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Dimensionalizing the world of emotions

Authors Zeng, Jing
Issue Date 2015
Summary People describe emotional experiences using words such as happiness, sadness, and anger. Fontaine, Scherer, and Soriano (2013) used 144 features to measure the semantics of 24 emotion words across 23 languages and derived a four-factor structure to account for the conceptual relations among these words across languages. However, little effort has been made to study the underlying structure of actual emotional episodes and test whether additional (indigenous) features play a role in each language. A series of three studies were conducted to map out the underlying structure of the emotional episodes that tap into people’s actual emotional experiences. The integrity of the four-factor structure in mapping emotional experiences among Chinese individuals was also tested. In Study 1, 385 participants rated 6 emotional episodes (happiness, anger, sadness, fear, disgust, surprise) according to the features specified by Fontaine et al. In Study 2, 324 participants gave detailed accounts of the 6 emotional episodes, based on which common features were extracted. In Study 3, 326 participants rated an extended list of emotional episodes (including the aforementioned 6) on an integrated list of the emotion features culled from Studies 1 and 2. Analysis of the emotional episodes lent support to only three of the four dimensions found in the prior study: valence, unpredictability, and activation. The findings of these studies carry implications for measurement model built to understand emotional experiences across cultures and languages. Keywords: emotional episodes, dimensional model, descriptive method
Note Thesis (Ph.D.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2015
Language English
Format Thesis
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