Modeling Individual Differences in Within-Person Variation of Negative and Positive Affect in a Mixed Effects Location Scale Model Using BUGS/JAGS

Philippe Rast, Scott Hofer, Catharine Sparks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


A mixed effects location scale model was used to model and explain individual differences in within-person variability of negative and positive affect across 7 days (N=178) within a measurement burst design. The data come from undergraduate university students and are pooled from a study that was repeated at two consecutive years. Individual differences in level and change in mood was modeled with a random intercept and random slope where the residual within-person variability was allowed to vary across participants. Additionally changes in within-person variability were explained by the inclusion of a time-varying predictor indicating the severity of daily stressors. This model accounted for 2 location and 2 scale effects and provided evidence that individuals who reported higher severity in daily stressors also exhibited greater variability in affect-but only for participants who showed low overall affect variability and who reported low average negative affect. Those who were more variable in their affect reports overall were less reactive to daily stressors in the sense that their high levels of affect variability remained high. We describe the utility of this model for further research on individual variation and change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-200
Number of pages24
JournalMultivariate Behavioral Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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