Sun-Mee Kang, and Phillip R. Shaver, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis.
Individual Differences in Emotional Complexity: Their Psychological Implications
Article first published online: 18 JUN 2004
Journal of Personality
Volume 72, Issue 4, pages 687–726, August 2004
How to Cite
Kang, S.-M. and Shaver, P. R. (2004), Individual Differences in Emotional Complexity: Their Psychological Implications. Journal of Personality, 72: 687–726. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-3506.2004.00277.x
This research was supported by the 2001 American Psychological Association Dissertation Research Awards to the first author. Portions of this research were presented at the 1st annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Nashville, Tennessee, February 2000.
We are grateful to Richard W. Robins, Robert A. Emmons, Keith Widaman, Niels G. Waller, Xiaojia Ge, Jo Kung-Chiao Hsieh, and anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this article.
- Issue published online: 18 JUN 2004
- Article first published online: 18 JUN 2004
Abstract Two studies explored the nature and psychological implications of individual differences in emotional complexity, defined as having emotional experiences that are broad in range and well differentiated. Emotional complexity was predicted to be associated with private self-consciousness, openness to experience, empathic tendencies, cognitive complexity, ability to differentiate among named emotions, range of emotions experienced daily, and interpersonal adaptability. The Range and Differentiation of Emotional Experience Scale (RDEES) was developed to test these hypotheses. In Study 1 (N=1,129) students completed questionnaire packets containing the RDEES and various outcome measures. Study 2 (N=95) included the RDEES and non-self-report measures such as peer reports, complexity of representations of the emotion domain, and level of ego development measured by a sentence completion test. Results supported all of the hypotheses, providing extensive evidence for the RDEES's construct validity. Findings were discussed in terms of the role of emotional complexity in ego maturity and interpersonal adaptability.