Is Emotional Diversity, and The Difference Between Actual and Ideal Affect a Predictor of Satisfaction with Life and Symptoms of Depression in Sweden and Denmark?

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för psykologi

Abstract: According to traditional research in subjective well-being, the more pleasant emotions we experience, the more satisfied with life we are. But according to newer research, our physical and mental health, including satisfaction with life, also depends on the emotional diversity between the positive and negative emotions we experience, and the difference between the emotions we desire and those we actually experience. We have tested all three findings in two samples from Sweden and Denmark for the first time and assessed 30 core affects grouped on valence and arousal. Across the two Scandinavian cultures people preferred more positive emotions and less negative emotions overall. Furthermore, negative affects were the strongest predictor of symptoms of depression overall, and the second-best predictor was the difference score between actual negative affect minus ideal negative affect, for both samples. Whereas for the Danish sample, the fifth best predictor overall was the emotional diversity score for actual positive affects. When predicting satisfaction with life, actual positive and negative affect were the two strongest predictors overall, and the third best predictor was the difference score between ideal positive affect minus actual positive affect for both samples. Whereas the emotional diversity scores for actual negative affects, were the best predictor overall for the Danish sample. These findings suggest that satisfaction with life and symptoms of depression are related to people's valuation of what they feel relative to the cultural ideals they have internalized, and to their ability to differentiate between positive and negative emotions.

  AT THIS PAGE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE ESSAY. (follow the link to the next page)