Appraisal components and emotion traits: Examining the appraisal basis of trait curiosity.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paul Silvia, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Individual differences related to emotions are typically represented as emotion traits. Although important, these descriptive models often do not address the psychological dynamics that underlie the trait. Appraisal theories of emotion assume that individual differences in emotions can be traced to differences in patterns of appraisal, but this hypothesis has largely gone untested. The present research explored whether individual differences in the emotion of interest, known as trait curiosity, consist of patterns of appraisal. After completing several measures of trait curiosity, participants read complex poems (Experiment 1) or viewed simple and complex pictures (Experiment 2) and then gave ratings of interest and interest's appraisal components. The effect of trait curiosity on interest was fully mediated by appraisals. Multilevel analyses suggested that curious people differ in the amount of appraisal rather than in the kinds of appraisals relevant to interest. Appraisal theories can offer a process-oriented explanation of emotion traits that bridges state and trait emotional experience.

Additional Information

Cognition & Emotion, 22(1), 94-113
Language: English
Date: 2008
Trait curiosity, Appraisals

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