Comparison of the PAD and PANAS as models for describing emotions and for differentiating anxiety from depression

  • Albert Mehrabian


Positive (PA) and Negative (NA) Affect scales were analyzed using the Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance (PAD) Emotion Model. PA was weighted by high arousal, pleasure, and dominance (listed in order of beta weights), thus approximating exuberance in PAD space. NA and markers of somatic anxiety were weighted by displeasure, high arousal, and submissiveness, approximating anxiety in PAD space. PA (or exuberance) represented only one of four basic variants of positive affect (exuberant, relaxed, dependent, docile) and NA (or anxiety) represented only one of four basic categories of negative affect (hostile, anxious, disdainful, bored). Thus, PA and NA lacked validity as general and balanced measures of positive and negative affect, respectively. Indeed, the counterintuitive mutual independence of PA and NA was possible only because PA (and NA) dealt narrowly with selective aspects of positive (negative) affect. The PAD alternative to the “tripartite” model showed anxiety and depression shared unpleasant and submissive temperament characteristics but differed because anxiety involved more arousability than depression.

Key words

emotion temperament anxiety depression 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert Mehrabian
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos Angeles

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