This research demonstrates that preference for emotions sometimes cannot be equated with a positive-negative valence dimension. Participants were asked to make choices between pairs of affect-inducing options opposite in valence but equal in activation. The results showed that in absence of contextual cues or situational constraints, choices followed a pleasure-maximizing principle. However, when information was provided about a context cueing appropriateness of certain emotions over others, a preference reversal was observed so that negative emotions were preferred over positive emotions. These results are discussed in relation to current theories of pleasure-maximizing choice and behavior.