We are grateful to Silvan S. Tomkins for his theoretical guidance, and to Shira Saperstein for her help in establishing scoring reliability.
Affect and psychological magnification: Derivations from Tomkins' script theory
Article first published online: 28 APR 2006
Journal of Personality
Volume 52, Issue 1, pages 36–45, March 1984
How to Cite
Carlson, L. and Carlson, R. (1984), Affect and psychological magnification: Derivations from Tomkins' script theory. Journal of Personality, 52: 36–45. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1984.tb00548.x
- Issue published online: 28 APR 2006
- Article first published online: 28 APR 2006
- Manuscript received November 26, 1982; revised August 17, 1983.
This study tested derivations from Tomkins' script theory by asking college students (17 men, 16 women) to generate plots for television dramatic programs dealing with human emotions. Plots involving “social” affects of joy and shame elicited more interpersonal themes than did the “nonsocial” affects of excitement and fear. Further, as predicted, plots dealing with negative affects (fear and shame) were more highly elaborated than were positive affect plots (excitement and joy). Women gave significantly more interpersonal themes for nonsocial affects than did men, while men were more likely to invoke supernatural events in treatments of fear, and to offer more unhappy outcomes in plots dealing with both negative affects. The findings provide empirical support for Tomkins' script theory, and point to the need to consider specific affects in studies of emotion. The findings also suggest different kinds of script formation in males and females.