Archive for April, 2011

April 28, 2011

What’s the Big Fuss about Positive Affectivity?

What?  You mean you haven’t heard anything about it?

Well, no.  Like most people, you probably haven’t heard much discussion about it because it’s one of those psychobabble terms that doesn’t easily trip off the tongue and so it gets very little air-time outside of academia.

But it’s something that we probably all have some awareness of, and with a bit more understanding we may well be able to give a good account of how much we tend towards it ourselves. More than this, research to date indicates that it might be one of the unseen and unmeasured features that means one group of people can perform better than another, when on paper everything else is equal.

What Exactly is Positive Affectivity?

Positive affectivity is the personality trait that predisposes someone to generally feel positive, optimistic and to pick themselves up quickly after disappointment or setbacks.  It is the tendency towards feeling happy about situations and outcomes and to express positive responses to adverse situations.

However, it’s more than just being in a good mood because it’s an enduring and measurable variable of behaviour.  Some people are more like this than others and this difference follows them across all sorts of situations.

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