Negative Affectivity

Negative Affectivity

Negative Affect (NA) is a general dimension of subjective distress and unpleasurable engagement that subsumes a variety of aversive mood states, including anger, contempt, disgust, guilt, fear, and nervousness. Low negative affect is characterised by a state of calmness and serenity.

Watson and Clark (1984) defined negative affectivity as a mood-dispositional dimension that reflects pervasive individual differences in negative emotionality and self-concept.

Negative affectivity represents an affective state dimension. Tellegen (1985) has demonstrated that individuals differ in negative emotional reactivity. Trait negative affectivity roughly corresponds to the dominant personality factor of anxiety/neuroticism within the Big Five personality traits. Research shows that negative affectivity relates to different classes of variables: Self-reported stress and (poor) coping, health complaints, and frequency of unpleasant events.

On the basis of their extensive review of the literature, Watson and Clark concluded that people who express high negative affectivity view themselves and a variety of aspects of the world around them in generally negative terms. Negative affectivity may influence the relationships between variables in organizational research.

In the seminal work on negative affect arousal and white noise by Stanley S. Seidner, the findings from the study support the existence of a negative affect arousal mechanism through observations regarding the devaluation of speakers from other ethnic origins. Negative affectivity is strongly related to life satisfaction. Individuals high in negative affect will exhibit, on average, higher levels of distress, anxiety, and dissatisfaction, and tend to focus on the unpleasant aspects of themselves, the world, the future, and other people. In fact, the content similarities between these affective traits and life satisfaction have led some researchers to view both PA/NA and life satisfaction as specific indicators of the broader construct of subjective well-being.

Read more about Negative AffectivityMeasurement, See Also

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