Affective synchrony: individual d...
http://psp.sagepub.com/ Bulletin Personality and Social Psychology http://psp.sagepub.com/content/33/7/915 The online version of this article can be found at: DOI: 10.1177/0146167207301009 2007 33: 915 originally published online 5 June 2007 Pers Soc Psychol Bull Eshkol Rafaeli, Gregory M. Rogers and William Revelle Affective Synchrony: Individual Differences in Mixed Emotions Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com On behalf of: Society for Personality and Social Psychology can be found at: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin Additional services and information for http://psp.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Email Alerts: http://psp.sagepub.com/subscriptions Subscriptions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Permissions: http://psp.sagepub.com/content/33/7/915.refs.html Citations: What is This? - Jun 5, 2007 OnlineFirst Version of Record - Jul 9, 2007 Version of Record at Bar-Ilan university on May 12, 2012 psp.sagepub.com Downloaded from
915 Affective Synchrony: Individual Differences in Mixed Emotions Eshkol Rafaeli Barnard College, Columbia University Gregory M. Rogers University of Wisconsin���Madison William Revelle Northwestern University positive and negative evaluations are often negatively correlated, they should be conceptualized as bivariate, because under certain circumstances they have the poten- tial of co-occurring. Zautra et al. (2000) demonstrated the situational effects of both experimentally induced and naturally occurring stress on the association between pos- itivity and negativity and demonstrated that the associa- tion of positive and negative affect (PA and NA) became more polarized���that is, the scales became more inversely correlated���under high stress. A complementary approach to the question of mixed emotions addresses it from a personality psychology perspective, inquiring, ���Are there individuals who tend to experience mixed affective states, and if so, what else Authors��� Note: Studies 1-3 were supported in part by a U.S. Army Research Institute contract (MDA903-93-K-0008) and an AASERT grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DAAH04-95-1-0213). The views, opinions, and findings contained in this article are those of the authors and should not be construed as an official Department of the Army position, policy, or decision, unless so designated by other official documentation. Rishi Agrawal and Neera Mehta collected the data in Studies 1 and 2, respectively. We benefited greatly from helpful comments made by Niall Bolger, Wendi Gardner, Elana Graber, Nilly Mor, Patrick Shrout, Iftah Yovel, and members of the social and per- sonality area at New York University as well as the Affect and Relationships Lab at Barnard College. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Eshkol Rafaeli, Psychology Dept., Barnard College, Columbia University, 3009 Broadway, NY, NY 10027. Electronic mail may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. PSPB, Vol. 33 No. 7, July 2007 915-932 DOI: 10.1177/0146167207301009 �� 2007 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc. Most models of affect suggest either inverse or null associ- ations between positivity and negativity. Recent work has highlighted situations that sometimes lead to mixed posi- tive-negative affect. Focusing on the counterpart to these situational factors, the authors explore the individual- difference tendency toward mixed emotions, which they term affective synchrony. In five studies, the authors show that some individuals demonstrate affective synchrony (overlapping experience of positive and negative moods), others a-synchrony (positive and negative mood that fluctuate independently), and still others de-synchrony (positive and negative moods that function as bipolar opposites). These tendencies are stable over time within persons, vary broadly across individuals, and are associ- ated with individual differences in cognitive representation of self and of emotions. Keywords: affective structure mixed emotions individual differences diary methods Cmoods, an sadness and happiness, negative and positive co-occur? Shall never the twain meet? J. T. Larsen, McGraw, and Cacioppo (2001) and Zautra and his colleagues (e.g., Zautra, Reich, Davis, Potter, & Nicolson, 2000) recently approached this question from a social psychological perspective, asking in effect ���are there situations that lead to mixed emotional reactions, and if so, what are their characteristics?��� J. T. Larsen et al. presented evidence from three situations that clearly elicited mixed emotions and concluded that although at Bar-Ilan university on May 12, 2012 psp.sagepub.com Downloaded from
do we know about them?��� Our goal is to answer this question and to explore the phenomenon of stable and broad individual differences in the experience of mixed affective states. We suggest that one important feature of mixed affect is its temporal dynamics, and specifi- cally the possible existence of positive covariation over time of positive and negative emotions, which we term affective synchrony. We review affect theories that speak to the topic of mixed affective states, present evi- dence for the existence of broad and stable individual differences in affective synchrony, and begin to examine its construct validity. Finally, we argue that these indi- vidual differences may have several implications for normal and pathological functioning. Affective Space The view that mood (or core affect) exists in tonic acti- vation, at all times, underlies several major theoretical models of the structure of affect (Barrett & Russell, 1998 Russell, 1980 Thayer, 1978 Watson & Tellegen, 1985 Zevon & Tellegen, 1982). Although these models dis- agree about some important factors, they all share a view that affect (or arousal Thayer, 1989) can be best mapped in a two-dimensional space. They also agree that individ- ual emotions can be located as points or regions within this space (cf. Yik, Russell, & Barrett, 1999). At any given time, a person is thought to experience a core affec- tive state (e.g., dysphoria, contentment) that can be char- acterized by certain coordinates in this affective space. Russell and his colleagues��� (Barrett & Russell, 1998 Russell, 1979, 1980) circumplex model of affect focuses on an evaluative appraisal dimension: the valence of mood, seen as a bipolar dimension stretching between pleasant and unpleasant affect. It also identifies an arousal dimension, which lies orthogonal to the valence dimension, and reflects the intensity level of any partic- ular mood. An alternative approach (Thayer, 1989) rotates the axes of the affective space by 45��. This model charac- terizes mood or arousal by the degree of activation of two putative biological systems: energetic arousal (EA) and tense arousal (TA). The systems are thought to dif- fer in the underlying physiology and in their evaluative and behavioral components. TA is related to negative appraisals and inhibition of behavior, whereas EA is related to positive appraisals and approach behavior. Watson, Tellegen, and their colleagues (e.g., Watson & Tellegen, 1985 Zevon & Tellegen, 1982) espoused a related conceptualization of the affective space. Their model retains the same factor rotation, but refers to the axes as positive and negative activation (PA and NA, respectively). Both activation axes are hierarchical con- structs and each subsumes a set of specific emotions (e.g., for NA: fear, sadness, hostility for PA: joy, enthu- siasm Watson & Clark, 1992). The emotions sub- sumed by each axis are correlated NA and PA are terms that refer to the component of variance shared by the basic emotions. The Evaluative Space Model (ESM) was first devel- oped by Cacioppo and his colleagues (Cacioppo & Berntson, 1994 Cacioppo, Gardner, & Berntson, 1999 J. T. Larsen et al., 2001) within the domain of attitudes, but has since been elaborated into a general model of valenced or evaluative experience. According to this model, positive feelings (���feelings for���) and negative feelings (���feelings against���) are often characterized by reciprocal activation (one type of feeling rises as the other falls), but could also be characterized by uncou- pled activation or by co-activation. The terms positivity and negativity in ESM are more similar to pleasantness and unpleasantness (the markers of the Circumplex Model���s valence dimension) than they are to Watson and Tellegen���s (1985) PA and NA. Thus, the ESM pre- diction that positivity and negativity can be co-activated goes beyond the predictions of Watson and Tellegen, and suggests that the experience of valence itself (apart from arousal) represents the integration of two separa- ble and partially distinct affective components, an appetitive and an aversive one. Thayer���s (1989) energy and tension model, Watson and Tellegen���s (1985) PA and NA model, and Cacioppo et al.���s (1999) ESM model all converge on a functional model of affect suggesting two underlying affect systems (cf. Carver, 2001). As Carver notes, motive theories originating in neuropsychology, psychopathology, and conditioning research reached similar conclusions. These two systems are often referred to as the behavioral acti- vation (or approach) system (BAS) and the behavioral inhibition system (BIS) (cf. Fowles, 1988 Gray, 1994). The former is attentive to reward cues, the latter atten- tive to threat or punishment cues. The Synchrony of Affect Clearly, individuals are not fixed into one set of coor- dinates in the affective space. In fact, mood or emotion typically shows very little stability from moment to moment (e.g., Diener & Larsen, 1984). Some research already exists on the fluctuation patterns of positive and negative activation (e.g., Watson, Wiese, Vaidya, & Tellegen, 1999). There has been little investigation, how- ever, of the covariation of positive and negative mood states within individuals across time. Should we expect this covariation to be highly de-synchronous (reflecting an inverse association), a-synchronous (reflecting a null association), or maybe synchronous (reflecting a positive association) between the two affects? 916 PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN at Bar-Ilan university on May 12, 2012 psp.sagepub.com Downloaded from