Evaluations of emotions: Distinguishing between affective, behavioral and cognitive components

Liat Netzer, Tony Gutentag*, Min Young Kim, Nevin Solak, Maya Tamir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

People cultivate attitudes toward various targets, including emotions. As any attitude object, attitudes toward emotions are likely constructed of affective (e.g., how much do I like or dislike emotion X?), behavioral (e.g., whether and how will I act in response to emotion X?), and cognitive (e.g., how good or bad do I think emotion X is?) components. We argue that existing measures of attitudes toward emotions (i.e., Attitudes Toward Emotions scales, ATE; Harmon-Jones et al., 2011) tap the affective and behavioral components. We advocate the importance of assessing the cognitive components of attitudes toward emotion. In four studies (N = 783), we establish the validity of the Evaluations of Emotions (EVE) scales and show that they are distinct from the ATE. As we predicted, ATE scores were more strongly associated with the perceived pleasantness of the target emotion, whereas EVE scores were more strongly associated with the perceived utility of the emotion (Studies 1–3). Furthermore, EVE (but not ATE) scores were linked to the perceived utility of anger, which in turn, was linked to the motivation to experience anger during an economic task (Study 4). We discuss possible implications of our findings for understanding meta-emotion and emotion regulation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume135
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation [grant number 794/11 ].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Attitude
  • Emotion
  • Emotion regulation
  • Evaluation

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