Emotion

emotion, term commonly and loosely used to denote individual, subjective feelings which dictate moods. In psychology, emotion is considered a response to stimuli that involves characteristic physiological changes—such as increase in pulse rate, rise in body temperature, greater or less activity of certain glands, change in rate of breathing—and tends in itself to motivate the individual toward further activity. Early psychological studies of emotion tried to determine whether a certain emotion arose before the action, simultaneously with it, or as a response to automatic physiological processes. In the 1960s, the Schachter-Singer theory pointed out that cognitive processes, not just physiological reactions, played a significant role in determining emotions. Robert Plutchik developed (1980) a theory showing eight primary human emotions: joy, acceptance, fear, submission, sadness, disgust, anger, and anticipation, and argued that all human emotions can be derived from these. Psychologists Sylvan Tomkins (1963) and Paul Ekman (1982) have contended that "basic" emotions can be quantified because all humans employ the same facial muscles when expressing a particular emotion. Studies done by Ekman suggest that muscular feedback from a facial expression characteristic of a certain emotion results in the experience of that emotion. Since emotions are abstract and subjective, however, they remain difficult to quantify: some theories point out that non-Western cultural groups experience emotions quite distinct from those generally seen as "basic" in the West.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Emotion: Selected full-text books and articles

Emotion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives By Robert D. Kavanaugh; Betty Zimmerberg; Steven Fein Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996
Handbook of Cognition and Emotion By Tim Dalgleish; Mick J. Power Wiley, 1999
The Nature of Emotion: Fundamental Questions By Paul Ekman; Richard J. Davidson Oxford University Press, 1994
Emotions and Needs By Dawn Freshwater; Chris Robertson Open University Press, 2002
Mood and Temperament By David Watson Guilford Press, 2000
Passion and Reason: Making Sense of Our Emotions By Richard S. Lazarus; Bernice N. Lazarus Oxford University Press, 1996
What Emotions Really Are: The Problem of Psychological Categories By Paul E. Griffiths The University of Chicago Press, 1997
Emotion and Consciousness By Lisa Feldman Barrett; Paula M. Niedenthal; Piotr Winkielman Guilford Press, 2005
Emotions: An Essay in Aid of Moral Psychology By Robert C. Roberts Cambridge University Press, 2003
The Hidden Genius of Emotion: Lifespan Transformations of Personality By Carol Magai; Jeannette Haviland-Jones Cambridge University Press, 2002
Emotional Expression and Health By Ivan Nykliek; Lydia Temoshok; Ad Vingerhoets Brunner-Routledge, 2004
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