Emotional Granularity

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Emotional granularity is the ability to describe one’s emotional experiences while being sensitive to both valence and level of arousal. For instance, those high in emotional granularity can effectively distinguish anger and sadness from a general unpleasantry, or excitement versus calmness from feeling “good.” The most common method used to assess emotional granularity is to have participants rate the intensity (e.g., 1 = very slightly, 5 = extremely) to which they experience a variety of emotions on several occasions (e.g., daily). Those with higher granularity would be expected to have more variation of intensities at each measurement. For instance, they will be less likely to simultaneously indicate feeling sad and angry at an intensity …show more content…
Because current research methods of assessing emotional granularity are heavily dependent on semantics, a list would have to be created of emotion words across valence and arousal levels. Barrett and Bliss-Moreau (2009) report that core affective experiences are found across cultures, and arousal and valence circumplex structures have been reliably derived in many different cultures. Thus, the construct of emotional granularity is relevant (i.e., valid) across the globe. The next step is to determine which cultural approach to measurement will be used: using the same set of words translated across cultures (i.e., etic approach), developing culturally-specific word lists (i.e., emic approach), or using translations of words in addition to new words that capture culturally-specific emotions (i.e., etic-emic …show more content…
etic approach). Additional measures, such as life satisfaction, could be used to identify universal and culturally-specific outcomes of high and low emotional granularity. For instance, high emotional granularity is associated with better life satisfaction in American samples; does this apply to other cultures? The three personality traits that have been cross-culturally supported (i.e., Agreeableness, Extraversion, Conscientiousness) should also be measured to determine their cultural relevance to emotional granularity. The study should also control for demographics that may impact culture, such as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and even number of languages

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