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ICA 2024 Top Paper Profile: Mohammed, Layland, Cosme, Kang, Boyd, Mucha, Ochsner, Falk, Bassett, & Lydon-Staley

Nidah Mohammed – First Author

In our lead up to #ICA24, we are providing information about papers that received Top Paper awards from the Communication Science and Biology (CSaB) Interest Group. Each paper received exceptionally high scores from reviewers. These papers reflect outstanding scholarship in CSaB. Today’s Top Paper features graduate student Nidah Mohammed as first author. Be sure to check out their paper at #ICA24

CSaB: In a few short sentences, what is your study about?

Our study investigated how between-person differences in daily positive emotion dynamics are associated with flourishing. By collecting reports of positive emotion each day for 28 days as participants went about their daily lives, we were able to quantify three indices of daily positive emotion dynamics: average intensity, variability, and inertia. Using latent profile analysis, we identified four common ways in which these three emotion dynamics clustered at the person level and tested how flourishing differed across these four groups. We found that people with high levels of stable positive emotion over time had the highest flourishing, followed by low-intensity but variable positive emotions, followed by individuals with low-intensity positive emotions. And we replicated these findings in a second sample.

CSaB: How did you come up with the idea for this line of research?

The literature is pretty clear that flourishing is associated with high levels of positive emotion. The theory is that experiences of positive emotion encourage us to go out and do things we wouldn’t normally do. By opening out onto the world, we engage in new activities, meet new people, and, in that process, build resources that end up being helpful for our later flourishing. What’s not clear, is how flourishing is associated with emotion dynamics. Our emotions fluctuate from moment-to-moment and we wanted to know if between-person differences in these emotion dynamics had implications for flourishing. For example, might there be too much of a good thing where people with high but unchanging positive emotion dynamics aren’t experiencing the highs and lows that enrich our lives? Or might high but variable positive emotions indicate that people have a hard time sustaining positive emotion which might undermine their flourishing? We also felt very strongly about taking a person-centered rather than a variable-centered approach to examine how different emotion dynamics came together to form types of emotion dynamics common to groups of people. This methodological approach is not very common but we thought it was important to use in this context where the meaning of variable or inert emotions is going to change depending on a person’s average intensity of positive emotion. You can read more about the study here:

CSaB: Tell us more about the team!

I am a first-year graduate student in the Addiction, Health, & Adolescence (AHA!) Lab at the Annenberg School for Communication and this was my first year project with the lab. The data came from a large-scale, interdisciplinary project spanning multiple labs across multiple universities. You can read more about the larger study here:

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