Original Paper

Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 49-62

First online:

Antecedents of everyday positive emotions: An experience sampling analysis

  • Thomas GoetzAffiliated withUniversity of KonstanzThurgau University of Teacher Education Email author 
  • , Anne C. FrenzelAffiliated withUniversity of Munich
  • , Heidrun StoegerAffiliated withUniversity of Regensburg
  • , Nathan C. HallAffiliated withUniversity of Maryland

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The focus of this study is on everyday positive emotions and their relations to critical appraisal antecedents. Following from classical appraisal theory and Pekrun’s (2006) control-value theory of achievement emotions, two research questions were addressed, namely whether cognitive appraisals of control and value were related to discrete positive emotions in everyday situations and whether control and value antecedents interact in predicting these emotions. We further investigated whether control/value and positive emotion relations changed as a function of situational factors (achievement vs. non-achievement settings). 50 university freshmen (78% female) were assessed by use of the experience sampling method for a period of 1 week, with intraindividual analyses conducted using a multilevel, idiographic approach. Consistent with our hypotheses, the emotions of enjoyment, pride, and contentment were positively related to control and value appraisals. Further, control and value interacted to predict these positive emotions. The strength of appraisal/positive emotion relations was equivalent across achievement vs. non-achievement settings. Implications for future research are discussed.


Emotion Appraisal Control Value Enjoyment Pride Contentment Experience sampling method