Psychology of Emotions
7 February, 2013
The Affective Process
Paul Thomas Young- deals with animals and human emotions
1.Simple feelings- pleasantness/unpleasantness associated with odours, tastes factual stimuli, tones,
colour and other sensory excitation
2. Negative organic feelings- hunger, thirst, pain, fatigues and positive organic feelings of dietary
satisfaction, relief, physical well being, sex.
3. Activity feelings- appetitive state such as hunger, thirst, sexual desire, eliminative urges and also
including activity feelings of interest, aversion, enthusiasm commitment boredom.
4. Sentiments and attitudes- more aestheis, religious, intellectucal. Social, which are based upon
previous experience, education, training
5. Moods- of cheerfulness elation..
6. Pathological affects- of deep depression, mania, apathy, anxiety, hostility. They are moods that
7. Emotions- of fear, anger, laughing, weeping sexual excitement, agonly, shame, humiliation
8. temperament – of individuals who are cheerful, vivacious, sanguine.
Definition of Emotion- an acutely disturbed affective process or state which originate in the
psychological situation and which is reveled by marked bodily changes in smooth muscles,
glands and gross behaviour.
Emotion is a disturbance, a departure from normal state of composure. It tends to occur when our
attempt to cope fails.
Emotions are affective in that they are characteristically, pleasant, unpleasant, or indifferently excited.
Emotions differ ffrom simple feelings of pleasantness or unpleasantness in that they originate in
perception and memory rather than receptor stimulation
Emotions differ from intraorganic feelings in that they arise from psychological situations which always
include an environment factor, present or past Emotions are briefer and more intense than moods. Emotions are like episodes, it goes in and out.
Emotions are normal although they appear during pathological affects in person with different
temperament. Some people have a set point it takes a lot to bother some people and it doesn’t take a
lot to bother some other people, they have a low threshold. You can have intense types or emotions
with different kinds of people.
Two Kinds of People and Two Intellectual Traditions
We have been talking about thinking and feeling
Thinkers: problem solers who face challenges and address needs.
Emotionally oriented people: experience life in depth
It is important to be a thinker and a solver, but you cant afford to get yourself trapped in one of these,
you need a balanace, you need to be able to shift between thinking and feeling. Sometimes you need to
put your feelings aside to be able to think.
Of cours people reflect abalance between the two modes of beinging the world
But some people tend to express more of one style than another.
Introducing the Word Emotion
Samuel Johnson defined emotion as a disturbance of mind, vehemence of passion, pleasing or pain.
The introduction f the word emotion into common use, replacing the word passion can be understood
as part of the process of secularization. The shift from passions to emotion shifted to a more secular
shift is something good or bad for me. A shift from a god viewpoint to a more thinking about what is
good for the self.
The philosopher David Hume made frequent use of the new word emotion which had been derived from
the word motion describing social or physical agitation and, by analogy, mental agitation or excitement.
In philosophy, physics is built across the word motion. Everything that being motion in physics became
motioning in psychology. Motives goes with why did you do this
The distinction between motive and an emotion became prominent and replaced the old contrast
between reason and passions.
The distinction can be traced back to two important intellectual traditions from the late 1700s
It is essential to realize that current ideas in psychology are reflections of ideas started 300 years ago.
G. Allport- Boring- talked about content psychology, the ideas that are in your mind, and they are
associated. The other is focussed on the act psychology.
John Locke: talked about the content, and analytical approach, breaking things into small pieces. It The Germans gave priorities to the whole experience.
Enlightenment Roots of Actions Theory: You’ve got to take action. There was great actiong in the game
last night. He was a man of action.
England in the 1700s- Transition from Feudal and Christian scoeities to modern secular
society…Theories are how society works.
The emerging modern society in 18 century Britain was based on free wage labour and capital, the
ubiquity of commercial and contractural relationships, the principle of representative government,
individual enterprise and scientific rationality.
This account of the privatization of action focussed on the contingency between preference and actions
to maximize benefits that were available to males of the propertied classes. Taking actions to maximize
the benefits for yourself. First you had good and evil in the world and as we became more secular it
became things that were good or bad for me. Now we have choices and rationality.
Determinism and Rationality were salient themese during the Newtonian period.
In emotion we find transition from: Passiongs as signs and symptoms of a disobedient fallen soul TO
Affections as enlightened movement of the rational will.
Feelings become signs, of if youre making the right decision or not.
A distinction was drawn between violent passions which affected a person directly through either
internal or external sensations, and calm, cool or gentle passions or interests which formed gradually
through reflection on the outcomes of past actions.
The reflection could be accompanied by the experience of pain and pleasure, indicators of relative
success or failure of their actions. We are undertaking actions for rational reasons that are guided by
willpower and we monitor or feelings of pleasure and excitement as indicators or whether we made the
right decision or not. Feelings are the shadow of cognitions, it tells us whether we made the right
decision or not
The transformation of passion into calm desires could serve as a motive to guide behaviour
Calm desires follow Natural Laws and the good or evil consequent to action can be quantified and
therefore subject to calculation
The will then provides a mean for t