Midway Between the Two? the Case For Mixed Emotions

The existence of mixed emotions has been debated for millennia. We present four studies that support the hypothesis that people can feel happy and sad at the same time. Participants watched an emotionally complex film or a control film that were edited versions of the tragicomic film Life is Beautiful. Consistent with previous research (Larsen et al., 2001), participants reported simultaneous happiness and sadness with significantly greater frequency for the emotionally complex film. The results rule out alternative explanations that evidence of mixed emotions reflect artifacts of measurement, demand characteristics, or participants’ lay theories about mixed emotions.


A. Peter McGraw and Jeff T. Larsen (2008) ,"Midway Between the Two? the Case For Mixed Emotions", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 112-116.


A. Peter McGraw, University of Colorado, Boulder
Jeff T. Larsen, Texas Tech University


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35 | 2008

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