Approaches to Emotion

By Klaus R. Scherer; Paul Ekman | Go to book overview

they not only differ from each other but also from that which is found for emotion. I will not here attempt to specify how the physiological activity which accompanies particular emotions might differ for individuals with particular emotional traits or emotional disorders.

The ten characteristics I have described are not of equal importance in distinguishing the boundaries of emotion. Duration is, for now, the most useful in distinguishing among all the affective phenomena. Research may soon show that these distinctions can be as readily made by the type and extent of ANS and CNS activity.

Three general assumptions about emotion have been implied in my discussion. (1) Emotion has evolved to deal with fundamental life tasks. (2) To be adaptive quite different patterns of activity would have evolved for each emotion, so that what occurs (in expression or physiology), and when it occurs (the events which call forth emotion) is emotion-specific, different for anger, fear, distress, happiness, etc. (3) There is coherence; for each emotion there are interconnected patterns in expression and physiology linked to the appraisal of prototypic situational events.

The ten characteristics are not all that distinguishes emotion, although it does include much of what has been found by emotion researchers in the last decade. I have not discussed the subjective experience of emotion, nor developmental factors. I left out how collateral cognitive activity (such as expectations and memories), and social contextual factors differentially come into play, distinguishing not only among the emotions, but also between emotions and the other affective states. Hopefully, what I have described will aid in sharpening the argument about the nature of emotion, exposing areas of agreement and disagreement, and most importantly, provoking questions for theoretical consideration which are amenable to empirical study.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Part of this chapter was reported in 1980 at the Conference on the Nature and Function of Emotion in Bad Homburg, Germany. Portions were also presented to the German Congress of Psychology in 1982 and are printed in the proceedings of that meeting. The preparation of this chapter was supported by a Research Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health. The research reported was supported by a grant (MH 11976) from the National Institute of Mental Health and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

All of the research reported and the interpretations are the produce of collaborative research over the past 20 years with Wallace V. Friesen.

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Approaches to Emotion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface xi
  • Questions About Emotion: An Introduction 1
  • References 7
  • 1: BIOLOGICAL APPROACH 9
  • 1: Emotion: A Neurobehavioral Analysis 13
  • References 34
  • 2: Hemispheric Asymmetry and Emotion 39
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 54
  • 3: Contributions from Neuroendocrinology 59
  • References 70
  • II DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACHES 73
  • 5: The Organization of Emotional Development 109
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 127
  • References 127
  • 6: Emotions in Infancy: Regulators of Contact and Relationships with Persons 129
  • Acknowledgments 154
  • III PSYCHOLOGICAL AND ETHOLOGICAL APPROACHES 159
  • 7: Affect Theory 163
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 194
  • References 194
  • 8: Emotions: A General Psychoevolutionary Theory 197
  • References 218
  • 9: Cognition, Emotion and Motivation: The Doctoring of Humpty-Dumpty 221
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 234
  • 10: The Interaction of Affect and Cognition 239
  • 11: Thoughts on the Relations Between Emotion and Cognition 247
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 255
  • References 255
  • 12: On Primacy of Affect 259
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 268
  • 13: A Perceptual Motor Theory of Emotion of Emotion 271
  • References 289
  • 4: On the Nature and Function of Emotion: A Component Process Approach 293
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 315
  • References 316
  • 15: Expression and the Nature of Emotion 319
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 340
  • 16: Animal Communication: Affect or Cognition? 345
  • Acknowledgments 363
  • References 363
  • IV SOCIOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOLIGICAL APPROACHES 367
  • 17: Power, Status, and Emotions: A Sociological Contribution to A Psychophysiological Domain 369
  • References 381
  • 18: The Role of Emotion in Social Structure 385
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 396
  • References 396
  • 19: The Emotions in Comparative Perspective 397
  • References 411
  • Author Index 413
  • Subject Index 423
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