A Comparison of Emotion Granularity in Managing Acute and Repeated Stress
Kuzmuk, Kellie McAuliffe
Emotion differentiation is emerging as a focus in emotion research due to its potential for enhancing regulation strategies, social functioning, and other valuable life outcomes. These studies aim to explore whether the tendency to differentiate emotions to a greater degree is related to an important facet of college students’ lives: management of stress. The present investigation consisted of 2 studies. Study 1 found that participants tend to differentiate negative emotions to a greater degree than positive emotions, and that negative emotion differentiation predicted lower positive affect after a stressor. Study 2 provided initial evidence that the tendency to differentiate is stable over time, and that a greater degree of differentiation may be associated with increased subjective happiness and decreased use of negative emotions in a writing task. Further research is needed to support these claims and fully understand differentiation as an emotion construct.