The Expression of Determination: Similarities Between Anger and Approach-related Positive Affect



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This study examines the valence and motivational direction components of affect using facial expressions of determination, anger and joy. Determination is a positive, approach-related emotion; anger is a negative, approach-related emotion; and joy is a positive, low-approach emotion. Thus, determination and anger share a motivational direction, but determination and joy share a valence. Participants created facial expressions intended to express joy, anger, fear, sadness, disgust and determination. Naive judges attempted to identify these expressions. Correct identifications of intended determination expressions were positively correlated with misidentifications of the expressions as anger, suggesting that determination is perceived as more similar to anger than to joy. This emphasizes the importance of the motivational component of emotion, as distinct from the valence of emotion.