Revisiting the dimensional structure of the emotion domain
Fontaine, Johnny R.J.
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Recent research has claimed that a novelty dimension is needed to represent the cognitive emotion structure over and above valence, power and arousal. Novelty emerged when student samples evaluated the meaning of 24 emotion terms on 142 emotion features. This claim is debatable, however, because to date novelty has never been found in similarity sorting studies. It is possible that novelty emerged because sophisticated student samples evaluated emotion terms on emotion features. The current research identified a large, representative set of emotion terms using a free-listing task in a middle childhood up to early adulthood sample (N = 5071). Children, adolescents, students and adults (N = 1184) then evaluated the similarity between these emotion terms using a similarity rating task without priming any emotion feature. Novelty robustly emerged as the fourth dimension. The existence of novelty is thus confirmed with a different method across a wide variety of participants.