Independence of Positive and Negative Affect
Randy J. Larsen
Positive and negative affect are often referred to as the Big Two emotions. They each refer to superfactors of emotion, and according to Randy J. Larsen and Ed Diener, each consists of several subcomponents of different feeling states. Positive affect refers to all highenergy emotions that feel good or pleasurable. Some varieties of such positive emotions are feeling energetic, enthusiasm, engagement, and joy. The situation is similar with negative affect, which has subcomponents of high-energy ways of feeling unpleasant, such as anxiety, worry, and distress as well as fearfulness, anger, hostility, and disgust. As such, positive and negative affect are each composed of several subfactors of emotion that go into defining them. One important distinction concerns the difference between emotional states and emotional traits. Emotion states are feelings that come and go fairly quickly, often are intense, and their cause usually lies outside of the person. You might say you ...