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Charlotte Vrijen, Catharina A. Hartman, Eeske van Roekel, Peter de Jonge, Albertine J. Oldehinkel, "Spread the Joy: How High and Low Bias for Happy Facial Emotions Translate into Different Daily Life Affect Dynamics", Complexity, vol. 2018, Article ID 2674523, 15 pages, 2018. There is evidence that people commonly show a bias toward happy facial emotions during laboratory tasks, that is, they identify other people’s happy facial emotions faster than other people’s negative facial emotions. However, not everybody shows this bias. Individuals with a vulnerability for depression, for example, show a low happy bias compared to healthy controls. The main aim of this study was to acquire a better understanding of laboratory measures of happy bias by studying how these translate to people’s daily life. We investigated whether stable high and low happy bias during a laboratory task were associated with differences in daily life affect dynamics (i.e., effects from one time interval of 6 hours to the next). We compared the daily life affect dynamics of young adults (age 18-24) with a high bias toward happy facial emotions (N=25, T=90) to the affect dynamics of young adults with a low bias toward happy emotions (N=25, T=90). We used multilevel vector autoregressive (VAR) modeling in R package mlVAR version 0.4 (Epskamp, Waldorp, Mõttus, & Borsboom, 2016; Epskamp, Deserno, & Bringmann, 2016) to explore the daily life dynamics between JOY (feeling joyful), POS (positive experiences), INT (feeling interested), SAD (feeling sad), IRR (feeling irritated), NEG (negative experiences) and WOR (worrying) for the a high and a low happy bias groups. We used permutation tests to investigate whether the affect networks differed between the two groups. We performed multiple sensitivity analyses to explore the robustness of our findings. Data and syntax for the main analyses and for all sensitivity checks are available here on OSF.
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