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      Constructing three emotion knowledge tests from the invariant measurement approach

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          Psychological constructionist models like the Conceptual Act Theory (CAT) postulate that complex states such as emotions are composed of basic psychological ingredients that are more clearly respected by the brain than basic emotions. The objective of this study was the construction and initial validation of Emotion Knowledge measures from the CAT frame by means of an invariant measurement approach, the Rasch Model (RM). Psychological distance theory was used to inform item generation.


          Three EK tests—emotion vocabulary (EV), close emotional situations (CES) and far emotional situations (FES)—were constructed and tested with the RM in a community sample of 100 females and 100 males (age range: 18–65), both separately and conjointly.


          It was corroborated that data-RM fit was sufficient. Then, the effect of type of test and emotion on Rasch-modelled item difficulty was tested. Significant effects of emotion on EK item difficulty were found, but the only statistically significant difference was that between “happiness” and the remaining emotions; neither type of test, nor interaction effects on EK item difficulty were statistically significant. The testing of gender differences was carried out after corroborating that differential item functioning (DIF) would not be a plausible alternative hypothesis for the results. No statistically significant sex-related differences were found out in EV, CES, FES, or total EK. However, the sign of d indicate that female participants were consistently better than male ones, a result that will be of interest for future meta-analyses.


          The three EK tests are ready to be used as components of a higher-level measurement process.

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          Most cited references 35

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          The brain basis of emotion: a meta-analytic review.

          Researchers have wondered how the brain creates emotions since the early days of psychological science. With a surge of studies in affective neuroscience in recent decades, scientists are poised to answer this question. In this target article, we present a meta-analytic summary of the neuroimaging literature on human emotion. We compare the locationist approach (i.e., the hypothesis that discrete emotion categories consistently and specifically correspond to distinct brain regions) with the psychological constructionist approach (i.e., the hypothesis that discrete emotion categories are constructed of more general brain networks not specific to those categories) to better understand the brain basis of emotion. We review both locationist and psychological constructionist hypotheses of brain-emotion correspondence and report meta-analytic findings bearing on these hypotheses. Overall, we found little evidence that discrete emotion categories can be consistently and specifically localized to distinct brain regions. Instead, we found evidence that is consistent with a psychological constructionist approach to the mind: A set of interacting brain regions commonly involved in basic psychological operations of both an emotional and non-emotional nature are active during emotion experience and perception across a range of discrete emotion categories.
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            Probabilistic models for some intelligence and attainment tests.

             G Rasch,  GW Rasch,  B. Rasch (1960)
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              Solving the emotion paradox: categorization and the experience of emotion.

              In this article, I introduce an emotion paradox: People believe that they know an emotion when they see it, and as a consequence assume that emotions are discrete events that can be recognized with some degree of accuracy, but scientists have yet to produce a set of clear and consistent criteria for indicating when an emotion is present and when it is not. I propose one solution to this paradox: People experience an emotion when they conceptualize an instance of affective feeling. In this view, the experience of emotion is an act of categorization, guided by embodied knowledge about emotion. The result is a model of emotion experience that has much in common with the social psychological literature on person perception and with literature on embodied conceptual knowledge as it has recently been applied to social psychology.

                Author and article information

                PeerJ Inc. (San Francisco, USA )
                13 September 2017
                : 5
                [1 ]Faculty of Psychology, Universidad de Salamanca , Salamanca, Spain
                [2 ]Faculty of Psychology, Universidad de Buenos Aires-CONICET , Buenos Aires, Argentina
                ©2017 Delgado et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.

                Funded by: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO)
                Award ID: PSI2014-52369-P
                This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) under Grant PSI2014-52369-P. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Psychiatry and Psychology


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