Measuring Emotions Implications Of A Multimethod Perspective

Randy J. Larsen and Zvjezdana Prizmic-Larsen

Other chapters of this book address various conceptual concerns about multiple methods, about convergent and divergent validity, and about the distinction between method and error variance. The construct of "emotion" provides special challenges for assessment, thus bringing these abstract conceptual issues into sharp relief. We therefore begin our chapter on emotion measurement with a few deliberations concerning these special challenges. We then present three broad categories of measures of emotion—language, behavior, and physiology—and discuss strengths and problems and describe several examples of each. Understanding the relationships between different facets of emotion measures will be a theoretical as well as methodological achievement. Modeling multiple methods within a consensual or method-invariant space will be an important contribution to this area as well as to provide researchers with a parsimonious system for organizing multiple methods. Until then, researchers should always consider using multiple methods in emotion research because doing so will almost always lead to gains measurement precision.

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