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Emotion 2003, Vol. 3, No.

4, 361–377

Copyright 2003 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 1528-3542/03/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/1528-3542.3.4.361

Is Attention to Feelings Beneficial or Detrimental to Affective Well-Being? Mood Regulation as a Moderator Variable
Tanja Lischetzke and Michael Eid
University of Koblenz-Landau This research examined the functionality of attention to feelings for affective wellbeing. The authors found that mood regulation, but not clarity of feelings, moderated the attention–well-being relationship. For individuals with high mood regulation scores, attention was beneficial to affective well-being, whereas for individuals with low mood regulation scores, attention was detrimental to affective well-being. This finding was corroborated by self- and peer reports in Study 1 and replicated in Study 2. The validity of the scales was established by the convergence of selfand peer ratings. Moreover, Study 2 showed that dysfunctional and functional self-consciousness scales suppressed variance in attention to feelings, thereby revealing that attention incorporates both adaptive and maladaptive aspects.

The question of whether frequently attending to private aspects of the self, such as feelings, thoughts, motives, or bodily sensations, has positive or negative consequences for subjective well-being and mental health has stimulated a large amount of research. On the one hand, individual differences in dispositional self-focused attention to one’s inner self—termed “private self-consciousness” by Fenigstein, Scheier, and Buss (1975)—play a crucial role in selfregulatory processes. According to Carver and Scheier (e.g., 1981, 1982, 1998), self-focused attention assists individuals in the pursuit of goals, as it makes discrepancies between their current standing and a particular standard salient, which in turn motivates attempts to meet the standard. Empirically, heightened private self-consciousness has been linked to better self-knowledge (e.g., Nasby, 1989) and more effective self-regulation (e.g., Mullen & Suls, 1982; Suls & Fletcher, 1985). On the other hand, higher private self-consciousness scores have been consis-

Tanja Lischetzke and Michael Eid, Institute for Psychology, University of Koblenz-Landau, Landau, Germany. Michael Eid is now at the Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. Study 1 was funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Grant Ei 379/5–1. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Tanja Lischetzke, who is now at the Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Geneva, 40, Bd. du Pont d’Arve, CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland. E-mail: tanja.lischetzke@pse.unige.ch

tently associated with higher levels of psychological distress, chronic negative affect, and depression (e.g., Ingram, 1990). The results of a recent meta-analysis by Mor and Winquist (2002) indicated that self-focus carries differential affective implications, depending on the specific self-aspect that is attended to, the type of self-focus (e.g., ruminative vs. nonruminative), and the context in which self-focus takes place (e.g., after success vs. failure). Consistent with the authors’ view that self-focused attention should be construed as a multifaceted construct, the present research aims to analyze the functionality of a specific aspect of selffocused attention for affective well-being (i.e., the affective component of subjective well-being; see Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999): the attention that is allocated to one’s affective states. Attention to feelings has been conceptualized as a meta-mood construct indicating the frequency with which an individual directs attention to his or her affective states, which has been shown to be distinct from the clarity of feelings, that is, the ability to identify and label one’s affective states, and the ability to regulate moods (Salovey, Mayer, Goldman, Turvey, & Palfai, 1995; Swinkels & Giuliano, 1995).1 In re-

1 Throughout this article, we use the terms attention to feelings and clarity of feelings that Salovey et al. (1995) used to denote two subscales of their Trait Meta-Mood Scale (TMMS). Swinkels and Giuliano (1995) named the two dimensions of their Mood Awareness Scale (MAS) Mood Monitoring and Mood Labeling, which are similar to

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. in terms of a dispositional tendency. & Catanzaro. Swinkels & Giuliano. my thoughts keep going back to what happened”). Reflection. In particular. Both facets were corre- . & Reynolds. heightened dispositional attention to feelings has been considered as detrimental to affective well-being. Rumination refers to self-focus motivated by perceived threats. In two studies. 2002). 2002. What do empirical studies suggest as to the relation between attention to feelings and affective wellbeing? At best. which may lead to a greater involvement and absorption in the affective state and. attention may prompt attempts to improve the mood (if the condition is appraised as unwanted). overlap to a great extent. Totterdell. in the case of negative moods. 1995) and mood regulation competencies (e. Among other variables (e. Thus. 1996) that delineate the points in the mood regulation process where individual differences arise and may contribute to differential affective outcomes. a minimum of attention to feelings is necessary to become clear about one’s affective state. Whereas the results of empirical studies point to the adaptive function of affective clarity (e. 1995). to intensified and prolonged unpleasant affect. The act of self-attention itself may worsen current mood by enhancing perception of existing discrepancies between actual and ideal self (e. How can these mixed results be explained? With respect to the broader construct of private self-consciousness. In this sense. and Clarity and Mood Labeling... the ability to clearly perceive one’s current state. the tendency to focus on one’s affective states was positively related to indicators of negative affect and depression (Salovey et al. 1995. 2000.. models of mood regulation have been developed (e. temperamental affective reactivity).. On the other hand. the dispositional degree of attention directed at one’s affective state. negative thinking about the self (e. Duval & Wicklund. Drawing on principles of cybernetic control theory. Thus. 2002. Trapnell and Campbell (1999) proposed two motivationally distinct dispositions confounded in private self-consciousness. and the ability to implement effective mood regulation strategies represent relevant individual-differences characteristics. For example.g. Salovey et al. an intellective form of private self-consciousness. Salovey. Kirsch. 2002) revealed that Attention and Mood Monitoring.g. 1972). 2002). 1995. This neurotic form of private self-consciousness is characterized by recurrent past-oriented. The present studies focused on the interplay between attention to feelings. 1990. That is. interest in the self-regulation of mood states has grown considerably. 1996). 1995. Parkinson. paying attention to one’s feelings is required for the perception and effective regulation of affects. Theoretical and Empirical Links Between Attention to Feelings and Affective Well-Being From a process perspective of mood regulation. the aim of the present research was to shed more light on the functionality of attention to feelings for affective well-being. 2000. Study 2. refers to self-focus motivated by curiosity or epistemic interest in the self (e.g. rumination and reflection.g.. 1991). Study 1. losses. Swinkels & Giuliano. Larsen. “Long after an argument or disagreement is over with. Mor & Winquist. we wanted to examine under which conditions attention to feelings may be beneficial or detrimental to affective well-being (cf. there was no relation between attention to feelings and indicators of affective well-being (Gohm & Clore. Therefore. respectively. and mood regulation. tempts to maintain that state. which has been largely neglected to date. “I love exploring my ‘inner’ self”). attention directed at a positive mood may lead to heightened awareness and enjoyment of the mood and at- attention and clarity. Mearns.. researchers have tried to resolve the paradox that habitual selfattending is associated with greater self-knowledge yet poorer psychological adjustment by distinguishing between functional and dysfunctional components. whereas in other studies.. clarity of feelings. Results from factor analysis and cluster analysis (Gohm & Clore. Mearns. In a given situation. Briner. & Epel. Stroud. and to decide whether one should do something about it (Parkinson et al.g. attention to feelings seems to be neither beneficial nor consistently detrimental to affective well-being. Salovey et al. Swinkels and Giuliano (1995) argued that monitoring one’s mood states implies a certain degree of vigilance. dispositional attention to feelings may indirectly enhance affective well-being. For example. or injuries to the self..g. Woolery.. or in the case of a negative mood. the role heightened attention to feelings plays in the self-regulation of affective states is less clear. Gohm & Clore.362 LISCHETZKE AND EID cent years.g. attention focused at one’s momentary affective state plays an important role in the self-regulation of affect.. empirical evidence is mixed. these subscales of the TMMS and the MAS can be considered as measuring the same traits. to evaluate its relevance for current concerns.

. 2002. and Mood Regulation To clearly recognize a momentary affective state. Stankov. 1995. Hence. scales measuring dysfunctional and functional aspects of self-focus may suppress specific variance in attention to feelings. however. In other words. an individual has to allocate some attention to her or his affective state and subsequently identify the state that has been brought into consciousness. and the maladaptive aspect of the attention construct should be revealed when functional self-focus is controlled for in the prediction of well-being. In general. Gohm & Clore. which is marked by sustained. 1995). 1999). attention to and clarity of feelings together constitute a core perceptual process.. To our knowledge. clarity should facilitate mood regulation and enhance affective well-being (Parkinson et al. but only low correlations between trait attention and clarity (Davies. this effect should be reversed. Morrow & Nolen-Hoeksema. on the other hand. Thus. rigid self-attending.g. whereas others who allocate attention to their momentary state use the information to guide their regulatory actions. 2000. Salovey et al. the habitual tendency to attend to one’s feelings at frequent intervals does not guarantee high levels of clarity. because frequently attending to confusing affective states may lead to passive rumination in an attempt to gain more insight into the affective state. That is... thereby uncovering the two aspects of the attention construct. To place our moderator hypotheses more firmly in the theoretical context of mood regulation processes. however. Swinkels & Giuliano. research on private self-consciousness has shown that heightened self-focus may not generally be good or bad. Functional self-consciousness. situationally. feasible regulation strategies. Similarly. we focused on two possible moderators of the attention–well-being relationship: the ability to clearly identify one’s affective states and the ability to effectively regulate one’s moods. Hoyer (2000) demonstrated that dysfunctional and functional self-consciousness were inversely related with well-being indicators and discriminated between healthy individuals and psychotherapy patients. but that private self-consciousness contains both beneficial and detrimental aspects.. these two facets of attention to feelings have not been sufficiently scrutinized up to now. 1990. Clarity. In the present studies. or external demands). which is empirically reflected in positive. The first strategy is based on the idea that the adaptive aspect of the attention construct should be revealed when dysfunctional self-focus is controlled for. however. Hoyer (2000) identified rumination as a dysfunctional form of private self-consciousness. and reflection was strongly associated with openness to experience (Trapnell & Campbell.g. have not been tested up to now. In contrast to private self-consciousness. was conceptualized as perceived self-efficacy in solving personal problems through the use of flexible attention deployment. no study has addressed this issue. 1995). Interplay Between Attention. because it may tell us why some people end up passively ruminating about their mood when they direct attention at their momentary state. 1996). Swinkels & Giuliano. 2002). Parkinson et al. evaluation of the affective state with respect to current goals. clarity.g. Research on depression has shown that the tendency to ruminate over a depressed mood prolongs and intensifies this state (e. Such an approach may be especially valuable from a process perspective of mood regulation (e. 1996.. These results suggest that the ambiguous relationship between attention to feelings and well-being could be explained by the fact that attention to feelings may also comprise both adaptive and maladaptive aspects.g. there are at least two ways to explore whether attention to feelings comprises both beneficial and detrimental aspects. These suppressor hypotheses. However.. personal conditions) directing attention to one’s feelings may be beneficial or detrimental to affective well-being (Mor & Winquist. Nolen-Hoeksema . For individuals low in clarity. (1995) found that individuals who reported high habitual clarity about their feelings (compared with low-clarity individuals) were more likely to rebound from induced negative mood and showed a stronger decline in ruminative thought over time after they had watched a distressing film. Hence. Salovey et al.ATTENTION TO FEELINGS AND AFFECTIVE WELL-BEING 363 lated with private self-consciousness. The second strategy to examine the issue of functionality is to ask under which circumstances (e. frequently directing attention to one’s feelings should have positive benefits for affective well-being if individuals possess the ability to clearly recognize and label their feelings because they can make use of the information carried by their affective state to guide their regulatory actions. but rumination was strongly associated with neuroticism. The labeling of one’s affective state allows one to turn one’s attention to other concerns (e. we take a closer look at the interplay between attention. which offset each other’s influence on affective wellbeing. and mood regulation. 1998. Accordingly. & Roberts.

& Fredrickson. 1994). some individuals who habitually attend to their feelings at frequent intervals may lack the ability to regulate their moods. whereas other high-attention individuals may be good at regulating their mood. the two hedonic types of regulation (negative mood repair and positive mood maintenance) may be most common in everyday life (Larsen. 1987. 2000. If one assumes that recruiting positive memories can improve current mood (which has not been examined in this study. maintain their negative affects. 1993). but more important to the prediction of habitual affective well-being. Nolen-Hoeksema. Parkinson et al. In contrast. Nonetheless. 1994). In any case.. these individuals may not be able to take advantage of attending to their positive mood to prolong this state. Because the actual intraindividual change in state mood was not assessed in this study. and possibly on state mood. as ruminative tendencies bear a resemblance to a pattern of low clarity and low mood regulation abilities (e. the group of high-mood regulation individuals could avail themselves of their heightened awareness of affective states to effectively improve bad moods at an early stage and to actively maintain positive moods before they fade. 1996). the positivity of reported high school memories was measured. Salovey et al.364 LISCHETZKE AND EID & Morrow. situational influences (e. whereas for ruminators. the results indirectly support our assumptions regarding the moderating role of clarity and mood regulation. before individuals can decide whether regulatory attempts are required and subsequently engage in effective mood regulation.e. utility. 1995. 1984). we expected that high attention would be rather detrimental to well-being. ruminative tendencies moderated the impact of attention on autobiographical memory. individual differences in ruminative tendencies were assessed via selfreport (whereby participants were classified as either “ruminators” or “nonruminators”). 2000). or talking to someone (for classifications of mood regulation strategies. . Ways to modify or maintain a mood state cover a wide range of cognitive and behavioral strategies such as thinking of pleasant things. social constraints. Watson. 1996. When a mood regulation strategy has been implemented.. & McClain. However.e. 1999. Experiment 2). 1991).. 1991. In addition to these two experimental factors (mood negativity and mood focus).. thus experiencing higher levels of habitual pleasant affect. they showed moodincongruent recall). That is. Thayer. 1996). attention to one’s current mood is needed to evaluate whether the current strategy is working effectively and is still necessary (Larsen. and rumination level. 1993). As the dependent variable. Newman. That is.g. Nolen-Hoeksema.. and appropriateness of certain affects) may prompt individuals to deliberately attempt to neutralize their moods (Erber. it is unclear whether moderating effects of ruminative tendencies would generalize to predict habitual affective well-being. Parkinson & Totterdell. Mood regulation refers to the ability to modify or maintain one’s mood states.. too. they have to allocate some attention to their current affective state and be able to identify it with some accuracy (Thayer. Ruminators who had been focused on their mood recruited less positive memories after the negative mood induction than after the neutral mood induction (i. Thayer et al. directing attention toward their negative mood may have had a moodsustaining or even mood-worsening effect. However.g. Some mood regulation strategies may be generally more effective than others. participants in this study were either encouraged to focus on their mood or distracted from their mood.g. mood focus..g. 2000). we propose that clarity and mood regulation moderate the attention–well-being relationship and that such an interactive approach could shed more light on the ambiguous association between attention and well-being. though). the latter interpretation is rather speculative. The results revealed a three-way interaction between mood negativity. Note that ruminators and nonruminators did not differ in the positivity of their recollections when they had been distracted from their mood. see Morris & Reilly. Morrow. nonruminators who had been focused on their mood recruited more positive memories after the negative mood induction than after the neutral mood induction (i. they showed mood-congruent recall). as it may involve recurrent thinking about a negative mood without being able to change it and promote mood-congruent information processing. of course. or even transform their positive moods into bad ones (Parrott.. exercising. In summary. Regulation strategies typically aim to repair negative affective states or maintain positive ones (e. Also. Isen. individuals differ considerably in their usage of types of strategies and their ability to effectively regulate mood (e. After a negative or neutral mood induction. Indirect evidence for these moderator hypotheses comes from a study on the mood–memory link by McFarland and Buehler (1998.. one might conclude that nonruminators were able to take advantage of attending to their negative mood to improve their mood. If they feel good. For the former group of individuals. Nonetheless.

to test the assumption that attention to feelings incorporates both positive and negative aspects of selffocus. clarity.e. 69% were classified as friends. First.and peer reports to test our moderator hypotheses. Compared with a more observable trait-like extraversion. each group (of 3 individuals) participated at the same time. 1982. clarity. These hypotheses were tested using both self. attention to feelings should be positively related to well-being. In Study 1. Watson & Clark.e.. thereby uncovering the respective opposite aspect. Second. mood regulation.. for individuals high in mood regulation. Until now.. significant others).431 participants). we sought to determine whether clarity and mood regulation moderate the attention– well-being relationship. and affective well-being. for instance. Sixty-three percent of the participants were women.e. p. When targets were asked to rate how well they knew the peer raters on a scale between 1 (briefly acquainted) and 10 (there are no Study 1 The first aim of Study 1 was to analyze the convergence of self.6). 1988. and affective well-being. 2% were relatives. 1991).and other reported attention. socially desirable response behavior). we analyzed self-peer convergence and tested the moderator hypotheses by using both selfand peer reports. Germany. The analyses presented here are based on 477 complete data sets (1. Generally. impression management.and peer reports. mood regulation. were recruited to participate in the study. that is. and the mean age was 23. clarity.). we sought to replicate the findings from Study 1 in a different sample of selfreports and test the suppressor hypotheses. we examined self-peer convergence before testing these hypotheses. targets) in the self-report form and by the peer raters in the peer report form (i. Method Participants and Procedure The analyses presented here are part of a comprehensive multitrait–multimethod (MTMM) study examining self. clarity.. 1997). in the prediction of affective well-being. although we separated them while they filled out the questionnaires to prevent the sharing of information. validation studies examining the convergence between self.g.and peer reports. are more difficult to judge for outside observers. attention should be negatively related to well-being. We also informed all participants that they would not be able to view the other questionnaires from their group to prevent possible data manipulation (e. which largely dominate the field.g. thus.3 years (SD ‫ ס‬3. mood regulation.S. According to the targets. and mood regulation (cf. To establish validity of the scales measuring attention. we wanted to test moderator and suppressor hypotheses. For mood regulation. In apply- . Trier. McCrae. whereas for individuals low in mood regulation. Hence. and each group received 60 German marks (approximately $30 U. we applied a multimethod assessment strategy and used both self. Finally. The second and major aim of Study 1 was to test the hypotheses that clarity of feelings and mood regulation moderate the attention–well-being relationship. common in other areas of personality assessment (e. 2001. Zeidner. Thus. appear not to have been conducted with respect to attention. In Study 2. Funder & Colvin. As an important strength of the present analyses. To move beyond bivariate analyses of the construct’s relation with well-being. ing this strategy. respectively. All of the measures reported were completed by the self-raters (i. more visible traits yield better self–other agreement (e. Five hundred students at the University of Trier and the Trier University of Applied Sciences.. targets were required to bring 2 peer raters with them at a designated time to complete the questionnaires. however..and peer-rated emotional experience. 201). and 20% were considered acquaintances. these affect-related traits have less clear and less frequent behavioral manifestations and. they rated the targets). Roberts. and affective well-being.ATTENTION TO FEELINGS AND AFFECTIVE WELL-BEING 365 Overview of the Present Studies We conducted two studies to explore the functionality of attention to feelings for affective well-being. To participate and to receive financial compensation. we expected a moderate level of self-other convergence for attention. we wanted to control for measurement error in all analyses by applying structural equation modeling. The mean length of relationship was 35 months (range ‫ ס‬1–311 months). We expected that high attention would be beneficial to well-being for individuals who are very clear about their feelings and detrimental to well-being for individuals who are unclear about their feelings.g. we sought to determine whether scales measuring dysfunctional and functional self-consciousness would suppress the maladaptive and adaptive part of attention’s variance. we assumed the same kind of interaction effect. 9% of the peer raters were partners (i. one has to bear in mind that these traits have rather low visibility. & Matthews.

Klein & Moosbrugger.and peer ratings are indicators of the same common trait.. product terms of the predictor variables) in the regression equation. To minimize multicollinearity problems (because of high correlations between predictors and their interaction terms). Spain. Models and Methods of Data Analysis To control for measurement error. Because interactions between latent variables cannot be analyzed with Mplus (Version 2. The two peer ratings were combined. A German 12-item scale was used to assess the attention to and the clarity of one’s own feelings (Lischetzke. To analyze moderator effects. the root-mean-square error of approximation (RMSEA). 2003). Notz. clarity. we specified two models (one for the self-ratings and one for the combined peer ratings) with latent variables measured by two indicators each. Schneider. & Schwenkmezger. The items were answered on 4-point frequency scales (ranging from almost never to almost always). and affective well-being were also analyzed by structural equation modeling using the program Mplus (Version 2. The fit of the two moderator models (one for the self-ratings and one for the combined peer ratings) was assessed by the chi-square statistic alone. Nussbeck. Accordingly. and affective well-being) the self. Eid et al. 1999) was used. each scale was split into two test halves. As an indicator of affective well-being. which is based on a new estimation method for latent moderator effects. The authors have demonstrated that this method is one of the best currently available estimation procedures for latent moderator analysis. The items tap negative mood repair and positive mood maintenance (e. the Pleasant-Unpleasant Scale of the Multidimensional Mood Questionnaire (MMQ. and error effects in this model. the scales for measuring attention. the convergence of self. indicators were centered before the analyses (see Aiken & West. 1991). A German 10-item scale measuring perceived effectiveness in regulation of moods was constructed.3). 1998). Watson & Clark. Accordingly. 2000. Thus. Measures Attention to and clarity of feelings. . To counteract the irrelevant specificity of 1 rater. In this MTMM model. To separate trait effects. because LMS does not report other fit coefficients.g.1. method effects. & Eid.. 2000.1. and affective well-being were split into two test halves.. the mean response was 6.” “When I am in a good mood. (2003) and is therefore not presented here. Participants rated how they habitually feel on 5-point intensity scales (ranging from not at all to very much so).and peer reports was analyzed with structural equation models using the statistical software package Mplus (Version 2. mood regulation.1.e. averaged) in all analyses (cf. it is assumed that for each construct (attention. this mood regulation scale was a precursor to the final version used in Study 2. The items were rated on 4-point frequency scales (ranging from almost never to almost always). 2001).. An MTMM model for multiple indicators was applied (Eid. and no double loadings or correlated error variables were allowed. The scale consists of eight adjectives assessing pleasant-unpleasant mood. the 2 peer raters were aggregated (i. 2003).e. We report the estimated latent correlations between the self-ratings and the combined peer ratings for the total scales. mood regulation. and the comparative fit index (CFI).5 (SD ‫ ס‬2. Additionally. I am able to stay that way for a long time”). 1998). mood regulation. Eid. “It is easy for me to get out of a bad mood. Mood regulation. 1991). we present only the full item list for the final version (which can be found in the Appendix). these method factors measure the deviation of the peer ratings from the values expected on the basis of the selfratings (Eid. Muthe ´ n & Muthe ´ n. Muthe ´ n & Muthe ´ n. The relations among attention. & Funder. Eaton. observed variables) for each trait– method combination. 1997) in the trait version (Eid. Because of further scale development and refinement. Wittig. Pleasant-unpleasant trait mood. each latent variable was measured by two indicators (test halves). clarity. Again. The fit of the models was assessed by the maximum-likelihood chisquare test. Muthe ´ n & Muthe ´ n. 1998). it is necessary to have at least two indicators (i. No double loadings or correlated error variables were allowed. that is. The wording of the German items and their English translations can be found in the Appendix. To estimate bivariate correlation coefficients.. Steyer. Lischetzke. the peer ratings are indicators of a traitspecific method factor. it is necessary to include interaction terms (i. 2000. 2000). For each trait. a peer-rated test half represents the aggregated test half of the two peer ratings. clarity. & Trierweiler. we applied the latent moderated structural equations (LMS) program (Klein.366 LISCHETZKE AND EID secrets between us). Schwenkmezger. & Trierweiler.e. The calculation of these latent correlations is explained in detail by Eid et al.

N ‫ ס‬477) ‫ ס‬121. p ‫ ס‬. CFI ‫ ס‬. In the self-report.08.62 0.and peer ratings were .05). Paired samples t tests revealed significant mean differences between self.46 .96. t(476) ‫ ס‬−3.92 0. RMSEA ‫ ס‬.99).22** . the nonsignificant chi-square value demonstrated good model fit. Self-rating n ‫ ס‬477. clarity.91 — .99.10 0.25** . and trait mood in the sample of self-ratings and in the sample of combined peer ratings. The estimated latent correlations between the scales are depicted in the upper part of Table 1.52 0.28** −. Descriptive Statistics.36 . mood regulation.59 . the Attention × Mood Regulation interaction was significant in both self. and . In the self-report. Self–Other Convergence The MTMM model for four traits (attention. attention was moderately negatively correlated with mood regulation and showed a low negative correlation with trait mood.89 — . and pleasant-unpleasant trait mood) and two methods (self-ratings and combined peer ratings) demonstrated an acceptable fit to the data.01. For both self. The fit information for the two models estimating latent correlations can be found in the Note to Table 1.44.01.98.29** 3.34 for mood regulation. Moderator Effects Finally. However. and Internal Consistencies for the Self-Ratings and the Combined Peer Ratings in Study 1 Self-rating Scale 1.11. thus confirming their status as separable constructs.ATTENTION TO FEELINGS AND AFFECTIVE WELL-BEING 367 Results Descriptive Statistics and Reliabilities Descriptive statistics and internal consistencies for the self.02. CFI ‫ ס‬.83 0. that is.60** 2. p ‫ ס‬. p ‫ ס‬.86 2 — . we tested our hypotheses that clarity and mood regulation would moderate the relation between attention to feelings and pleasant-unpleasant trait mood. p ‫ ס‬. the model fit was slightly worse.66. Mood regulationa 4.90 2 — . p < .04. * p < .00. ** p < .17 and 0.02 2.86 3 4 1 — . Kline.) As expected. . (Note that LMS does not report other fit coefficients.00 (RMSEA ‫ ס‬. these mean differences were rather small (d ‫ ס‬0. showing the attention– Scale Intercorrelations Next.32 for clarity.83 — 3. The coefficients demonstrated good fit to the data for the self-report model and a Table 1 Latent Correlations Between the Scales. . b Possible range of scale scores: 1–5. Model fit information: 2 Self-rating. RMSEA ‫ ס‬root-mean-square error of approximation (significance test refers to the null hypothesis: RMSEA Յ 0. Attention to feelings 2. and mood regulation.86 — 3.05 . Both clarity and mood regulation were positively linked to pleasant-unpleasant trait mood. ␹14 ‫ ס‬52. mood regulation. respectively).93 Note. The results of the latent moderator analyses are presented in Table 2. but the ␹2:df ratio of less than 2 demonstrated acceptable fit (e. clarity. Clarity of feelingsa 3.67 . loadings of the attention indicators were constrained to be equal in the self-rating model. . Cronbach’s coefficient alphas were high for all scales. slightly worse fit for the combined peer report model.02. ␹2 15 ‫ ס‬28.and combined peer ratings are presented in Table 1.04.and peer ratings for attention to feelings. Combined peer rating.13 0.g.89. a Possible range of scale scores: 1–4.and combined peer reports..53** 2.55 . To avoid improper estimates (negative residuals). Pleasant-unpleasant trait moodb M SD ␣ a Combined peer rating 3 4 1 — .55 .40.05.and peer ratings. In the combined peer report.83 0.23** −. p < . CFI ‫ ס‬comparative fit index.43 .89 0. The estimated latent correlations between self. whereas in the peer report.36** 3. CFI ‫ ס‬. we analyzed the bivariate relations between attention.22.30 for pleasant-unpleasant trait mood. t(476) ‫ ס‬3.30 for attention. RMSEA ‫ ס‬. individuals who were very clear about their feelings and individuals who were very adept at regulating their mood reported better habitual mood compared with their less clear and less adept counterparts.01.13.33** −. ␹2(72. p ‫ ס‬. Figure 1 illustrates this effect. Attention and clarity were only moderately correlated.11* 2. 1998). Latent variables were measured by two test halves each.64 . attention was unrelated to both mood regulation and pleasant-unpleasant trait mood. Combined peer rating n ‫ ס‬477. The fit information for the two models (self-ratings and combined peer ratings) can be found in the Note to Table 2. p ‫ ס‬.

55 −. the Clarity × Mood Regulation interaction did not attain significance. Combined peer rating.12 . For individuals with low scores on mood regulation.34 −. At low levels of mood regulation abilities. but their beneficial influence was not additive. Latent variables were measured by two test halves each. In both rater groups.01 .52** . Cameron.46** −.76 .10 . 2000).16** −.06 .18 . Discussion This study provided evidence for the reliability and convergent validity of scales assessing attention to feelings. & Danoff-Burg.08 . Note. ␹2 54 ‫ ס‬98.11* −. the Clarity × Mood Regulation interaction attained significance in the self-report. The estimated effect size for this moderator effect was 1%.12 .04 .06 .06 . mood regulation. this moderator effect explained 1% of the variance in trait mood.03 .54 −. 1991.22 . * p < .39 −.368 LISCHETZKE AND EID Table 2 Latent Regression Analyses With Interaction Terms Predicting Pleasant-Unpleasant Trait Mood for the Self-Ratings and the Combined Peer Ratings in Study 1 Rating-predictor Self-rating Attention to feelings Clarity of feelings Mood regulation Attention × Clarity Attention × Mood Regulation Clarity × Mood Regulation Combined peer rating Attention to feelings Clarity of feelings Mood regulation Attention × Clarity Attention × Mood Regulation Clarity × Mood Regulation R . Kirk.25 .09 −. Watson.60. ** p < .03 .03 . p ‫ ס‬. self-peer convergence was moderate (ranging from . and in the peer ratings.09* B SE B ␤ who are good at regulating their mood.34). In the overall sample of selfratings and combined peer ratings.30. Both clarity and mood regulation positively predicted trait mood.05 . trait mood relationship for mood regulation levels that represent the mean and 1 standard deviation below and above that mean.22 −. Self-rating n ‫ ס‬477. attention was negatively related to mood.07 . clarity was more strongly related to pleasant trait mood than at high levels of mood regulation abilities. Hubbard. Variables are standardized. the Attention to Feelings × Clarity interaction did not reach significance in either rater group.00.17 −.63 . which represents a level of convergence typically found for affect-related traits (e. ␹2 54 ‫ ס‬59. Contrary to our hypothesis. Watson & Clark.23** .02 .g.13 . attention had a positive relation to trait mood for individuals Figure 1. .15 .. Regression lines represent selected values of the moderator variable.01.05. clarity of feelings. p ‫ ס‬. Model fit information: Self-rating.03 . Unexpectedly.19** . Attention to Feelings × Mood Regulation (MR) interaction on Pleasant-Unpleasant Trait Mood for self-ratings and combined peer ratings in Study 1. Stanton.08 . In the self-ratings.30 to . it explained 3% of the variance in trait mood.58 R2 .02 . In the peer ratings.02. 2000. & Wiese. and affective well-being. Combined peer rating n ‫ ס‬477.

but this positive effect was most pronounced among individuals low in mood regulation. (effective problem solving by flexible attention deployment).and peer reports. whereas dysfunctional self-consciousness should be able to uncover the positive part of attention’s variance by suppressing the negative part. the Questionnaire of Dysfunctional and Functional Self-Consciousness was administered Study 2 Using a different sample of self-reports. the moderator analysis also yielded a significant Clarity × Mood Regulation interaction that we had not expected. Affective well-being was again measured by the Pleasant-Unpleasant Trait Mood Scale from the MMQ (Steyer et al..0 years (SD ‫ ס‬2. and for individuals low in both clarity and mood regulation. clarity was associated with higher affective wellbeing. completed questionnaires in large group sessions (following a lecture). attention was positively related to affective well-being. Of the participants. This nonadditive effect suggests that clarity and mood regulation could partly compensate each other at low levels.and peer ratings. Our hypothesis that clarity would moderate the attention–trait mood relationship was not supported by the data. Method Participants Two hundred forty-one students from the University of Trier and the University of Magdeburg. we sought to replicate the moderator analyses in another sample. On all levels of mood regulation. the utility of heightened attention to feelings can be evaluated within the specific personal context: Latent moderator analysis confirmed our hypothesis that the relationship between attention to feelings and affective wellbeing would be moderated by mood regulation. the positive relation between attention and emotional well-being may be stronger than demonstrated by the Attention × Mood Regulation interaction. but the interaction term did not attain significance beyond the other effects. In a secondary analysis. .ATTENTION TO FEELINGS AND AFFECTIVE WELL-BEING 369 The correlational analyses demonstrated that attention to feelings was unrelated to affective well-being (self-ratings). this result was replicated across self. Measures To measure attention to and clarity of feelings. This means that attention per se seems neither beneficial nor detrimental to affective well-being. this unexpected effect was not confirmed in the peer ratings. For individuals high in mood regulation. the same scales were used as in Study 1. which in their sum resulted in the nonsignificant (or very low) bivariate correlation in the total sample of self. clarity was not as important for affective well-being. To gain more confidence in the present results and to clarify the status of the unexpected interaction. the first aim of Study 2 was to confirm the results of the moderator analyses. we tested this three-way interaction on the manifest level (because LMS does not estimate higher order interactions). The moderator analysis uncovered differential relations of attention to trait mood for different groups of individuals. and the mean age was 21.2). 57% were women. The clarity of affective states does not seem to be powerful enough to make a difference in attention’s functionality for affective well-being. If attention to feelings contains both beneficial and detrimental aspects of self-focus. We analyzed whether attention would correlate positively with both dysfunctional aspects of self-consciousness (ruminating over problems) and functional aspects of self-consciousness 2 One might speculate that clarity could contribute nonadditively to the interaction between attention and mood regulation to form a three-way interaction: For individuals who are high in both clarity and mood regulation. 1 was excluded from the data set because of missing values on the scales relevant for the present analyses. However. the detrimental effect of attention may be even greater. or only weakly negatively associated with affective well-being (peer ratings). we further refined the scale used in Study 1. Out of the final sample of 240 students. 1997). we tested whether functional and dysfunctional self-consciousness would improve the prediction of affective well-being by suppressing variance of the Attention to Feelings scale. The final version of the Mood Regulation scale is presented in the Appendix. Germany. More important. Among good mood regulators. To assess mood regulation. attention was negatively related to affective well-being. Additionally.2 In the self-report. The second aim was to shed more light on the ambiguous nature of the attention-tofeelings construct. Moreover. whereas for individuals low in mood regulation. functional self-consciousness should be able to uncover the negative part of attention’s variance by suppressing the positive part. However.

19* 3. Descriptive Statistics. and Williams (1992) pointed out. the squared bivariate Table 3 Latent Correlations Between the Scales. CFI ‫ ס‬. Latent correlations among the scales can be found in the upper part of Table 3.30** −. a suppressor situation is present when the usefulness of a variable (i.59 0. The interrelations between the attention. To test whether the self-consciousness scales would suppress variance of the Attention to Feelings scale in the prediction of trait mood. respectively).g. which is a 22-item instrument assessing maladaptive and adaptive aspects of selfconsciousness.69** .06. CFI ‫ ס‬comparative fit index.16.. Internal consistencies were high for all scales. Means and standard deviations of attention.61 . the usefulness of the other will also exceed its validity. With respect to the two self-consciousness scales.25 and r ‫ ס‬. attention was unrelated to mood regulation and trait mood.46** −. p ‫ ס‬. the same strategies as those described in Study 1 were applied. N ‫ ס‬240. b Possible range of scale scores: 1–5. 4.g. As Smith.21* −. Results Descriptive Statistics. Functional selfconsciousnessb 6. * p < .09 . and trait mood were similar to the values obtained in Study 1.. our hypothesis that attention to feelings would be positively related to both the Dysfunctional and the Functional subscale was confirmed.25** .88 — .00. .21.01. The coefficients demonstrated acceptable fit to the data. The items were rated on 5-point rating scales ranging from not at all to very much so.56** 3.74 — 3. Attention to feelings Clarity of feelingsa Mood regulationa Dysfunctional selfconsciousnessb 5. Pleasant-unpleasant trait moodb M SD ␣ a 1 — . “I am confident that I can solve a personal problem even if there seems to be no solution at first”).89 0. Unlike attention.87 — −. In particular.05. p ‫ ס‬..20** .. clarity. and Internal Consistencies in Study 2 Scale 1.91 0.55 .88 2 — . Suppressor effects were also analyzed on the latent level by structural equation modeling using the program Mplus (Muthe ´ n & Muthe ´ n. Dysfunctional self-consciousness measures the tendency to ruminate over problems (e. and pleasant-unpleasant trait mood were very similar to the pattern found for the self-ratings in Study 1.61 .62 .98 0. correlation coefficient). the increment in explained variance resulting from its addition to the regression equation) exceeds its squared validity (i.64** 2. Ager. mood regulation. mood regulation.57 . 3.49** 3.04 0. clarity. According to Velicer (1978). 2000).09 0.370 LISCHETZKE AND EID (Hoyer.05 2.40** . Latent variables were measured by two test halves each. a Possible range of scale scores: 1–4. RMSEA ‫ ס‬.90 Note.e. “It happens that certain thoughts keep going round in my head”). Reliabilities. both correlations were moderate.59** . With r ‫ ס‬. ** p < . clarity and mood regulation demonstrated an inverse pattern of corre- Models and Methods of Data Analysis To analyze latent bivariate correlations and moderator effects. 2. this definition of suppression is completely reciprocal: If the usefulness of one variable exceeds its validity. the scales’ bivariate relations to mood were compared with the results of multiple regression analyses (using attention as the first predictor and functional or dysfunctional self-consciousness as the second predictor. 1998). and Intercorrelations Descriptive statistics and Cronbach’s coefficient alphas for the scales are displayed in the lower part of Table 3. RMSEA ‫ ס‬root-mean-square error of approximation.82 3 4 5 6 — −.15. Model fit information: ␹2 39 ‫ס‬ 76.52 .e. and functional self-consciousness taps perceived self-efficacy with respect to solving personal problems (e.98.24** . The model fit information is located in the Note to Table 3.

Attention to Feelings × Mood Regulation (MR) interaction on Pleasant-Unpleasant Trait Mood in Study 2. Although the bivariate correlation between attention and mood regulation was rather low and nonsignificant. pleasant-unpleasant trait mood was regressed on attention and dysfunctional self-consciousness.05. which was negative in this study (because of suppression). As expected.68 −. as they were negatively related to dysfunctional selfconsciousness and positively related to functional self-consciousness. and in Model 2.ATTENTION TO FEELINGS AND AFFECTIVE WELL-BEING 371 lations with the two self-consciousness scales. Attention was negatively related to trait mood for individuals low in mood regulation and positively related to trait mood for individuals high in mood regulation. . The fit coefficients for the regression models (see the Note to Table 5) demonstrated adequate fit to the data. N ‫ ס‬240.03 .06 . Latent variables were measured by two test halves each. Variables are standardized.14 . In Model 1. we conducted two separate multiple regression analyses.01. attention had a significant negative regression weight. This indicates a suppressor structure of the kind we had expected for attention and functional self-consciousness.13 .45.06 B SE B ␤ Figure 2. * p < .13 −. p ‫ ס‬. Figure 2 displays the form of the interaction effect for mood regulation levels that represent the mean and 1 standard deviation below and above that mean.66 R2 . the correlation coefficients from Table 3 are again displayed. A secondary analysis revealed that mood regulation was responsible for this effect. Model fit information: ␹2 54 ‫ ס‬54. In this multiple regression analysis. Regression lines represent selected values of the moderator variable.53. ** p < .16** −.13 . To provide a direct comparison to the bivariate correlations.13* . Suppressor Effects To test whether functional and dysfunctional selfconsciousness suppressed variance in attention to feelings. although the bivariate correlation between attention and trait mood was not significant. and this moderator effect explained 3% in trait mood’s variance.07 . The nonsignificant chi-square value demonstrated good model fit. a multiple regression analysis predicting pleasant-unpleasant trait mood by attention and mood regulation demonstrated that mood regulation suppressed a part of attention’s “functional” variance. In Model 1. A suppressor effect was present as the usefulness of functional self-consciousness Note. in the present study. mood regulation significantly moderated the relation between attention to feelings and trait mood.13 . The Attention × Clarity interaction and the Clarity × Mood Regulation interaction did not attain significance. and the positive effect for a high mood regulation level was less pronounced.43 −. The results of these analyses are presented in Table 5. pleasant-unpleasant trait mood was regressed on attention and functional selfconsciousness.63** −. The standardized regression weight of functional self-consciousness was higher than its correlation coefficient. This is the case because the different slopes for the different mood regulation levels also reflect attention’s main effect.03 . attention to feelings demonstrated a significant negative regression weight.13 .07 .31 −. the negative effect of attention at a low mood regulation level was more pronounced. whereas the bivariate relation had been nonsignificant. thereby increasing attention’s negative regression weight. The only difference between this interaction effect and the results from Study 1 is that Table 4 Latent Regression Analyses With Interaction Terms Predicting Pleasant-Unpleasant Trait Mood in Study 2 Predictor Attention to feelings Clarity of feelings Mood regulation Attention × Clarity Attention × Mood Regulation Clarity × Mood Regulation R . Moderator Effects The results of the latent moderator analysis predicting pleasant-unpleasant trait mood are presented in Table 4.07 .

31). the two studies provided evidence for the reliability and validity of scales measuring attention to feelings. p ‫ ס‬. one-tailed).07.g. a Coefficients are taken from the correlational model presented in Table 3. According to the criterion that usefulness has to exceed squared validity. Study 1 demonstrated medium-sized correlations between self.. which could be revealed through suppression effects.37. N ‫ ס‬240.33) exceeded its squared validity (r2 ‫ ס‬. mood regulation.372 LISCHETZKE AND EID Table 5 Latent Regression Analyses Predicting Pleasant-Unpleasant Trait Mood by Attention to Feelings and Functional and Dysfunctional Self-Consciousness Scales: Suppressor Effects in Study 2 Multiple regression Model-predictor Model 1 Attention to feelings Functional self-consciousness Model 2 Attention to feelings Dysfunctional self-consciousness ␤ −. Dysfunctional self-consciousness suppressed detrimental variance in attention to feelings.26 . p ‫ ס‬. (i. General Discussion Discussion Study 2 confirmed that attention to feelings and affective well-being are uncorrelated when the bivariate relationship between the two constructs is examined. These results confirmed our expectation that attention to feelings incorporates both adaptive and maladaptive aspects.00 . mood regulation. the Attention × Mood Regulation interaction that was found in Study 1 was replicated in this study. CFI ‫ס‬ comparative fit index.24 R2 . In Model 2. p ‫ ס‬.05 −. the hypothesized Attention × Clarity interaction was not borne out in the data..10 −.03. clarity. The results of the suppressor analyses demonstrated that attention’s influence on affective well-being depends on the second predictor that is controlled for.49** . In both studies.59** . RMSEA ‫ ס‬. RMSEA ‫ ס‬. its increment in explained variance. the negative regression weight of dysfunctional self-consciousness increased compared with the corresponding zero-order correlation. and trait mood. Moreover. which was .e. and affective well-being. increased its own and attention’s predictive power by suppressing beneficial variance in attention.05 .01.08. ␹2 9 ‫ ס‬18. 1995) is not supported by . Attention received a positive regression weight (i. Swinkels & Giuliano. Latent variables were measured by two test halves each. Hence. Across two studies and methods (self.07. the notion that habitually paying much attention to one’s feelings would generally be detrimental to well-being (e.53** −. however. Model fit information for the multiple regression analyses: 2 Model 1. which inTaken together.99. The fact that the moderator effect largely assumed the same form promotes confidence in its reliability. Loadings of the two indicators were constrained to be equal for each trait. the sign changed from negative to positive). ␤ ‫ ס‬latent standardized multiple regression weight. which were distinct from mood regulation. the correlational analyses demonstrated that attention to and clarity of feelings represented clearly separable constructs.19** . thereby establishing convergent validity. Functional self-consciousness.e. r ‫ ס‬latent bivariate correlation coefficient with pleasant-unpleasant trait mood.06. attention to feelings was unrelated to affective well-being. ␹9 ‫ ס‬15.and peer ratings). however. this research contributed to our understanding of the functionality of attention to feelings for affective well-being. Model 2.22. Also consistent with Study 1.56** . p ‫ ס‬. **p < . resulting in a significant negative regression weight of attention. creased its own predictive power and led to a positive (yet only marginally significant) regression weight of attention.31 Bivariate correlationa r r2 Note. RMSEA ‫ ס‬root-mean-square error of approximation.77. However.00 .33 −. clarity of feelings. CFI ‫ ס‬. Most important.93. CFI ‫ ס‬.99.. but it did not reach significance ( p < .and peer ratings of attention. this result would also qualify as a suppressor effect. the interaction between clarity and mood regulation that had unexpectedly reached significance in the self-ratings of Study 1 was not replicated in this study.

As the present findings highlight. directing attention to a (relatively unchangeable) negative state may promote mood-congruent information processing and prompt rumination over one’s negative mood. low clarity about this state.. As Nolen-Hoeksema (1998. From an applied perspective. 1993). This may lead to a cycle of continued heightened awareness of an unwanted state and unsuccessful regulatory attempts. Maybe tendencies to ruminate over a depressed mood reflect heightened attention to one’s mood.g. Nolen-Hoeksema et al. focusing more frequently on their (negative and positive) affective states may even enhance the effectiveness of their regulation strategies and promote affective wellbeing. Across two studies and different methods (self. attention to feelings seems to comprise both positive and negative aspects. The present findings suggest that attention per se is neither beneficial nor detrimental to affective well-being. in particular with the notion that “people engaging in ruminative responses may worry about the causes and consequences of their depression. This means that as long as individuals do not have sufficient mood regulation competencies. Morrow & Nolen-Hoeksema. it is particularly interesting to determine under which conditions directing attention to one’s feelings may be beneficial or detrimental to well-being (cf. Being good at regulating their moods. and low mood regulation competencies. attention was beneficial to affective well-being. whereas if high-mood regulation individuals are overrepresented in a sample. 1991. For individuals high in mood regulation. Nonetheless. Rush. for instance. 1993. clarity of feelings and mood regulation demonstrated a clearly “adaptive” pattern in their relations with trait mood. attention might be positively associated with well-being. individuals high in attention and low in clarity and mood regulation might end up in a kind of vicious cycle of thinking about how badly they feel in order to gain more insight and to find out how to improve their mood. This interpretation is consistent with empirical findings on responses to depression: Distracting dysphoric individuals from their depressed mood alleviates the depressive symptoms (e. In contrast. 20). attention was detrimental to affective well-being. and a good mood can be enjoyed and actively prolonged before it fades away. a clinical sample). attention shares variance with perceived self-efficacy in solving personal problems as well as with ruminative tendencies. it may be better to distract them from their negative mood states. 1991). When individuals are adept at regulating their moods. which is in the range that can be expected for interaction effects. thereby perpetuating or even worsening the negative mood. improving mood regulation abilities should have priority in the promotion of affective well-being. This view is supported by the findings of Study 2 that attention correlated positively with both functional and dysfunctional self-consciousness. 2002). and dysfunctional selfconsciousness. . If low-mood regulation individuals are overrepresented in a sample (e. attention might demonstrate a negative relation to indicators of wellbeing. In contrast. Attention predicted pleasantunpleasant trait mood either negatively or positively. The suppressor effects found in Study 2 further corroborated the notion that attention to feelings incorporates adaptive and maladaptive characteristics of self-focus. Thus. The finding that individuals who are clear about their feelings and individuals who are good at regulating their moods reported less ruminative tendencies (compared with low-clarity and lowmood regulation individuals) is in line with a response styles theory of depression (Nolen-Hoeksema. Champoux and Peters (1987). The estimated effect size for this moderator effect was between 1% and 3%. Nolen-Hoeksema. cognitive– behavioral therapy for depressed people involves active behavioral distraction to get their minds off their ruminations for a while (Beck. and for individuals low in mood regulation. Rather.g.and peer ratings). Shaw. depending on whether functional or dysfunctional self-consciousness was controlled for. teaching people to distract themselves from their affective states may not be the best guideline for all.. Similarly. 1990. but they do not take action to change their situation” (Nolen-Hoeksema et al. attempts to improve a bad mood can be implemented at an early stage. thereby perpetuating their negative state. 1979). however. Thus. that is. & Emery. attention can be conceived of as ambivalent with respect to affective well-being. this clinical aspect is only one side of the coin. mood regulation moderated the attention–well-being relationship. The present research suggests that the functionality of attention to feelings depends on a personal condition—the ability to regulate moods.ATTENTION TO FEELINGS AND AFFECTIVE WELL-BEING 373 our results. When in a negative mood. p.. state a typical effect size of 3% for moderator effects in psychological research. individuals can avail themselves of the information gained by paying attention to their momentary affective states: If desired. The moderating effect of mood regulation also helps to explain why different studies might yield differing results with respect to the functionality of attention to feelings. Mor & Winquist.. for individuals who have poor mood regulation abilities. functional self-consciousness.

Interestingly. F. Carver. F. (2000). Lischetzke. S. However. & Trierweiler. C. 2002. 1977. & Wicklund. & Smith.. & Brown. With respect to visceral self-perception. Future research might also explore the role other individualdifferences variables play in attending to. Brennan. M. S. M.. Emotional intelligence: In search of an elusive construct. Coad. H.. M.. R. Beck. one might assume that clarity is particularly relevant to the attention–well-being link in affectively complex situations. S. that is. Although we have concentrated exclusively on trait assessments. Lucas. M. Hughes. 164–174. Nevertheless. Kelsey. L. Form. Journal of Occupational Psychology.374 LISCHETZKE AND EID p. C. & Peters. (1998). F. Davies.. affect intensity demonstrates a similarly ambiguous relationship to indicators of affective wellbeing as attention to feelings (e. (1987). & Emery. Psychological Bulletin. New York: Academic Press. M. S. Carver. 1983). Alternatively. (1992). 92. & Scheier. Eid.. R. L. (1972).. However. G.. Marshall. raising attention to feelings may be especially helpful to “tailor” mood regulation strategies to the current state and make them more effective. Psychometrika. clarity could be measured as a state variable in an experimental setting that induces mixed emotional states. L. Carver. more research is needed to determine whether this finding also applies to the perception of momentary affect. “one predictor of the effectiveness of cognitive–behavioral therapy is the extent to which patients are willing to learn more active strategies for coping with their periods of depression. 276–302. Smith & Petty. Blascovich et al.. W. (2003). E. T. Contrary to our expectation. 1987). J. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.. G. 111–135. (1991). Individuals with high self-esteem have been shown to have a greater motivation to repair negative moods than individuals with low self-esteem (e. Psychological Bulletin. R. the perception of blends of feelings is construed as indicating a higher ability level than the perception of bodily sensations or individual feelings. Cognitive therapy of depression. Suh.. New York: Guilford Press.. 989–1015. Examination of the interplay between attention to feelings. not necessarily with respect to “difficult” situations. (1992) have provided evidence that individuals high in affect intensity were less able to perceive their own cardiac arousal. J.. Rush. F. F. 1987). Champoux.. & Scheier. S. Control theory: A useful conceptual framework for personality-social. K. the present studies have provided some more insight into the functionality of attention to feelings for affective well-being. 243–255. L. the fact that the moderating effect of mood regulation replicated across two studies and different methods (selfand peer reports) suggests that this finding is robust. Eid..g.. (1981). References Aiken. Larsen & Diener. 60. M. and the motivation to do so could further contribute to our understanding of the role meta-mood variables play in adaptive psychological functioning.. Blascovich. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. E. Newbury Park.. 1995). D. M. Another individual-differences variable that may be important to attention and mood regulation’s associations with well-being is self-esteem. Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. it would be interesting to further examine the variables’ interplay in specific situations by the use of momentary assessment (e. & Scheier. New York: Cambridge University Press.... effect size and power in moderated regression analysis.. A multitrait–multimethod model with minimal assumptions. C. A. A theory of objective self-awareness. W. 63. Stankov. Fordyce. I. M. Duval. A. Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. individual differences in affect intensity may have an impact on the degree of attention directed at feelings and the ability to perceive them. On the self-regulation of behavior. & Roberts. Nussbeck. Heimpel. the ability to regulate moods.g. J. CA: Sage. R. Diener. New York: Springer-Verlag. attention to and clarity of feelings did not interact in predicting overall affective well-being. 65.. clinical. E.” In interventions that aim to promote well-being in “healthy” individuals (e. Hence. Wood. A. L. (1982). Affect intensity and cardiac arousal. Tomaka. M.. One possible reason for this may be that the Clarity scale we used assessed the ability to perceive affective states in a very general sense. R. T. and health psychology. P.g. Shaw. (1979). In the levels of emotional awareness approach (Lane & Schwartz. S. 218) notes. For example. (1998).. J. 125. & Adlin. To conclude.. 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Wenn ich verliebt bin. When I am in a good mood. wie ich mich fu ¨ hle. 2 ‫ ס‬sometimes. It is easy for me to maintain my good mood for a long time. I can do something to distract myself. Wenn ich mich u ¨ ber etwas gefreut habe. (r) It is difficult for me to control my bad mood. I can find a way to get myself into a better mood. was ich fu ¨ hle. dann kann ich mich diesem Wohlgefu ¨ hl richtig hingeben. wie ich mich fu ¨ hle. was ich fu ¨ hle. (r) It is easy for me to improve my bad mood. dann kann ich dieses Gefu ¨ hl noch lange auskosten. (r) Wenn es mir schlecht geht. Ich bin meiner schlechten Laune ausgeliefert. (r) Ich habe Probleme. Ich bin mir im unklaren daru ¨ ber. (r) Mood Regulation Mir gelingt es gut. 2003 I . was ich eigentlich fu ¨ hle. finde ich einen Weg. kann ich diesen Zustand lange aufrechterhalten. meine gedru ¨ ckte Stimmung zu verbessern. Received January 27. can name my feelings. (r) ‫ ס‬items were reverse scored. Wenn ich gut gelaunt bin. 4 ‫ ס‬almost always. I am able to stay that way for a long time. When I feel very good. focus on how I feel. am preoccupied with my feelings. I am at the mercy of my bad moods. meine Gefu ¨ hle zu beschreiben. meinen Gefu ¨ hlen einen Namen zu geben. think about how I feel. 3 ‫ ס‬often. (r) know what I feel. have a hard time naming my feelings. I can really relish this feeling. When I am happy about something. Clarity of Feelings. Ich habe Schwierigkeiten. When I am in love. Ich bescha ¨ ftige mich mit meinen Gefu ¨ hlen. (r) Wenn ich schlecht gelaunt bin. Ich beobachte meine Gefu ¨ hle. (r) When I feel bad. Ich denke daru ¨ ber nach. Ich schenke meinen Gefu ¨ hlen Aufmerksamkeit. Mir fa ¨ llt es leicht. kann ich diesen Zustand richtig genießen. (r) have a hard time describing my feelings. (r) am not sure of what I actually feel. um mich abzulenken. (r) Ich weiß.ATTENTION TO FEELINGS AND AFFECTIVE WELL-BEING 377 Appendix Items of the Attention to Feelings. Clarity of Feelings Ich kann meine Gefu ¨ hle benennen. 2003 Revision received July 1. pay attention to my feelings. I can savor this feeling for a long time. I can allow myself to really surrender to this feeling. 2003 Accepted July 7. Meine schlechte Laune ha ¨ lt lange an. and Mood Regulation Scales Scale/German items Attention to Feelings Ich denke u ¨ ber meine Gefu ¨ hle nach. meine schlechte Stimmung in den Griff zu kriegen. meine gute Stimmung lange zu bewahren. My bad mood lasts for a long time. Wenn ich mich sehr wohl fu ¨ hle. am confused about what I feel. Ich achte darauf. mich wieder besser “drauf” zu bringen. Response categories: 1 ‫ ס‬almost never. (r) Ich bin mir unsicher. I I I I I I I I I I I I English translations think about my feelings. (r) Ich habe Schwierigkeiten. Note. notice my feelings. kann ich etwas tun. (r) When I am in a bad mood.