Timmermans, T., Van Mechelen, I., & Nezlek, J. B. (in press). Individual differences in core affect reactivity. Personality and Individual Differences.
At the basis of any emotional phenomenon lies core affect, defined as a simple, volatile feeling that is a blend of hedonic and arousal values. The present study was intended to increase our understanding of core affect reactivity by investigating within-person relationships between two daily event characteristics and core affect, and individual differences in such relationships. For seven days, 73 participants described their core affect nine times each day. Simultaneously, they rated the impact and valence of the most significant event that had occurred since the previous measurement occasion. Multilevel analyses found that the perceived event characteristics under study were significantly related to both core affect dimensions. Furthermore, individual differences in extraversion and neuroticism played a significant role in core affect reactivity. The different patterns of results for these traits suggests that omnibus models explaining how traits per se interact with situational forces to influence behavior may need to be revised.