It has been shown that variability in the shape of emotion intensity profiles can be described in terms of three functional features, namely steepness at onset, skewness and number of peaks. However, it remains unclear which factors account for variability in each of these features. In the present study participants were asked to report intensity profiles of positive and negative emotions on a daily basis.
Information was further collected regarding potential determinants of the functional features of the
intensity profiles at three levels: trait-, episode-, and moment-determinants. Regarding steepness at onset, it was found for positive and negative emotions that intensity profiles have an especially explosive start when the eliciting stimulus is important, when the stimulus is still present during the beginning of the episode, and, in case of positive emotions, when the participant is an extravert.
Concerning skewness, it was found for positive and negative emotions that profiles reach their peak more often towards the end when the eliciting stimulus is important, when the stimulus is absent during the beginning of the episode but present towards the end, and, in case of negative emotions,
when the stimulus is uncontrollable. Regarding the number of peaks, it was found that profiles more often have multiple peaks when the eliciting stimulus is absent during the middle of the emotional episode.