Chapter 5: Dimensional Models

Summary of Dimensional Models

In this chapter, we covered three circumplex models, which have similarities and differences to each other.


ESM Compared to Earlier Circumplex Models 

Both the ESM and other circumplex models allow for mixed emotions, but the ESM is the only model that allows for the simultaneous experience of happiness and sadness. Russell and colleagues view mixed emotions as similar to each other in valence and arousal.  Watson and colleagues view mixed emotions as the co-occurrence of PA and NA.  In Russell (1980) and Watson and Tellegen (1985), happiness and sadness are negatively correlated.  Specifically, Russell (1980) and Watson and Tellegen (1985) view happiness and sadness as moderately activated emotions.


Russell (1980) Compared to Watson and Tellegen (1985) 

Russell and colleagues view the underlying dimensions of emotion as valence and activation.  Watson and colleagues state the building blocks of emotion are High PA and High NA.  Thus, to Watson and colleagues, emotions are highly activating.


The number of dimensions differ between the two models.  Russell and Barrett incorporate one bipolar activation dimension, whereas Watson and colleagues include two unipolar activation dimensions – PA and NA.  Further comparisons between these two models are displayed in Table 3 below.


Table 3

Location of emotion words on Watson and Tellegen (1985) as Compared to Russell (1980)
Emotion Words Watson and Tellegen’s (1985) Dimension Russell’s (1980) Dimensions
alert, excited, peppy, elated High PA Pleasantness + Activation
disgust, fear, anger High NA Unpleasantness + Activation
lethargic, fatigued, drowsy Low PA Unpleasantness + Deactivation
calm, content, serene Low NA Pleasantness + Deactivation


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