Symposium 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Event-linked Positive Emotion Measures are More Responsive to Positive Psychological Intervention in People Newly Diagnosed with HIV (#73)

Elaine O Cheung 1 , Elizabeth L Addington 1 , Judith T Moskowitz 1
  1. Northwestern University, Chicago, ILLINOIS, United States

One hypothesized pathway through which positive psychology interventions (PPIs) affect health and well-being is through increased positive emotion, but support for this hypothesis has been inconsistent possibly due to emotion measurement selection. We will present effects of IRISS, a randomized trial of a PPI (n=159) in people newly diagnosed with HIV, on multiple measures of emotion. In addition to self-report (global and specific assessments), participants were video and audio-recorded in interviews about recent HIV-related stressors, allowing for behavioral emotion assessments (facial expression, emotion language use). We assessed the intercorrelations of emotion measures, their associations with psychological adjustment (depression and intrusive/avoidant thoughts), and their differential responsiveness to the intervention. Whereas negative self-reports were not significantly correlated with behavioral emotion measures or psychological adjustment, and were not responsive to the intervention, all positive self-reports correlated inversely with psychological adjustment. Only positive affect measures tied to specific events/appraisals – i.e., Day Reconstruction Method and post-interview positive affect – demonstrated significant correlations with behavioral emotion measures and responsiveness to the intervention. This suggests that positive emotion may be more closely tied to specific events/appraisals, whereas negative emotion may be more global. Future research should include multiple measures of emotion, particularly for positive affect.