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Negative affect (NA) is a broad trait reflecting a disposition toward negative emotional experience. Stable and pervasive individual differences in NA are evident: High levels are characterized by unpleasant feelings of sadness, fear, anger, and guilt and behavioral markers such as avoidance and inhibition, whereas low levels are associated with calmness, serenity, and relaxation. NA is considered independent of positive affect, developing from distinct behavioral motivation systems.

In general, women are more likely to report experiencing NA than men, and younger individuals are more likely to score highly on measures of NA than older individuals. Those aged 80 years and older show the lowest rates of NA. NA has a strong genetic component and may be linked to inhibition of activity in brain areas mediated by ...

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