Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 22, Iss. 1, January, 2018, pp. 35-52
@2018 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences


An Estimation of a Nonlinear Dynamic Process Using Latent Class Extended Mixed Models: Affect Profiles After Terrorist Attacks

Roberto Burro, University of Verona, Italy
Daniela Raccanello, University of Verona, Italy
Margherita Pasini, University of Verona, Italy
Margherita Brondino, University of Verona, Italy

Abstract: Conceptualizing affect as a complex nonlinear dynamic process, we used latent class extended mixed models (LCMM) to understand whether there were unobserved groupings in a dataset including longitudinal measures. Our aim was to identify affect profiles over time in people vicariously exposed to terrorism, studying their relations with personality traits. The participants were 193 university students who completed online measures of affect during the seven days following two terrorist attacks (Paris, November 13, 2015; Brussels, March 22, 2016); Big Five personality traits; and antecedents of affect. After selecting students whose negative affect was influenced by the two attacks (33%), we analysed the data with the LCMM package of R. We identified two affect profiles, characterized by different trends over time: The first profile comprised students with lower positive affect and higher negative affect compared to the second profile. Concerning personality traits, conscientious-ness was lower for the first profile compared to the second profile, and vice versa for neuroticism. Findings are discussed for both their theoretical and applied relevance.

Keywords: profiles, terrorism, affect, personality traits, vicarious exposure, latent class extended mixed models (LCMM)