Evidence of convergent validity on the dimensions of affect

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Abstract

Despite widely differing methodologies, previous studies on affect (emotion as represented in language) have often obtained what appear to be the same basic dimensions. Whether these similarly named dimensions from different methodologies are actually equivalent was tested in 3 experiments (a total of 276 undergraduate Ss) by intercorrelating dimensions obtained from multidimensional scaling, successive-intervals scaling, semantic differential scaling, and factor analysis of verbal self-report data. Results strongly support the convergent validity of pleasure-displeasure and degree of arousal, but are equivocal on additional dimensions. Separate multidimensional scalings of pleasant, intermediate, and unpleasant affect terms (a) confirmed the presence of an arousal dimension at each level of pleasure and (b) obtained 3 additional dimensions: control/potency/dominance, depth of experience, and locus of causation. These 3 dimensions are interpreted as describing not the emotion per se but rather beliefs about the antecedents or consequences of the emotion. In Exp III, internal vs external locus of causation was shown to be reliably decoded from emotion-denoting words. (50 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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