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Recently published article integrates Tomkins into current positive affect research

A newly published review paper highlights the importance of integrating Tomkins theory of affects into recent theories of emotion, particularly his views on the two types of positive affect.

Until relatively recently, most research on positive feelings focused almost exclusively on high-arousal positive affect (HAPA; e.g., excited, enthusiastic, elated) or on specific emotions such as awe, pride, or gratitude. Largely absent from research on positive feeling has been low-arousal positive affect (LAPA; e.g., calm, relaxed, content).

Written by Tomkins Institute board member, Maria McManus (and colleagues), the paper investigates the cost of omitting low-arousal positive affect from research on positive affect and emotion by synthesizing the findings of 226 papers that compared LAPA to HAPA. In doing so the paper emphasizes the usefulness of conceptualizing positive affect as have two broad categories, noting the link between HAPA and Tomkins' interest-excitement as well as LAPA and enjoyment-joy. Drawing on Tomkins, McManus and colleagues identifies how the pattern of findings across these studies supports the proposition that one way of feeling good (HAPA) involves desire and aquisitiveness, while the other way of feeling good (LAPA) involves satisfaction, relief, and stable positive states. In fact, multiple aspects of LAPA that were evident in the pattern of findings correspond to Tomkins' description of enjoyment-joy, such as a strong relationship to positive sociality as well as feeling safe and secure.

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