Making room for neutral affect

This project investigates four central issues concerning the nature of neutral affect. Specifically, whether neutral affect is (a) a common experience, (b) dependent on positive and negative affect, (c) occurs at all levels of activation, and (d) is discriminable from other, seemingly similar, affective states. In three studies, participants rated their neutral affect (e.g., feeling indifferent) and affective states that occupy major regions of the affective circumplex. First, neutral affect was a commonly reported experience. Second, neutral affect was independent of and co-occurred with both positive and negative affect, as well as all the other affective states. Third, the activation measures were problematic. The tentative data indicated that neutral affect occurred across the activation dimension, but it was more reflective of a deactivated than activated state. Finally, neutral affect was discriminable from both negative and positive deactivated states. The paper concludes by providing some methodological and theoretical recommendations regarding the conceptualization of neutral affect.

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Motivation and Emotion. The final authenticated version is available online at:



Work Title Making room for neutral affect
Subtitle Evidence indicating that neutral affect is independent of and co-occurs with eight affective states
Open Access
  1. Karen Gasper
  2. Cinnamon L. Danube
  3. Danfei Hu
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Motivation and Emotion
Publication Date February 28, 2021
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited July 16, 2021




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Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Making_Room_for_Neutral_Affect_Author.docx
  • Added Creator Karen Gasper
  • Added Creator Cinnamon L. Danube
  • Added Creator Danfei Hu
  • Published
  • Updated
  • Updated
  • Updated