Week+5+optional+Goetz+et+al+2010 - Motiv Emot(2010 34:4962...

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ORIGINAL PAPER Antecedents of everyday positive emotions: An experience sampling analysis Thomas Goetz Anne C. Frenzel Heidrun Stoeger Nathan C. Hall Published online: 1 December 2009 Ó Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009 Abstract The focus of this study is on everyday positive emotions and their relations to critical appraisal anteced- ents. Following from classical appraisal theory and Pek- run’s ( 2006 ) control-value theory of achievement emotions, two research questions were addressed, namely whether cognitive appraisals of control and value were related to discrete positive emotions in everyday situations and whe- ther control and value antecedents interact in predicting these emotions. We further investigated whether control/ value and positive emotion relations changed as a function of situational factors (achievement vs. non-achievement settings). 50 university freshmen (78% female) were assessed by use of the experience sampling method for a period of 1 week, with intraindividual analyses conducted using a multilevel, idiographic approach. Consistent with our hypotheses, the emotions of enjoyment, pride, and contentment were positively related to control and value appraisals. Further, control and value interacted to predict these positive emotions. The strength of appraisal/positive emotion relations was equivalent across achievement vs. non-achievement settings. Implications for future research are discussed. Keywords Emotion Á Appraisal Á Control Á Value Á Enjoyment Á Pride Á Contentment Á Experience sampling method Introduction Positive emotion experiences are an important topic of investigation for multiple reasons. According to Pekrun et al. ( 2002b ), positive emotions ‘‘help to envision goals and challenges, open the mind to thoughts and problem- solving, protect health by fostering resiliency, create attachments to significant others, lay the groundwork for individual self-regulation, and guide the behaviour of groups, social systems, and nations’’ (p. 149). In the same vein, Fredrickson ( 2001 ) states that ‘‘positive emotions are worth cultivating, not just as end states in themselves but also as a means to achieving psychological growth and improved well-being over time’’ (p. 218; for positive emotions in the context of ‘‘Positive Psychology’’ see also Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi 2000 ). Given the clear relevance of positive emotions, the antecedents of these emotions represent an important avenue of research. More specifically, it is by examining why one experiences spe- cific positive emotions that ideas can be generated as to how to best foster positive affective experiences. We focus in the present study on cognitive appraisals as antecedents of emotions. The assumption that our percep- tion of events , rather than events themselves, impact our emotions has a long historical tradition dating back to the T. Goetz ( & ) University of Konstanz, Universitaetsstr. 10, 78457 Constance, Germany e-mail: [email protected] T. Goetz
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