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Psychol Sci. 2003 May;14(3):207-14.

On the broad applicability of the affective circumplex: representations of affective knowledge among schizophrenia patients.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.


Studies of affective experience are guided by the assumption that the structure of affect generalizes across people. Yet this assumption has not been tested among educationally and economically diverse community residents or among individuals with psychopathology. This study explicitly examined the broad applicability of the valence-arousal circumplex and whether schizophrenia patients and nonpatients have comparable knowledge structures of affective phenomena. Patients and nonpatients completed similarity ratings of 120 pairs of affect words. Similarity judgments were analyzed separately for each group using a multidimensional scaling procedure, and solutions were compared. Results revealed the same two-dimensional valence-arousal solution for schizophrenia patients and nonpatients, although there were subtle differences between the groups. These findings provide additional evidence that the circumplex model is a useful formalism for representing affective phenomena across diverse populations, and they bolster confidence in existing interpretations of schizophrenia patients' reports of affective experience.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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