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Positive EmotionIntegrating the Light Sides and Dark Sides$
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June Gruber and Judith Tedlie Moskowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199926725

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926725.001.0001

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Positive Affect

Positive Affect

A Pathway to Better Physical Health

Chapter:
(p.183) Chapter 11 Positive Affect
Source:
Positive Emotion
Author(s):

Sarah D. Pressman

Stephanie L. Bowlin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926725.003.0011

Medical research has long focused almost exclusively on the detrimental impact of negative affect (e.g., hostility, stress, depression), ignoring the possibility that positive affect might play a unique role in benefiting health. Recently, with the growing excitement in positive psychology, there has been a burgeoning interest in whether and in how positive factors might connect to better objective health outcomes. This chapter will provide an overview of the evidence tying positive affect to better health, including studies of longevity, disease morbidity, severity and survival, as well as self-reported symptoms and pain. It will also provide a brief overview of the pathways that might allow these connections to occur. Finally, it will examine the possibility that interventions, targeting positive affect enhancement, may result in increased health benefits.

Keywords:   positive affect, emotions, physical health, mortality, morbidity, survival, symptoms

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