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PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e35633. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035633. Epub 2012 Apr 23.

Mixed emotional experience is associated with and precedes improvements in psychological well-being.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Franklin W Olin College of Engineering, Needham, Massachusetts, United States of America. jadler@olin.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The relationships between positive and negative emotional experience and physical and psychological well-being have been well-documented. The present study examines the prospective positive relationship between concurrent positive and negative emotional experience and psychological well-being in the context of psychotherapy.

METHODS:

47 adults undergoing psychotherapy completed measures of psychological well-being and wrote private narratives that were coded by trained raters for emotional content.

RESULTS:

The specific concurrent experience of happiness and sadness was associated with improvements in psychological well-being above and beyond the impact of the passage of time, personality traits, or the independent effects of happiness and sadness. Changes in mixed emotional experience preceded improvements in well-being.

CONCLUSIONS:

Experiencing happiness alongside sadness in psychotherapy may be a harbinger of improvement in psychological well-being.

PMID:
22539987
PMCID:
PMC3334356
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0035633
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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