Emotion Research: Cognitive and Experimental Psychology

Emotion research in psychology reflects the diversity of the discipline itself. Like the proverbial elephant, the complex phenomenon of emotions is addressed from different perspectives, at different levels of abstraction, using different methods, and asking different questions, depending on the subdiscipline. Thus social psychologists focus on the role of emotions in communication and interpersonal interaction, cognitive psychologists focus the role of cognition in emotional responses and on the influence of emotions on cognition, clinical psychologists focus on pathological manifestation of emotions, etc. The subdisciplines, as well as individuals within the subdisciplines, have a range of views on emotion, including: emotions as innate behavioral tendencies improving chances of survival (ethological, sociobiological view), maladaptive learned responses (behavioral - which is the closest to the outdated Stoic and Kantian view of emotions as diseases of the (rational) mind; emotions as the results of cognitive appraisals of a situation (cognitive appraisal theories). Below is an outline of the major categories of emotion theories.

Editor: Eva Hudlicka [psychometrixassociates.com]

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