Aroused Versus Calm Positive Affects as Predictors of Lipids

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Objective: The authors hypothesized that high-pleasure low-arousal (HPLA) would predict a subsequent decrease of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides (TRI), as well as a subsequent increase of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). The authors also hypothesized that high-pleasure high-arousal (HPHA) would have the opposite effects on these blood lipids, predicting a subsequent increase of LDL-C and TRI, and a decrease of HDL-C. Design: Participants were 990 male and 595 female apparently healthy employees who underwent a routine periodic health examination at two points in time, Time 1 (T1) and Time 2 (T2), about 24 months apart. Data were analyzed separately for the men and women, and the authors controlled for possible confounders shown in past research to be implicated with hyperlipidemia. Main Outcome Measures: HPHA and HPLA were assessed based on the Job-Related Affective Well-Being Scale, while LDL-C, TRI, and HDL-C were assessed based on fasting blood samples. Results: For the men, support for our hypotheses was found relative to HDL-C and TRI. The authors did not find support for our hypotheses for thee women. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that for men, the two types of positive affects may have opposite physiological consequences with respect to subsequent changes in blood lipid levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-659
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • arousal
  • calm pleasure
  • lipids
  • positive affect
  • triglycerides


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