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UBC Theses and Dissertations

On the adaptive potential of negative emotions : exploring the role of sadness and anger for goal regulation Slade, Loni


Negative emotions may be an outcome of goal progress. Importantly, negative emotions may also serve as guideposts for subsequent goal regulation by flagging which goals to pursue and which goals to let go. The authors examined this hypothesis using 10-day time-sampling information from 186 adults aged 20-81 years. In line with past work, young adults progressed less on their goals and experienced more negative emotions (anger, sadness) than older adults. Importantly, daily sadness and anger seem to serve different regulatory functions. Specifically, daily sadness was associated with subsequent increases in goal contemplation and end-of-study goal disengagement and goal reengagement whereas anger was not. Findings extend previous research by pointing to the adaptive potential of negative emotions for goal regulation across the adult lifespan.

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