Emotion

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Emotions
Basic

Anger
Fear
Sadness
Happiness
Disgust
Surprise

Others

Aggression
Apathy
Anxiety
Boredom
Contempt
Depression
Doubt
Ecstasy
Empathy
Envy
Embarrassment
Euphoria
Frustration
Gratitude
Grief
Guilt
Hatred
Hope
Horror
Hostility
Hunger
Hysteria
Loneliness
Love
Paranoia
Pity
Pleasure
Pride
Rage
Regret
Remorse
Shame
Suffering
Sympathy

Emotions are what people feel. In terms of evolution, they are very ancient, and can be seen in all mammals. They are caused by a complex mixture of hormones and the unconscious mind. Only with great difficulty can we control our emotions by conscious effort. They cause mammals to change behaviour according to changes in their situation. In our case they sometimes run against our attempt to live our lives in a logical way.

A scientific definition is not simple; apparently over 90 definitions have been offered by experts.[1] A definition of emotion needs to includes three things:

  1. conscious experience (feelings)
  2. expressions which can be seen by others
  3. actions of the body ('physiological arousal')

Here is one definition:

"Emotion is a complex psychological phenomenon which occurs as animals or people live their lives. Emotions involve physiological arousal, appraisal of the situation, expressive behaviours, and conscious experience. Emotion is associated with feeling, mood, temperament, personality, disposition, and motivation".[2][3]

In physical terms, emotions involve body systems which have operated for hundreds of millions of years. These are the hormone system, the autonomic nervous system and the 'lower' brain centres (hindbrain and midbrain).

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Robert Plutchik 2001. The nature of emotions. American Scientist
  2. Frijda 1992. The laws of emotions.
  3. Myers, David G. 2004. Theories of emotion in Psychology. 7th ed, Worth, New York.