The personality structure of affect


Diener, E., Smith, H., & Fujita, F. (1995). The personality structure of affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(1), 130-141.


We examined the organization of individual differences in pleasant affect, unpleasant affect, and six discrete emotions. We used several refinements over past studies: a) systematic sampling of emotions; b) control of measurement error through the use of latent traits; c) multiple methods for measuring affect; d) inclusion of only affects that are widely agreed to be emotions; e) a statistical definition of "independence"; and f) a focus on the frequency and duration of long-term affect. There was strong convergence between the two pleasant emotions (love and joy) and between the four unpleasant emotions (fear, anger, sadness, and shame). The results indicated, however, that individual differences in the discrete emotions cannot be reduced to positive and negative affect. The latent traits of pleasant and unpleasant affect were correlated –.44, and a two-factor model accounted for significantly more variance than a one-factor model. This finding indicates that long-term pleasant and unpleasant affect are not strictly orthogonal, but they are separable. 

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