The Way You Make Me Feel: Evidence for Individual Differences in Affective Presence
16 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2009 Last revised: 10 Sep 2009
Date Written: July 21, 2009
How much do individuals consistently influence the way other people feel? Data from 48 workgroups suggest there are consistent individual differences both in the emotions that people tend to experience (trait affect) and in the emotions that people tend to elicit in others (trait affective presence). A Social Relations Model (D. A. Kenny, 1994) analysis revealed that, after controlling for emotional contagion, the variance in emotions that people feel is explained both by trait affect (positive affect 31%, negative affect 19%) and trait affective presence (positive affect 10%, negative affect 23%). These analyses suggest affective presence exerts as much influence over interaction partners’ negative feelings as these interaction partners’ own trait affect. Positive affective presence correlated with greater network centrality, and negative affective presence correlated with lower agreeableness and greater extraversion.
Keywords: affect, emotions, personality, individual differences, interpersonal interaction
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By Russ Vince