect and aggression are also discussed. Emotional regulation has been consistently identified as an important mechanism that mediates the effect on negative emotional state on aggressive behaviours. Future studies are suggested to further investigate the inherent strategies of emotional regulation and taps into different forms of negative affect, besides anger, on aggression.
... However, research has shown that this area of inquiry warrants further exploration, given the established connection between an individual's facility with emotion language and their concurrent experience of emotional stimuli. For example, emotion differentiation is understood as how aware an individual is of their experience and how "skillful" they are at categorizing their experiences into discrete categories (Barrett et al., 2001;Pond et al., 2012). Pond et al. (2012) argued that the ability to understand and think critically about the differences across one's emotional experiences allows an individual to progress beyond simple evaluative processes (e.g. the feeling is "positive" or "negative"), and detach emotion from behavior (Pond et al., 2012). ...
... For example, emotion differentiation is understood as how aware an individual is of their experience and how "skillful" they are at categorizing their experiences into discrete categories (Barrett et al., 2001;Pond et al., 2012). Pond et al. (2012) argued that the ability to understand and think critically about the differences across one's emotional experiences allows an individual to progress beyond simple evaluative processes (e.g. the feeling is "positive" or "negative"), and detach emotion from behavior (Pond et al., 2012). Specifically, they found that individuals who were prone to anger and were more able to differentiate across a range of emotions engaged in fewer aggressive tendencies (Pond et al., 2012). ...
... For example, emotion differentiation is understood as how aware an individual is of their experience and how "skillful" they are at categorizing their experiences into discrete categories (Barrett et al., 2001;Pond et al., 2012). Pond et al. (2012) argued that the ability to understand and think critically about the differences across one's emotional experiences allows an individual to progress beyond simple evaluative processes (e.g. the feeling is "positive" or "negative"), and detach emotion from behavior (Pond et al., 2012). Specifically, they found that individuals who were prone to anger and were more able to differentiate across a range of emotions engaged in fewer aggressive tendencies (Pond et al., 2012). ...
Article
Prior research has assumed that individuals with PTSD find positive emotions enjoyable and rewarding. While intuitive, this assumption is problematic for a number of reasons. A growing body of literature suggests that positive emotions can be unwanted and uncomfortable experiences for many people, particularly individuals with PTSD. Yet our empirical and theoretical models of PTSD do not adequately account for this complexity. Throughout the following pages, we argue that the same behavioral processes that have been heavily researched and associated with fear and avoidance of negative emotions and PTSD can be extended to positive emotions as well. We propose the integrated constructionist approach to emotions, which integrates learning theory principles with a constructionist approach and suggest that trauma experiences lead to a shift in the evaluation, interpretation, and labeling of an individual's internal experiences. This evaluative shift results in generalized patterns of emotional responding characterized by efforts to downregulate internal stimuli that were previously defined as positive and may have been appetitive pre-trauma. We subsequently highlight the theoretical, empirical, and clinical importance of taking an idiographic approach to understanding and working with emotions among individuals with PTSD.
... Given its functioning of spontaneous emotion regulation, NED could reduce maladaptive self-regulation strategies, such as alcohol intake (Kashdan et al., 2010), attacks (Pond et al., 2012;Edwards and Wupperman, 2016), and non-suicidal selfinjury (Zaki et al., 2013) brought by negative emotion. High NED may also reduce the impulsivity of individuals with borderline personality disorder (Tomko et al., 2015), weaken the association between rumination and depression (Liu D. Y. et al., 2019), and buffer the link between daily brooding and depression (Starr et al., 2017). ...
... Few studies focused on the spontaneous emotion regulation indicative by the resting-state EEG oscillations. Selfreported indicators of spontaneous emotion regulation like adaptive use of emotion regulation strategies (Barrett et al., 2001), a reduction in maladaptive coping strategies (Kashdan et al., 2010;Pond et al., 2012), and a decrease in the intensity of negative emotions (Erbas et al., 2014;Lennarz et al., 2018;Kalokerinos et al., 2019) have been widely used in previous studies. However, it is generally believed that self-reported measurement indicators are easily affected by social desirability, expectation, and other factors, and are less accurate than objective physiological indicators to some degree. ...
... Thus, individuals with high NED presented low TBR, indicating their increased spontaneous emotional regulatory processes. Our findings were supported by previous studies which indicated that high NED decreased the intensity of negative emotion (Erbas et al., 2014;Lennarz et al., 2018;Kalokerinos et al., 2019) and maladaptive regulation strategies (Kashdan et al., 2010;Pond et al., 2012;Edwards and Wupperman, 2016) as spontaneous emotion regulatory functioning increased. ...
Article
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Negative emotion differentiation facilitates emotion regulation. However, whether individual differences in negative emotion differentiation is associated with resting-state spontaneous emotion regulation remains unclear. This study aimed to explore the effect of individual differences in negative emotion differentiation on spontaneous emotional regulatory processes as indexed by resting electroencephalogram (EEG) indicators (e.g., frontal alpha asymmetry and theta/beta ratio). Participants (n = 40, Mage = 21.74 years, 62% women) completed a negative emotion differentiation task. Afterward, 4 min of resting EEG data were recorded. Multiple regression results showed that negative emotion differentiation significantly predicted the alpha asymmetry at electrode pairs (F4-F3 and FP2-FP1) and the theta/beta ratio at the F3 and FZ electrode sites. Individuals with high negative emotion differentiation presented more left-lateralized activations and a lower theta/beta ratio. Taken together, these results suggest that individuals with high negative emotion differentiation show enhanced spontaneous emotional regulatory functioning. Thus, we provided the first resting-state neural evidence on emotion differentiation of spontaneous emotional regulatory functioning.
... For instance, high differentiation of negative emotions is associated with an increased use of emotion regulation strategies (Barrett, et al., 2001), while low differentiation of negative emotions is associated with more ineffective down-regulation of negative emotions (Kalokerinos et al., 2019). Moreover, individuals with high levels of negative emotion differentiation experience less aggression in response to anger (Pond et al., 2012), lower impulsivity (Tomko et al., 2015), and less social avoidance in response to rumination (Seah, Aurora, & Coifman, 2020). In contrast, individuals with low levels of negative emotion differentiation show increased alcohol use in response to stress (Kashdan, Ferssizidis, Collins, & Muraven, 2010), and experience more depressive symptoms in response to brooding (Starr, Hershenberg, Li, & Shaw, 2017). ...
... there is often a weak relation between an individual's level of positive and negative emotion differentiation, see for instance Willroth et al., 2019;Erbas, Sels, Ceulemans & Kuppens, 2016). Research has found that it is primarily differentiation of negative emotions that is important to well-being (e.g., Demiralp et al., 2012;Kashdan et al., 2010;Pond et al., 2012), for which there are two possible explanations. Firstly, negative emotions encompass a wider variety of emotional states (Ortony, Clore, & Foss, 1987), and therefore there is more room for differentiation. ...
... At the between-person level, we see for instance that when individuals who are low in emotion differentiation use an emotion regulation strategy, this does not help them much to successfully reduce their negative emotions (Kalokerinos et al., 2019). Specifically, low differentiators appear to show more maladaptive behavior, such as more impulsivity (Tomko et al., 2015), more aggression in response to anger (Pond et al., 2012), or more alcohol consumption in response to stress (Kashdan et al., 2012). The new momentary index now makes it possible to study whether this relationship between low levels of emotion differentiation on the one hand and unsuccessful emotion regulation and maladaptive behavior on the other hand also holds at the momentary level. ...
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Emotion differentiation refers to the tendency to label emotions in a granular way. While differentiation is an important individual difference in the context of psychological well-being (Kashdan et al., 2015), it is unknown how it fluctuates within individuals. Such a within-person measure is important, since it would allow the study of how changes in differentiation predict subsequent levels of other variables of interest. Here, we present a framework to study emotion differentiation at the within-person level by introducing a momentary emotion differentiation index. This index is directly derived from the classical emotion differentiation index, the intra-class correlation. We first give a theoretical derivation of this index. Next, using data from two experience sampling studies, we show how this new momentary index is related to other momentary indicators of well-being, and take the first steps in building its nomological network. A better understanding of within-person fluctuations in emotion differentiation will allow us to identify the causes and consequences of these fluctuations, and search for ways to teach individuals to increase their level of emotion differentiation.
... These include behaviors that serve as a means of distraction from distress such as nonsuicidal self-injury (Zaki et al., 2013) and spending more money than intended (Tomko et al., 2015); relapse following substance use treatment (Anand et al., 2017); excessive exercise (Selby et al., 2014), as well as behaviors that serve to avoid or diminish fear, such as social avoidance and avoidance of essential health screenings (Coifman et al., 2014). Similarly, among non-clinical populations (i.e., college students and community participants), NED appears protective against behaviors that increase risk of disease like binge drinking (Kashdan et al., 2010), risky sex, aggression, and drunk driving (Emery et al., 2014), reckless driving and binge eating (Dixon-Gordon et al., 2014), and avoidance of social activities , as well as behaviors that negatively impact health (e.g., cigarette smoking, Sheets et al., 2015;excessive caloric consumption, Jones & Herr, 2018), and aggression (Edwards & Wupperman, 2017;Pond et al., 2012). Taken together, these findings suggest that NED is generally protective against a wide range of maladaptive behaviors across clinical and non-clinical populations. ...
... Given that past research has demonstrated statistical and theoretical overlap between NED and mean NA (e.g., Dejonckheere et al., 2019), and that mean NA is often a strong predictor of maladaptive behaviors (e.g., Selby et al., 2008), we also controlled for mean NA in our meta-analysis to parse out variance specifically between NED and behaviors and also considered mean NA as a moderator. As past research suggests that NED is associated with less maladaptive behaviors at high levels of NA (Barrett et al., 2001;Kashdan et al., 2010;Pond et al., 2012), NED may thus be most protective only at high levels of NA when maladaptive behaviors are most likely. Moreover, clinical samples generally report higher NA than healthy adults Zaki et al., 2013). ...
... One author was unable to provide the data for two studies (Kashdan et al., 2010;Study 2 in Pond et al., 2012) and therefore these studies were excluded. Of the remaining 14 articles, one paper included two clinical samples (Tomko et al., 2015); one paper (Pond et al., 2012) included two separate studies (Study 1 and 3) involving college samples, and; one paper included two separate studies involving clinical (Study 1) and college (Study 2) samples. As such, we analyzed each study sample's effect size separately. ...
Article
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Behavioral dysregulation that may manifest as use of maladaptive behaviors aimed at regulating or avoiding distress, despite potential negative health consequences, is central to the development and maintenance of common psychological disorders. However, less is known about factors that may influence the engagement of these maladaptive behaviors. Recent research suggests that negative emotion differentiation (NED) may be important. The present investigation was a meta-analysis examining the relationship between NED and maladaptive behaviors ranging from binge drinking and nonsuicidal self-injury to treatment non-compliance, in clinical and non-clinical samples across 17 included studies obtained via electronic literature searches. Despite between-study methodological heterogeneity, our results indicated that NED was negatively associated with the enactment of maladaptive behaviors (r = -.15). Additionally, no significant differences in effect sizes were observed between clinical (n = 7; r = -.15) and non-clinical (n = 10; r = -.16) samples. Critically, the relationship between NED and maladaptive behaviors remained significant even after controlling for negative affect (NA; n = 11; r = -.09). This association also did not depend on levels of NA. Overall, our findings suggest that NED is generally associated with reduced engagement of maladaptive behaviors regardless of diagnostic status and NA, and have important clinical implications for understanding and treating psychological disorders involving behavioral dysregulation.
... For instance, high differentiation of negative emotions is associated with an increased use of emotion regulation strategies (Barrett, et al., 2001), while low differentiation of negative emotions is associated with more ineffective down-regulation of negative emotions (Kalokerinos et al., 2019). Moreover, individuals with high levels of negative emotion differentiation experience less aggression in response to anger (Pond et al., 2012), lower impulsivity (Tomko et al., 2015), and less social avoidance in response to rumination (Seah, Aurora, & Coifman, 2020). In contrast, individuals with low levels of negative emotion differentiation show increased alcohol use in response to stress (Kashdan, Ferssizidis, Collins, & Muraven, 2010), and experience more depressive symptoms in response to brooding (Starr, Hershenberg, Li, & Shaw, 2017). ...
... there is often a weak relation between an individual's level of positive and negative emotion differentiation, see for instance Willroth et al., 2019;Erbas, Sels, Ceulemans & Kuppens, 2016). Research has found that it is primarily differentiation of negative emotions that is important to well-being (e.g., Demiralp et al., 2012;Kashdan et al., 2010;Pond et al., 2012), for which there are two possible explanations. Firstly, negative emotions encompass a wider variety of emotional states (Ortony, Clore, & Foss, 1987), and therefore there is more room for differentiation. ...
... At the between-person level, we see for instance that when individuals who are low in emotion differentiation use an emotion regulation strategy, this does not help them much to successfully reduce their negative emotions (Kalokerinos et al., 2019). Specifically, low differentiators appear to show more maladaptive behavior, such as more impulsivity (Tomko et al., 2015), more aggression in response to anger (Pond et al., 2012), or more alcohol consumption in response to stress (Kashdan et al., 2012). The new momentary index now makes it possible to study whether this relationship between low levels of emotion differentiation on the one hand and unsuccessful emotion regulation and maladaptive behavior on the other hand also holds at the momentary level. ...
Article
Full-text available
Emotion differentiation refers to the tendency to label emotions in a granular way. While differentiation is an important individual difference in the context of psychological well-being, it is unknown how it fluctuates within individuals. Such a within-person measure is important, since it would allow the study of how changes in differentiation predict subsequent levels of other variables of interest. Here, we present a framework to study emotion differentiation at the within-person level by introducing a momentary emotion differentiation index. This index is directly derived from the classical emotion differentiation index, the intraclass correlation. We first give a theoretical derivation of this index. Next, using data from two experience sampling studies, we show how this new momentary index is related to other momentary indicators of well-being, and take the first steps in building its nomological network. A better understanding of within-person fluctuations in emotion differentiation will allow us to identify the causes and consequences of these fluctuations, and search for ways to teach individuals to increase their level of emotion differentiation.
... Considerable evidence suggests that people with high NED are less likely to use disengagement strategies to cope with stressful situations than people with low NED. For example, people higher in NED were less likely than lower NED peers to drink to excess when experiencing distress or act aggressively when angered (Pond et al., 2012). NED also buffers the effects of stressful events on depressed mood (e.g., Nook et al., 2020;Starr et al., 2017;. ...
... Increased emotional awareness may facilitate a sense of control over emotions, thus reducing regulatory strategies that often function as an escape from aversive emotions (e.g., substance use). Indeed, compared to people lower in NED, people higher in NED report a greater sense of control over emotions (Pond et al., 2012) and a lower proclivity to act rashly and impulsively in response to negative emotions (Emery et al., 2014). Thus, identifying and labeling discrete emotional experiences may facilitate greater coping self-efficacy, making it less likely for a person to use disengagement strategies for a short-term reprieve. ...
Article
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Much is known about the types of strategies people use to regulate emotions. Less is known about individual differences that influence emotion regulation strategy selection. In this study, we tested the moderating role of negative emotion differentiation (NED; i.e., the ability to label and describe subtle differences among negative emotions) on the relationship between the intensity of stressful daily events and the strategies used to regulate distress arising from these events. Prior research shows that NED is associated with low endorsement of disengagement emotion regulation (e.g., substance use), but less is known about the link to engagement regulation (e.g., problem-solving, seeking social support). Participants were college students (N = 502) completing a 30-day daily diary survey for each of four college years. We preregistered hypotheses that 1) the intensity of each day's most stressful event would be associated with greater use of disengagement and engagement regulation strategies, and 2) people higher in NED would be less likely to use disengagement and more likely to use engagement strategies when highly stressed. Results suggest that higher stress intensity is associated with greater use of all regulation strategies. Greater NED is associated with less use of disengagement regulation strategies, whereas NED was unrelated to engagement regulation strategies and did not moderate the relationship between stress and engagement strategies. The majority of hypothesized moderation effects of NED were nonsignificant, prompting a reconsideration of whether, when, and how NED plays a role in stress responding. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... (1) negative (but not positive) differentiation predicted higher frequency of emotion regulation, especially at high level of affect intensity (Barrett et al., 2001); (2) negative differentiation was associated with less maladaptive emotion regulation (Tong & Keng, 2017); (3) negative differentiation was associated with less binge drinking, but only among people experiencing intense negative emotions (Kashdan, Ferssizidis, Collins, & Muraven, 2010); and (4) the association between anger intensity and aggressive tendencies was weaker among people high (vs. low) in negative differentiation (Pond et al., 2012). ...
... More generally, people high in trait differentiation may have knowledge instrumental to effective emotion regulation, facilitating successful implementation of emotion regulation. Though prior studies are consistent with these hypotheses (e.g., Kashdan et al., 2010;Pond et al., 2012;Zaki et al., 2013), few studies have provided strong, 10 of 14direct evidence of links between differentiation, emotion regulation, and adaptive outcomes (e.g., Boden & Thompson, 2015). Especially useful will be studies in which both differentiation and regulation or aspects thereof (e.g., emotion goals) are experimentally manipulated to gauge the effects on (mal)adaptive outcomes (e.g., Kalokerinos et al., 2019). ...
Article
Emotion differentiation captures the detail with which people describe their emotional experiences. A compelling body of research has linked low and negative emotion differentiation to a host of adverse psychological outcomes, yet conceptual and methodological questions and issues remain. We think that the time is right to review and reflect on this growing literature to gain clarity that can be applied to future research. We first review assessment of emotion differentiation while highlighting the methodological variation across studies. Then supported by the literature review, we discuss disconnections between the conceptualization and measurement of differentiation. Finally, to motivate future research, we propose factors that we hypothesize are associated with potentially beneficial effects of emotion differentiation in a given situation (i.e., related to state emotion differentiation) and more generally across time (i.e., related to trait emotion differentiation).
... Barrett recommends that individuals learn to be more specific when labeling an emotion/feeling and calls this "emotional granularity" (Pond et al. 2012). By being more specific, one builds up a larger, more accurate set of emotional/ feeling concepts which is useful for creating the emotion/feeling in the future (Kashdan, Barrett, and McKnight 2015). ...
... This author believes the thinking effort to become more emotionally granular could aid in one's ability to distinguish between subjective or feeling thinking and objective or rational thinking. Research supports the hypothesis that greater emotional granularity improves emotional regulation (Barrett et al. 2001 andPond et al. 2012). However, this process can't stop with labeling, but should also look at the relationship interactions-the emotional process-that resulted in the feelings being labeled. ...
Article
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Lisa Barrett's book, "How Emotions are Made," describes her decades-long work in the field of emotion research and presents her theory of constructed emotion. Dr Murray Bowen's theory places particular importance on the role emotions and feelings play in human functioning. The theory of constructed emotion posits that if one changes their concepts about a subject that this would lead to constructing different emotions/feelings regarding that subject. Bowen theory provides an individual with a rich set of new concepts for how one can think about their relationships and their own functioning. Barrett's theory offers an explanation of how these new concepts can create new emotional (feeling) responses. The implication is that the value of "thinking systems" is that it will create new emotional responses that will support improved functioning.
... Barrett (2017, p. 107) described alexithymia as having an "impoverished conceptual system for emotion." Individuals reporting high levels of alexithymia are described as having an "absence of words" for emotions or may experience a deficit in propositional knowledge of emotions (Pond Jr. et al., 2012). Individuals endorsing high levels of alexithymia generally report less intense experiences of emotions and often use fewer emotion words to describe their emotional state. ...
... Barrett, Gross, Christensen, and Benvenuto (2001) provided the first empirical link between emotion differentiation and emotion regulation, and subsequent studies have showed that high levels of emotional granularity/emotion differentiation mitigate the relationship between intense emotional negative states and/or psychological symptoms and maladaptive behaviors. Three studies showed that emotion differentiation played an important role in the relationship between anger and aggressive behaviors, with this association being significantly weaker for individuals exhibiting higher levels of emotion differentiation relative to those exhibiting lower levels (Pond Jr. et al., 2012). Negative emotion differentiation has also been found to moderate the association between intensity of negative emotions and alcohol consumption, with this relationship significantly weaker for participants exhibiting high emotion differentiation compared with those exhibiting low emotion differentiation. ...
... For instance, Röll et al. (2012) conducted a systematic review based on longitudinal studies and identified emotion dysregulation to be a leading risk factor of aggression from childhood. In addition, the emotion regulation ability has also shown to be important in explaining the link between the various forms of aggression, by, for example, controlling the behavioural aggressive tendencies in people that feel intense levels of anger (Pond et al., 2012;Roberton et al., 2012;Shorey et al., 2011). With regard to sensitivity to reward and punishment, Tull et al. (2010) observed that self-reported emotion regulation difficulties were positively associated with a greater sensitivity to punishment (assessed by BIS scale) and negatively associated with sensitivity to reward (assessed by the reward-responsiveness dimension of the BAS scale). ...
... conditional effect of the emotion regulation ability on the relationship between sensitivity to reward/punishment and the components of aggression. Additionally, and in accord with the previous literature (see Introduction section;Pond et al., 2012;Roberton et al., 2012;Shorey et al., 2011), we also explored the conditional effect of emotion regulation ability on the relationship between the emotional and cognitive components, i.e. anger and hostility, and the behavioural components of aggression, i.e. physical and verbal ...
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The study of the risk and protective factors in aggression is of fundamental importance for our society. The aim of this research was to clarify the role of sensitivity to reward/punishment in aggression and provide a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying this relationship, particularly given that previous studies in the literature have yielded mixed results. To this end, two studies were conducted. In Study 1 (484 participants; M age = 39.09; 48.6s women), we explored the relationship between sensitivity to reward and punishment and four components of aggression: physical, verbal, anger, and hostility. In Study 2 (229 participants; M age = 21.52; 56.77% women), we investigated the moderating role of emotion regulation ability in this relationship. The findings of Studies 1 and 2 supported the existence of a positive relationship between sensitivity to reward and aggression, that is, a high reactivity to reward acted as a risk factor. With respect to sensitivity to punishment, mediation analysis revealed that this variable may act both as a protective factor as well as a risk factor for behavioral aggression. A higher reactivity to punishment had a direct negative effect on physical and verbal aggression, inhibiting aggressive behavior. However, a higher reactivity to punishment also implied a positive indirect effect on physical and verbal aggression through an increase in anger and hostility. Interestingly, Study 2 revealed that these indirect effects were moderated by emotion regulation ability. Our results could help to inform the design of aggression prevention and intervention programs for reducing the impact of this behavior on our society.
... Thus, if a person is not able to de-termine what emotion they are feeling, their ability to effectively problem solve to manage that emotion will be diminished. Given mood repair is often prioritized over achieving other more adaptive long-term goals (e.g., remaining abstinent; Tice et al., 2001), this commonly leads to "quick-fix" behaviors aimed at alleviating affective arousal such as risky alcohol use (Kashdan et al., 2010), nonsuicidal self-injury (Zaki et al., 2013), and physical/verbal aggression (Pond et al., 2012). ...
... Traditionally, emotion differentiation is created as a betweenperson variable from EMA data by calculating the intraclass correlation (ICC with absolute agreement) of the positive and negative emotion terms, respectively, for each participant across the momentary assessments (Kashdan et al., 2010;Pond et al., 2012). This calculates the percent of the total variation in emotion ratings due to variation across assessment time points versus variability between emotion terms within time points. ...
Article
Background: Early recovery from alcohol use disorder (AUD) is commonly associated with high levels of negative affect, stress, and emotional vulnerability, which confer significant relapse risk. Emotion differentiation-the ability to distinguish between discrete emotions-has been shown to predict relapse after treatment for a drug use disorder, but this relationship has not been explored in individuals recovering from AUD. Methods: The current study used thrice daily random and up to thrice daily self-initiated ecological momentary assessment surveys (N = 42, observations = 915) to examine whether 1) moments of high affective arousal are characterized by momentary differences in emotion differentiation among individuals in the first year of a current AUD recovery attempt, and 2) individuals' average emotion differentiation would predict subsequent alcohol use measured by the timeline follow-back over a 3-month follow-up period. Results: Multilevel models showed that moments (Level 1) of higher-than-average negative affect (p < 0.001) and/or stress (p = 0.033) were characterized by less negative emotion differentiation, while moments of higher-than-average positive affect were characterized by greater positive emotion differentiation (p < 0.001). At the between-person level (Level 2), participants with higher stress overall had lower negative emotion differentiation (p = 0.009). Linear regression showed that average negative, but not positive, emotion differentiation was inversely associated with percent drinking days over the subsequent 3-month follow-up period (p = 0.042). Neither form of average emotion differentiation was associated with drinking quantity. Conclusions: We found that for individuals in early AUD recovery, affective states are associated with acute shifts in the capacity for emotion differentiation. Further, we found that average negative emotion differentiation prospectively predicts subsequent alcohol use.
... Furthermore, individuals with various psychological disorders, such as social anxiety disorder (Kashdan & Farmer, 2014), major depression disorder (Demiralp et al., 2012), and autism spectrum disorder (Erbas, Ceulemans, Boonen, Noens, & Kuppens, 2013;Frank, Schulze, Hellweg, Koehne, & Roepke, 2018) displayed lower negative ED than did healthy controls. Negative ED could also diminish maladaptive self-regulation behaviors; for example, alcohol consumption (Kashdan, Ferssizidis, Collins, & Muraven, 2010), attack (Pond et al., 2012), and self-injury (Zaki, Coifman, Rafaeli, Berenson, & Downey, 2013) in negative emotion situations. ...
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Cognitive reappraisal plays an important role in individuals' mental health and adaptation and depends on individual differences in emotion differentiation. However, it is unclear how individual differences in emotion differentiation modulate the electrocortical dynamics of cognitive reappraisal. To this end, we employed event-related potentials (ERPs) and source analysis to characterize temporal dynamics and cortical functions of cognitive reappraisal related with positive emotion differentiation. The electroencephalogram (EEG) data from 36 participants (aged 18-25 years) were recorded when they were required to view neutral, pleasant emotional stimuli, or positively reappraise neutral emotional stimuli. Results showed that, compared with the individuals with low positive emotion differentiation, the individuals with high positive emotion differentiation presented larger late positive potential (LPP) amplitude enhancement during positive reappraisal. Source analysis further found that individuals with high positive emotion differentiation exhibited more activations in the middle frontal gyrus (Brodmann area [BA] 11), superior temporal gyrus (BA 38), and inferior frontal gurus (BA 47) when they implemented cognitive reappraisal as compared with their counterparts. Our findings deepen our understanding of the dynamic cortical organization of how positive emotion differentiation impacts cognitive reappraisal and informs cognitive reappraisal interventions for individuals with low emotion differentiation.
... Such individuals are more independent and target oriented, and they function effectively and adhere to their principles and beliefs even when exposed to the extremely high expectations of family members. In contrast, poorly differentiated people report more expressions of anger (Pond et al., 2012), higher levels of depression, poorer mental health (Jankowski & Hooper, 2012), higher levels of separation anxiety, and lower levels of satisfaction with significant interpersonal (i.e., intimate) relationships (Peleg et al., 2014). They also function less effectively as parents and employ ineffective parenting styles (Bogomolsky & Peleg, 2012). ...
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The current study examines how the family patterns of differentiation of self and parenting style impact the level of intimacy in same- and cross-sex friendships among Arab adolescents in Israel. 150 adolescents responded to the Differentiation of Self Inventory, Parental Authority Questionnaire, and the Intimate Friendship Questionnaire. The findings indicate that high levels of I-position, indicating good communication between family members in Arab households in Israel, together with an authoritative parenting style, may promote intimacy in friendships with the same sex, whereas fused and dense relationships may reduce intimacy in cross-sex friendships.
... Labeling emotionally evocative images, for example, reduces emotional reactivity (Lieberman et al., 2007). Similarly, granularity is associated with greater emotional stability (Hill and Updegraff, 2012;Pond et al., 2012), and less reactivity to social rejection (Kashdan et al., 2014). ...
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Meditation programs continue to proliferate in the modern world, with increasing participation from scientists and many others who seek to improve physical, mental, relational, and social flourishing. In developing such programs, the meditation practices have been adapted to meet the needs of modern cultures. However, through that adaptation, important contextual factors of traditional contemplative cultures are often dropped or forgotten. This article presents a system of compassion and mindfulness training, Sustainable Compassion Training (SCT), which is designed to help people cultivate increasingly unconditional, inclusive, and sustainable care for self and others. SCT aims to recover important contextual factors of meditation that flexibly meet the diverse needs of modern secular and religious participants. SCT draws on Tibetan Buddhism in dialogue with caregivers, other contemplative traditions and relevant scientific theories to inform meditative transformation for secular contexts. We provide an overview of SCT meditations that includes both contemplative and scientific theories that draw out important features of them. Each meditation includes novel hypotheses that are generated from this dialogical process. We also provide links to audio-guided meditations.
... Crucially, emotions are thought to represent a state of action readiness that involves the whole body. Being able to differentiate between many different emotional states is associated with a multitude of positive psychological outcomes, including good emotion regulation abilities (Barrett et al., 2001) and social skill (Pond et al., 2012). Similarly, the capacity to differentiate only a few different emotional states is linked to affective difficulties, including anxiety, depression, and self-injurious behavior (Kashdan & Farmer, 2014;L. ...
Article
Lay abstract: More research has been conducted on how autistic people understand and interpret other people's emotions, than on how autistic people experience their own emotions. The experience of emotion is important however, because it can relate to difficulties like anxiety and depression, which are common in autism. In neurotypical adults and children, different emotions have been associated with unique maps of activity patterns in the body. Whether these maps of emotion are comparable in autism is currently unknown. Here, we asked 100 children and adolescents, 45 of whom were autistic, to color in outlines of the body to indicate how they experienced seven emotions. Autistic adults and children sometimes report differences in how they experience their internal bodily states, termed interoception, and so we also investigated how this related to the bodily maps of emotion. In this study, the autistic children and adolescents had comparable interoception to the non-autistic children and adolescents, but there was less variability in their maps of emotion. In other words, they showed more similar patterns of activity across the different emotions. This was not related to interoception, however. This work suggests that there are differences in how autistic people experience emotion that are not explained by differences in interoception. In neurotypical people, less variability in emotional experiences is linked to anxiety and depression, and future work should seek to understand if this is a contributing factor to the increased prevalence of these difficulties in autism.
... Following prior work, we computed negative emotion differentiation scores by calculating the intraclass correlation (ICC) between negative emotion ratings across the 20 images (Erbas et al., 2014;Kalokerinos et al., 2019;Nook, Sasse, et al., 2018;Pond et al., 2012;Tugade et al., 2004). Specifically, we followed the methods shared by Kalokerinos et al. (2019) and computed emotion differentiation scores by fisher-r-to-z transforming the ICC of consistency in average ratings across emotions (i.e., ICC(3,k)). ...
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Exposure to stressful life events is strongly associated with internalizing psychopathology, and identifying factors that reduce vulnerability to stress-related internalizing problems is critical for development of early interventions. Drawing on research from affective science, we tested whether high emotion differentiation—the ability to specifically identify one’s feelings—buffers adolescents from developing internalizing symptoms when exposed to stress. Thirty adolescents completed a laboratory measure of emotion differentiation before an intensive year-long longitudinal study in which exposure to stress and internalizing problems were assessed at both the moment-level (n=4,921 experience sampling assessments) and monthly-level (n=355 monthly assessments). High negative and positive emotion differentiation attenuated moment-level coupling between perceived stress and feelings of depression, and high negative emotion differentiation eliminated monthly-level associations between stressful life events and anxiety symptoms. These results suggest that high emotion differentiation buffers adolescents against anxiety and depression in the face of stress, perhaps by facilitating adaptive emotion regulation.
... Estimates of emotional granularity are derived from repeated emotion intensity ratings in several, related ways. Most commonly, intraclass correlations (ICCs; Shrout & Fleiss, 1979) are calculated across ratings for positively-and negatively-valenced emotion words, respectively (e.g., Boden et al., 2013;Kashdan et al., 2010;Pond et al., 2012; 3 . ICCs can be calculated using either absolute agreement across 'raters' (here, emotion words; e.g., Dixon-Gordon et al., 2014; or consistency (e.g., Erbas et al., 2013Erbas et al., , 2014Erbas et al., , 2019, although in practice these estimates are highly correlated (Erbas et al., 2014). ...
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Expertise refers to outstanding skill or ability in a particular domain. In the domain of emotion, expertise refers to the observation that some people are better at a range of competencies related to understanding, experiencing and managing emotions, and these competencies may help them lead healthier lives. Individual differences in emotional expertise are represented by a wide variety of psychological constructs, including emotional awareness, emotional clarity, emotional complexity, emotional granularity, and emotional intelligence. These constructs derive from different theoretical perspectives, highlight different competencies, and are operationalized and measured in different ways. The full set of relationships between these constructs has not yet been considered, hindering scientific progress and the translation of these findings to aid mental and physical well-being. In this paper, we use a scoping review procedure to integrate these constructs within a shared conceptual space. Using domain-general accounts of expertise as a guide, we build a unifying framework for emotional expertise, and apply this to constructs that describe how people understand and experience their own emotions. Our approach offers opportunities to identify potential underlying mechanisms of individual differences in emotion, thereby encouraging future research on those mechanisms as well as on educational or clinical interventions.
... Some phenomena do seem consistent with these predictions. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy, which may be a means of enhancing rationalization, is an effective strategy for reducing self-harm and improving problem solving (Hawton et al. 2016); and people who can give more distinct and differentiated descriptions of their emotions appear to cope better with unexpectedly negative or threatening events (Kashdan et al. 2010;Pond et al. 2012;Zaki et al. 2013). In general, we would like Cushman to translate his framework into more specific, falsifiable predictions. ...
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In this commentary, we offer an additional function of rationalization. Namely, in certain social contexts, the proximal and ultimate function of beliefs and desires is social inclusion. In such contexts, rationalization often facilitates distortion of rather than approximation to truth. Understanding the role of social identity is not only timely and important, but also critical to fully understand the function(s) of rationalization.
... Following prior work, we computed negative emotion differentiation scores by calculating the intraclass correlation (ICC) between negative emotion ratings across the 20 images (Erbas et al., 2014;Kalokerinos et al., 2019;Nook, Sasse, et al., 2018;Pond et al., 2012;Tugade, Fredrickson, & Barrett, 2004). Specifically, we followed the methods shared by Kalokerinos et al. (2019) and computed emotion differentiation scores by fisher-r-to-z transforming the ICC of consistency in average ratings across emotions (i.e., ICC(3,k)). ...
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Exposure to stressful life events is strongly associated with internalizing psychopathology, and identifying factors that reduce vulnerability to stress-related internalizing problems is critical for development of early interventions. Drawing on research from affective science, we tested whether high emotion differentiation—the ability to specifically identify one’s feelings—buffers adolescents from developing internalizing symptoms when exposed to stress. Thirty adolescents completed a laboratory measure of emotion differentiation before an intensive year-long longitudinal study in which exposure to stress and internalizing problems were assessed at both the moment-level (n=4,921 experience sampling assessments) and monthly-level (n=355 monthly assessments). High negative and positive emotion differentiation attenuated moment-level coupling between perceived stress and feelings of depression, and high negative emotion differentiation eliminated monthly-level associations between stressful life events and anxiety symptoms. These results suggest that high emotion differentiation buffers adolescents against anxiety and depression in the face of stress, perhaps by facilitating adaptive emotion regulation.
... It may be that accessing emotion labels allows a person to conceptualize their affective state in a discrete and contextappropriate manner and that doing so confers benefits for well-being. Indeed, an abundance of findings shows that individuals who use emotion labels in a discrete and specific manner (i.e., those who are high in "emotional granularity" also known as "emotion differentiation"; e.g., Barrett, 2004;Barrett et al., 2001;see Kashdan et al., 2015 for a review) experience less psychopathology (Demiralp et al., 2012), experience better outcomes following psychotherapy (e.g., length of time to relapse in substance use disorder; Anand et al., 2017), and engage in less interpersonal aggression (Pond et al., 2012). Moreover, individuals who are high in granularity exhibit brain electrophysiology associated with greater semantic retrieval and cognitive control during emotional experiences (Lee et al., 2017) and use more specific (Barrett et al., 2001) and effective (Kalokerinos et al., 2019) emotion regulation strategies during intense instances of negative emotion. ...
Article
What is the relationship between language and emotion? The work that fills the pages of this special issue draws from interdisciplinary domains to weigh in on the relationship between language and emotion in semantics, cross-linguistic experience, development, emotion perception, emotion experience and regulation, and neural representation. These important new findings chart an exciting path forward for future basic and translational work in affective science.
... Employees' negative emotions may play a mediating role in the impact of work-leisure conflict on their ego depletion. In addition, negative emotions are characterized by dynamic changes, and the cross-sectional approaches used in previous studies cannot effectively assess the pervasive and persistent destructiveness of negative emotions (Pond et al., 2012). This study can effectively compensate for the shortcomings of previous studies using a daily diary research design. ...
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The negative effect of work-leisure conflict has attracted the attention of researchers. However, no previous research has determined the relationship between work-leisure conflict and ego depletion. Therefore, this study explores the relationship between daily work-leisure conflict and ego depletion, as well as the role of individuals’ negative emotions and core self-evaluations in this process based on ego depletion theory. Through the method of daily diary research, 77 employees were tracked for 7 consecutive work days. The results show that work-leisure conflict is positively related to employee ego depletion, that the negative emotions play a mediating role in this relationship and that core self-evaluations moderate the indirect effect of work-leisure conflict on ego depletion through negative emotions. In this study, daily diary method is used to verify the dynamic characteristics of work-leisure conflict, negative emotions and ego depletion, and some new insights into how to reduce employee ego depletion are provided.
... Essentially, the argument is that being able to specifically identify one's emotions facilitates (i) more effective regulation EMOTION DIFFERENTIATION DEVELOPMENT 30 of negative emotions and/or (ii) selection of more adaptive regulatory strategies (e.g., cognitive reappraisal instead of non-suicidal self-injury; Zaki et al., 2013). Evidence supports both of these possibilities (Barrett et al., 2001;Kalokerinos et al., 2019;Kashdan et al., 2010;Ottenstein, 2020;Pond et al., 2012;Tugade et al., 2004;Zaki et al., 2013). As such, we are now ready to advance to deeper stages of theoretical specificity regarding the mechanisms regarding this model. ...
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A growing body of research identifies emotion differentiation—the ability to specifically identify one’s emotions—as a key skill for well-being. High emotion differentiation is associated with healthier and more effective regulation of one’s emotions, and low emotion differentiation has been documented in several forms of psychopathology. However, the lion’s share of this research has focused on adult samples, even though approximately 50% of mental disorders onset before age 18. This review curates what we know about the development of emotion differentiation and its implications for youth mental health. I first review published studies investigating how emotion differentiation develops across childhood and adolescence, and studies testing relations between emotion differentiation and mental health in youth samples. Emerging evidence suggests that emotion differentiation actually falls across childhood and adolescence, a counterintuitive pattern that merits further investigation. Similarly, although several studies find relations between emotion differentiation and youth mental health, instability in results suggests that more data are needed for a firm conclusion to be drawn. I then identify open questions that currently limit our understanding of emotion differentiation, including (i) lack of clarity as to the valid measurement of emotion differentiation, (ii) potential third variables that could explain relations between emotion differentiation and mental-health (e.g., mean negative affect, IQ, personality, and circularity with outcomes), and (iii) lack of clear mechanistic models regarding the development of emotion differentiation and how it facilitates well-being. I conclude with a discussion of future directions that can address open questions and work towards interventions that treat (or even prevent) psychopathology.
... Empirical evidence supports the assumption that EDin particular negative ED-is associated with overall better mental health (Smidt and Suvak, 2015) and with specific positive outcomes pertaining to situational responding (for a review see Kalokerinos et al., 2019), including reduced alcohol consumption (Kashdan et al., 2010), less impulsivity (Tomko et al., 2015), more empathetic attunement to one's partner (Erbas et al., 2016), and less aggression (Pond et al., 2012). Thus, there appears to be a direct, attenuating effect of ED on a range of maladaptive behaviors. ...
Article
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Negative emotion differentiation (ED) has been suggested to be important for adaptive emotion regulation (ER). However, knowledge concerning how ED may impact specific ER strategy choice remains surprisingly sparse. We therefore investigated (1) if person-level negative ED was associated with habitual use of individual ER strategies, (2) how person-level negative ED was associated with daily use of individual ER strategies, and finally (3) how within-person daily fluctuations in negative ED were associated with daily use of individual ER strategies. During a 10-day experience sampling study, 90 healthy participants rated their momentary emotions and their ER efforts in response to those emotions. ER strategies included four putatively adaptive strategies (reflection, distancing, non-reactivity, reappraisal) and four putatively maladaptive strategies (rumination, experiential avoidance, expressive suppression, worry). Results revealed that negative ED at the person level was neither associated with habitual nor daily ER strategy endorsement when controlling for negative emotions. Likewise, associations between within-individual daily variation in negative ED and daily ER did not remain statistically significant after controlling for negative emotions. The results thus point to no or weak associations between negative ED and ER choice above and beyond negative emotions. Future experimental studies addressing ED at the momentary level and teasing out the ED–ER causal timeline are needed to further evaluate ED–ER associations. Findings from such research may represent an important step toward refining psychotherapeutic interventions aimed at improving emotional problems.
... Individuals with higher granularity report less alcohol consumption during negative emotional experiences (Kashdan et al., 2010), fewer urges to binge eat (Dixon-Gordon et al., 2014), and lower incidence of drug relapse (Anand et al., 2017). Higher emotional granularity also results in fewer negative social outcomes, including decreased urges to physically aggress when provoked (Pond et al., 2012), and reduced neural responses to social rejection . These positive outcomes are more consistently associated with emotional granularity for negative emotions than for positive emotions (O'Toole et al., 2020;Thompson et al., 2021). ...
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Individuals differ in their ability to create instances of emotion that are precise and context-specific. This skill – referred to as emotional granularity or emotion differentiation – is associated with positive mental health outcomes. To date, however, little work has examined whether and how emotional granularity might be increased. Emotional granularity is typically measured using data from experience sampling studies, in which participants are prompted to report on their emotional experiences multiple times per day, across multiple days. This measurement approach allows researchers to examine patterns of responses over time using real-world events. Recent work suggests that experience sampling itself may facilitate increases in emotional granularity in depressed individuals, such that it may serve both empirical and interventional functions. We replicated and extended these findings in healthy adults, using data from an intensive ambulatory assessment study including experience sampling, peripheral physiological monitoring, and end-of-day diaries. We also identified factors that might distinguish individuals who showed larger increases over the course of experience sampling and examined the extent of the impact of these factors. We found that increases in emotional granularity over time were facilitated by methodological factors, such as number of experience sampling prompts responded to per day, as well as individual factors, such as resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia. These results provide support for the use of experience sampling methods to improve emotional granularity, raise questions about the boundary conditions of this effect, and have implications for the conceptualization of emotional granularity and its relationship with emotional health.
... Several studies have demonstrated that people with higher emotion differentiation tend to have better mental health (see Kashdan et al., 2015;Smidt and Suvak, 2015;Trull et al., 2015;Hoemann et al., 2020a;Thompson et al., 2021 for reviews andO'Toole et al., 2020;Seah and Coifman, 2021 for meta-analyses). A substantial body of research in adult samples now shows that emotion differentiation scores are associated with healthier and more effective responses to intense negative emotions (Barrett et al., 2001;Tugade et al., 2004;Kashdan et al., 2010;Pond et al., 2012;Zaki et al., 2013;Kalokerinos et al., 2019;Ottenstein, 2020) and that emotion differentiation scores tend to be lower in adults experiencing several forms of psychopathology (e.g., depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, autism, and borderline personality disorder; Decker et al., 2008;Demiralp et al., 2012;Erbas et al., 2013;Dixon-Gordon et al., 2014;Kashdan and Farmer, 2014;Kimhy et al., 2014;Tomko et al., 2015;Mikhail et al., 2020). Together, this body of research suggests that the ability to specifically identify one's emotions bolsters adaptive emotional responding and protects against psychopathology. ...
Article
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A growing body of research identifies emotion differentiation—the ability to specifically identify one’s emotions—as a key skill for well-being. High emotion differentiation is associated with healthier and more effective regulation of one’s emotions, and low emotion differentiation has been documented in several forms of psychopathology. However, the lion’s share of this research has focused on adult samples, even though approximately 50% of mental disorders onset before age 18. This review curates what we know about the development of emotion differentiation and its implications for youth mental health. I first review published studies investigating how emotion differentiation develops across childhood and adolescence, as well as studies testing relations between emotion differentiation and mental health in youth samples. Emerging evidence suggests that emotion differentiation actually falls across childhood and adolescence, a counterintuitive pattern that merits further investigation. Additionally, several studies find relations between emotion differentiation and youth mental health, but some instability in results emerged. I then identify open questions that limit our current understanding of emotion differentiation, including (i) lack of clarity as to the valid measurement of emotion differentiation, (ii) potential third variables that could explain relations between emotion differentiation and mental-health (e.g., mean negative affect, IQ, personality, and circularity with outcomes), and (iii) lack of clear mechanistic models regarding the development of emotion differentiation and how it facilitates well-being. I conclude with a discussion of future directions that can address open questions and work toward interventions that treat (or even prevent) psychopathology.
... To date, only relatively few studies have investigated NED as a predictor of individual differences in within-person affectrelated processes. In one AA study (Kashdan et al., 2010), NED moderated (buffered) the within-person link between momentary negative affect and alcohol consumption, and in another AA study (Pond et al., 2012), NED buffered the withinperson link between momentary anger and aggressive behavior. Recently, Starr et al. (2020) proposed a diathesis-stress model of NED. ...
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The ability to differentiate between negative emotional states [negative emotion differentiation (NED)] has been conceptualized as a trait that facilitates effective emotion regulation and buffers stress reactivity. In the present research, we investigated the role of NED in within-person processes of daily affect regulation and coping during times of stress (the first COVID-19-related pandemic lockdown in April 2020). Using intensive longitudinal data, we analyzed whether daily stress had an indirect effect on sleep quality through calmness in the evening, and we tested whether NED moderated this within-person indirect effect by buffering the link between daily stress and calmness in the evening. A non-representative community sample (n = 313, 15–82 years old) participated in a 21-day ambulatory assessment with twice-daily surveys. The results of multilevel mediation models showed that higher daily stress was related to within-day change in calmness from morning to evening, resulting in less calmness in the evening within persons. Less calmness in the evening, in turn, was related to poorer nightly sleep quality within persons. As expected, higher NED predicted a less negative within-person link between daily stress and calmness in the evening, thereby attenuating the indirect effect of daily stress on nightly sleep quality through calmness. This effect held when we controlled for mean negative emotions and depression. The results provide support for a diathesis-stress model of NED, and hence, for NED as a protective factor that helps to explain why some individuals remain more resilient during times of stress than others.
... Thus, like participants with low ICC values, we considered participants with negative ICC values as having high emotion differentiation. Then we transformed the ICC values using a Fisher's r-to-z transformation (Pond et al., 2012). Finally, because higher ICC values reflect greater similarity in ratings of different emotions across occasions (i.e., lower differentiation), we subtracted the transformed scores from one, so that higher scores reflected greater differentiation to ease interpretation. ...
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People with current major depressive disorder (MDD) experience diminished emotion differentiation. We tested the hypothesis that this emotional disturbance is chronic and also characterizes those whose MDD has remitted. As our main aim, we examined emotion differentiation in conjunction with elevated negative and diminished positive emotional intensity, which are both cardinal symptoms of MDD. As an exploratory aim, we examined the predominant theoretical conceptualization that people low in emotion differentiation use more general state terms (e.g., bad) and fewer emotion terms (e.g., anger) to describe their emotional experience. Participants (assessed via diagnostic interview) included individuals who had current MDD (current depressed; n = 48), individuals whose MDD was in full remission (remitted depressed; n = 80), and healthy controls ( n = 87). Participants also completed two self-report measures of depressive symptoms and reported momentary emotion repeatedly for 14 days via experience sampling, from which we computed emotion differentiation (i.e., intraclass correlation coefficient) and emotional intensity (i.e., average of the mean emotion ratings across surveys). Finally, participants described a momentary emotional experience via an open-response format, which was coded for the use of general state and emotion terms. Compared to the healthy control group, the current and remitted depressed groups showed similarly low levels of negative and positive emotion differentiation. These findings suggest that diminished emotion differentiation may be a stable characteristic of depressive disorders and a possible target for future prevention efforts. Diminished negative emotion differentiation was significantly associated with higher depressive symptoms as assessed by only one of the depression measures, though this finding did not hold after adjusting for negative emotional intensity. Finally, participants’ emotion differentiation was not associated with use of general state and emotion terms, and groups did not use general state and emotion terms in ways that were consistent with the predominant theoretical conceptualization of emotion differentiation, suggesting the need for clarification in this research domain.
... That is, high levels of reactivity were associated with significantly lower edge weights. Positive emotion differentiation has been less consistently linked with emotion regulation and other adaptive outcomes than negative emotionality (Kashdan & Farmer, 2014;Pond Jr et al., 2012), and has even been associated with maladaptive outcomes in the context of depressive symptoms (Starr et al., 2017). Low PA differentiation may in fact be adaptive insofar as activation of one positive emotion may trigger multiple other positive emotions. ...
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We estimated a network model of trait affect to examine the pattern of associations between emotions. We reasoned that more independence across valences (e.g., enthusiastic-upset) and within valence (e.g., distressed-afraid) would represent a more adaptive affective structure characterized by greater emotion differentiation. The network structure was expected to vary as a function of effortful control and reactivity. We hypothesized effortful control would be associated with weaker associations between and within emotional valences and reactivity would be associated with stronger associations between and within emotional valences (less complexity). Hypotheses were partially supported in a cross-sectional study of 403 young adults. Findings indicated that low effortful control (e.g., low planning and problem solving) was related to stronger associations between emotional valences and reactivity (e.g., impulsivity, distractibility) was associated with stronger associations between negative emotions. This pattern of findings is consistent with a conceptualization of self-regulation characterized by more complex and unique emotional experiences. Unexpectedly, reactivity was associated with lower associations between positive emotions. These mixed findings give a preliminary window into the ways in which the structure of affect varies as a function of two important dimensions of self-regulation.
... Furthermore, emotion differentiation also appeared to facilitate more successful emotion regulation (Barrett et al., 2001;Kalokerinos et al., 2019). For instance, higher levels of emotion differentiation protected individuals from destructive behavior such as excessive alcohol consumption (Kashdan et al., 2010), aggression (Pond et al., 2012), and unhealthy eating behavior (Mikhail et al., 2019). Positive emotion differentiation in turn was associated with more effective coping styles, i.e., less mental self-distraction during stressful times, higher engagement in the coping process, less automatic responding, and greater thinking through behavioral options before acting (Tugade et al., 2004). ...
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Labeling emotions with a high degree of granularity appears to be beneficial for well-being. However, there are individual differences in the level of emotion differentiation, and some individuals do not appear to differentiate much between different emotions. Low differentiation is associated with maladaptive outcomes, therefore such individuals might benefit from interventions that can increase their level of emotion differentiation. To this end, we tested the effects of an emotion knowledge intervention on the level of emotion differentiation. One hundred and twenty participants were assigned to either an experimental or a control condition. Emotion differentiation was assessed with a Scenario Rating Task before and after the intervention, and at follow-up. As predicted, negative emotion differentiation increased significantly after the emotion knowledge intervention, and this increase was not observed in the control group. Positive emotion differentiation also increased slightly; however, it did not reach significance level. This finding suggests that an emotion knowledge intervention might be beneficial for increasing negative emotion differentiation and may have implications for the clinical context.
... For example, emotional differentiation, as one type of the most used indices for emotional complexity, captures how people differ in the specificity of their emotional experiences among various situations (e.g., Barrett et al., 2001 ;Tugade et al., 2004 ); and emotional dialecticism, as another type of emotional complexity indices, captures how people vary in the extent/frequency of co-occurrence of positive and negative emotions (e.g., Grossmann et al., 2016 ). Related studies have proved that these holistic descriptions of individual differences in emotional experiences could be insightful for studies in mental disorders ( Demiralp et al., 2012 ;Kimhy et al., 2014 ), well-being ( Lennarz et al., 2018 ;Tugade et al., 2004 ;Erbas et al., 2014 ;Erbas et al., 2018 ), and adaptive coping ( Pond et al., 2012 ;Kalokerinos et al., 2019 ), etc. ...
Article
Our daily emotional experience is a complex construct that usually involves multiple emotions blended in a context-dependent manner. However, the co-occurring and context-dependent nature of human emotions was understated in previous studies when addressing the individual difference in emotional experiences. The present study proposed a situated and blended ‘profile’ perspective to characterize individualized emotional experiences. Eighty participants watched a series of emotional videos with their EEG recorded, and the individual differences in their emotion profiles were measured as the vector distances between their multidimensional emotion ratings for these video stimuli. This measure was found to be a reliable descriptor of individualized emotional experiences and could efficiently predict classical emotional complexity indices. More importantly, inter-subject representational analyses revealed that similar emotion profiles were associated with similar delta-band activities over the prefrontal and temporo-parietal regions and similar theta-band activities over the frontal regions. Furthermore, left- and right-lateralized temporo-parietal representations were observed for positive and negative emotion profiles, respectively. Our findings demonstrate the potential of taking a ‘profile’ perspective for understanding individual differences in human emotions.
... Ineffective anger-coping strategies increase negative affect and reduce the regulatory resources needed to restrain aggressive impulses. Factors associated with improved emotion control may reduce the link between anger and aggression (Pond et al., 2012). ...
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Many individuals become aggressive in reaction to an actual or potential danger, or it can be a learned behaviour that assists them in meeting their needs. Anger is a natural emotion that everyone feels at different moments. It is, in effect, a normal reaction to a challenge, assisting us in preparing for defence or standing up for ourselves It usually occurs as a response to thoughts or feelings such as pain, irritation, worry, envy, discomfort, rejection, or shame. The purpose of this investigation is to examine effects of trait anger (AN) and aggressiveness (AG) on life satisfaction (LS) of general adult population, as well as to determine whether trait anger (AN) moderates the mediating effect of aggressiveness (AG) in the schadenfreude (SCH)-life satisfaction (LS) relationship. 390 individuals responded to an online investigation, selected via convenience sampling. Trait anger was found to moderate the effect of schadenfreude and life satisfaction. Increased levels of aggressiveness were linked to low levels of life satisfaction. Conditional effects found a stronger association between schadenfreude and aggressiveness for those low in trait anger relative to those high in trait anger. Participants with low scores in trait anger and high scores in schadenfreude had higher levels of aggressiveness than individuals with lows cores in trait anger. Conclusions and implications are discussed.
... Participants were presented with 11 or 12 standardized movie clips of positive themes and asked to rate how intensely they experienced each emotion during the film clip (i.e., family affection, reverence, pride, love, inspiration, friendship, interest, sympathy, aesthetics, respect, liberation, wishful, adore, humor, hope, appreciation) on a 9point Likert scale (1 = not at all, 5 = a moderate amount, 9 = a great deal). An index of positive emotion granularity was computed by calculating average intraclass correlations (ICC) (Boden et al., 2013;Pond et al., 2012). ICC reflects the agreement among self-reported emotional states for each measurement moment over time. ...
Article
This study explored the predictive effect of positive personality, positive emotional granularity and alexithymia on individual life satisfaction among 318 Chinese undergraduate students. Online questionnaires were used to assess positive personality, alexithymia, social connectedness and life satisfaction. Participants were also asked to view a series of standardized film clips and rate them on a list of nonprimary emotions to compute their emotional granularity. The results indicated that positive personality and alexithymia could predict an individual's life satisfaction directly or indirectly through social connectedness. Positive emotional granularity could predict alexithymia. However, positive emotional granularity could not predict life satisfaction directly, but it could predict life satisfaction through the path of alexithymia-social connectedness. These results provide implications for enhancing the well-being of Chinese college students by cultivating their positive psychological qualities and strengthening their social bonding.
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Emotional granularity describes the ability to create emotional experiences that are precise and context-specific. Despite growing evidence of a link between emotional granularity and mental health, the physiological correlates of granularity have been under-investigated. This study explored the relationship between granularity and cardiorespiratory physiological activity in everyday life, with particular reference to the role of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), an estimate of vagal influence on the heart associated with positive mental and physical health outcomes. Participants completed a physiologically-triggered experience sampling protocol including ambulatory recording of electrocardiogram (ECG), impedance cardiogram (ICG), movement, and posture. At each prompt, participants generated emotion labels to describe their current experience. In an end-of-day survey, participants elaborated on each prompt by rating the intensity of their experience on a standard set of emotion adjectives. Consistent with our hypotheses, individuals with higher granularity exhibited a larger number of distinct patterns of physiological activity during seated rest, and more situationally-precise patterns of activity during emotional events: granularity was positively correlated with the number of patterns of cardiorespiratory physiological activity discovered in seated rest data, as well as with the performance of classifiers trained on event-related changes in physiological activity. Granularity was also positively associated with RSA during seated rest periods, although this relationship did not reach conventional levels of significance in our sample. These findings are consistent with constructionist accounts of emotion that propose concepts as a key mechanism underlying individual differences in emotional experience, physiological regulation, and physical health.
Article
In this commentary, we ask when rationalization is most likely to occur and to not occur, and about where to expect, and how to measure, its benefits.
Article
Idiographic network models based on time‐series data have received recent attention for their ability to model relationships among symptoms and behaviours as they unfold in time within a single individual (cf. Epskamp, Borsboom, & Fried, 2018; Fisher, Medaglia, & Jeronimus, 2018). Rather than examine the correlational relationships between variables in a sample of individuals, an idiographic network examines correlations within a single person, averaged over many time points. Because the approach averages over time, the data must be stationary (i.e. relatively consistent over time). If individuals experience varying states over time—different mixtures of symptoms and behaviours in one moment or another—then averaging over categorically different moments may undermine model accuracy. Fisher and Bosley (2019) address these concerns via the application of Gaussian finite mixture modelling to identify latent classes of time points in intraindividual time‐series data from a sample of adults with major depressive disorder and/or generalised anxiety disorder (n = 45). The present paper outlines an extension of this work, wherein network analysis is used to model within‐class covariation of symptoms. To illustrate this approach, network models were constructed for each intraindividual class identified by Fisher and Bosley (137 networks across the 45 participants, mean classes/person = ~3, range = 2–4 classes/person). We examine the relative consistency in symptom organisation between each individual's multiple mood state networks and assess emergent group‐level patterns. We highlight opportunities for enhanced treatment personalisation and review nomothetic patterns relevant to transdiagnostic conceptualisations of psychopathology. We address opportunities for integrating this approach into clinical practice and outline potential shortcomings.
Article
Emotion differentiation, or the ability to distinguish between discrete emotions in the moment, has been linked to maladaptive behaviors, including disordered eating. Appearance schemas may impact this relationship, as it has been suggested that individuals who are preoccupied with appearance-related information in their environment have limited attentional resources to devote to other internal processes. This study sought to expand existing research by examining: 1) the relationships between emotion differentiation and self-reported eating disorder symptomatology, and 2) strength of implicit appearance schemas as a moderator of these relationships. Participants were 118 female undergraduate students who completed a self-report disordered eating symptomatology questionnaire and a word stem completion task (measuring implicit appearance schemas) at baseline. Participants then reported their daily disordered eating behaviors and emotions through ecological momentary assessment for seven days. Emotion differentiation indices were calculated from negatively-valenced (NED) and positively-valenced (PED) daily affect ratings using intraclass correlation coefficients. Analyses demonstrated significant relationships between NED, severity of eating disorder symptomology, and frequency of compensatory behaviors; however, these relationships did not emerge with PED. Strength of appearance schemas was a moderator, suggesting that poor NED paired with stronger appearance schemas resulted in more severe eating disorder symptoms and more frequent engagement in compensatory behaviors. Multilevel models revealed that better NED predicted daily engagement in dietary restriction. By examining the relationship between emotion differentiation and disordered eating symptoms, this study contributes clinically significant information regarding a facet of emotional experience that may be important to our understanding of eating disorder symptomatology.
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Past research has documented the many psychological and behavioral benefits of negative emotion differentiation, that is, the degree to which one can identify, distinguish, and describe specific negative feeling states. Drawing on Affective Events Theory, we argue that negative emotion differentiation affects how individuals react to a need-laden affective event (i.e., being in a situation where one is asked for some assistance). Specifically, we posit that individuals high in negative emotion differentiation will be more adept at interpreting their negative emotions as arising from others' needs (i.e., moral emotions) and regulating them through helping behavior. We tested this basic premise in two studies conducted in East Asia – a field study involving working adults in a general work setting and a quasi-experiment involving a student sample. In both studies, we examined the role of negative emotion differentiation in how individuals respond to negative emotions facing a need-laden affective event. The results supported our predictions, as high negative emotion differentiation weakened the negative relationship between general negative emotions and subsequent helping behavior (Study 1) and strengthened the positive relationship between negative moral emotions and helping behavior (Study 2). Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) holds significant potential within aggression research. It affords researchers the possibility of collecting data in ecological context, in near real time. However, there is a lack of measures of aggression that have been developed and validated for use in EMA contexts. In this study, we report on the validation of a measure specifically designed to address this need: the Aggression-ES-A. Building on a previous pilot study, we evaluate the within- and between-person reliability, nomological net and associations with a validated trait measure of aggression of the Aggression-ES-A in a sample of N = 255 emerging adults from the Zurich Project on Social Development from Childhood to Adulthood (z-proso). Using multilevel confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling, we found support for the factorial validity, reliability, and concurrent validity of the Aggression-ES-A scores. Results support the use of the Aggression-ES-A in EMA studies utilizing community-ascertained samples.
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Objective: Sexual aggression remains a significant public health problem, with the majority of sexual assaults involving alcohol. Founded upon an experimental medicine approach to behavior change, the current study used a proximal change experiment to target and test emotion regulation (ER) as a mechanism underlying alcohol-involved sexual aggression. Method: Heavy episodic drinking men aged 21-30 with a sexual assault perpetration history (N = 209) were randomly assigned to a brief, online, ER-focused cognitive restructuring or mindfulness intervention or to control. Intervention effects were evaluated during sober and intoxicated states through laboratory-based alcohol administration (target BrAC = .08%). Intoxicated and sober participants completed a proximal change protocol that included implementing ER skills during a sexual aggression analogue that assessed relevant emotions and intentions. Results: Path analysis demonstrated that relative to control, the cognitive restructuring intervention improved emotional modulation and emotional clarity, resulting in lower sexual arousal and anger, respectively, followed by decreased sexual coercion intentions. The mindfulness intervention yielded mixed results, predicting decreased sexual aggression intentions compared to control but also predicting stronger coercive tactic intentions in intoxicated men with more severe sexual aggression histories. Both interventions improved emotional acceptance relative to control, but only for sober men. Conclusions: Overall, the current study demonstrated that ER-focused interventions improved proximal ER skills associated with reduced sexual aggression intentions, signifying ER as an important mechanism for changing sexually aggressive behavior. Because intervention efficacy varied by intoxication state, further research is needed to assess the effectiveness of ER interventions targeting real-world alcohol-involved sexual aggression. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
Intensive longitudinal research designs are becoming more common in the field of neuropsychology. They are a powerful approach to studying development and change in naturally occurring phenomena. However, to fully capitalize on the wealth of data yielded by these designs, researchers have to understand the nature of multilevel data structures. The purpose of the present article is to describe some of the basic concepts and techniques involved in modeling multilevel data structures. In addition, this article serves as a step-by-step tutorial to demonstrate how neuropsychologists can implement basic multilevel modeling techniques with real data and the R package, lmerTest. R may be an ideal option for some empirical scientists, applied statisticians, and clinicians, because it is a free and open-source programming language for statistical computing and graphics that offers a flexible and powerful set of tools for analyzing data. All data and code described in the present article have been made publicly available.
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Long before psychology, bias has existed in science. From the beginning, concerns have been raised about the reliability, validity, and accuracy of social science research (Meehl, 1954). In this chapter, we define and discuss the origins of bias and how it can erode the scientific method. We focus specifically on bias in psychological research, theory, assessment, and treatment. We discuss the range of common misconceptions and misinformation that permeates the female offender literature. Finally, we conclude with ten myths about female offenders and offer guidelines for identifying bias and how to avoid it.
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Objective: Negative affect intensity is robustly related to binge eating, but the relationship between negative emotion differentiation (i.e., the ability to differentiate negatively-valenced emotions) and binge eating is unclear. Further, little is known about factors that might reduce emotion intensity and/or enhance emotion differentiation, thereby reducing binge eating. Self-compassion is consistently linked to less binge eating, which may be due to decreased negative affect and/or an enhanced ability to differentiate emotions. The current study examined the roles of negative emotion intensity, negative emotion differentiation, and self-compassion in binge eating using ecological momentary assessment. Method: Participants were 201 university students (52.2% female) who completed questionnaires assessing affect seven times a day, and engagement in loss of control (LOC) eating episodes at the end of each day, for 10 days. The average of sadness, fear, guilt, and hostility subscales represented negative emotion intensity; intraclass correlations across negative affect subscales defined negative emotion differentiation. Both daily (i.e., within-person) and trait (i.e., between-person) emotion variables were examined as predictors. Results: Between-person negative emotion intensity, but not negative emotion differentiation, significantly predicted LOC eating occurrence. Self-compassion had a significant effect on LOC eating frequency, and this relationship was partially mediated via negative emotion intensity, but not via negative emotion differentiation. Discussion: Lower levels of negative emotion intensity partially account for the relationship between greater self-compassion and less frequent LOC eating. These findings highlight the importance of cultivating self-compassion to down-regulate negative emotions and to reduce LOC eating. Public significance statement: Our findings suggest that university students who approach their limitations compassionately experience fewer negative emotions in daily life and engage in less loss of control eating. Lower levels of negative affect partially explain this relationship between self-compassion and loss of control eating. These results highlight the importance of cultivating an understanding and a compassionate attitude toward oneself for reducing eating pathology.
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Emotion differentiation (ED) has been defined in terms of two abilities: (a) making fine-grained distinctions between emotional experiences, and (b) describing individual emotional experiences with a high degree of nuance and specificity. Research to date has almost exclusively focused on the former, with little attention paid to the latter. The current study sought to address this discrepant focus by testing two novel measures of negative ED (i.e., based on negatively valenced emotions only) via coded open-ended descriptions of individual emotional experiences, both past and present. As part of a larger study, 307 participants completed written descriptions of two negative emotional experiences, as well as a measure of emotion regulation difficulties and indices of psychopathological symptom severity. Negative ED ability, as measured via consistency between emotional experiences, was found to be unrelated to negative ED ability exhibited via coding of language within experiences. Within-experience negative ED may offer an incrementally adaptive function to that of ED between emotional experiences. Implications for ED theory are discussed.
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Emotion recognition (ER) can be conceived of as an integration of affective cues in working memory. We examined whether reduced working memory capacity and brain lesions in neural networks involved in emotion processing interactively impair ER of both one’s own and another person’s emotions. To assess the recognition of one’s own and other’s emotions, pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) and facial expressions from the Karolinska Directed Emotional Faces (KDEF) database representing fear, anger, disgust, and sadness were presented to 40 lesioned patients and 40 healthy students. To manipulate working memory, a math task was imposed between exposure to the stimuli and collection of responses. Participants indicated the intensity of each of the four emotions for each picture. ER was computed as the difference between trials where the elicited emotion matched the requested emotion and trials where the elicited and requested emotions did not match. Whereas lesions impaired ER in both self and others, working memory load exclusively decreased recognition of other persons’ emotions.
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A numerous of mathematical models that outline a long tradition of attempts to objectify measurements about simple and complex human feelings is addressed in this brief scientific release. There are statistical reasons for adopting valid indexes in the study of the process of identification and association of categories for simple emotions, emotion-laden themes and scripts (Tomkins 1979, Demorest 2008, Ferdinandov 2018a). Linear and non-linear functions are used to derive indices of objective frustration, subjective ambivalence and emotional conflicts between most frequently depicted emotions. Comparing statistical power, levels of significance and size effects of two samples-high-school students and undergraduates in psychology (N = 196, from 14 to 23 age old) and adults with unipolar depression, bipolar affective disorders and schizophrenia (N = 38, from 25 to 72 age old) are considered as a key factor that could be adopted as a distinguishing clue to mental disturbance. Differences in mental pace as a function of the time invested in understanding the conditions and fulfilling the linguistic tasks are elaborated. A "Misery" index (modified Utility index, Kahneman & Kruger 2006) has been found to represent a potential and statistically significant additional criterion to the objective properties. The modified utility ("Misery") index demonstrated very high statistical significance and observed power, but with moderate to strong size effects compare to the mental pace depending on healthy status. This functional model overrun other mathematical measurements about affective ambivalence and subjective frustration (Brown &
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Background and objectives Emotional expression (i.e., identifying and labeling emotion using specific words), is theorized to reduce negative emotion and facilitate emotion regulation. However, it remains unclear how individuals with borderline personality disorder express emotion, and whether this influences their emotion regulation. This study examined whether: 1) emotional expression in borderline personality disorder differed from healthy controls based on word valence, emotionality, and vocabulary; and 2) whether such characteristics predict emotion regulation effectiveness across self-reported and physiological emotion domains differentially across these groups. Methods Individuals with borderline personality disorder (n = 29) and age and sex-matched healthy controls (n = 30) listened to an evocative story, expressed emotion, and regulated emotion by applying Mindfulness or Cognitive Reappraisal. Emotion regulation was measured by changes in self-report, parasympathetic, and sympathetic emotion, while implementing the emotion regulation strategies. The words used to express emotion were coded based on valence, emotionality, and depth of vocabulary. Results Generalized estimating equations revealed no differences between groups in valence, emotionality, and vocabulary. Additionally, using a larger emotional vocabulary predicted more effective sympathetic emotion regulation, and using more negatively valenced words predicted more effective parasympathetic emotion regulation across groups. Limitations Among other things, this study is limited by its predominantly female sample, and that it does not determine whether valence, emotionality, or vocabulary independently predict emotional expression effectiveness. Conclusions Emotional expression may not be deficient in borderline personality disorder across the indices studied. Using more negative words and broadening vocabulary while expressing emotion may offer emotion regulation benefits.
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Эмоциональная дифференцированность (ЭД) выражает дробность эмоционального опыта человека, то есть степень различения человеком своих эмоций. Показано, что ЭД не сводится лишь к семантической структуре эмоционального языка, которой располагает человек. ЭД обнаруживает положительную связь с эмоциональной регуляцией и разными компонентами психологического благополучия. Люди с высокой ЭД применяют более широкий круг стратегий эмоциональной регуляции, в меньшей степени склонны к употреблению алкоголя в тяжелых жизненных ситуациях, реже проявляют агрессивное поведение в ситуации злости.
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Emotional granularity describes the ability to create emotional experiences that are precise and context-specific. Despite growing evidence of a link between emotional granularity and mental health, the physiological correlates of granularity have been under-investigated. This study explored the relationship between granularity and cardiorespiratory physiological activity in everyday life, with particular reference to the role of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), an estimate of vagal influence on the heart often associated with positive mental and physical health outcomes. Participants completed a physiologically triggered experience-sampling protocol including ambulatory recording of electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, movement, and posture. At each prompt, participants generated emotion labels to describe their current experience. In an end-of-day survey, participants elaborated on each prompt by rating the intensity of their experience on a standard set of emotion adjectives. Consistent with our hypotheses, individuals with higher granularity exhibited a larger number of distinct patterns of physiological activity during seated rest, and more situationally precise patterns of activity during emotional events: granularity was positively correlated with the number of clusters of cardiorespiratory physiological activity discovered in seated rest data, as well as with the performance of classifiers trained on event-related changes in physiological activity. Granularity was also positively associated with RSA during seated rest periods, although this relationship did not reach significance in this sample. These findings are consistent with constructionist accounts of emotion that propose concepts as a key mechanism underlying individual differences in emotional experience, physiological regulation, and physical health.
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• The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate how the general aggression model (GAM) helps to answer perplexing questions regarding the causes and conditions of aggression and violence. The GAM is a dynamic, social–cognitive, developmental model that provides an integrative framework for domain-specific aggression theories. It includes situational, personological, and biological variables. The GAM draws heavily on social–cognitive and social learning theories that have been developed over the past 40 years by social, personality, cognitive, and developmental psychologists. The chapter is organized into seven sections. First, we offer definitions of antisocial, aggressive, and violent behavior. Second, we provide a brief description of the GAM. Third, we discuss the dynamic process by which personological and situational factors establish and sustain aggression: the violence escalation cycle. Fourth, we use the GAM to understand how seemingly ordinary citizens become terrorists, suicide bombers, torturers, and other doers of aggression and violence. Fifth, we discuss the implications of the GAM for aggression between groups of people. Sixth, we apply the GAM to show how certain government actions designed to promote peace can increase aggression and violent behavior. Seventh, we discuss useful suggestions based on the GAM regarding ways to reduce aggression and violence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) • The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate how the general aggression model (GAM) helps to answer perplexing questions regarding the causes and conditions of aggression and violence. The GAM is a dynamic, social–cognitive, developmental model that provides an integrative framework for domain-specific aggression theories. It includes situational, personological, and biological variables. The GAM draws heavily on social–cognitive and social learning theories that have been developed over the past 40 years by social, personality, cognitive, and developmental psychologists. The chapter is organized into seven sections. First, we offer definitions of antisocial, aggressive, and violent behavior. Second, we provide a brief description of the GAM. Third, we discuss the dynamic process by which personological and situational factors establish and sustain aggression: the violence escalation cycle. Fourth, we use the GAM to understand how seemingly ordinary citizens become terrorists, suicide bombers, torturers, and other doers of aggression and violence. Fifth, we discuss the implications of the GAM for aggression between groups of people. Sixth, we apply the GAM to show how certain government actions designed to promote peace can increase aggression and violent behavior. Seventh, we discuss useful suggestions based on the GAM regarding ways to reduce aggression and violence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The most commonly used method to test an indirect effect is to divide the estimate of the indirect effect by its standard error and compare the resulting z statistic with a critical value from the standard normal distribution. Confidence limits for the indirect effect are also typically based on critical values from the standard normal distribution. This article uses a simulation study to demonstrate that confidence limits are imbalanced because the distribution of the indirect effect is normal only in special cases. Two alternatives for improving the performance of confidence limits for the indirect effect are evaluated: (a) a method based on the distribution of the product of two normal random variables, and (b) resampling methods. In Study 1, confidence limits based on the distribution of the product are more accurate than methods based on an assumed normal distribution but confidence limits are still imbalanced. Study 2 demonstrates that more accurate confidence limits are obtained using resampling methods, with the bias-corrected bootstrap the best method overall.
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In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators. (46 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Does distraction or rumination work better to diffuse anger? Catharsis theory predicts that rumination works best, but empir- ical evidence is lacking. In this study, angered participants hit a punching bag and thought about the person who had angered them (rumination group) or thought about becoming physically fit (distraction group). After hitting the punching bag, they reported how angry they felt. Next, they were given the chance to administer loud blasts of noise to the person who had angered them. There also was a no punching bag control group. People in the rumination group felt angrier than did people in the distrac- tion or control groups. People in the rumination group were also most aggressive, followed respectively by people in the distraction and control groups. Rumination increased rather than decreased anger and aggression. Doing nothing at all was more effective than venting anger. These results directly contradict catharsis theory.
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The personality construct of alexithymia is thought to reflect a deficit in the cognitive processing and regulation of emotional states. To explore the relations between alexithymia and emotional responding, 50 older adults (28 men, 22 women) were studied across different contexts: (1) initial exposure to an emotion‐evoking movie; (2) second exposure to that stimulus; (3) reports of rumination and social sharing; and (4) describing their emotional response (verbal re‐evocation). Facets of the alexithymia construct were associated at the initial exposure with lower emotional responses at the cognitive‐experiential level, but with higher emotional responses at the physiological level as measured by heart rate. At the second exposure, the results were replicated for physiological responses. Certain facets of alexithymia were associated also with lower reports of rumination and social sharing involving emotional aspects, and with a lower proportion of emotional words related to the emotional stimulus during the verbal re‐evocation.
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Factor-analytic evidence has led most psychologists to describe affect as a set of dimensions, such as displeasure, distress, depression, excitement, and so on, with each dimension varying independently of the others. However, there is other evidence that rather than being independent, these affective dimensions are interrelated in a highly systematic fashion. The evidence suggests that these interrelationships can be represented by a spatial model in which affective concepts fall in a circle in the following order: pleasure (0), excitement (45), arousal (90), distress (135), displeasure (180), depression (225), sleepiness (270), and relaxation (315). This model was offered both as a way psychologists can represent the structure of affective experience, as assessed through self-report, and as a representation of the cognitive structure that laymen utilize in conceptualizing affect. Supportive evidence was obtained by scaling 28 emotion-denoting adjectives in 4 different ways: R. T. Ross's (1938) technique for a circular ordering of variables, a multidimensional scaling procedure based on perceived similarity among the terms, a unidimensional scaling on hypothesized pleasure–displeasure and degree-of-arousal dimensions, and a principal-components analysis of 343 Ss' self-reports of their current affective states. (70 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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A review of the literature concerning the promotive influence of experimentally generated happiness and sadness on helping suggests that (a) increased helping among saddened Ss is an instrumental response designed to dispel the helper's negative mood state, and (b) increased helping among elated Ss is not an instrumental response to (maintain) the heightened effect but is a concomitant of elevated mood. A derivation from this hypothesis—that enhanced helping is a direct effect of induced sadness but a side effect of induced happiness—was tested in an experiment that placed 86 undergraduates in a happy, neutral, or sad mood. Through a placebo drug manipulation, half of the Ss in each group were led to believe that their induced moods were temporarily fixed, that is, temporarily resistant to change from normal events. The other Ss believed that their moods were labile and, therefore, manageable. As expected, saddened Ss showed enhanced helping only when they believed their moods to be changeable, whereas elated Ss showed comparable increases in helping whether they believed their moods to be labile or fixed. (40 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Interpersonal aggression is prevalent and disturbing. This chapter presents a metatheoretical perspective, I³ theory, that seeks (a) to impose theoretical coherence on the massive number of established risk factors for aggression and (b) to use the tools of statistical (and conceptual) moderation to gain new insights into the processes by which a previously nonaggressive interaction escalates into an aggressive one. I³ theory (pronounced “I-cubed theory”) does not advance one key variable (or even a specific set of key variables) as the root cause of aggression. Rather, it seeks to present an organizational structure for understanding both (a) the process by which a given risk factor promotes aggression and (b) how multiple risk factors interrelate to aggravate or mitigate the aggression-promoting tendencies of each. As detailed in this chapter, I³ theory suggests that scholars can predict whether an individual will behave aggressively in a given situation by examining the main and interactive effects of the instigating triggers, impelling forces, and inhibiting forces at play. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The present study provides evidence that v alence focus and arousal focus are important processes in determining w hether a dimensional or a discrete emotion model best captures how people label their affective states. Indivi-duals high in valence focus and low in arousal focus ® t a dimensional model better in that they reported more co-oc currences among like-valenced affec-tive states, whereas those low er in v alence focus and higher in arousal focus ® t a discrete model better in that they reported fe wer co-occurrences betw een like-valenced affective state s. Taken together, these ® ndings sugge st that one static, nomothetic theory may not accurately describe the subjective affective experience of all individuals.
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Individuals differ considerably in their emotion experience. Some experience emotions in a highly differentiated manner, clearly distinguishing among a variety of negative and positive discrete emotions. Others experience emotions in a relatively undifferentiated manner, treating a range of like-valence terms as interchangeable. Drawing on self-regulation theory, we hypothesised that indivi-duals with highly differentiated emotion experience should be better able to regulate emotions than individuals with poorly differentiated emotion experience. In particular, we hypothesised that emotion differentiation and emotion regulation would be positively related in the context of intense negative emotions, where the press for emotion regulation is generally greatest. To test this hypothesis, parti-cipants' negative and positive emotion differentiation was assessed using a 14-day diary protocol. Participants' regulation of negative and positive emotions was assessed using laboratory measures. As predicted, negative emotion differentiation was positively related to the frequency of negative emotion regulation, particularly at higher levels of emotional intensity.
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Research on human aggression has progressed to a point at which a unifying framework is needed. Major domain-limited theories of aggression include cognitive neoassociation, social learning, social interaction, script, and excitation transfer theories. Using the general aggression model (GAM), this review posits cognition, affect, and arousal to mediate the effects of situational and personological variables on aggression. The review also organizes recent theories of the development and persistence of aggressive personality. Personality is conceptualized as a set of stable knowledge structures that individuals use to interpret events in their social world and to guide their behavior. In addition to organizing what is already known about human aggression, this review, using the GAM framework, also serves the heuristic function of suggesting what research is needed to fill in theoretical gaps and can be used to create and test interventions for reducing aggression.
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Increasingly, social and personality psychologists are conducting studies in which data are collected simultaneously at multiple levels, with hypotheses concerning effects that involve multiple levels of analysis. In studies of naturally occurring social interaction, data describing people and their social interactions are collected simultaneously. This article discuses how to analyze such data using random coefficient modeling. Analyzing data describing day-to-day social interaction is used to illustrate the analysis of event-contingent data (when specific events trigger or organize data collection), and analyzing data describing reactions to daily events is used to illustrate the analysis of interval-contingent data (when data are collected at intervals). Different analytic strategies are presented, the shortcomings of ordinary least squares analyses are described, and the use of multilevel random coefficient modeling is discussed in detail. Different modeling techniques, the specifics of formulating and testing hypotheses, and the differences between fixed and random effects are also considered.
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Multilevel modeling is a technique that has numerous potential applications for social and personality psychology. To help realize this potential, this article provides an introduction to multilevel modeling with an emphasis on some of its applications in social and personality psychology. This introduction includes a description of multilevel modeling, a rationale for this technique, and a discussion of applications of multilevel modeling in social and personality psychological research. Some of the subtleties of setting up multilevel analyses and interpreting results are presented, and software options are discussed.
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The present study employed a battery of verbal tests that included a broad range of executive demands to demonstrate the differential contributions of language and executive function to the performance decrement observed in individuals who display impulsive aggressive (IA) outbursts. A profile analysis revealed that despite not differing on tasks requiring limited verbal output, the IAs deviated further from nonaggressive controls as the tasks required increasing spontaneous organization. Results suggest that language ability per se is not impaired in IAs; rather inefficient executive functioning is responsible for their significantly poorer performance on complex verbal tasks.
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There is controversy in the literature as to whether alexithymia reflects a deficit in the cognitive processing of emotions or a defensive coping style. Previous studies with clinical populations reported a strong association between alexithymia and a maladaptive (immature) ego defense style. The present study was designed to examine this relationship in nonclinical populations, and also to explore the relationships between alexithymia and three general styles for coping with stressful situations. Sample 1, 287 nonclinical adults, completed the Twenty-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and the Defense Style Questionnaire (DSQ). Sample 2, 83 undergraduate students who had been categorized previously into alexithymic and nonalexithymic subgroups, completed the DSQ and the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS). In sample 1, the TAS-20 and its three factors were associated most strongly with an immature defense style, weakly with a neurotic defense style, and negatively with a mature defense style. In sample 2, alexithymic students scored significantly higher than nonalexithymic students on the immature and neurotic defense factors of the DSQ and significantly lower on the mature defense factor. Alexithymic students also scored significantly higher on the emotion-oriented coping scale and the distraction component of the avoidance-oriented coping scale of the CISS and significantly lower on the task-oriented coping scale. The results fail to support the view that alexithymia is an adaptive defense or coping style.
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Interpersonal provocation is a common and robust antecedent to aggression. Four studies identified angry rumination and reduced self-control as mechanisms underlying the provocation-aggression relationship. Following provocation, participants demonstrated decreased self-control on an unpleasant task relative to a control condition (Study 1). When provoked, rumination reduced self-control and increased aggression. This effect was mediated by reduced self-control capacity (Study 2). State rumination following provocation, but not anger per se, mediated the effect of trait rumination on aggression (Study 3). Bolstering self-regulatory resources by consuming a glucose beverage improved performance on a measure of inhibitory control following rumination (Study 4). These findings suggest that rumination following an anger-inducing provocation reduces self-control and increases aggression. Bolstering self-regulatory resources may reduce this adverse effect.
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Some people are adept at using discrete emotion categories (anxious, angry, sad) to capture their felt experience; other people merely communicate how good or bad they feel. We theorized that people who are better at describing their emotions might be less likely to self-medicate with alcohol. During a 3-week period, 106 underage social drinkers used handheld computers to self-monitor alcohol intake. From participants' reported experiences during random prompts, we created an individual difference measure of emotion differentiation. Results from a 30-day timeline follow-back revealed that people with intense negative emotions consumed less alcohol if they were better at describing emotions and less reliant on global descriptions. Results from ecological momentary assessment procedures revealed that people with intense negative emotions prior to drinking episodes consumed less alcohol if they were better at describing emotions. These findings provide support for a novel methodology and dimension for understanding the influence of emotions on substance-use patterns.
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Terror management theory posits that people tend to respond defensively to reminders of death, including worldview defense, self-esteem striving, and suppression of death thoughts. Seven experiments examined whether trait mindfulness-a disposition characterized by receptive attention to present experience-reduced defensive responses to mortality salience (MS). Under MS, less mindful individuals showed higher worldview defense (Studies 1-3) and self-esteem striving (Study 5), yet more mindful individuals did not defend a constellation of values theoretically associated with mindfulness (Study 4). To explain these findings through proximal defense processes, Study 6 showed that more mindful individuals wrote about their death for a longer period of time, which partially mediated the inverse association between trait mindfulness and worldview defense. Study 7 demonstrated that trait mindfulness predicted less suppression of death thoughts immediately following MS. The discussion highlights the relevance of mindfulness to theories that emphasize the nature of conscious processing in understanding responses to threat.
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Do people aggress to make themselves feel better? We adapted a procedure used by G. K. Manucia, D. J. Baumann, and R. B. Cialdini (1984), in which some participants are given a bogus mood-freezing pill that makes affect regulation efforts ineffective. In Study 1, people who had been induced to believe in the value of catharsis and venting anger responded more aggressively than did control participants to insulting criticism, but this aggression was eliminated by the mood-freezing pill. Study 2 showed similar results among people with high anger-out (i.e., expressing and venting anger) tendencies. Studies 3 and 4 provided questionnaire data consistent with these interpretations, and Study 5 replicated the findings of Studies I and 2 using measures more directly concerned with affect regulation. Taken together, these results suggest that many people may engage in aggression to regulate (improve) their own affective states.
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A new questionnaire on aggression was constructed. Replicated factor analyses yielded 4 scales: Physical Aggression, Verbal Aggression, Anger, and Hostility. Correlational analysis revealed that anger is the bridge between both physical and verbal aggression and hostility. The scales showed internal consistency and stability over time. Men scored slightly higher on Verbal Aggression and Hostility and much higher on Physical Aggression. There was no sex difference for Anger. The various scales correlated differently with various personality traits. Scale scores correlated with peer nominations of the various kinds of aggression. These findings suggest the need to assess not only overall aggression but also its individual components.
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This chapter examines some of the literature demonstrating an impact of affect on social behavior. It will consider the influence of affect on cognition in an attempt to further understand on the way cognitive processes may mediate the effect of feelings on social behavior. The chapter describes the recent works suggesting an influence of positive affect on flexibility in cognitive organization (that is, in the perceived relatedness of ideas) and the implications of this effect for social interaction. The goal of this research is to expand the understanding of social behavior and the factors, such as affect, that influence interaction among people. Another has been to extend the knowledge of affect, both as one of these determinants of social behavior and in its own right. And a third has been to increase the understanding of cognitive processes, especially as they play a role in social interaction. Most recently, cognitive and social psychologists have investigated ways in which affective factors may participate in cognitive processes (not just interrupt them) and have begun to include affect as a factor in more comprehensive models of cognition. The research described in the chapter has focused primarily on feelings rather than intense emotion, because feelings are probably the most frequent affective experiences. The chapter focuses primarily on positive affect.
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1What is Aggression?2Frequency of Violent and Aggressive Behavior3Developmental Trends and Gender Differences in Aggression4Theoretical Orientations for the Study of Aggression5Causes of Aggression6Predisposing Personal Factors7Predisposing Environmental Factors8Reducing Aggression9Summary
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