A close look at the role of time in affect dynamics research

Gal Lazarus, Jiyoung Song*, Christopher M. Crawford, Aaron J. Fisher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Affective experiences and related cognitive and motivational processes unfold within individuals over time. Vital information is inherently embedded in the time scale, shape, and context of affective processes' temporal dynamics. Thus, time itself may serve as a useful proxy for various underlying causal processes that researchers can identify and model. Considering the role(s) of time in theoretical conceptualizations and including time-derived variables in statistical models is likely to significantly improve the understanding of affect dynamics and their place among other dynamic processes. In this chapter, we delineate three sets of factors to be addressed in the study of affect-related temporal dynamics: The first set concerns the time scale in which the target system's core processes unfold. The second set concerns the shape of temporal (co)variation within the target system-that is, the trends, cycles, and discrete phenomena involved. The third set concerns the sources of within-individual variation in the target system across time and context. Although many of these themes have already been spelled out in the affect dynamics literature, their incorporation into research remains limited. Facing recent concerns regarding the robustness of affect dynamics findings and renewed interest in psychological theory development, thorough consideration of temporal dynamics becomes crucial.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAffect Dynamics
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages1042
ISBN (Electronic)9783030829650
ISBN (Print)9783030829643
StatePublished - 27 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021.


  • Affect dynamics
  • Cycles
  • Idiographic methods
  • Time scales


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