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Measuring Affect and Emotions

  • Kimberly B. RogersEmail author
  • Dawn T. Robinson
Chapter
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

Abstract

Theoretical advances in the sociology of emotions depend on precisely measured constructs. This chapter begins with a discussion of key the features of affect and emotion invoked by various theories in the sociology of emotions, in an effort to identify the measurement needs of this field. The range of theories in the sociology of emotions requires methods of measuring affect associated with cultural symbols and feeling states that are (1) experienced versus expressed, (2) discrete versus dimensional, and (2) directed versus diffuse. Importantly, the utility and testability of some sociological theories would benefit also from measures that minimally intrude into ongoing social interaction. These requirements combine to form a daunting task. This chapter assesses evidence concerning the validity of various classic and emerging methods of measuring affect and emotion. Specifically, this chapter reviews methods organized around three broad approaches—self-report, physiological measurement, and observational—highlighting their theoretical utility along the dimensions described above.

Keywords

Emotion measurement Self-report Neural Physiological Observational 

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mount Holyoke CollegeSouth HadleyUSA
  2. 2.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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