Psychological and Biological Approaches to Emotion

By Nancy L. Stein; Bennett Leventhal et al. | Go to book overview

2
A Constructivist Theory of Emotion

George Mandler Center for Human Information Processing, University of California, San Diego


INTRODUCTION

A cognitive theory of emotion (in this case discrepancy/evaluation theory) is concerned with the representations and processes that construct emotional experience. Its main focus must be on problems of representation, on the way emotion-relevant information is processed, and on the way unified emotional conscious contents are constructed. The intent of this chapter is to amplify an approach to emotional experience that has been in the process of development for over 25 years--and still is ( Mandler, 1962, 1964, 1975, 1980, 1984).

I start with a short summary of the constituents of emotional experience, with special emphasis on evaluative knowledge as the source of "affective" information. I also discuss some ideas about the functions of consciousness (the "constitutive problem of psychology"; Miller, 1985). I then discuss some possible (and actual) criticisms of discrepancy/evaluation theory. The following sections are concerned with extensions of the theory. I present some new data on "affective" processing, showing once more that the inclusion of "affect" slows processing of simple informational tasks. In addition, data are presented on the supposed separability of cognitive and affective processes. Next, I briefly discuss extensions of discrepancy theory and conclude with some speculations about evolutionary aspects of human emotion.

Before I start on this journey, a brief word about the use of the word affect. Unfortunately it has meant many things to many people, ranging from hot to cold interpretations. At the hot end it has been used coextensively with emotion, implying an intensity dimension; at the cold end it is frequently used without

-21-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Psychological and Biological Approaches to Emotion
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 454

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.