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Previous research has shown that individual differences in negative emotion differentiation may play a prominent role in well-being. Yet, many basic questions about negative emotion differentiation remain unanswered, including how it relates and overlaps with related and known dimensions of individual differences and what its possible underlying processes are. To answer these questions, in the current article we present three correlational studies that chart the nomological network of individual differences in negative emotion differentiation in terms of personality, difficulties in identifying and describing feelings, and several indicators of well-being, propose a novel paradigm to assess it in the lab, and explore relationships with a possible underlying mechanism in terms of the motivation to approach or avoid emotions. The results affirm consistent relations between negative emotion differentiation and indicators of adjustment like negative affect, self-esteem, neuroticism, depression and meta-knowledge about one's emotions, and show how it is related to the motivation to experience affective states.

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Journal Article

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