What is it about?

People who experience more positive emotions and fewer negative emotions in everyday life tend to have better physical and mental health. This paper examined whether emodiversity, or the extent that people experience more types of emotions (like feeling happy, excited, calm, satisfied, and enthusiastic compared to only feeling attentive and happy) is also related to physical and mental health.

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Why is it important?

This research demonstrated that people who experience more diverse positive emotions and less diverse negative emotions have fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety, and physical illness. People who experienced more diverse negative emotions, however, tended to have better cognitive functioning. This research tells us that the range of the emotions we experience, and not just our average mood, plays a role in our health and well-being.


These findings illustrate inconsistencies across studies in whether negative emodiversity is associated with better or worse outcomes, highlight the underlying debate of whether emotional complexity should be considered an indicator of “flexibility” or instead as “instability,” and raise further questions about how the construct of emodiversity can be better refined.

Emily Urban-Wojcik
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Emodiversity, health, and well-being in the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) daily diary study., Emotion, June 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/emo0000753.
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