ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (9): 1643-1650.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.01643

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Poignancy: Conception, Measurement and Related Studies Review

AO Lingmin;LV Houchao;PANG Xue   

  1. (1 School of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China) (2 Chongqing City Management College, Chongqing 401331, China)
  • Received:2012-07-09 Online:2013-09-15 Published:2013-09-15
  • Contact: LV Houchao

Abstract: Poignancy is defined as a mixed emotional experience that arises when one is faced with meaningful endings, which means people can feel happy and sad at the same time or co-occurrence of positive and negative emotions. The concept of poignancy is based on the existence of mixed emotions. However, unlike other instances of mixed emotions, poignancy seems to be particular to the experience of meaningful endings, of no longer having something that one once had. Previous researches have operationalized the poignancy as the minimum between the happiness of positive emotion and the sadness of negative emotion. Socioemotional selectivity theory maintains, when people are aware of the finitude of time or aging, they are increasingly feeling more poignancy which will cause the positivity effect in attention. Prior studies reported that the experience of poignancy is generalizable across cultures and cultural specificity sometimes. In further studies, we should pay attention to the advancement of the gender differences and the cultural differences on poignancy to promote the application on the emotion management and psychological health education.

Key words: poignancy, mixed emotions, mixed-emotion experience, socioemotional selectivity theory