Emotions: Essays on Emotion Theory

Emotions: Essays on Emotion Theory

Emotions: Essays on Emotion Theory

Emotions: Essays on Emotion Theory

Synopsis

Based upon lectures presented at an invitational colloquium in honor of Nico Frijda, this collection of essays represents a brief and up-to-date overview of the field of emotions, their significance and how they function. For most, emotions are simply what we feel, giving our lives affective value. Scientists approach emotions differently -- some considering the "feeling" aspect to be of little relevance to their research questions. Some investigators consider emotions from a phenomenological perspective, while others believe that the psychophysiological bases of the emotions are of prime importance, and still others observe and study animals in order to generate hypotheses about human emotions. Containing essays which represent each of these approaches, this book is in one sense a heterogenous collection. Nevertheless, the variety of approaches and interests come together, since these scholars are all operating from a more or less cognitive psychological orientation and use the same conceptual reference scheme. Written by experts in their own area, the essays reflect the richness of research in emotions. Whether these approaches and opinions can be harmonized into a single theory of emotions is a question which the future will have to answer.

Excerpt

This volume is a collection of essays on emotions, their significance, and how they function. For most of us, emotions are simply what we feel. They give our lives affective value. Scientists, however, approach emotions differently, some considering the "feeling" aspect to be of little relevance to their research questions. Some investigators consider emotions from a phenomenological perspective, others believe that the physiological bases of the emotions are of prime importance, still others observe and study animals in order to generate hypotheses about human emotions. This volume contains essays that represent each of these approaches. It is, therefore, in one sense a heterogeneous collection. Nevertheless, the variety of approaches and interests come together, since these scholars are all operating from a more or less cognitive psychological orientation and use the same conceptual reference scheme. These essays are written by experts in their own area and they reflect the richness of research in emotions. Whether these approaches and opinions on the emotions can be harmonized in a single theory of emotions is a question that the future will have to answer. Thus, although it is obviously desirable at this moment in time that there be "cross- fertilization," we are not yet ready for a complete synthesis of concepts and approaches.

We offer a brief summary of the main issues raised in each of the essays. Before we begin, we first point out that the essays have been grouped together under three general sections: the energetic and structural aspects of emotions, the expression and consequences of emotions, and social interaction and emotions.

In the section on the energetic and structural aspects of emotions, the issues discussed are the anatomical and neurological bases of the emotions. Cognitive psychophysiology provides a bridge between these levels of research.

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