Should I follow my feelings? How individual differences in following feelings influence affective well-being, experience, and responsiveness

Karen Gasper, Kosha D. Bramesfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Individuals high in the propensity to follow their feelings notice their feelings and use the information provided by their feelings. We investigate the hypothesis that following feelings is a multidimensional, rather than a unidimensional, construct. We reasoned that people follow their positive feelings because these feelings signal the presence of rewards that should be approached and follow their negative feelings because these feelings signal the presence of threats that should be avoided. Because approach and avoidance stem from independent motivational systems, we hypothesized and found that following positive feelings and following negative feelings are separable dimensions. In part 1, we developed a measure, called the Following Affective States Test (FAST), to assess these dimensions and provided psychometric data supporting its adequacy. In part 2, we continued to validate the scale and found that this new conceptualization clarifies the debate concerning whether following feelings is psychologically beneficial. In part 3, we tested the utility of the FAST by demonstrating that it predicts the degree to which individuals notice, react to, and use positive and negative affective information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)986-1014
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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