Mixed Emotions and Coping: The Benefits of Secondary Emotions
Anna Braniecka , Ewa Trzebińska , Aneta Dowgiert , Agata Wytykowska
AbstractThe existing empirical literature suggests that during difficult situations, the concurrent experience of positive and negative affects may be ideal for ensuring successful adaptation and well-being. However, different patterns of mixed emotions may have different adaptive consequences. The present research tested the proposition that experiencing a pattern of secondary mixed emotion (i.e., secondary emotion that embrace both positive and negative affects) more greatly promotes adaptive coping than experiencing two other patterns of mixed emotional experiences: simultaneous (i.e., two emotions of opposing affects taking place at the same time) and sequential (i.e., two emotions of opposing affects switching back and forth). Support for this hypothesis was obtained from two experiments (Studies 1 and 2) and a longitudinal survey (Study 3).The results revealed that secondary mixed emotions predominate over sequential and simultaneous mixed emotional experiences in promoting adaptive coping through fostering the motivational and informative functions of emotions; this is done by providing solution-oriented actions rather than avoidance, faster decisions regarding coping strategies (Study 1), easier access to self-knowledge, and better narrative organization (Study 2). Furthermore, individuals characterized as being prone to feeling secondary mixed emotions were more resilient to stress caused by transitions than those who were characterized as being prone to feeling opposing emotions separately (Study 3). Taken together, the preliminary results indicate that the pattern of secondary mixed emotion provides individuals with a higher capacity to handle adversity than the other two patterns of mixed emotional experienc
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.