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Negative affectivity: The disposition to experience aversive emotional states
Psychological Bulletin. (1984)
  • David Watson, University of Iowa
  • Lee A Clark

A number of apparently diverse personality scales--variously assessing trait anxiety, neuroticism, ego strength, general maladjustment, repression-sensitization, and social desirability--are reviewed and are shown to be in fact measures of the same stable and pervasive trait. An integrative interpretation of the construct as Negative Affectivity (NA) is presented. A review of studies using measures such as the Beck Depression Inventory, Eysenck Personality Inventory, and Multiple Affect Adjective Check List indicate that high-NA Ss are more likely to experience discomfort at all times and across situations, even in the absence of overt stress. They are relatively more introspective and tend differentially to dwell on the negative side of themselves and the world. Further research is needed to explain the origins of NA and to elucidate the characteristics of low-NA individuals. (5½ p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved)

  • personality scales,
  • measurement of negative affectivity
Publication Date
November, 1984
Citation Information
David Watson and Lee A Clark. "Negative affectivity: The disposition to experience aversive emotional states" Psychological Bulletin. Vol. 96 Iss. 3 (1984)
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