Affect sensitivity and affect regulation in dealing with positive and negative affect
Abstract Interactions between two types of affect sensitivity and two types of affect regulation were tested: low sensitivity to positive affect and high sensitivity to negative affect were expected to become maladaptive when self-motivation and self-relaxation are low, respectively. Consistent with expectations, specific Sensitivity × Regulation interactions emerged: low sensitivity to positive affect (i.e., independent, schizoid-like personality) was only associated with reduced emotional well-being when self-motivation was low. High sensitivity to negative affect (i.e., self-critical, avoidant-like personality) was only associated with psychosomatic symptoms when self-relaxation was low. In a subsample, the same results were obtained longitudinally. Findings support the distinction between affect sensitivity and affect regulation. Furthermore, affect regulation can be differentiated into self-motivation and self-relaxation.