Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Regular readers will know that I am an avid believer and practitioner of positive psychology. The Positive psych 101 tenet is that positive emotions and negative emotions are separate constructs- the lack of negative emotions does not guarantee positive emotions and vice versa. I have blogged previously about work of Keyes that shows that mental health and mental illness are separate constructs/ dimensions, and from there had conjectured that Sadness-Anger makes one end/dimension of negative emotions; while Joy-Ennui makes the other end/dimension of positive emotions.
Today I want to revisit that classification of emotions taking into account the factor structure and scales of PANAS-X (Positive and Negative Affect Schedule—Expanded Form), a popular instrument to measure state and trait affects.
The PANAS was originally developed by Watson, Clark and Tellegen and contained 2 10-item scales to measure Positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA). This instrument was developed after extensive research showed that emotions indeed split into two factors—positive affect and negative affect- and that these are the dominant dimensions of emotional experience.
PANAS-X is a further extended form of PANAS, which contains 60 items, and has eleven sub-scales apart from the 2 original PA and NA scales. Various experimental and factor analytical studies have confirmed that emotions have a hierarchical composition, with PA and NA forming the Big Two emotional dimensions—and the PA and NA are further composed of sub-scales—in the case of NA, 4 sub scales load on NA- these are Fear, Sadness, Guilt , Hostility. In the case of PA, 3 sub-scales clearly load on PA- Joviality, Self-assurance, Attentiveness and a fourth factor called Surprise, surprisingly loads both on PA and NA, but for our purposes I am taking that as a subscale for PA (I have sound theoretical reasons to do so).
To recap, NA is made up of Sadness (sad, blue, downhearted, alone, lonely) , Hostility (angry, hostile, irritable, scornful, disgusted, loathing) ; and Fear (afraid, scared, frightened, nervous, jittery, shaky) , Guilt (guilty, ashamed, blameworthy, angry at self, disgusted with self, dissatisfied with self); while PA is made of Joviality (happy, joyful, delighted, cheerful, excited, enthusiastic, lively, energetic) , Attentiveness (alert, attentive, concentrating, determined) ; and Self-assurance (proud, strong, confident, bold, daring, fearless) , Surprise (amazed, surprised, astonished).
Please note that in the above, I have rearranged the factors and clubbed some of them together like sadness- hostility; fear-guilt; joy-attentiveness and self-assurance-surprise.
Thus, there are four constellations:
1. Karuna- Raudra: or that of sadness—anger.
2. Bhayanak- bibhitsa: or that of fear—disgust
3. Hasya- Shringar: or that of joy-affection (love)
4. Adbhuta- Veera: or that of surprise—interest.
Please note that anger and hostility are the same; the cluster related to Fear is labelled Disgust in one and Guilt in other so we will call it disgust/guilt, as these are closely related; the construct related to Joy is labelled attentiveness/love to capture the essence of Sringara and finally Veera in Hindi means brave, courageous, fearless so definitely the interest/self-assurance is the related construct to surprise.
To put it all together again.
Here are the four dimensions of emotions about which I have blogged earlier- Valence (pleasant- unpleasant); Arousal (passive- active); Control/Dominance (in-control, without-control); Predictiveness (broadly/vaguely predictable; narrowly/ tightly predictable).
Also it is my conjecture that Valence / Arousal are more closely related (I’ll write another blog post as to why that is the case) and Potency/ Predictiveness are more closely related.
With this in mind, we can list the basic emotion factors and dimensions as:
Of course this also aligns well with my Theodore Millon dimensions and polarities – Pain-pleasure, Active-passive, Self-other and Broad- Narrow.
In the next post I will try to relate the above basic emotions with their antecedents—the approach and avoidance motivations and how success/ failure or hindrance in goal pursuit will lead to these dimensions and polarities.