Chronic pain, stress, and the dynamics of affective differentiation

Mary Davis, Alex J. Zautra, Bruce W. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


We describe a program of research examining how the relationship between positive and negative affect varies both between individuals and within individuals over time. This Dynamic Model of Affect (DMA) proposes that under conditions that promote maximal information processing, positive and negative affective systems function relatively independently. In contrast, under conditions characterized by uncertainty, including pain and stress, the affects become strongly inversely related. Included in our consideration are potential individual differences in the ability to sustain affective differentiation during pain and other Stressors and the implications of this model for perceptions of social relations and for interventions to improve well-being among the chronically ill.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1133-1160
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of personality
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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