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Gender Differences in Negative Affect and Well-Being: The Case for Emotional Intensity

Gender Differences in Negative Affect and Well-Being: The Case for Emotional Intensity Affect intensity (AI) may reconcile 2 seemingly paradoxical findings: Women report morenegative affect than men but equal happiness as men. AI describes people’s varying responseintensity to identical emotional stimuli. A college sample of 66 women and 34 men was assessedon both positive and negative affect using 4 measurement methods: self-report, peer report,daily report, and memory performance. A principal-components analysis revealed an affectbalance component and an AI component. Multimeasure affect balance and AI scores were created,and t tests were computed that showed women to be as happy as and more intensethan men. Gender accounted for less than 1% of the variance in happiness but over 13% in AI.Thus, depression findings of more negative affect in women do not conflict with well-beingfindings of equal happiness across gender. Generally, women’s more intense positive emotionsbalance their higher negative affect. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Personality and Social Psychology American Psychological Association

Gender Differences in Negative Affect and Well-Being: The Case for Emotional Intensity

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References (38)

Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1991 American Psychological Association
ISSN
0022-3514
eISSN
1939-1315
DOI
10.1037/0022-3514.61.3.427
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Affect intensity (AI) may reconcile 2 seemingly paradoxical findings: Women report morenegative affect than men but equal happiness as men. AI describes people’s varying responseintensity to identical emotional stimuli. A college sample of 66 women and 34 men was assessedon both positive and negative affect using 4 measurement methods: self-report, peer report,daily report, and memory performance. A principal-components analysis revealed an affectbalance component and an AI component. Multimeasure affect balance and AI scores were created,and t tests were computed that showed women to be as happy as and more intensethan men. Gender accounted for less than 1% of the variance in happiness but over 13% in AI.Thus, depression findings of more negative affect in women do not conflict with well-beingfindings of equal happiness across gender. Generally, women’s more intense positive emotionsbalance their higher negative affect.

Journal

Journal of Personality and Social PsychologyAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Sep 1, 1991

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