Emotion Research: Cognitive and Experimental Psychology


Focus on emotions in the larger social context; role of emotions in constructing, maintaining, and coordinating social structures.

Emotions are communication mechanisms; between mother and infant, in families, and in larger social groups. Developed from evolutionary theories (Darwin, 1872) who recognized the continuity of emotional expression across species. Emotions serve an adaptive function for the organism by: 1) Externally: signal intentions to others (e.g., growling implies impending attack); 2) Internally: prepare body for action (e.g., adrenaline prepares for quick response). Distinct emotions are linked to distinct desired behaviors and function to improve animal's chances for survival. Different sets of such situations-emotions-behavior patterns stable across species have been proposed: ingestic, agonistic, sexual, shelter-seeking, care-giving, care-soliciting, eliminative, allelomimetic, investigative (Scott, 1958); protection - fear; destruction - anger; incorporation - acceptance; rejection - disgust; reproduction - joy; reintegration - sadness; orientation - surprise; exploration - curiosity (Plutchnik, 1980). Many emotions are innate; evidence for innateness of emotions: 1) similar form across species; 2) similar form from childhood to adulthood; expressed before learning can take place; 3) similar across cultures; 4) similar in blind and sighted people.

Editor: Eva Hudlicka [psychometrixassociates.com]

Please send us your comments.

...Navigate The Emotion Site