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Cogn Emot. 2009 Feb 1;23(2):209-237.

Measures of emotion: A review.

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University of Denver, Denver, CO, USA.


A consensual, componential model of emotions conceptualises them as experiential, physiological, and behavioural responses to personally meaningful stimuli. The present review examines this model in terms of whether different types of emotion-evocative stimuli are associated with discrete and invariant patterns of responding in each response system, how such responses are structured, and if such responses converge across different response systems. Across response systems, the bulk of the available evidence favours the idea that measures of emotional responding reflect dimensions rather than discrete states. In addition, experiential, physiological, and behavioural response systems are associated with unique sources of variance, which in turn limits the magnitude of convergence across measures. Accordingly, the authors suggest that there is no "gold standard" measure of emotional responding. Rather, experiential, physiological, and behavioural measures are all relevant to understanding emotion and cannot be assumed to be interchangeable.

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