, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 79-106

Affect Measurement in Experience Sampling Research

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Abstract

Experience-sampling studies are used to study the emotional component of subjective well-being (hedonic balance). This manuscript examines conceptual and methodological issues in the measurement of hedonic balance, and it relates aspects of affective experiences (frequency, intensity, and duration) to affective dispositions (extraversion, neuroticism) and life-satisfaction. Aggregates of experience-sampling data are influenced by response styles, but the effect is negligible. Pleasant affects and unpleasant affects show high discriminant validity. Extraversion is more highly related to aspects of pleasant affects than unpleasant affects, and neuroticism is more highly related to aspects of unpleasant affects than pleasant affects. Mean levels (i.e., frequency * intensity) of affects are the aspects that best predict life-satisfaction. The specific item happiness is a better predictor of life-satisfaction than the average of all pleasant affects.