Arousal and the relationship between positive and negative affect: An analysis of the data of Ito, Cacioppo, and Lang (1998)

John W. Reich, Alex J. Zautra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research on positive and negative emotional states has supported several models of how those states relate to each other. Many studies suggest that they are independent, the "bivariate " view, while others suggest that they are inversely correlated, the "bipolar" view. Other research has shown that stress is a major moderator of the relationship; the affects become coupled under conditions of high stress, a contextual model, but are relatively independent otherwise. To expand the range of tests of this dynamic model of affect, we reanalyzed a data set initially reported by Ito, Cacioppo, and Lang (1998) on affect-eliciting picture stimuli. In that study, arousal was assessed separately from positive and negative affect, allowing investigation of a source of interaffect relationships different from stress, per se. Arousal interacted with positive and negative affect, showing both bivariate and bipolar relationships, and effects similar to stress. Affective reactions to the stimuli became more inversely correlated when the affects were high and interacting with higher arousal. The data supported the dynamic model of affect and suggest the need for further analyses of the linkages between stress, arousal, and reduced levels of emotional complexity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-222
Number of pages14
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

Keywords

  • Affect
  • Arousal
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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