Lost in Multidimensional Space: Epistemic Motivations Define and Distinguish Negative Affect

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Title: Lost in Multidimensional Space: Epistemic Motivations Define and Distinguish Negative Affect
Authors: Maher, Paul J.
Van Tilburg, Wijnand A.P.
Igou, Eric R.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/10156
Date: 12-Mar-2019
Online since: 2019-04-25T09:16:18Z
Abstract: People’s knowledge of the world is limited and frequently imprecise. Thus, epistemic challenges are commonplace and much research in psychology has investigated their consequences. However, research has not systematically investigated how states of negative affect correspond to the desire for understanding and meaning in life. We investigated the role of epistemic motivations (e.g., meaning search) as features that distinguish forms of negative affect from one another. In three studies, we used multidimensional scaling to model the perceived similarity of negative affect states and then examined to what extent people differentiate these states based on their association with epistemic motivations. These studies revealed that negative states are reliably differentiated through their relation to epistemic pursuits. These findings were verified in a fourth study in which we experimentally induced epistemic affect. Overall, these results indicate that epistemic concerns characterize states of negative affect to a substantial degree.
Funding Details: Irish Research Council
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Journal: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Copyright (published version): 2019 the Society for Personality and Social Psychology
Keywords: EpistemologyAffectEmotionsMeaningSense-makingAppraisal
DOI: 10.1177/0146167219833395
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Psychology Research Collection

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