Affective valence signals agency within and between individuals

Yen Ping Chang, Sara B. Algoe, Lung Hung Chen

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  • 1 Citations

Abstract

Affective valence is a core component of all emotional experiences. Building on recent evidence and theory, we reason that valence informs individuals about their agency-the mental capability of doing and intending. Expressed affect may also lead to perceptions of agency by others. Supporting the hypothesis that valence influences self- and other-perception of agency, across 5 studies, we showed that participants perceived more agency in themselves in positive versus neutral and negative personal (Study 1) and interpersonal (Study 2) events. Participants also perceived more agency in fictional characters showing positive versus negative affect, regardless of how acceptable the characters' behavior was (Studies 3 and 4). Finally, we had participants personify 24 specific emotions across the valence dimension, and found that the more positive and less negative an emotion was, the more agency participants ascribed to the "person" (Study 5). We discuss the results in terms of how valence may help with human self- and social regulation.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages296-308
Number of pages13
JournalEmotion
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

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Emotions
Self-Control

Keywords

  • Affect
  • Agency
  • Other-perception
  • Self-perception
  • Valence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Affective valence signals agency within and between individuals. / Chang, Yen Ping; Algoe, Sara B.; Chen, Lung Hung.

In: Emotion, Vol. 17, No. 2, 01.03.2017, p. 296-308.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Chang YP, Algoe SB, Chen LH. Affective valence signals agency within and between individuals. Emotion. 2017 Mar 1;17(2):296-308. Available from, DOI: 10.1037/emo0000229
Chang, Yen Ping ; Algoe, Sara B. ; Chen, Lung Hung. / Affective valence signals agency within and between individuals. In: Emotion. 2017 ; Vol. 17, No. 2. pp. 296-308
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