Transformative Events: Appraisal Bases of Passion and Mixed Emotions

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7 Scopus citations


Mixed emotions are conceptualized as involving the co-occurrence of states opposite in valence. One might expect that combinations of opposites would show diminished overall emotion intensity. But is this always the case? If not, when will mixed emotions be characterized by high intensity, and when by low intensity? In this article, theories of emotion-eliciting appraisal and emotion intensity are employed to understand mixed emotions and phenomena of passion. It is proposed that intense emotions are produced by transformative events: perceived motive-relevant changes that are important, large, and rapid. Transformative events that can move a person between greatly motive-inconsistent and greatly motive-consistent outcomes constitute one potent path to passion. Illustrative phenomena of passion, mixed emotions, and related research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalEmotion Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


  • emotion intensity
  • mixed emotions
  • negative emotion
  • passion
  • positive emotion


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