ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (6): 979-989.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.00979

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The Negative Effect of Pursuing Positive Emotion and Its Psychological Mechanism

LI Aimei; LI Xiaoping; GAO Jieyi; PENG Yuan; XIA Ying   

  1. (Management School, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China)
  • Received:2014-11-04 Online:2015-06-25 Published:2015-06-25
  • Contact: LI Aimei, E-mail:; GAO Jieyi, E-mail:


Recent studies have found that the more positive emotion people pursue, the less likely they will feel happy. Its psychological mechanism may be:when pursuing positive emotion comes to be a major goal, people tend to (1) set a too high standard for happy emotion; (2) obtain happiness through ineffective ways; (3) monitor the process of getting happy instead of immersing in it. There are many questions should be further explored: (1) Revealing the consequences of pursuing positive emotion comprehensively; (2) The neural mechanisms of pursuing positive emotion’s negative effects; (3) The cross-culture differences of pursuing positive emotion; (4) To explore the way to gain positive results in pursuing positive emotion.

Key words: pursuit positive emotion, subject well-being, paradox, goal orientation, self-monitoring