The intensity and valence of 30 emotion terms, 30 events typical of those emotions, and 30 autobiographical memories cued by those emotions were each rated by different groups of 40 undergraduates. A vector model gave a consistently better account of the data than a circumplex model, both overall and in the absence of high-intensity, neutral valence stimuli. The Positive Activation - Negative Activation (PANA) model could be tested at high levels of activation, where it is identical to the vector model. The results replicated when ratings of arousal were used instead of ratings of intensity for the events and autobiographical memories. A reanalysis of word norms gave further support for the vector and PANA models by demonstrating that neutral valence, high-arousal ratings resulted from the averaging of individual positive and negative valence ratings. Thus, compared to a circumplex model, vector and PANA models provided overall better fits.
A comparison of dimensional models of emotion: Evidence from emotions, prototypical events, autobiographical memories, and words