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Negative Affect (NA) is a general dimension of subjective distress and unpleasurable engagement that subsumes a variety of aversive mood states, including anger, contempt, disgust, guilt, fear, and nervousness. Individuals high in NA are characterized by distress, un-pleasurable engagement, and nervousness. Low negative affect is characterised by a state of calmness and serenity.
Watson and Clark (1984) defined negative affectivity as a mood-dispositional dimension that reflects pervasive individual differences in negative emotionality and self-concept.
Negative affectivity represents an affective state dimension. Tellegen (1985)  has demonstrated that individuals differ in negative emotional reactivity. Trait negative affectivity roughly corresponds to the dominant personality factor of anxiety / neuroticism within the Big Five personality traits.  Research shows that negative affectivity relates to different classes of variables: Self-reported stress and (poor) coping    health complaints1,2,10, and frequency of unpleasant events8.
On the basis of their extensive review of the literature, Watson and Clark concluded that people who express high negative affectivity view themselves and a variety of aspects of the world around them in generally negative terms. Negative affectivity may influence the relationships between variables in organizational research4,12.
In the seminal work on negative affect arousal and white noise by Stanley S. Seidner, the findings from the study support the existence of a negative affect arousal mechanism through observations regarding the devaluation of speakers from other ethnic origins. Negative affectivity is strongly related to life satisfaction5. Individuals high in negative affect will exhibit, on average, higher levels of distress, anxiety, and dissatisfaction, and tend to focus on the unpleasant aspects of themselves, the world, the future, and other people7. In fact, the content similarities between these affective traits and life satisfaction have led some researchers to view both PA/NA and life satisfaction as specific indicators of the broader construct of subjective well-being3.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Watson, D., & Clark, L. A. (1984). Negative affectivity: The disposition to experience negative aversive emotional states. Psychological Bulletin, 96, 465–490.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Tellegen, A. (1985). Structures of mood and personality and their relevance to assessing anxiety, with an emphasis on self-report. In A. H. Tuma & J. D. Maser (Eds.), Anxiety and the Anxiety disorders, (pp. 681-706), Hilssdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
- ↑ Tessler, R., & Mechanic, D. (1978). Psychological distress and perceived health status. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 19, 254-262.
- ↑ Wills, T. A. (1986). Stress and coping in early adolescence: Relationships to substance use in urban school samples. Health Psychology, 5, 503-529.
- ↑ Seidner, Stanley S. (1991), Negative Affect Arousal Reactions from Mexican and Puerto Rican Respondents, Washington, D.C.: ERIC, ISBN ED346711 http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED346711&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED346711
- Beiser, M. (1974). Components and correlates of mental well-being. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 15, 320-327
- Bradburn, N. M. (1969). The structure of psychological well-being. Chicago: Aldine.
- DeNeve, K. M., & Cooper, H. (1998). The happy personality: a meta-analysis of 137 personality traits and subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 197–229.
- Jex, S. M., & Spector, P. E. (1996). The impact of negative affectivity on stressor strain relations: A replication and extension. Work and Stress, 10, 36–45.
- Judge, T. A., Locke, E. A., Durham, C. C., & Kluger, A. N. (1998). Dispositional effects on job and life satisfaction: the role of core evaluations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83, 17–34.
- Kanner, A. D., Coyne, J. C., Schaefer, C., & Lazarus, R. S. (1981 ). Comparison of two modes of stress measurement: Daily hassles and uplifts versus major life events. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 4, 1-39.
- Larsen, R. J., & Ketelaar, T. (1989). Extraversion, neuroticism, and susceptibility to positive and negative mood induction procedures. Personality and Individual Differences, 10, 1221–1228.
- Stone, A. A. ( 1981). The association between perceptions of daily experiences and self- and spouse-rated mood. Journal of Research in Personality, 15, 510-522.
- Williams, L. J., & Anderson, S. E. (1994). An alternative approach to method effects by using latent-variable models: Applications in organizational behavior research. Journal of Applied Psychology, 79, 323–331.
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