Is it Possible to Feel Good and Bad at the Same Time? New Evidence on the Bipolarity of Mood-state Dimensions
Is it possible to feel good and bad at the same time? A simple question, it seems, and one which should have a simple answer. However, this question is neither simple nor clear as the intensive and ongoing discussions at least since Wundt (1896) reveal (see, e.g., Beebe-Center, 1932; Diener, 1999; Diener & Emmons, 1985, Eid, Notz, Schwenkmezger & Steyer, 1994; Egloff, 1998; Green, Goldman & Salovey, 1993; Russell & Carroll, 1999; Tellegen, Watson & Clark, 1999; Schimmack, 2001; Vautier & Raufaste, 2002; Watson, 1988). One reason why this question is not so simple is because it lacks clarity in specifying what it refers to. Is it feelings or is it mood states we are considering? We distinguish feelings from mood states by the fact that feelings are directed towards or are centered upon an object. For example, I can feel happy, because someone said that he or she liked my work, and I can feel sad, because my dear aunt died recently. In this context, “happy” and “sad” refer to feelings. Hence, I can feel happy with respect to one object and sad with respect to another one, more or less at the same time, although in such a case the intensity of both feelings cannot be strong (cf., e.g., Bradburn, 1969).
KeywordsMood State Method Factor Latent Trait Response Style Negative Item
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