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When Good Feelings Turn Mixed: Affective Dynamics and Big Five Trait Predictors of Mixed Emotions in Daily Life

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posted on 01.05.2020, 00:00 authored by Kate BarfordKate Barford, P Koval, P Kuppens, L D Smillie
In this study, we examine how daily life fluctuations in positive affect (PA) and negative afect (NA) relate to mixed emotions—that is, simultaneous positive and negative feelings. We utilised three experience sampling studies (total N = 275), in which participants reported their affect 10 times each day for up to 14 days. Because people generally experience fairly stable moderate levels of PA in daily life, we proposed that mixed emotions would typically occur when NA increases and overlaps with, but does not entirely eliminate, PA. Accordingly, within individuals, we found that mixed emotions in daily life were more strongly predicted by changes in NA and the occurrence of negative events than by changes in PA and positive events. At the between-person level, individuals with more variable NA, more stable PA, and higher trait Neuroticism scores experienced higher average levels of mixed emotions. Further, we found evidence that the average magnitude of NA increases may partially mediate the association between Neuroticism and mixed emotions. We also found that positive predictors of mixed emotions are negative predictors of individuals' within-person PA/NA correlations—that is, affective synchrony. Our findings elucidate trait predictors and affective dynamics of daily life mixed emotions, which appear closely intertwined with NA variability. © 2020 European Association of Personality Psychology.

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Journal

European Journal of Personality

Volume

34

Issue

3

Pagination

393 - 411

ISSN

0890-2070

eISSN

1099-0984

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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