Causes and Consequences of Feelings

Causes and Consequences of Feelings

Causes and Consequences of Feelings

Causes and Consequences of Feelings

Synopsis

Although it is well known that people's feelings can often influence what they remember, how they think, and what they do, systematic investigations of these effects are relatively new. Summarizing much of what has been learned in the past several decades, this book looks at how good and bad feelings arise, and then how they can affect thought and actions. Besides showing the often-suprising ways in which mood can shape judgments and memory, this volume examines, among other things, how emotional arousal influences the accuracy of eyewitness testimony, whether childhood traumas are repressed, and what impact people's feelings have on their susceptibility to persuasive communications.

Excerpt

To be fully human is to have feelings. Can we imagine being alive and not feeling happy at our success on a daunting task or not being sad if a loved one dies tragically? Are there people who have never become angry at learning that someone has wronged them or who haven't enjoyed a concert or an exciting game or a cooling drink on a hot day or who haven't been frightened by a sudden danger? Surely, unless there's some serious neurological problem, to live is to experience pleasure or displeasure, happiness or sadness, anger or fear or contentment.

This book is concerned largely with the causes and, especially, the consequences of positive and negative feelings: How our thoughts, judgments, memories, and interactions with others can be affected as a result of experiencing pleasure or displeasure. You will see that our emotions, our moods, and even our physical sensations can distort our judgments, alter what ideas occur to us and what we remember, and affect our behavior to those around us. Many of these influences are quite surprising and certainly far more complicated than most people generally expect. More important in this pragmatic age, feelings can lead to error. The best way to minimize the mistaken judgments and/or erroneous decisions and/or faulty recollections that feelings can produce is to understand the nature of these effects and the conditions under which they arise.

This book will attempt to summarize what is known about the causes and consequences of good and bad feelings. Neurologists, cognitive neuroscientists, and psychophysiologists have taught us a great deal about emotions and feelings, and the interested reader would do well to delve into their writings on these topics. But we can also obtain valuable insights from the research and writings of psychologists and other behavioral scientists.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.