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Title:The psychometric principles of affect: are they ideal?
Author(s):Tay, Sien C.
Director of Research:Drasgow, Fritz
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Drasgow, Fritz
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Diener, Edward F.; Newman, Daniel A.; Rupp, Deborah E.; Anderson, Carolyn J.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ideal Point Responding
Item Response Theory
Abstract:The goal of this research was to determine whether co-endorsements of happiness and sadness occur because individuals use an ideal point response process to respond to affect indicators. An ideal point process posits that individuals endorse items most close to their latent trait standing. Hence, individuals feeling less intense emotions can endorse both positive and negative emotions but mutual exclusion occurs between positive and negative emotions when more intense emotions are felt. This is in line with psychological perspectives on the mood congruency of memory and attention, and conceptualization of affect as a motivational state. Because most individuals experience less intense emotions in their daily lives, this also explains why lower than expected correlations are often observed between happiness and sadness. Moreover, the application of dominance techniques – such as principal components analysis and factor analysis – to unidimensional ideal point data often incorrectly uncovers two orthogonal factors. Four studies examined this proposition. In Study 1, it was found that when emotion indicators were conceptually aligned with a positive and negative valence, a unidimensional ideal point model could fully account for the data and the occurrence of co-endorsements of happiness and sadness. However, two orthogonal factors were uncovered with confirmatory factor analysis. Study 2 replicated the findings with a larger number of emotion indicators. Study 3 showed that an ideal point response process may occur between item options that differ on valence (e.g., ‘not at all’ to ‘extremely’). An ideal point response process was uncovered among item stems when dichotomization was undertaken. Study 4 showed that an ideal point response process held across diverse regions of the world. These results yield several important implications for future research on the conceptualization and measurement of affect.
Issue Date:2011-08-25
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Sien C. Tay
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-08-25
Date Deposited:2011-08

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