Content versus Style of Emotional Life

Another distinction that is useful to personality psychologists is that between the content of a person' s emotional life and the style with which that person experiences and expresses emotion. Content is the specific kind of emotion that a person expe riences, whereas style is the way in which an emotion is experienced. For example, saying that someone is cheerful is to say something about the content of the person' s emotional life, because this refers to the specific kind of emotions a person frequentl experiences. However, to say that someone is high on mood variability is to say something about the style of his or her emotional life—that his or her emotions change frequently. Each of these facets of emotion—content and style—exhibits traitlike properties (stable over time and situations and meaningful for making distinctions between people). Content and style provide an or ganizational theme for discussing personality and emotion. We will first discuss the content of emotiona life, focusing on various pleasant and unpleasant emotions. We will then consider emotional style, focusing on individual dif ferences in the intensity and variability of emotional life.

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Conquering Fear In The 21th Century

Conquering Fear In The 21th Century

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