University of Twente Student Theses


The Association between daily affect and trait anxiety, depression, and alexithymia within individuals

Zorc, Elena (2021) The Association between daily affect and trait anxiety, depression, and alexithymia within individuals.

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Abstract:Recently a shift in research appeared from studying emotions as a stable trait, to research of emotions as a state, given that emotions are inherently dynamic in nature. The Affect Grid is an effective measurement tool for momentary emotional states, analyzing affect on two dimensions, pleasure and energy. Using the Experience Sampling Method, the current study was designed to further examine the dynamics of daily affect, as well as the association of core affect with trait anxiety, depression, and alexithymia on a daily basis within individuals. This study draws on previously collected data among 26 non-clinical participants who were asked to score their momentary emotional states four times a day over a period of seven days using the Affect Grid via the TiiM application. On the eighth day the HADS and TAS-20 were administered to retrospectively measure trait anxiety and depression as well as alexithymia. Linear Mixed Modelling (LMM) and visual analyses were used to explore the associations between state core affect and the trait-like variables. A marginal association was found between core affect and trait anxiety and depression. Only a weak significant association was found between pleasure and trait anxiety (β = -.268, p < .05) as well as trait depression (β = -.242, p < .05). Moreover, a non-significant association was found between energy and trait anxiety (β = .014, p = .775) and depression (β = -.054, p = .260). No significant association was found between daily core affect and total alexithymia (pleasure: β = -.095, p = .110; energy: β = .027, p = .568). However, an association was found between signs of alexithymia and energy (β = -.640, SE = .190, t = -3.368, p = .002). Moreover, the visual analysis suggested that participants with signs of alexithymia did tend to score lower on pleasure and higher on energy over all measurements then participants with no signs of alexithymia. The current study concludes that trait and state measurements of emotions do differ from one another and are at most weakly correlated. Trait measurements are able to analyze the basic characteristics of a trait, while state measurements can be used to analyze the daily dynamic affect. Researchers are recommended to measure both trait and state measures to provide a more coherent picture of individuals' affective tendencies over time and their trait characteristics, as well as further include the TAS-20 as a control variable.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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