Approaches to Emotion

Approaches to Emotion

Approaches to Emotion

Approaches to Emotion

Synopsis

This sourcebook is intended as a reader in the fullest sense of that word: a work that offers researchers and students alike the opportunity to examine the many different aspects and widely divergent approaches to the study of emotion. The contributors include samples of biological, ontogenetic, ethological, psychological, sociological, and anthropological approaches.

Excerpt

After many years of neglect during which time only a few scholars were concerned with emotion (among them three contributors to this volume, Plutchik, Pribram, and Tomkins), emotion has become a vital, almost fashionable topic in the social and behavioral sciences. Two pitfalls endanger current work: that it may proceed unaware of earlier work and, that it may not be cognizant of the current work from each of the disciplines now concerned with emotion. There are important older contributions and new activity in anthropology, biology, ethology, philosophy, psychology, and sociology. Although not all are represented in this volume, the authors do represent a number of disciplines and multiple approaches that we believe merit further consideration and study, and newer approaches to emotion.

Even though this book is not a volume reporting conference proceedings, it did emerge from two meetings. In 1979 Peter Marler and Klaus Scherer organized a small meeting in Paris with the help of the Thyssen Foundation and the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme on "Evolutionary Continuity in Affect and Affect Expression. " On the basis of this preliminary meeting, Paul Ekman, Peter Marler, and Klaus Scherer prepared a larger conference which was held at the Werner-Reimers Foundation, Bad Homburg in July, 1981 with the support of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Werner-Reimers Foundation. The purpose of this meeting was to consider a variety of questions about the nature and function of emotion, juxtaposing different theories and empirical approaches. The basis for the transactions at the meeting was a long list of relevant questions that were formulated by Ekman and Scherer on the basis of suggestions of the participants (see Chapter 1). Conference participants also prepared position papers to inform one another about their respective work, because about half were unfamiliar with each other.

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