On the Causal Role of Appraisal in Emotion

Emotion Review 5 (2):132-140 (2013)
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Many appraisal theories claim that appraisal causes emotion. Critics have rejected this claim because they believe (a) it is incompatible with the claim that appraisal is a part of emotion, (b) it is not empirically supported, (c) it is circular and hence nonempirical, and (d) there are alternative causes. I reply that (a) the causal claim is incompatible with the part claim on some but not all interpretations of the causal claim and the part claim, (b) the lack of empirical support can be remedied, (c) there may even be ways to cope with the circularity problem, and (d) it is unclear to what extent the alternative causes differ from appraisal



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