Carver, C. S.  (2001).  Affect and the functional bases of behavior:  On the dimensional structure of affective experience. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5, 345-356.

Discussions of the dimensional structure of affect usually are based on results of factor analyses. Disagreements focus largely on issues of measurement and measurement error.  I argue that the structure of affect is not discussed meaningfully without considering functional implications of affects.  A functional analysis is outlined in which approach and incentive-related affects (both positive and negative) are managed by one self-regulatory system, and avoidance and threat-related affects (positive and negative) are managed by another self-regulatory system. In both cases positive and negative affects are posited to convey information about whether the behavior being engaged in is going well or poorly.  This view argues for the existence of two bipolar affective dimensions, the properties of which are informed by an understanding of both behavior and feelings.

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University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology