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Emotions are a complicated matter. Usually, we can identify feelings of joy, fear or anger, but sometimes we can experience two or more emotions, such as happiness and sadness, at the same time. Kate Barford, doctoral student from the University of Melbourne, who researches mixed emotions, will talk about Individual Differences in Mixed Emotional and Cognitive Experiences, during her presentation at SWPS University, on July 21, 2016.

The presentation will be delivered in English and it is open to the public. Free admission.

Presentation

July
21 2017

Warsaw

Individual Differences in Mixed Emotional and Cognitive Experiences

The existence of mixed emotions appears firmly established, but their description is still incomplete. Further, limited research has examined explanations for mixed emotions.

My thesis aims to refine the description of mixed emotions and illuminate potential explanations for their occurrence from an individual differences perspective. The central hypothesis of the thesis regards Openness/Intellect (OI)—the trait domain reflecting broad regularities of cognitive exploration. I hypothesised that OI would predict susceptibility to mixed emotions based on known correlates and proposed functions of mixed emotions, and on the tendency for individuals high in OI to explore informational incentives in response to uncertainty. To date, three studies investigating this thesis have been conducted. The first investigated relations between the Big Five trait domains (Extraversion, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and OI) and a dispositional measure of mixed emotions. The second is a series of experience-sampling studies that examined relationships between these trait domains and the tendency to experience mixed emotions in daily-life. The third study examined the relation between OI and a potential underlying cause of mixed emotions, mixed appraisals (i.e., overlapping positive and negative stimulus evaluations).

Findings from these studies suggest that OI and Neuroticism may be positive predictors of mixed emotions. The relation between OI and mixed emotions may be due to a relation between OI and mixed appraisals, whereas Neuroticism’s relation with mixed emotions seems due to its association with the tendency to experience negative emotion. Plans for future research include investigation of susceptibility to mixed emotions via continuous measurement of emotion in response to bittersweet film clips.

Kate Barford

Kate Barford

Kate Barford is a Ph.D. Candidate from the University of Melbourne, Australia, supervised by Dr. Luke D. Smillie.  Her research is at the intersection of personality psychology and emotion. More specifically, her thesis investigates the relations between the Big Five trait Domains (Extraversion, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness/Intellect) and the tendency to experience mixed emotions.

Time and Location

July 21, 2017, at 14.00

Room N307, 3rd Floor

SWPS University, Chodakowska 19/31, Warsaw

Open meeting, free admission.

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