Document Detail

Striving to feel good: ideal affect, actual affect, and their correspondence across adulthood.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23106153     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The experience of positive affect is essential for healthy functioning and quality of life. Although there is a great deal of research on ways in which people regulate negative states, little is known about the regulation of positive states. In the present study we examined age differences in the types of positive states people strive to experience and the correspondence between their desired and actual experiences. Adults aged 18-93 years of age described their ideal positive affect states. Then, using experience-sampling over a 7-day period, they reported their actual positive affect experiences. Two types of positive affect were assessed: low-arousal (calm, peaceful, relaxed) and high-arousal (excited, proud). Young participants valued both types of positive affect equally. Older participants, however, showed increasingly clear preferences for low-arousal over high-arousal positive affect. Older adults reached both types of positive affective goals more often than younger adults (indicated by a smaller discrepancy between actual and ideal affect). Moreover, meeting ideal levels of positive low-arousal affect (though not positive high-arousal affect) was associated with individuals' physical health, over and above levels of actual affect. Findings underscore the importance of considering age differences in emotion-regulatory goals related to positive experience.
Susanne Scheibe; Tammy English; Jeanne L Tsai; Laura L Carstensen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-10-29
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychology and aging     Volume:  28     ISSN:  1939-1498     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychol Aging     Publication Date:  2013 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-03-26     Completed Date:  2013-10-18     Revised Date:  2014-03-09    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8904079     Medline TA:  Psychol Aging     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  160-71     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Affect / physiology*
Age Factors
Aged, 80 and over
Aging / physiology*,  psychology*
Arousal / physiology*
Health Status
Middle Aged
Young Adult
Grant Support

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