Commenced in January 2007
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Sequential and Simultaneous Mixed Emotion Experiences for Self or Another Person in Adolescence

Authors: Burkitt E., Watling D., Cocks F.

Abstract:

There is growing evidence to suggest that young children and adults experience opposite valence mixed emotions in various simultaneous ways which vary in intensity for two emotions over an experience. Models of mixed emotion do not specify types of simultaneous experiences across adolescent populations. This study examined types of simultaneous mixed emotion experiences for the first time in adolescence. It also examined the impacts of high and low-intensity emotion pairs on types of mixed emotion experiences using an Analogue Emotion Scale (AES) which permits the graphical mapping of opposite valence emotions across an event duration. 163 participants were randomly allocated to two age groups (12 years, 5 months-16 years, 9 months vs. 16 years, 10 months-18 years, 8 months) across two conditions considering their own (n=83) or another adolescent’s (n= 80) experience divided equally for high (n=80) or low (n= 83) intensity mixed emotion experiences. Findings showed that children experienced mixed emotions both sequentially and simultaneously. In particular older adolescents recorded that others experience emotions in a more sequential manner, while they themselves would experience emotions in a highly simultaneous way. Emotion experience was different depending on the intensity of the emotion pair and age group. Findings are discussed in relation to an evaluative space model of mixed emotion and extended developmental models of emotion processing. Applications of the AES with adolescent populations are considered.

Keywords: adolescence, mixed emotions, graphing, AES

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