What is it about?

To understand emotions, it is critical to study how they change over time. Previous research already suggested that these changes are nonlinear in nature, but this finding can be confounded by the events that people encounter throughout the day. In this study, we show that emotions change in a nonlinear way over time, even when taking into account what happens to individuals on a day to day basis.

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Why is it important?

It is becoming increasingly clear that we should prevent rather than cure mental disorders such as depression. One way in which we might do so is by actively monitoring how people feel over time and intervening the moment we notice something might go wrong. Mathematical models such as the one used in this article are critical for such purposes, as they might be able to predict to onset of mental disorders. Using the predictions of a mathematical model, clinicians might be able to intervene before it is too late.


I hope that readers will enjoy the article and play with the idea that mathematical models can be applied to psychological topics. I believe in the promise such models hold to uncover the mechanisms that make up the human mind.

Niels Vanhasbroeck

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Nonlinearity in affect dynamics persists after accounting for the valence of daily-life events., Emotion, February 2024, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/emo0001336.
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