Persons, Situations, and Emotions: An Ecological Approach

Persons, Situations, and Emotions: An Ecological Approach

Persons, Situations, and Emotions: An Ecological Approach

Persons, Situations, and Emotions: An Ecological Approach

Synopsis

This book represents a social psychological approach to the study of emotion. The contributors present empirical data using the 'time sampling' or 'experience sampling' technique developed by Brandst¿tter. This technique allows researchers to gain direct access to the phenomenological experiences of subjects without the distorting effects of recall. Populations studied include bank employees, factory workers, housewives, and the unemployed.

Excerpt

This book is an important contribution to the Affective Science series since it illustrates several of the aims pursued by the editors. One of its major assets is the insistence of the authors that affective experience can only be understood as a result of a transaction between person and situation. in other words, an emotional reaction cannot be understood without taking into account the characteristics of a person, such as temperament, personality, motivation, attitudes, or values, and the characteristics of the situation, its constraints, andaffordances. Thisimportantassumption echoes Lazarus's insistence on explaining stress and emotion intransactionalterms, taking both the significance of the event and the coping potential of the person into account. Brandstätter and Eliasz, together with the authors contributing to this volume, provide ample evidence for the need to adopt such a complex approach to the study of mood and emotion in everyday situations (using time-sampling diarystudies)—almost all of the empirical results they report consist of interaction effects between person and situation factors (for example, temperament, motivation, andvalues on the one hand and different types of work or life situations on the other). An important aim of this book is to demonstrate that affective science research can be conducted in the field, stressing ecological validity, by examining real-life changes in moods and emotions as they are experienced by “normal” people (as comparedto the college undergraduates that tend to be studied in laboratory research). a corollary of this approach is the firm link established to appliedissuessuchaswell-being, health, organizational behavior, work satisfaction, unemployment, and soon, which demonstrates the important role that affective science research can play in these areas. Last but not least, this volume also bridges some of the European and American research traditions in this field, highlighting the contributionsofclassicandcurrent European perspectives, published in many different languages, by integrating them with up-to-date reviews of the Anglo-American literature.

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