Inter- and intra-individual variation in emotional complexity: methodological considerations and theoretical implications

Anthony D. Ong, Alex J. Zautra, Patrick Hamilton Finan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The degree of relationship between positive and negative emotional states or emotional complexity is a topic of ongoing debate. At issue is whether positive and negative emotions are opposite ends of a bipolar continuum or independent dimensions in a bivariate distribution. In this review, we summarize work suggesting that the distinction between positive and negative emotions varies both between and within individuals as a function of cognition and changes in informational demands, a perspective called the Dynamic Model of Affect (DMA). In addition to providing a theoretical model that specifies the conditions under which bivariate and bipolar models of affect may be valid, the DMA offers an integrative framework through which models of resilience and stress adaptation may be articulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-26
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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