Affect and the functional bases of behavior: On the dimensional structure of affective experience

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Abstract

Discussions of the dimensional structure of affect usually are based on results of factor analyses. Disagreements focus largely on issues of measurement and measurement error, I argue that the structure of affect is not discussed meaningfully without considering functional implications of affects. A functional analysis is outlined in which approach and incentive-related affects (both positive and negative) are managed by I self-regulatory system, and avoidance and threat-related affects (positive and negative) are managed by another self-regulatory system. In both cases, positive and negative affects are posited to convey information about whether the behavior being engaged in is going well or poorly. This view argues for the existence of 2 bipolar affective dimensions, the properties of which are informed by an understanding of both behavior and feelings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-356
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Review
Volume5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001

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Statistical Factor Analysis
Motivation
Emotions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

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