Do Inferences about Age Differences in Emotional Experience Depend on the Parameters Analyzed?
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Age differences in emotional experience are assessed through self-report scales or questionnaires referring to a specific period of varying length, and examining different parameters of emotional response. A recent meta-analysis suggests that the type of instrument and parameter used could account for some of the inconsistencies in the results. The present study shows comparisons between emotional experience in samples of younger (N = 120, aged 20–27) and older (N = 103, aged 55–75) participants. An Emotional Self-Monitoring record was administered every day for a week. The results show that emotional expression was highly stable over time. However, they also show that some theoretical assumptions about individual age differences in emotional experience and age depend on the parameters on which the analysis is based (occurrence, frequency and intensity, and emotional balance).
KeywordsEmotional experience Emotional Self-monitoring Emotional balance Age differences in emotions
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