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The Cognitive Structure of Emotions

The Cognitive Structure of Emotions

$46.99 (C)

  • Date Published: May 1990
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521386647

$ 46.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • What causes us to experience emotions? What makes emotions vary in intensity? How are different emotions related to one another and to the language used to talk about them? What are the information processing mechanisms and structures that underlie the elicitation and intensification of emotions? Despite an abundance of psychological research on emotions, many fundamental questions like these have yet to be answered. The Cognitive Structure of Emotions addresses such questions by presenting a systematic and detailed account of the cognitive antecedents of emotions. The authors propose three aspects of the world to which people can react emotionally. People can react to events of concern to them, to the actions of those they consider responsible for such events, and to objects. It is argued that these three classes of reactions lead to three classes of emotions, each based on evaluations in terms of different kinds of knowledge representations. The authors characterize a wide range of emotions, offering concrete proposals about the factors that influence the intensity of each. In doing so, they forge a clear separation between emotions themselves and the language of emotion, and offer the first systematic, comprehensive, and computationally tractable account of the cognitions that underlie distinct types of human emotions.

    Reviews & endorsements

    "The primary value of this book is in the linking of emotions, in an intuitively sensible classification, to conditions and value structures in a way never before mapped out so explicitly and so well." Contemporary Sociology

    "This is a tightly reasoned, succinctly written, and intellectually demanding work." Cognition and Emotion

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 1990
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521386647
    • length: 224 pages
    • dimensions: 233 x 153 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.34kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    The study of emotion
    Types of evidence for theories of emotion
    Some goals for a cognitive theory of emotion
    2. Structure of the theory
    The organisation of emotion types
    Basic emotions
    Some implications of the emotions-as-valenced-reactions claim
    3. The cognitive psychology of appraisal
    The appraisal structure
    Central intensity variables
    4. The intensity of emotions
    Global variables
    Local variables
    Variable-values, variable-weights, and emotion thresholds
    5. Reactions to events: I. The well-being emotions
    Loss emotions and fine-grained analyses
    The fortunes-of-others emotions
    Self-pity and related states
    6. Reactions to events: II. The prospect-based emotions
    Shock and pleasant surprise
    Some interrelationships between prospect-based emotions
    Suspense, resignation, hopelessness, and other related states
    7. Reactions to agents
    The attribution emotions
    Gratitude, anger, and some other compound emotions
    8. Reactions to objects
    The attraction emotions
    Fine-grained analyses and emotion sequences
    9. The boundaries of the theory
    Emotion words and cross-cultural issues
    Emotion experiences and unconscious emotions
    Coping and the function of emotions
    Computational tractability.

  • Authors

    Andrew Ortony, Northwestern University, Illinois

    Gerald L. Clore, University of Virginia

    Allan Collins

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