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Abstract

Research into enacted personality provides a novel perspective on the tendency for extraverted individuals to experience high levels of positive affect. Several studies now show that behaving in an extraverted way – thereby enacting an extraverted ‘personality state’ – is sufficient for elevating levels of positive affect. A question that remains, however, is why extraverted behavior has this robust impact on affective experience. In this paper, I consider several potential explanatory mechanisms for this phenomenon, including reward- and goal-related processes, as well as physical/bodily processes underpinning affective experience. Future research addressing these explanations may facilitate greater understanding of this intriguing phenomenon, along with its potential theoretical and practical implications.