This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies, Vol. 5, No. 1, March 2005, 53-72.
POSITIVE EMOTIONS AND IRRATIONAL BELIEFS. DYSFUNCTIONAL POSITIVE EMOTIONS IN HEALTHY INDIVIDUALS
Alexandru TIBA*, Aurora SZENTAGOTAI
Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Abstract Since negative affect has been in the focus of attention for the entire history of psychotherapy, time has now come to turn towards cognitive factors involved in mild disturbances of positive affect. This article focuses on dysfunctional positive emotions and how they relate to evaluative cognitions and arousal. One of the basic assumptions of the rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT) theory of emotions is that irrational beliefs lead to both positive and negative dysfunctional emotions. To date there is no empirical data investigating dysfunctional positive emotions and their relations to different types of irrational beliefs in healthy individuals. 35 subjects participated in this study. They were asked to recall a positive event in two conditions: a) pre-goal attainment condition, prompted by the instruction of recalling an event when a cue primed the anticipation of goal attainment and b) post-goal attainment condition prompted by the instruction of recalling an event and their reactions after they have met an important goal. After each experimental condition, participants completed questionnaires assessing, pre-goal and post-goal attainment positive emotions, arousal, dysfunctional positive inferences, context inappropriateness of the emotional experience, evaluative cognitions, and the ABS II scale-Romanian version. Results indicate that subjects high on demandingness have higher levels of pre-goal attainment emotions than low demanding subjects when they meet their goals, and possibly a higher level of post-goal positive emotions, when they anticipate attaining a personal goal. Also it seems that state and trait demandingness have different relations with positive emotions. We suggest that dysfunctional positive emotions can be differentiated by the context in which they are experienced, and that there are two types of dysfunctional positive emotions: a) post-goal attainment dysfunctional positive emotions referring to high levels of pre-goal attainment positive emotions after achieving personal goals, and b) pre-goal attainment dysfunctional positive emotions
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to: Alexandru Tiba, psychologist; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 53
Positive emotions and irrational beliefs
Article referring to high levels of post-goal attainment positive emotions when anticipating and moving towards goal attainment. Correlation analysis has revealed relations between evaluative cognitions, dysfunctional inferences, arousal, and dysfunctional positive emotions. Implications for positive emotions research and psychotherapy are discussed. Key words: dysfunctional positive emotions, REBT, irrational beliefs, dysfunctional consequences, pre-goal/ post-goal attainment positive emotions, arousal
Introduction Do dysfunctional positive emotions really exist? Are they related to irrational beliefs? Are they qualitatively different from functional positive emotions? What are the main characteristics of their dysfunctionality? These are several questions this study tries answer. With few exceptions, positive emotions have been quite neglected in fundamental research and also in the clinical domain. It is probable that this neglect has been caused by the negative emotions prototype in therapy, limiting research of positive affect disturbance to a few conditions such as bipolar disorder and some personality disorders. To our knowledge there are few studies investigating the possible negative impact and disturbances of positive emotions in healthy and clinical individuals. Positive psychology makes a strong claim on this issue (Seligman, 1990; Frederickson, 2003). There is some data in cognitive psychology research regarding the characteristics and influence of positive affect such as unrealistic expectations, cognitive flexibility, enhanced creativity and decision making, (Ashby et al., 1999, 2002), recall of neutral and positive material (Isen, 2001), rate of moving toward a desired goal and shift of attention and effort to other behavioural domains (Carver, 2001, 2003), positivity offset (Cacioppo & Gardner, 1999), appraisal components (Lazarus, 1991) and enhanced verbal working memory (WM) performance (Gray, 2001), but no serious investigations of cognitive factors involved have yet been conducted. Whereas we are gaining insight concerning cognitive factors involved in anxiety, depression, anger and other negative emotions, little is known about cognitions involved in positive affect. Ellis’ cognitive theory of emotions argues that, as a function of meeting demands or preferences, we have two types of positive emotions: dysfunctional and functional positive emotions (Ellis & Dryden, 1997). Negative emotions arise when preferences or demands are not met. This theory is very important because it points out to cognitive factors that should be modified in order to change a dysfunctional emotion into a functional emotion, and stresses the adaptive function of emotions. In REBT (rational emotive behavior therapy), the term “dysfunctional” refers to something that does not help individuals achieve their
54 Alexandru Tiba, Aurora Szentagotai
. and that this distinction is rather a qualitative than a quantitative one (Ellis. 2002): demandingness (DEM). they differ in their quality. 1994. awfulizing/ catastrophizing (AWF). there is insufficient experimental support for the idea that IBs and RBs. The counterparts of IBs are RBs: (1) desires rather than demands. There are four categories of irrational thinking processes (David et al. elation after learning that your Positive emotions and irrational beliefs 55 . Ellis & Dryden.. (3) statements of tolerance rather than low frustration tolerance. However.. and global evaluation of human worth and selfdowning (SD). namely irrational (evaluative/hot) beliefs. 2002).Articles Section goals (Ellis & Dryden. These are the main constructs in Ellis’ cognitive theory of emotions (Ellis. while IBs are associated with dysfunctional emotions.. By investigating dysfunctional aspects of positive emotions we make a first step in understanding cognitive factors like absolutistic evaluations in positive emotions. 1997. REBT focuses on a special type of beliefs. as described by Ellis. but impede a person from achieving his/her goals even in the context of positive emotions. (2) moderate evaluation of badness rather than awfulizing. A detailed analysis reveals that Ellis’ hypothesis of emotion formation emphasizes two major components (apud. and states that the difference consists in their quality rather than in their intensity. 2002): (1) Dysfunctional positive emotions: Emotions that follow IBs about positive events are called dysfunctional/maladaptive positive emotions (e.g. While both functional and dysfunctional emotions range in intensity from mild to severe. 1994).. Irrational vs. 2002). David et al. The second component states that IBs and RBs are involved in emotion formation. (1994) mediate emotion formation (Bond & Dryden. rational beliefs The main assumption of the REBT theory of emotion formation is that emotions which result from rational beliefs (RBs) are distinct from those mediated by irrational beliefs (IBs).. David et al. The functional /dysfunctional distinction of emotions There are two main types of positive emotions as suggested by the REBT theory (David et al. and that RBs are associated with functional emotions. 2002): The first component addresses the difference between functional emotions. 1997). and dysfunctional emotions. and possible disturbances that usually run undetected. 1996). low frustration tolerance (LFT). and (4) acceptance of fallibility rather than global evaluation of human worth and self-downing (David et al.
The distinction between dysfunctional and functional emotions in REBT theory embraces the following aspects (Ellis & DiGiuseppe. in ruminative tendencies (i. This study aims to investigate the dysfunctional/functional dissociation of positive emotions considering their associated dysfunctional consequences. dysfunctional emotions are rather qualitatively than quantitatively different from functional emotions. Phillips. Ellis & DiGiuseppe. David et al. If someone looks for qualitative differences between dysfunctional and functional emotions. 1994. not in their intensity (Ellis.. it is well accepted across many theories of emotions that there are four important dimensions to emotions: (1) subjective experience.Article work was praised by all the graders.g. Quality means a different behavioral and thinking pattern associated with the experienced emotions. Smith. 2002). 2000a.. but the other dimensions can vary both quantitatively and qualitatively (Ellis & DiGiuseppe. How can the qualitative distinction between functional/ dysfunctional emotions be tested? First of all. 56 Alexandru Tiba. 1999. one needs to demonstrate that certain emotions are constantly associated with specific thinking and behavioral patterns that impede a person in achieving his/her goals.. (2) Functional positive emotions Emotions that follow RBs about positive events are called functional/adaptive positive emotions (e. Davidson et al. among other things. happiness). understood as context inappropriateness. these dimensions are the best providers. 2002). 2002. & Gilhool. 1993. It is largely assumed that individuals with different types of pathology have a deficient executive control in common (Elliot. related to the belief that “Everyone MUST only say positive things about me. (2) behavioral predisposition/social expression. 1993): They differ both in quality and intensity. Murphy et al. Individuals can differentiate between dysfunctional and functional negative emotions by the phenomenological dimension. In order to show that an emotion is dysfunctional. According to REBT. 2003. and they have”) (David et al. individuals showing incontrollable thoughts not only for negative but also for positive stimuli) (Wood.e.. considering the qualitative distinction. This deficiency is reflected. Physiological arousal varies only quantitatively. while functional emotions are associated with thinking and behavioral patterns that help a person achieve his/her goals. 2002). One dimension of dysfunctional consequences included in this study refers to the emotional inhibitory ability. (3) physiological arousal and (4) a cognitive dimension. 1993.. Aurora Szentagotai . see Ashby et al. 2002 for a different perspectives on arousal). They differ in their cognitive content.
Articles Section 2003). or with the loss of the reward value. (Davidson et al. Rosenkranz & Grace. anxiety disorders (Quirk & Gehlert. Drevets. being used as a diagnostic marker of mood disorders: “Depression or mania is diagnosed when sadness or elation is overly intense and continues beyond the expected impact of life stressors or arises in the absence of a stressor.g. anxiety. 1986. exploratory behavior. joy) are associated with a broadening in action repertoires while others (e.. 1999). panic. Davidson et al. and context inappropriateness. The same pattern has been observed with regard to action tendencies associated with positive affect. fear. These results are obtained mainly from neuroscience studies on emotions in a range of disorders like depression (Drevets. et al. inhibitory control. 1999). 2000. and mania (Murphy et al. 1991.. considering their associated cognitive contents and behaviors: “approach related positive emotions” (pre-goal attainment positive emotions) and “consummatory related positive emotions” (post-goal attainment positive emotions). Rolls. are carried out in irrelevant contexts. 2003. Lazarus.. Fredrickson.. 2002). In sum. Murphy. irritation etc) and dysfunctional ones (depression. Another source that argues for context inappropriateness as a dysfunctional consequence comes from clinical practice. 2002. There is a pattern of opposite directions with respect to the evidence of the impact of positive emotions on WM (working memory). mania etc) is the fact that individuals experience emotions in irrelevant contexts and cannot relearn that some stimuli are no longer associated with aversive (salient) consequences. 2000b). What is functional and what is dysfunctional in positive emotions? To answer this question. Positive emotions and irrational beliefs 57 . anger. There is anecdotic evidence that some positive emotions (e. experiencing of emotions in contexts that have no relevance to the individual’s goals). 2000). 2000a. it is first necessary to make the distinction between two types of positive emotions.. 2001. data from neuroscience research have shown that what makes the difference between functional emotions (sadness. (i.. Beers & Berkow. anger (Davidson et al.”(The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. with all their dimensions. Cognitive dimensions of positive emotion Studies from cognitive and neuroscience research have provided us with mixed evidence regarding the cognitive influences of positive emotions.g. 1998). 2000). 1999). These emotions. contentment) with a narrowing in action and behavioral tendencies (Frijda. 2000. startle response and their neural substrates. The same relation can be found in the pathology of positive mood (Newman.e. unrealistic thinking. Quirk et al.
2001). 2002. Depue & Collins. Pre-goal attainment positive emotions are associated with behavioral tendencies that help individuals in pursuing their goals while post-goal attainment 58 Alexandru Tiba. an increase in localized behavior of consuming rewards (Frijda. Ashby et al. & Gilhool. In sum. 2001. Depue & Collins. 2001. Aurora Szentagotai . Approach related positive emotions (pre-goal attainment positive emotions) are associated with an increase in active maintenance of information in verbal WM (Gray. 2003).. 1986. distal and endstates of emotion (Cacioppo & Gardner. incentive wanting and liking states (Berridge & Robinson.. and consummatory positive emotions that are associated with reactions to the presence of reward and attainment of personal goals. an increase in executive control dependent performance and an increase in creative performance (Ashby et al.. and in the active maintenance of information on the verbal WM span task (Spies.. • Consummatory related positive emotions are associated with a reduction in exploratory behavior. 2002). 1998. It is not in the objective of this paper to review the evidence for this dissociation but it needs to be considered in studies of positive emotions when we work with thinking and behavioral dimensions associated with emotional experience. 2002. 1999. 1999). Carver. 2003). Knutson et al..Article One distinction that gains increasing support considers two types of positive emotions: approach related emotions that are associated with expectations of reward and arise as a person moves progressively towards anticipated goals. 1999). 1998). Consummatory related positive emotions (post-goal attainment positive emotions) are associated with impairments in executive processes (memory mood induced effects on performance on the Stroop and Tour of London tasks) (Phillips et al.. 1999) and facilitation of automatic responses like global facilitation by positive mood induction in a global/local visual decision task (Fredrickson. Skolnick & Davidson. at least two different types of positive affect have been found to be related to different cognitive and behavioral patterns that mediate the adjustment of individuals in their interaction with the environment. This distinction that comes mainly from neuroscience research has been made more or less explicitly by theorists under the terms of seeking/consummatory distinction (Luciana. pre-goal and post-goal attainment emotional states (Davidson et al. Behavioral dimensions of positive emotions Behavioral tendencies in positive emotions require the same distinction as cognitive ones. 2001. 2002). Panksepp. Phillips. Gray & Braver. Smith. 2002). 1999.. due to the same opposite pattern: • Approach related positive emotions are associated with an increase in active and defuse exploratory behavior (Luciana. appetitive/consummatory states (Knutson et al. 2003). 1996 apud Phillips et al. Luciana. 2001. 2002). 1998. Depue & Collins.
and b) pre-goal attainment dysfunctional positive emotions referring to high levels of post-goal attainment positive emotions when anticipating and moving toward goal attainment. 1998). However. Our focus in this study refers to the functional/dysfunctional aspect of positive emotions before goal attainment. and to their relations with demandingness. experiencing high post-goal attainment related affect and displaying associated cognitive and behavioral tendencies in approach related situations. two types of dysfunctional positive emotions emerge: a) post-goal attainment dysfunctional positive emotions referring to high levels of pre-goal attainment positive emotions after achieving personal goals. fulfillment) compared with low demanding subjects. some individuals will immediately replace the achieved goal with a new desired goal. the results of this preliminary study were biased by a masked variable. High levels of approach emotions and associated behavioral tendencies when individuals meet their goals could be dysfunctional because they maintain individuals in an exploratory mode without integrating new achievements (see Fredrickson. dysfunctional inferences. Upon reaching a desired goal. and a pattern of low levels of post-goal attainment positive emotions (contentment.regarding the function of positive emotions). satisfaction. A preliminary study (N=21) has shown that when subjects recall an event when their goals were met. as several subjects recalled positive emotions associated with unexpected positive events. Even if we have mixed positive experiences (both approach-related and consummatory) in natural situations. 1998). Also high levels of post goal emotions when individuals move toward goals could reduce motivation. 2003. and post-goal attainment. may hamper our goals. block goal achievement or switch between goals before their attaining. or contentment (Davidson. and therefore will have little opportunity to experience post-goal attainment positive affect. and/or experiencing high pre-goal or approach related affect and displaying associated cognitive and behavioral tendencies when meeting rewards or attaining anticipated goals. in response to cues that predict rewards. and arousal.Articles Section emotions are related to behavioral tendencies that enhance the “consuming” of rewards and reduce exploratory behavior. The balance between pre-goal and post-goal positive emotions may be an important factor contributing to mental health (Davidson. distal to anticipated goals. Considering this aspect. after subjects meet their goals. experiencing positive emotions in irrelevant contexts. namely the unexpected positive events recalled by subjects. The present study was designed to exclude the masked variable in the preliminary study. Positive emotions and irrational beliefs 59 . happiness. highly demanding individuals have higher levels of dysfunctional inferences and pre-goal attainment emotions than low demanding individuals.
“What has happened is wonderful”). Method Participants. Students participated as partial fulfillment of a course requirement. Examination of the descriptions indicated that participants were able to recall an appropriate pre-goal attainment and post-goal attainment situation with the exception of 9 participants (recalling an unexpected event) that were excluded from the post goal condition. Their ages ranged between 18 and 26 years of age. Cluj-Napoca participated in the study. Thirty-five undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory psychology course at the Babes-Bolyai University.e. After reading and signing an informed consent form. An hour later. At the end they completed the ABS scale. in the second condition. Design and Procedure. Measures 60 Alexandru Tiba. Based on state demandingness average scores. subjects were separated in two groups: highly demanding group with scores higher than the average. Aurora Szentagotai . and 4 in pre-goal attainment condition. preference.Article Several modifications have also been introduced: an arousal and a dysfunctional positive inferences measure. and 3 items measuring state demandingness. These measures aim to investigate the relations between different types of cognitions and the dysfunctional positive emotions distinction proposed here. We are also interested in the difference between highly demanding and low demanding subjects in the pre-goal attainment condition and in the relations between evaluative cognitions and pre-goal and post-goal emotions when subjects anticipate a positive event or after they achieve a personal goal. and global evaluation of positive of events (i. Forms were identical for all subjects. participants were instructed to recall a particular past event when they knew they would attain an important goal and to write an open-ended description of the event and their reactions before completing the questionnaires (pre-goal attainment situation). participants completed the questionnaires and were then offered verbal debriefing of research goals. It is hypothesized that in the post-goal attainment condition highly state demanding subjects will have higher levels of pre-goal positive emotions than low state demanding subjects. In the first condition participants were instructed to recall a particular past event when they had attained an important goal and to write an open-ended description of the event and the reactions following it before completing the questionnaires (postgoal attainment situation). Subjects had to recall important positive events in two conditions. and low demanding group with scores lower than the average.
g. Subjects had to rate each item on a 5 points Likert. These assertions refer to unrealistically positive self-evaluations. The ABS II (Attitude Beliefs Scale) demandingness scale (Romanian version . they don’t necessarily have to happen this way. contentment. but reformulated for positive events.86 for pre-goal emotions. I’m the best. evaluating the extent to which they had each of the 8 thoughts in the situation they had described. satisfaction. desiring. Nothing can stop me from getting what I wan.g. energized). labeling. Cronbach’s α coefficients for the pre-goal attainment condition were as follows: α = . including items related to pre-goal. Demandingness was evaluated in each condition with the following items: a) Post-goal attainment condition: “Things had to happen that way and there was no other way possible”. and α = 77 for the post-goal attainment condition. I’m the best at everything I do. b) Pre-goal attainment condition: “Things have to happen this way and there is no other way possible”. Emotions experienced after the described event were assessed with the PANAS scale. Nothing can stop me. 4 items measured arousal (e. I don’t need anyone to succeed. Things are this way only because of me. active. Preferences were measured with the following item in both conditions: “Even though I would very much like things to go this way. aroused.88 for pre-goal emotions. This item was elaborated as an analogy of the Positive emotions and irrational beliefs 61 . These items were elaborated by analogy with the ABS scale items. Cronbach’s α coefficients were as follows: α = .type scale assessing the degree to which they had each thought in the situation they had described. 2002) was used in this experiment to measure trait demandingness. 4 items measured post-goal attainment positive emotions (e. Emotions. post-goal attainment emotions and arousal. excited. I will succeed in everything I do. I need nobody in order to achieve my goals.Macavei. Because I feel good everything is good. Dysfunctional positive inferences: a measure comprising 8 items was elaborated for assessing disfuntional positive inferences. happiness and fulfilment) and 5 items assessed pre-goal attainment positive emotions (e. interested. I need nothing in order to succeed. α = . (e.g.).94 for post-goal emotions.91 for arousal. and unrealistic optimism including overgeneralizations. joy).Articles Section Demandingness/preferences scales. Cronbach’s α coefficients for ther post-goal attainment condition were: α = . α r = .g. internal global attributions. exaggerated perceptions of control or mastery. Subjects had to rate each item on a 5 points Likert-type scale. GRP (global rating of positivity) was reflected in the global evaluation of the event as being wonderful. and α = . fortune telling. I knew this would happen.89 for arousal.93 for post-goal emotions and α = . State cognitions measures: comprised 3 items.79 for the pre-goal attainment condition. gladness.
and context inappropriateness. contentment. and arousal? The Mann-Whitney test was used for inter-groups comparisons. Evaluation was made on a 5 points Likert-type scale for each item (1.Article “awfulizing” type evaluation in the REBT theory of negative emotions. the high DEM group showed a higher level of post goal emotions (high DEM: mean=13. In the pre-goal attainment condition no significant differences were observed between arousal. I had the same emotional state when I was doing other totally different things.05) compared with the low state demandingness group. Aurora Szentagotai . 3. but not with post-goal emotions. post-goal emotions and pre-goal emotions between the high and low DEM groups. It is possible that a larger group would clarify these differences.27) and dysfunctional inferences than low DEM subjects (high DEM: mean =19. Although they also report higher levels of arousal. We believe a larger sample would clarify if the high DEM group has a high level of post-goal positive emotions such as satisfaction.27. to have an idea of how such a global evaluation can play a role in positive emotions. 2. Context inappropriateness: comprised 3 items. 62 Alexandru Tiba. one item.45). dysfunctional inferences.16. these do not reach a significant level. context inappropriateness and arousal. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare the two groups. and two items measuring the experience of emotions in the context of other goals than those relevant to the experienced emotion. low DEM: mean= 15. b) Relations between Measures: Pearson’s correlation coefficient was calculated. Although no significant differences were observed. Results a) Differences between Groups How do highly demanding and low demanding subjects differ with respect to pre-goal and post-goal positive emotions. low DEM: mean= 11. In the post-goal attainment condition subjects high in state demandingness had significantly higher levels of pre-goal emotions and dysfunctional inferences (p< . My mind was overridden by uncontrollable thoughts about that situation. happiness and fulfilment when they anticipate attaining an important goal. including the degree of ruminative tendencies. I continued to do the things that made me feel this way even though I had other important things to be done). and the following relations were observed in the post-goal attainment condition: • State demandingness significantly correlates with pre-goal emotions and dysfunctional inferences.
05 r= .01 r= .01 Context inappropriateness Controlling for arousal r= . Partial Correlational Coefficients between Cognitions.61 p< .26 p> .01 r= . with the global rating of positivity (r= . GRP and Emotional measures in the post-goal attainment condition N= 26 State demandingness Dysfunctional inferences Global rating of positivity Pre-goal emotions R= . p> .61 p< .01 r= .35.01). and Context Inappropriateness in the post-goal attainment condition N= 26 Pre-goal Emotions Controlling for arousal r= . p< .05 r= .05 Context inappropriateness r= .29.17.05 R= .05 Arousal positively correlates with both types of positive emotions. p> . p> .53 p< .21.01 Arousal r= . with pre-goal emotion intensity (r= . Positive Emotions.40 p< .14.Articles Section • • Dysfunctional inferences and global rating of positivity are significantly related with arousal.54 p< .05 State demandingness Inferences Global rating of positivity Several implications can be derived from the partial correlations presented in table 2: Positive emotions and irrational beliefs 63 .60. r= .05 R= . and post-goal positive emotions and context inappropriateness. p< . and post-goal emotion intensity (r= .69 p< .18. p> . Also both types of positive emotions are positively related (r= .05 r= .38.28 p> . p>.01 R= .05 r= . Inferences. Table 1.05 r= .05 r = .61 p< . Partial correlations were used to investigate the role of arousal in the relation between cognitions and positive emotions (table 2). Inferences and state demandingness are positively related to each other (r= .20 p> . p> .27. p= .05.01 Post-goal emotions r= .06 R= .58.59.01.05 r= . pre-goal.05 Post-goal emotions Controlling for Arousal R= .36. Correlational coefficients between Demandingness.23 p> . p> .01). p< .01).67.55 p< .44 p< .01). p> . p< . but not at a significant level. Table 2. and positively.05). p> .
Partial correlations show that when arousal is constant there is no significant relation between evaluative cognitions (DEM and GRP).05 r= .05 Post-goal emotions r= .01).01 p> . p< . • Dysfunctional inferences are significantly related to post-goal emotions.05) and post-goal emotions (r= . As concerning the pre-goal attainment condition. • Arousal positively correlates with both emotional measures in pre-goal attainment condition.39 p< . but not significant level.05 r= .05 r= .20 p> .38.21 p> . Arousal positively correlates with dysfunctional inferences.01 r= .01 p> . the least affected being the relationship between state demandingness and pre-goal emotions.29 p> .06 p> .05 R = .05 Relations between cognitions: 64 Alexandru Tiba. Table 3. N= 29 State demandingness Dysfunctional inferences Global rating of positivity Pre-goal emotions r= . So it is possible that when meeting one’s goals. and positively but not significantly to arousal and context inappropriateness. the following relations were observed: • State demandingness positively correlates with post-goal emotions.05 r= . there is no relation between post-goal positive emotions and context inappropriateness. dysfunctional inferences. inferences and pre-goal emotions.Article • • • It seems that arousal is important in mediating the relations between cognitions and pre-goal emotions when individuals meet their goals. Positive Emotions. Arousal seems not to affect the relationships between global rating of positivity and post-goal emotions.07 p> .05 Arousal R= .05 r= . Arousal and Context Inappropriateness in the pre-goal attainment condition.37 p< . p< .05 R= . GRP and context inappropriateness.23 p> . with pre-goal emotion (r= . Post-goal emotions are related with context inappropriateness but this relation seems to be mediated by pre-goal emotions. Correlational Coefficients between Cognitions. When keeping anticipatory emotions constant. Aurora Szentagotai .05 Context inappropriateness( CI) r= .31 p> .64 p< . context inappropriateness is a result of arousal and anticipatory emotions.54.
In the post-goal condition the correlational coefficients of trait demandingness were as follows: pre-goal emotions r= -.05. Relations between both demandingness and dysfunctional inferences with post-goal emotions seem not to be affected by arousal. maybe because of a difference between state and trait demandingness.05. be accepted. p> . p< .42. These results were not replicated in this study using a state measure of demandingness.45. arousal r= -. The negative correlations between trait demandingness and positive emotions may reflect the action of a “dismissing the positive” mechanism in individuals that globally evaluate events in their life as demands. arousal r= -. Positive emotions and irrational beliefs 65 .22. 46.05) but not at a significant level. with GRP (r= . p> . state demandingness and post-goal emotions show no significant relation (r= . trait demandingness measured with the ABS scale was negatively related with arousal. pre-goal positive emotions and post-goal positive emotions.40. cognitions and post-goal emotions.32. When keeping dysfunctional inferences constant. p> . post-goal emotions r= . In both conditions. Trait demandingness refers to general evaluations of how much subjects believe they should succeed.05. p> .05. or be approved. It is possible that such global evaluations relate to positive emotions in a totally different way than demanding how a particular positive situation should be. p> .05. This dissociation should be further explored along with the mechanisms that impact on positive emotions. Partial correlations were carried out to analyze the relations between arousal.05. p< .07.10.05).01). and inferences positively correlate with GRP (r= . It seems that state and trait demandingness have different relations with positive emotions. p> .. Discussion Results of our preliminary study suggested that the experience of post goal attainment emotions such as happiness and contentment is reduced in demanding individuals.35. p< .Articles Section State demandingness positively correlates with inferences (r=.05). p> . Trait demandingness was negatively correlated with all measures of positive emotion in both conditions but not significantly (excepting arousal in the pre-goal condition). but not significantly. In the pre-goal condition the correlational coefficients of trait demandingness were as follows: pre-goal emotions r= -.05. post-goal emotions r= -. It is possible that inferences play an important role in the relation between demandingness and post-goal emotions when individuals expect to attain their goals (dysfunctional positive emotions).
we can say that higher levels of positive illusions 66 Alexandru Tiba. by the high positive value they attach to the event (Rolls. Further research is required to clarify the relations of both inferences and evaluative cognition with dysfunctional positive emotions. but we can assume that a strong activation of the incentive salience system will also activate the consummatory behavior system (Berridge & Robinson. We don’t know for sure why demandingness is also related with high levels of post-goal positive emotions in the pre-goal condition. we can assume that inferences are also related with dysfunctional positive emotions in the pre-goal attainment condition. pre-goal emotions when subjects anticipate the attainment of their goal. Their relation with pre-goal emotions and context inappropriateness in the post-goal attainment condition is no longer significant after controlling for arousal. and pre-goal/post-goal positive emotions when subjects meet their goals. Dysfunctional inferences. State demandingness is not significantly related to functional positive emotions (i. both types of emotions being considered dysfunctional positive emotions.Article Results of the present study suggest that the hypothesis according to which highly state demanding individuals experience higher levels of pre-goal attainment positive emotions after meeting their goals (post-goal dysfunctional positive emotions) and higher levels of post-goal emotions when they anticipate the attainment of their goals (pre-goal dysfunctional positive emotions) is not supported by the data. These results are consistent with positive demandingness being an index of a dysregulated approach motivational system. personalization. referring to a biased positive interpretation of the event (e. positive fortune telling. positive emotional reasoning. inflated sense of power) may impinge on emotions (both pre and post-goal attainment positive emotions) and arousal. the higher the level of dysfunctional positive inferences the higher the levels of satisfaction. Correlational analysis shows that demandingness is positively correlated with pre-goal positive emotions when meeting personal goals. high pre-goal attainment emotions after attaining an important goal could reflect the persistence of an activated approach system. 2000). Dysfunctional inferences are not significantly related with pre-goal emotions in the anticipatory condition but with pre-goal dysfunctional emotions. overgeneralization. Considering these results. Thus. happiness and contentment even when people anticipate attaining a goal. If we look at dysfunctional inferences as positive illusions. 1998). Further investigations and a larger sample are needed to shed light on this issue. So it is possible that dysfunctional inferences are more important for pre-goal dysfunctional emotions.goal positive emotions. Aurora Szentagotai . Another interpretation could refer to a high intensity of pre-goal emotions and arousal that will influence the subjective rating of post. and post-goal positive emotions when anticipating goal attainment. post-goal attainment positive emotions after meeting the goal). Also there are important relations between dysfunctional inferences and arousal.e.g.
Pragmatically: we cannot be certain based upon the present study. Arousal affects the relations between post-goal dysfunctional emotions. The question is how much these dysfunctional consequences are interfering with someone’s life. Logically: it is. arousal. arousal is related both with the level of post-goal dysfunctional positive emotions (excitement. fulfilled) when they meet their goals. ruminations about the event..Articles Section are associated with higher arousal and satisfaction of the individuals when they anticipate meeting or after meeting their goals. Global evaluation of positivity is positively associated with dysfunctional inferences. 2002) and by the effects of this reduction on goals pursuing. Partial correlations suggest that the relation with post-goal dysfunctional positive emotions is more a matter of arousal. high arousal and to neglecting other important goals. 2002). they are prone not only to high satisfaction but also to excitement. It seems that in the post-goal condition. DEM. It seems that arousal is a global factor that influences both types of positive emotions. GRP). high post-goal dysfunctional positive emotions. and experiencing positive emotions in irrelevant contexts. Arousal is also related with pre-goal dysfunctional emotions and pre-goal functional positive emotions in the anticipatory condition but does not influence the relations between inferences and pre-goal dysfunctional emotions. Investigations of a causal relation between arousal and context inappropriateness could support interventions in manic disorders by reducing the arousal level (Newman. Consequently. These results suggest that arousal levels and pre-goal emotion levels seem to be related to impaired focus on important goals. These results suggest that when people meet their goals and globally evaluate the positivity of an event. both dysfunctional and functional. or with attaining major goals. context inappropriateness and different types of cognitions (dysfunctional inferences. Is this an irrational evaluation? In order to respond this question from an REBT perspective we should consider the issues from the following points of view: logical. and dysfunctional consequences (positively but not significantly) when goals are met. This result suggests that the more people make global ratings of the positive value of the event. after meeting a personal goal. etc. interest. further investigation is needed to establish if global evaluation of positivity is related to higher satisfaction only or also with dysfunctional positive emotions and consequences.) and post-goal functional positive emotions (satisfaction. the higher their pre-goal emotions (they are more interested and excited) and post-goal emotions (they feel more satisfied. but also with post-goals functional emotions. Positive emotions and irrational beliefs 67 . Empirically: it is. empirical and pragmatical. contentment. Arousal level is typically related to pre-goal attainment positive emotions (Gray & Braver. and positive emotions. etc). Another significant relation is between the global evaluation of the positive value of the event: “It’s wonderful”. contented. One factor that influences positive emotions when goals are met is arousal.
2003). The first implication for both psychopathology and psychotherapy is the introduction of pre-goal and post-goal positive emotions distinction in relation to cognition. we make an important step in clarifying mild disturbances of positive affect in normals. Experiencing approach related emotions in situations when goals are already met could be dysfunctional for the individual’s resources. and making the distinction of pre/post goal attainment positive emotions with respect to certain types of cognitions such as demandingness. Another important implication is the pattern of relations between trait demandingness and positive emotions. Considering the importance of post-goal attainment positive emotions for health and well being (Frederickson. Manic symptoms are the 68 Alexandru Tiba. Correlation analysis shows that in both conditions demandingness is positively related only with dysfunctional positive emotions but not with functional positive emotions.Article dysfunctional and functional. What happens if we are demanding and experiencing not only post-goal positive emotions but also higher levels of pre-goal attainment positive emotions when we attain our goals? And what happens if we are generally demanding about how things should be in our life? Are we less protected from long-term stress effects? Should we modify our thinking. By providing evidence for the involvement of a cognitive factor like demandingness in positive emotions. This study suggests a qualitative distinction between functional and dysfunctional positive emotions. There are several implications and suggestion derived from this study. and possibly post-goal emotions when they anticipate attaining an important goal. It seems that demandingness. The present results suggest that demanding individuals are prone to experiencing pre-goal attainment positive emotions when they meet their goals. Second. maybe enhancing the effects of cognitions like demandingness which is related only to dysfunctional positive emotions. bringing evidence about the dysfunctional nature of certain positive emotions in healthy individuals. 2002). We know that pre-goal attainment positive emotions do not reduce stress effects on the body but post-goal positive emotions do (Skolnick & Davidson. Aurora Szentagotai . namely demandingness. some positive emotions might be functional in some situations and dysfunctional in other situations. global ratings of positivity and arousal make a difference in this sense. This study looks at the problem of positive emotions in normals not only as a matter of intensity but also of the quality of positive emotions when individuals attain their goals or anticipate attaining their goals. The REBT theory argues for a positive relation between DEM and positive dysfunctional emotions in the case of positive events. Further research should clarify the relation between demandingness and these two types of positive affect. this is a suggestion to be explored in positive psychology. It seems that trait demandingness is negatively related with both types of positive emotions. dysfunctional inferences. control arousal and relax? This is a question worth investigating.
referring to high levels of post-goal attainment positive emotions when anticipating and moving toward goal attainment. are we also implicitly changing positive dysfunctional emotions into functional ones or are we increasing the experience of positive emotions? Does reducing arousal lead to the control of dysfunctional consequences? These are questions that further studies should investigate particularly considering the fact that positive emotions like happiness and contentment are associated with a significant increase in life expectancy (Fredrickson. Thus we have two types of dysfunctional positive emotions: a) pre-goal attainment dysfunctional positive emotions. but not with functional ones. maybe leading to disengagement or switching goals too early. It is also important to note the role of arousal in dysfunctional positive emotions.g. Another interesting aspect is the distinct relation of state and trait demandingness with positive emotions. Further research is required for clarifying this issue.. Also. 2002). after attainment of personal goals. It is possible that trait demandingness restrains the experience of positive affect. inferences and arousal make a difference. First. even if the interference with one’s life is smaller. This study is not without limitations. Arousal seems to be related with both types of emotions in both conditions. but consistent with this study.Articles Section extreme reflection of an increased approach related emotional experience (Harmon. post-goal) and 2) the situation in which they are experienced: distant from goals in response to cues that predict goal attainment or proximal. pregoal attainment positive emotions when achieving personal goals. the reduced number of subjects imposes strong limitations on the results. and results suggest that it is also important for the relation between evaluative cognitions and dysfunctional positive emotions.Jones et al. State demandingness is positively related only with dysfunctional positive emotions in both conditions. We believe that the role of arousal in dysfunctional positive emotions is another aspect worth investigating. 2003). experiencing a high level of post-goal emotions in anticipation of attaining a goal could be dysfunctional. Another limitation is linked to the lack of validated scales that measure the variables related to positive emotions considered in this study. Should positive dysfunctional emotions be the target of therapeutic change? When disputing irrational beliefs in negative emotions. Experiencing high levels of positive affect in the inappropriate context (e. or post-goal attainment positive emotions when anticipating the achievement of personal goals) could be considered as a marker of dysfunctional positive emotions. and b) post-goal attainment dysfunctional positive emotions referring to high levels of pre-goal attainment positive emotions after achieving personal goals. This aspect should be taken into account in the Positive emotions and irrational beliefs 69 . The present results suggest that positive dysfunctional emotions can be identified based upon two factors: 1) the type of emotion (pre-goal. this dynamic is also present in normal individuals and demandingness.
& Dryden.) (1999). 245-287). A synopsis of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). 309-369. and constructive ideas regarding confounds and problems in positive emotion research. Validations of General Attitude and Beliefs Scale. (2002). and affective responses to impending reward and punishment. 529-550. T. 28. Inc. Valentin. 241-261. W..Article interpretation of the results even though this is a pilot study aiming to set the lines for further research. Daniel David for his support and constructive ideas in REBT theory and research. behavioral activation. Mood disorders. Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy. V. Carver. Why two. (1998). ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors whish to thank Dr. G. 106. Carver. G. Emotion. central REBT hypothesis appear untestable. 93-131 70 Alexandru Tiba. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.. Ashby. L. & Berkov. Berridge. (1999). The effects of positive affect and arousal on working memory and executive attention. A. 67. M. positive emotions and dysfunctional consequences. 183-196.Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy. arousal and different types of positive emotions. 17. Cognition and Emotion. irrational beliefs.. attributions. David. H. Beers. In S. V. F. Chapter 189.. & Avellino. 119-214.. Schnur. 50. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. & Turken. Personality and Social Psychology Review. Published online at: www. A. (1998). M. 5. C. M. C. R. W. D. Carver. F.. Psychiatric disorders. K. Oaksford (Eds.. Bernard. What is the role of dopamine in reward: hedonic impact. & White. Moore & M. R. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Further research should investigate causal relations between evaluative beliefs. S. Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy. (2003). C. U. S. A neuropsychological theory of positive affect and its influence on cognition. REFERENCES Ashby... A. E. (1999). 29-40. Behavioral inhibition.). 16. Correlational analysis does not allow us to make causal predictions between demandingness. 345-356. J. & Robinson.. Annual Review of Psychology. (1994). Neurobiology and computational models. 14. J. arousal. (Eds. Psychological Review. & Gardner. F. 319-333. Isen. & Turken. Affect and functional bases of behavior: On the dimensional structure of affective experience. A.ro David.. Merck & Co. Basic/Fundamental and Applied Research. E. Cacioppo. S.. M. Journal of Rational. or incentive salience? Brain Research Reviews. T. Aurora Szentagotai . (2002). dysfunctional positive inferences. D. L. Bond. U. The BIS/BAS Scale.psychotherapy. (1996). critical readings. Another search for the “hot” cognitions: Appraisal. Pleasure as a sign you can attend to something else: Placing positive feelings with a general model of affect. C.. reward learning. T. W. Jeremy Gray for his support. Section 15. Emotional Cognition: From Brain to Behavior (pp. C. (2001). & Belloiu. and Dr. 15. and their relation to emotion.(2001).
R. Science. The Effects of Adult Aging and Induced Positive and Negative Mood on Planning. Farah. F. McClelland.. 22. Ellis. 51. J. T. K. (1998). L. 436-452 Gray. Neuroimaging Studies of Mood Disorders: Implications for a neural model of major depression. Kagan. & Collins. H. R. 12–22. 130. 300-319. & Braver. M. & Raichle. Anxiety and affective style: Role of prefrontal cortex and amygdale.. (2002). Dysfunction in the neural circuitry of emotion regulation. The emotions. R.. Smith. 68-80. 12. Gilhool. R. A. (2000). & Kalin. 48. G. A. 2. British Medical Bulletin. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. B. Adams. 17. R. In S. 4115. B. R. D. Lewis. 478-502 Depue. UK: Cambridge University Press. 813-829. Frijda. Oaksford (Eds.. Davidson. Putnam. (2002). Secaucus. &. & Peterson. (1997). Bush. J. 471-477 Ellis. Psychological Bulletin. H. R. & DiGiuseppe... C. S. Reason and emotion in psychotherapy (re. Psychiatry.. Gray. 330– 335. C. J. Davidson. S. L. J. D. 65. N.). L.. ). Positive Mood and Executive Function: Evidence From Stroop and Fluency Tasks.. E. Cohen. The value of positive emotions. and extraversion. M. L. Integration of emotion and cognitive control: A neurocomputational hypothesis of dynamic goal regulation. Ellis. Jackson. R. Cognition and Emotion. P. 91. Drevets. Emotion. ed. M. Emotional modulation of cognitive control: Approach-withdrawal states double-dissociate spatial from verbal two-back task performance. D. Elliott. Alloy. A. Moore & M.Articles Section Davidson.. R.. J. (1999). NJ: Birscj Lane. R. Fredrickson. Bull. L. A... (2003). W. 289-316).. Affective style and affective disorders: Perspectives from affective neuroscience. R. (1998). J.. R. Neural and behavioral substrates of mood and mood regulation. (1986). Cambridge. J. 52. Integration of emotion and cognition in the lateral prefrontal cortex.. T. E... 126. 890-909. Biological Psychiatry. Davidson. Biological Psychiatry. Emotional Cognition: From Brain to Behavior (pp. Phillips. (2000)b. W. C. H. 289. Phillips. 263–272. K. & Dryden. L. Emotion. Brain Sci. C. (2002). Braver. L. L.. J. (2003).. (2002).a possible prelude to violence. Positive emotions and irrational beliefs 71 . Emotion. 307–330. (2000)a.. W. context and regulation: perspectives from affective neuroscience. (2001).. (1993). 49-59. Are inappropriate or dysfunctional feelings in rational-emotive therapy qualitative or quantitative? Cognitive Therapy and Research. Neurobiology of the structure of personality: Dopamine. Executive functions and their disorders. Biol. Davidson. 2. S. 99. Drevets. 491-569. (2002). The Practice of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. N. (2002). Nolen-Hoeksema. B. plasticity. (1994).. J.4120. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Fredrickson. R. J. & Larson. J.. What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology.. American Scientist. J. 2. Amaral. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. Behav. & Fraser... facilitation of incentive motivation. London: Springer Publishing Company. H. Gray. 591594.
4090-4103... 12. D. M. Fong. Learned optimism: How to change your mind and your life. (2003). Panksepp.. Affective modulation of eyeblink startle with reward and threat. (2002). T. Russo. & Paykel E.A. (1991). (1990). J. (2000). Fong. 21. (2000). W. 11. Robbins. Emotional bias and inhibitory control processes in mania and depression. G. (2000). Quirk. 18. L. In C. (1999). M. 4. K.). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. G. Cognitive therapy for bipolar disorder. 71-95). R. Cerebral Cortex. 2. Isen. 39. Dopamine attenuates prefrontal cortical suppression of sensory inputs to the basolateral amygdala of rats. Newman. Rolls. (2001). A. (2001). M. Luciana. C. BrunnerRoutledge. Bennett. C. 20. S.. A. Adams. & Lebron. 105-122. NeuroImage. S. & HarmonJones. An Influence of Positive Affect on Decision Making in Complex Situations: Theoretical Issues With Practical Implications. & Davidson. & M. Michael . J. J. The Role of Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex in the Recovery of Extinguished Fear. 985. C. (2003). The Journal of Neuroscience.. D. R.L. New York: Knopf Skolnick.. A. 75–85. Sahakian B. Adams. M. 1. J. J. Tiba. A guide for the practicing clinician (pp. Rogers. Psychophysiology.. Multiple reward signals in the brain. W.. 610-618. B. A region of mesial prefrontal cortex tracks monetarily rewarding outcomes: characterization with rapid event-related fMRI. Rational and irrational beliefs from a neuroscience framework. D. In Simos. Romanian Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies. J. Murphy. G. Proness to hypomania/Mania symptoms and asymmetrical frontal cortical responses to anger-evoking event.. Journal Of Consumer Psychology. Inhibition of the Amygdala: Key to Pathological States? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences... T. & Hommer. Y. A.. W. Romanian Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies. Knutson. A. 263-272.M. Scala de atitudini şi convingeri II (ABS II) – date preliminare pentru populaţia de limbă română / A romanian adaptation of the attitudes and beliefs scale II (abs II). & Hommer. (1998). 10. Luciana (Eds. Affective neuroscience. R. (2002). Massachusetts Institute of Technology.. M. A... (Ed. 61-78. S. Cognitive therapy.). Sigelman. J. Dissociation of reward anticipation and outcome with event-related fMRI. 835–850.. NeuroReport.. The Journal of Neuroscience. G. M. J. A. J. New York: Oxford University Press. Psychol Med. 6225 -6231. Aurora Szentagotai . E.. Rubinsztein... K. L. 3. (2002). B. E. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. S. E..W. R.. The orbitofrontal cortex and reward. Varner. J. (2002).. 263–272 Lazarus. G. FC.. Bohlig. Oxford Press. (2003). Barron. D. B. J. 284-294.. Hogan.. P. G. 72 Alexandru Tiba. & Gehlert. A. Schultz. Dopamine-Opiate Modulations of Reward-Seeking Behavior: Implications for the Functional Assessment of Prefrontal Development.. 29.. Seligman. (2001). Handbook of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. & Grace. Quirk.. 199-207. 1307-1321. (2001). Emotion and adaptation. Abramson. E. Macavei. Nelson. Knutson. 3683–3687..Article Harmon-Jones. C. F. Rosenkranz..
H. Demanding brain. I’m stick with you. (2003). 4. 5. Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies. 224.Articles Section Tiba. Nature Review Neuroscience.between should and shouldn’t. 43-51 Wood. (2005). A. Positive emotions and irrational beliefs 73 .
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.