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Emotional Lability


Affective instability; Affective lability; Emotional impulsivity; Emotional instability; Emotional variability; Mood instability; Mood lability


Emotional lability is a distinct emotional process characterized by frequent, excessively rapid, and intense changes in emotions resulting in an inability to maintain a consistent emotional state over time.


Emotional lability is a distinct maladaptive pattern of emotion dysregulation characterized by frequent, rapid, and intense shifts in emotional states. Greater emotional lability tends to indicate that an individual has a more emotionally reactive response style to positive and negative events (Larsen et al. 2000). This reactive response style likely contributes to emotion dysregulation both immediately and longitudinally. Immediately, it may manifest through rapid and intense emotional shifts in response to an encountered emotional stimulus. The rapidity and intensity of such emotional shifts may prevent...


  • Emotion Regulation
  • Personality Disorder
  • ADHD Symptom
  • Emotional Lability
  • Temperament Dimension

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Correspondence to Kirsten D. Leaberry .

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Leaberry, K.D., Walerius, D.M., Rosen, P.J., Fogleman, N.D. (2017). Emotional Lability. In: Zeigler-Hill, V., Shackelford, T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham.

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