Affective Changes During Cognitive Behavioural Therapy–As Measured by PANAS

Lars Saxon*, Sophie Henriksson, Adam Kvarnström, Arto J. Hiltunen
Department of Social and Psychological Studies, Section of Psychology, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden

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© 2017 Saxon et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Social and Psychological Studies, Section of Psychology, Karlstad University, Universitetsgatan 2, S-651 88 Karlstad, Sweden; Tel: +46-54-7001421; E-mail:



Previous researches have indicated that self-reported positive affect and negative affect is changing in a healthy direction during Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).


The aim of the present study was to examine how affective personality is related to psychopathology before and after CBT.


A group of clients (n = 73) was measured before and after CBT, differentiated by their problem areas at pre-therapy (i.e., depressive, anxious and mixed).


After therapy, clients experienced higher positive affect (p < .02, d=0.66), lower negative affect (p < .001, d=0.98) and there was a significant change in the distribution of affective personality regardless of problem area, χ2 = 8.41, df = 3, two-tailed p = .04, 99% CI [0.03, 0.04]. The change in the distribution was largest for the two most relevant personality types, self-actualization and self-destructive affective personality.


Results indicate that CBT can achieve changes in affect and affective personality.

Keywords: Affect, Affective personality, Cognitive behavioural therapy, PANAS, Psychopathology, Hypotheses.