The word “emotion” has named a psychological category and a subject for systematic enquiry only since the 19th century. Before then, relevant mental states were categorised variously as “appetites,” “passions,” “affections,” or “sentiments.” The word “emotion” has existed in English since the 17th century, originating as a translation of the French émotion, meaning a physical disturbance. It came into much wider use in 18th-century English, often to refer to mental experiences, becoming a fully fledged theoretical term in the (...) following century, especially through the influence of two Scottish philosopher-physicians, Thomas Brown and Charles Bell. This article relates this intellectual and semantic history to contemporary debates about the usefulness and meaning of “emotion” as a scientific term. (shrink)
Do basic emotions produce their predicted facial expressions in nonlaboratory settings? Available studies in naturalistic settings rarely test causation, but do show a surprisingly weak correlation between emotions and their predicted facial expressions. This evidence from field studies is more consistent with facial behavior having many causes, functions, and meanings, as opposed to their being fixed signals of basic emotion.
The target articles and commentaries reveal considerable support for the view that the term “emotion” names neither a natural kind nor a coherent psychological category. This brief response revisits a couple of historical points about the meanings of “emotion,” as well as the ancient debate between Stoicism and Christianity.
This article discusses contemporary social psychological approaches to the social relations and appraisals associated with specific emotions; other people’s impact on appraisal processes; effects of emotion on other people; and interpersonal emotion regulation. We argue that single-minded cognitive perspectives restrict our understanding of interpersonal and group-related emotional processes, and that new methodologies addressing real-time interpersonal and group processes present promising opportunities for future progress.
The precise relationship between the autonomic nervous system and emotion has been a topic of intense debate and research throughout the history of modern psychology. The present article considers some of the more influential theoretical frameworks that continue to drive contemporary research on the relationship between emotion and physiological processes. In particular, we highlight the multiple routes through which somatovisceral afference influences emotion and how this relates to the topic of emotion-specific patterns of autonomic nervous system (...) activity. (shrink)
There remains a division between the work of philosophers who draw on the sciences of the mind to understand emotion and those who see the philosophy of emotion as more self-sufficient. This article examines this methodological division before reviewing some of the debates that have figured in the philosophical literature of the last decade: whether emotion is a single kind of thing, whether there are discrete categories of emotion, and whether emotion is a form of (...) perception. These questions have been addressed by both sides of the methodological divide and the integration of these two approaches would have clear benefits. (shrink)
The central role played by emotions in conflict has long been recognized by many of the scholars who study ethnic conflicts and conflict resolution. Yet recent developments in the psychological study of discrete emotions and of emotion regulation have yet to receive adequate attention by those who study and seek to promote conflict resolution. At the same time, scholars of emotion and emotion regulation have only rarely tested their core theories in the context of long-term conflicts, which (...) constitute a unique and highly emotional environment. I argue that building bridges between these two communities would help us to form a better understanding of core processes in emotion and emotion regulation as well as greatly advance theory and practice in conflict resolution. To address that goal, a theoretical, appraisal-based model elucidating the way emotions operate in the context of conflict resolution processes is presented, followed by a review of recent empirical developments in the study of discrete emotions in conflict resolution processes. Next, I discuss various avenues of influence and provide preliminary data regarding the potential role of two types of emotion regulation processes in conflict resolution efforts. Finally, I describe the future challenges in integrating these two bodies of knowledge, at both the theoretical and the applied levels. (shrink)
Characterizing how activity in the central and autonomic nervous systems corresponds to distinct emotional states is one of the central goals of affective neuroscience. Despite the ease with which individuals label their own experiences, identifying specific autonomic and neural markers of emotions remains a challenge. Here we explore how multivariate pattern classification approaches offer an advantageous framework for identifying emotion-specific biomarkers and for testing predictions of theoretical models of emotion. Based on initial studies using multivariate pattern classification, we (...) suggest that central and autonomic nervous system activity can be reliably decoded into distinct emotional states. Finally, we consider future directions in applying pattern classification to understand the nature of emotion in the nervous system. (shrink)
The scientific study of emotion faces a potentially serious problem: after over a hundred years of psychological study, we lack consensus regarding the very definition of emotion. We propose that part of the problem may be the tendency to define emotion in contrast to cognition, rather than viewing both “emotion” and “cognition” as being comprised of more elemental processes. We argue that considering emotion as a type of cognition (viewed broadly as information processing) may provide (...) an understanding of the mechanisms underlying domains that are traditionally thought to be qualitatively distinct. (shrink)
The article considers patterns of reactivity in organ systems mediated by the autonomic nervous system as they relate to central neural circuits activated by affectively arousing cues. The relationship of these data to the concept of discrete emotion and their relevance for the autonomic feedback hypothesis are discussed. Research both with animal and human participants is considered and implications drawn for new directions in emotion science. It is suggested that the proposed brain-based view has a greater potential for (...) scientific advance than the traditional model that emphasizes specific states of mind as mediators or reflectors of visceral action. (shrink)
Substantial advances in our understanding of the neural bases of emotional processing have been made over the past decades. Overall, studies in humans and other animals highlight the key role of the amygdala in the detection and evaluation of stimuli with affective value. Nonetheless, contradictory findings have been reported, especially in terms of the exact role of this structure in the processing of different emotions, giving rise to different neural models of emotion. For instance, although the amygdala has traditionally (...) been considered as exclusively involved in fear (and possibly anger), more recent work suggests that it may be important for processing other types of emotions, and even nonemotional information. A review of the main findings in this field is presented here, together with some of the hypotheses that have been put forward to interpret this literature and explain its inconsistencies. (shrink)
Linguistic anthropologists have studied emotion in societies around the world for several decades. This article defines the discipline, introduces its general relevance to emotion theory, then presents five of the most important contributions linguistic anthropology has made to the study of emotion.
In the past two to three decades health behavior scientists have increasingly emphasized affect-related concepts in their attempts to understand and facilitate change in important health behaviors, such as smoking, eating, physical activity, substance abuse, and sex. This article provides a narrative review of this burgeoning literature, including relevant theory and research on affective response, incidental affect, affect processing, and affectively charged motivation. An integrative dual-processing framework is presented that suggests pathways through which affect-related concepts may interrelate to influence health (...) behavior. (shrink)
Evidence on the coherence between emotion and facial expression in adults from laboratory experiments is reviewed. High coherence has been found in several studies between amusement and smiling; low to moderate coherence between other positive emotions and smiling. The available evidence for surprise and disgust suggests that these emotions are accompanied by their “traditional” facial expressions, and even components of these expressions, only in a minority of cases. Evidence concerning sadness, anger, and fear is very limited. For sadness, one (...) study suggests that high emotion–expression coherence may exist in specific situations, whereas for anger and fear, the evidence points to low coherence. Insufficient emotion intensity and inhibition of facial expressions seem unable to account for the observed dissociations between emotion and facial expression. (shrink)
How should we understand the emotional rationality? This first part will explore two models of cognition and analogy strategies, test their intuition about the emotional desire. I distinguish between subjective and objective desire, then presents with a feeling from the "paradigm of drama" export semantics, here our emotional repertoire is acquired all the learned, and our emotions in the form of an object is fixed. It is pretty well in line with the general principles of rationality, especially the lowest reasonable (...) principles. Turned to the second part of this side of reasonable. I will inquire how emotional beliefs, desires, and behaviors contribute to the rationality. I will present a very general biological hypothesis: emotions by controlling highlights the characteristics of perception and reasoning, so that we remove the difficulties due in particular to lead to paralysis; they are being simulated by a simplified perception of information, thus limiting our practice and cognitive choice. How are we to understand emotional or axiological rationality? I pursue analogies with both the cognitive and the strategic models, testing them against intuitions about emotional desires. We distinguish two different classes of desires, the subjective and the objective, and propose that emotions have a semantics that derives from "paradigmatic scenarios", in terms of which our emotional repertoire is learned and the formal objects of our emotions fixed. This fits in well with emerging facts about how our emotional capacities develop, and it can also be squared with the general principles of rationality, particularly minimal rationality. In the second part, I return to the perspective of rationality. I ask how emotions contribute to the rationality of beliefs, desires, and behavior. I proffer a very general biological hypothesis: Emotions spare us the paralysis potentially induced by a particular predicament by controlling the salience of features of perception and reasoning; they temporarily mimic the informational encapsulation of perception and so circumscribe our practical and cognitive options. (shrink)
In this study William Lyons presents a sustained and coherent theory of the emotions, and one which draws extensively on the work of psychologists and physiologists in the area. Dr Lyons starts by giving a thorough and critical survey of other principal theories, before setting out his own 'causal-evaluative' account. In addition to giving an analysis of the nature of emotion - in which, Dr Lyon argues, evaluative attitudes play a crucial part - his theory throws light on the (...) motivating role of emotions in our lives, our attitudes towards our emotions and our responsibility for them. (shrink)
An internal critique of anthropology in recent decades has shifted the focus and scope of anthropological work on emotion. In this article I review the changes, explore the pros and cons of leading anthropological approaches and theories, and argue that—so far as anthropology is concerned—only detailed narrative accounts can do full justice to the complexity of emotions. A narrative approach captures both the particularity and the temporal dimension of emotion with greater fidelity than semantic, synchronic, and discourse-based approaches.
Efforts to bridge emotion theory with neurobiology can be facilitated by dynamic systems (DS) modeling. DS principles stipulate higher-order wholes emerging from lower-order constituents through bidirectional causal processes cognition relations. I then present a psychological model based on this reconceptualization, identifying trigger, self-amplification, and self-stabilization phases of emotion-appraisal states, leading to consolidating traits. The article goes on to describe neural structures and functions involved in appraisal and emotion, as well as DS mechanisms of integration by which they (...) interact. These mechanisms include nested feedback interactions, global effects of neuromodulation, vertical integration, action-monitoring, and synaptic plasticity, and they are modeled in terms of both functional integration and temporal synchronization. I end by elaborating the psychological model of emotion–appraisal states with reference to neural processes. (shrink)
Emotions can be understood as a coherent, integrated system of general-purpose coping strategies, guided by appraisal, for responding to situations of crisis and opportunity (when specific-purpose motivational systems may be less effective). This perspective offers functional explanations for the presence of particular emotions in the emotion repertoire, and their elicitation by particular appraisal combinations. Implications of the Emotion System model for debated issues, such as the dimensional vs. discrete nature of appraisals and emotions, are also discussed.
Recent thinking within philosophy of mind about the ways cognition can extend has yet to be integrated with philosophical theories of emotion, which give cognition a central role. We carve out new ground at the intersection of these areas and, in doing so, defend what we call the extended emotion thesis: the claim that some emotions can extend beyond skin and skull to parts of the external world.
In recounting some of the key sociological insights offered by over 30 years of research on emotion management, or emotion regulation, we orient our discussion around sociological answers to the following questions: What is emotion management? How does emotion management occur? Why does it occur? And what are its consequences or benefits? In this review, we argue that emotion and its management are profoundly social. Through daily interactions with others, individuals learn to differentiate which emotions (...) are appropriate when, as well as the most effective ways to bring their feelings in line with culturally agreed-upon emotion norms. Emotion management is also functional, not only for the individuals who perform it, but also for the dyads, groups, institutions, and societies in which they are embedded. The social processes through which individuals learn to display culturally appropriate emotions have important implications on many levels, from interpersonal interactions to the development of social movements. (shrink)
Comprehensive, authoritative, up-to-date, and easy-to-use, The Oxford Companion to Emotion and the Affective Sciences is an indispensable resource for all who wish to find out about theories, concepts, methods, and research findings in this rapidly growing interdisciplinary field.
In recent years, scholars have come to understand emotions as dynamic and socially constructed—the product of interdependent cultural, relational, situational, and biological influences. While researchers have called for a multilevel theory of emotion construction, any progress toward such a theory must overcome the fragmentation of relevant research across various disciplines and theoretical frameworks. We present affect control theory as a launching point for cross-disciplinary collaboration because of its empirically grounded conceptualization of social mechanisms operating at the interaction, relationship, and (...) cultural levels, and its specification of processes linking social and individual aspects of emotion. After introducing the theory, we illustrate its correspondence with major theories of emotion construction framed at each of four analytical levels: cultural, interactional, individual, and neural. (shrink)
Abstract The content of an emotion, unlike the content of a perception, is directly dependent on the motivational set of the subject experiencing the emotion. Given the instability of this motivational set, it might be thought that there is no sense in which emotions can be said to pick up information about the environment in the same way that perception does. Whereas it is admitted that perception tracks for us what is the case in the environment, no such (...) tracking relation, it is argued, holds between one's emotions and what they are about. It is to this worry – that the construal of the emotions as perceptions inevitably raises – that this paper tries to respond. In this paper, I suggest that when it is realized that one dimension of perception itself is directly dependent on the perceiver's perspective on her environment, then emotion, which is also essentially perspectival in this sense, bears the comparison with perception very well. After having clarified the nature and the role that perspective plays in perception, I argue that, in the case of emotions, the same perspectival role can be played by agents’ long-standing evaluative tendencies and character traits. The resulting conception of emotion as perception is then tested against possible objections. (shrink)
When researchers think about the interaction between language and emotion, they typically focus on descriptive emotion words. This review demonstrates that emotion can interact with language at many levels of structure, from the sound patterns of a language to its lexicon and grammar, and beyond to how it appears in conversation and discourse. Findings are considered from diverse subfields across the language sciences, including cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and conversation analysis. Taken together, it is clear that (...) emotional expression is finely tuned to language-specific structures. Future emotion research can better exploit cross-linguistic variation to unravel possible universal principles operating between language and emotion. (shrink)
One reason why the debate about “emotion” runs into a dead end is that the second historical source which considered “emotion” as a cognitive function in the late 19th century was forgotten in Anglo-American psychology.
I argue that on an understanding of imagination that relates it to an individual's environment rather than her mental contents imagination is essential to emotion, and brings together affective, cognitive, and representational aspects to emotion. My examples focus on morally important emotions, especially retrospective emotions such as shame, guilt, and remorse, which require that one imagine points of view on one's own actions. PUBLISHER'S BLURB: Recent years have seen an enormous amount of philosophical research into the emotions and (...) the imagination, but as yet little work has been done to connect the two. In his engaging and highly original new book, Adam Morton shows that all emotions require some form of imagination and goes on to fully explore the link between these two important concepts both within philosophy and in everyday life. We may take it for granted that complex emotions, such as hope and resentment, require a rich thinking and an engagement with the imagination, but Morton shows how more basic and responsive emotions such as fear and anger also require us to take account of possibilities and opportunities beyond the immediate situation. Interweaving a powerful tapestry of subtle argument with vivid detail, the book highlights that many emotions, more than we tend to suppose, require us to imagine a situation from a particular point of view and that this in itself can be the source of further emotional feeling. Morton goes on to demonstrate the important role that emotions play in our moral lives, throwing light on emotions such as self-respect, disapproval, and remorse, and the price we pay for having them. He explores the intricate nature of moral emotions and the challenges we face when integrating our thinking on morality and the emotions. This compelling and thought-provoking new book challenges many assumptions about the nature of emotion and imagination and will appeal to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the role that these concepts play in our lives. The book also has far reaching implications that will spark debate amongst scholars and students for some time to come. (shrink)
Emotions evolved to guide animals in pursuing specific motives and goals. They function as short-term alertors and regulators of behaviour and can be grouped into their evolved functions. Emotions can coregulate/influence each other, where one emotion can activate or suppress another. Importantly, affiliative emotions, that arise from experiencing validation, care and support from others, have major impacts on how people process and respond to threats and emotions associated with threats. Hence, exploring how affiliative emotional experiences change and transform the (...) capacity to cope with threat and pursue life goals, are salient research issues. (shrink)
“All languages have ‘emotive interjections’ ” —and yet emotion researchers have invested only a tiny research effort into interjections, as compared with the huge body of research into facial expressions and words for emotion categories. This article provides an overview of the functions, meanings, and cross-linguistic variability of interjections, concentrating on non-word-based ones such as Wow!, Yuck!, and Ugh! The aims are to introduce an area that will be unfamiliar to most readers, to illustrate how one leading linguistic (...) approach deals with interjectional meaning, and to start a discussion about an interdisciplinary research agenda for the study of emotive interjections. Examples are drawn from English, Polish, and Cantonese. (shrink)
This study explores the reasons why colour words and emotion words are frequently associated in the different languages of the world. One of them is connotative overlap between the colour term and the emotion term. A new experimental methodology, the Implicit Association Test, is used to investigate the implicit connotative structure of the Peninsular Spanish colour terms rojo, azul, verde and amarillo in terms of Osgood’s universal semantic dimensions: Evaluation, Activity and Potency. The results show a connotative profile (...) compatible with the previous literature, except for the valence of some of the colour terms, which is reversed. We suggest reasons for both these similarities and differences with previous studies and propose further research to test these implicit connotations and their effect on the association of colour with emotion words. Cette étude explore les raisons pour lesquelles les termes qui qualifient les couleurs et ceux qui qualifient les émotions sont fréquemment associés dans plusieurs langues. L’une de ces raisons est le chevauchement des connotations entre le terme qualifiant la couleur et celui qui qualifie l’émotion. On utilise une méthodologie expérimentale nouvelle, le test d’association implicite pour investiguer la structure implicite des connotations des termes de couleur en Espagnol Péninsulaire, rojo, azul, verde and amarillo en termes des dimensions sémantiques universelles d’Osgood: Evaluation, Activité, Puissance. Les résultants de l’étude montrent un profil de connotations compatible avec la litérature existante, à l’exception de la valence de certains termes de couleur, qui est inversée. Les auteurs émettent des hypothéses pour expliquer à la fois ces similaritiés et ces différences par rapport aux études déjà connues et proposent d’entreprendre d'autres recherches pour tester ces connotations implicites et leur effet sur l’association termes de couleur—termes d’émotions. (shrink)
Action, Emotion and Will was first published in 1963, when it was one of the first books to provoke serious interest in the emotions and philosophy of human action. Almost forty years on, Anthony Kenny's account of action and emotion is still essential reading for anyone interested in these topics. The first part of the book takes an historical look at the emotions in the work of Descartes, Locke and particularly Hume. In the second part, Kenny moves on (...) to discuss some of the experimental work on the emotions by 20th Century psychologists like William James. Separate chapters cover feelings, motives, desire and pleasure. This edition features a brand new preface by the author. (shrink)
It is a popular thought that emotions play an important epistemic role. Thus, a considerable number of philosophers find it compelling to suppose that emotions apprehend the value of objects and events in our surroundings. I refer to this view as the Epistemic View of emotion. In this paper, my concern is with a rivaling picture of emotion, which has so far received much less attention. On this account, emotions do not constitute a form of epistemic access to (...) specific axiological aspects of their objects. Instead it proposes that they are ways of taking a stand or position on the world. I refer to this as the Position-Taking View of emotion. Whilst some authors seem sympathetic to this view, this it has so far not been systematically motivated and elaborated. In this paper, I fill this gap and propose a more adequate account of our emotional engagement with the world than the predominant epistemic paradigm. I start by highlighting the specific way in which emotions are directed at something, which I contrast with the intentionality of perception and other forms of apprehension. I then go on to offer a specific account of the valence of emotion and show how this account and the directedness of emotions makes them intelligible as a way of taking a position on something. (shrink)
In this concluding piece, we identify and discuss various aspects of convergence and, to a lesser degree, divergence in the ideas expressed in the contributions to this special section. These contributions emphatically illustrate that approach–avoidance motivation is integral to the scientific study of emotion. It is our hope that the articles herein will facilitate cross-talk among researchers and research traditions, and will lead to a more thorough understanding of the role of approach–avoidance motivation in emotion.
Emotions are traditionally considered to be brief states that last for seconds or a few minutes at most. However, due to pioneering theoretical work of Frijda and recent empirical studies, it has become clear that the duration of emotions is actually highly variable with durations ranging from a few seconds to several hours, or even longer. We review research on determinants of emotion duration. Three classes of determinants are identified: features related to the emotion-eliciting event, emotion itself, (...) and emotion-experiencing person. Initial evidence on the psychological and neural mechanisms that underlie their effects is discussed. (shrink)
There are numerous well-documented problems with the DSM’s polythetic-categorical approach to the delineation of mental disorders. However, the DSM-5 introduces an empirically based dimensional model of personality traits. These traits form a hierarchical structure that represents the organization of dispositions to common mental disorders. We connect emotions to this joint hierarchical structure using a modified set point model, which accommodates major theories linking personality and psychopathology—continuum, risk, scar, and pathoplasty—as well as more dynamic multivariate models. We argue that these traits (...) represent typical causal pathways that can be extracted from a complex web of equifinality and multifinality. Ultimately, research on mood disorders provides a stronger account of their underling traits than the variably endorsed symptoms of their polythetic criteria. (shrink)
For a long time the dominant view on the nature of blame was that to blame someone is to have an emotion toward her, such as anger, resentment or indignation in the case of blaming someone else and guilt in the case of self-blame. Even though this view is still widely held, it has recently come under heavy attack. The aim of this paper is to elaborate the idea that to blame is to have an emotion and to (...) defend the resulting emotion account of blame. (shrink)
In this paper, my aim is to bring together contemporary psychological literature on emotion regulation and the classical sentimentalism of David Hume and Adam Smith to arrive at a plausible account of empathy's role in explaining patterns of moral judgment. Along the way, I criticize related arguments by Michael Slote, Jesse Prinz, and others.
This review demonstrates that an individualist view of emotion and regulation is untenable. First, I question the plausibility of a developmental shift away from social interdependency in emotion regulation. Second, I show that there are multiple reasons for emotional experiences in adults to elicit a process of social sharing of emotion, and I review the supporting evidence. Third, I look at effects that emotion sharing entails at the interpersonal and at the collective levels. Fourth, I examine (...) the contribution of emotional sharing to emotion regulation together with the relevant empirical evidence. Finally, the various functions that the social sharing of emotion fulfills are reviewed and the relevance of the social sharing of emotion for emotion scientists is discussed. (shrink)
Consider a typical fear episode. You are strolling down a lonely mountain lane when suddenly a huge wolf leaps towards you. A number of different interconnected elements are involved in the fear you experience. First, there is the visual and auditory perception of the wild animal and its movements. In addition, it is likely that given what you see, you may implicitly and inarticulately appraise the situation as acutely threatening. Then, there are a number of physiological changes, involving a variety (...) of systems controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Your heart races, your breathing becomes strained and your start trembling. These changes are accompanied by an expression of fear on your face: your mouth opens and your eyes widen while you stare at the wolf. There is also a kind of experience that you undergo. You are likely to feel a sort of pang, something that might consist in the perception of the physiological changes you are going through. Moreover, a number of thoughts are likely to cross your mind. You might think that the wild beast is about to tear you into pieces and that you’ll never escape from this. In addition to this, your attention focuses on the wolf and its movement, as well as, possibly, ways of escaping or defending yourself. Last, but not least, your fear is likely to come with a motivation, such as an urge to run away or to strike back. Whatever the details of the story, it is clear that a typical emotion episode involves a number of different components. Roughly, these components are a) a sensory perception or more generally an informational component, b) a kind of appraisal, d) physiological changes, c) conscious feelings, d) cognitive and attentional processes, and e) an actiontendency or more generally a motivational component. One central question in the theory of emotion is which, if any, of these components, constitute the emotion.. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to propose a systematic classification of emotions which can also characterize their nature. The first challenge we address is the submission of clear criteria for a theory of emotions that determine which mental phenomena are emotions and which are not. We suggest that emotions as a subclass of mental states are determined by their functional roles. The second and main challenge is the presentation of a classification and theory of emotions that can account for (...) all existing varieties. We argue that we must classify emotions according to four developmental stages: 1. pre-emotions as unfocussed expressive emotion states, 2. basic emotions, 3. primary cognitive emotions, and 4. secondary cognitive emotions. We suggest four types of basic emotions (fear, anger, joy and sadness) which are systematically differentiated into a diversity of more complex emotions during emotional development. The classification distinguishes between basic and non-basic emotions and our multi-factorial account considers cognitive, experiential, physiological and behavioral parameters as relevant for constituting an emotion. However, each emotion type is constituted by a typical pattern according to which some features may be more significant than others. Emotions differ strongly where these patterns of features are concerned, while their essential functional roles are the same. We argue that emotions form a unified ontological category that is coherent and can be well defined by their characteristic functional roles. Our account of emotions is supported by data from developmental psychology, neurobiology, evolutionary biology and sociology. (shrink)
Emotion regulation has the odd distinction of being a wildly popular construct whose scientific existence is in considerable doubt. In this article, we discuss the confusion about whether emotion generation and emotion regulation can and should be distinguished from one another. We describe a continuum of perspectives on emotion, and highlight how different (often mutually incompatible) perspectives on emotion lead to different views about whether emotion generation and emotion regulation can be usefully distinguished. (...) We argue that making differences in perspective explicit serves the function of allowing researchers with different theoretical commitments to collaborate productively despite seemingly insurmountable differences in terminology and methods. (shrink)
In many evolutionary/functionalist theories, emotions organize the activity of the autonomic nervous system and other physiological systems. Two kinds of patterned activity are discussed: coherence, and specificity. For each kind of patterning, significant methodological obstacles are considered that need to be overcome before empirical studies can adequately test theories and resolve controversies. Finally, links that coherence and specificity have with health and well-being are considered.
What produces emotions? Why do we have emotions? How do we have emotions? Why do emotional states feel like something? This book considers these questions, going beyond examining brain mechanisms of emotion, by proposing a theory of what emotions are, and an evolutionary, Darwinian, theory of the adaptive value of emotion.
While the influence of emotion on individuals'' ethical decisions has been identified by numerous researchers, little is known about how emotions influence individuals'' ethical decision process. Thus, it is not clear whether different emotions promote and/or discourage ethical decision-making in the workplace. To address this gap, this paper develops a model that illustrates how emotion affects the components of individuals'' ethical decision-making process. The model is developed by integrating research findings that consider the two dimensions of emotion, (...) arousal and feeling state, into an applied cognitive-developmental perspective on the process of ethical decision-making. The model demonstrates that certain emotional states influence the individual''s propensity to identify ethical dilemmas, facilitate the formation of the individual''s prescriptive judgments at sophisticated levels of moral development, lead to ethical decision choices that are consistent with the individual''s prescriptive judgements, and promote the individual''s compliance with his or her ethical decision choices. In particular, the model suggests that individuals experiencing arousal and positive affect resolve ethical dilemmas in a manner consistent with more sophisticated cognitive moral structures. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. (shrink)
The perceptual model of emotions maintains that emotions involve, or are at least analogous to, perceptions of value. On this account, emotions purport to tell us about the evaluative realm, in much the same way that sensory perceptions inform us about the sensible world. An important development of this position, prominent in recent work by Peter Goldie amongst others, concerns the essential role that virtuous habits of attention play in enabling us to gain perceptual and evaluative knowledge. I think that (...) there are good reasons to be sceptical about this picture of virtue. In this essay I set out these reasons, and explain the consequences this scepticism has for our understanding of the relation between virtue, emotion, and attention. In particular, I argue that our primary capacity for recognizing value is in fact a non-emotional capacity. (shrink)
Emotion processing is known to be impaired in psychopathy, but less is known about the cognitive mechanisms that drive this. Our study examined experiencing and suppression of emotion processing in psychopathy. Participants, violent offenders with varying levels of psychopathy, viewed positive and negative images under conditions of passive viewing, experiencing and suppressing. Higher scoring psychopathics were more cardiovascularly responsive when processing negative information than positive, possibly reflecting an anomalously rewarding aspect of processing normally unpleasant material. When required to (...) experience emotional response, by ‘getting into the feeling’ of the emotion conveyed by a negative image, higher factor 1 psychopathic individuals showed reduced responsiveness, suggesting that they were less able to do this. These data, together with the absence of corresponding differences in subjective self-report might be used to inform clinical strategies for normalising emotion processing in psychopathic offenders to improve treatment outcome, and reduce risk amongst this client group. (shrink)