Feeling is the nominalization of the verb to feel. The word was first used in the English language to describe the physical sensation of touch through either experience or perception. The word is also used to describe experiences other than the physical sensation of touch, such as "a feeling of warmth" and of sentience in general. In Latin, sentire meant to feel, hear or smell. In psychology, the word is usually reserved for the conscious subjective experience of emotion. Phenomenology and heterophenomenology are philosophical approaches that provide some basis for knowledge of feelings. Many schools of psychotherapy depend on the therapist achieving some kind of understanding of the client's feelings, for which methodologies exist.
Perception of the physical world does not necessarily result in a universal reaction among receivers (see emotions), but varies depending on one's tendency to handle the situation, how the situation relates to the receiver's past experiences, and any number of other factors. Feelings are also known as a state of consciousness, such as that resulting from emotions, sentiments or desires.
People buy products in hopes that this certain product will make them feel a certain way either happy, excited or beautiful. Some women buy beauty products in hopes of achieving a state of happiness or a sense of self beauty. Past events are used in our lives to form schemas in our minds and based on those past experiences we expect our lives to follow a certain script just because of a past event.
A social psychologist, Daniel Gilbert alongside other researchers conducted a study on the influence of feelings on events. The results showed that when the participants predicted a positive feeling for an event, the higher the chances that they wanted to relive the event. Predicted feelings were either short lived or did not correlate to what the participant expected.
How You Feel About What You Feel
Individuals in society predict that a certain something will give them the desired outcome or feeling of expectation. Indulging in what one might have thought would've made them happy or excited only causes a temporary fill or it might actually give the complete opposite results than we had expected. Events and experiences are done and relived in life to satisfy one's feelings.
Details and information about the past is used to make decisions. Gilbert and Wilson conducted a study to show how pleased a person would feel if they purchased flowers for themselves for no specific reason (birthday, anniversary, promotion or etc...) just because and how long they thought that feeling would last. People who had no experience of purchasing flowers for themselves and those who had experienced buying flowers for themselves were tested. Results showed that those who had purchased flowers in the past for themselves felt happier and that feeling lasted longer versus a person who had never experienced purchasing flowers for themselves. Past experiences of feelings influence our current decision making. Feelings from the past dictate how we will feel in the future and if we in turn want to feel that way again.
Arlie R. Hoschild, a sociologist depicted two account of emotion. The organismic emotion is the outburst of emotions and feelings. In organismic emotion, emotions/ feelings are not thought about prematurely, but instantly expressed. In organismic emotion social and other various factor do not influence how the emotion is perceived, so these factors have no control onto how or if the emotion is suppressed or expressed.
In interactive emotion, emotions and feelings are controlled. In interactive emotion the individual is constantly in a conversation as to how to react or what to suppress. Unike in organismic emotion, in interactive emotion the individual is aware of their decision on how they feel and how they show it.
Erving Goffman, a sociologist and writer compared how actors withheld their emotions to the everyday individual. Like actors, individuals can control how the emotions are expressed, but they cannot control the emotion or feelings that they feel on the inside. Inner feelings can only be suppressed in order to achieve the expression you want people to see on the outside. Goffman explains that emotions and emotional experience are an ongoing thing that an individual is consciously and actively working through. Individuals want to conform to society with their inner and outer feelings.
Anger, happiness, joy, stress, and excitement are some of the feelings that are experienced in life. When we are feeling these emotions our bodies are reacting as well. When we are nervous we feel knots in our stomach or when we are angry the very hairs on our bodies tend to rise.
Feelings can lead to harm and also blissful things. When an individual is dealing with an overwhelming amount of stress and problems in their lives, it can lead them to cause self harm. When one is in a good state of feeling they never want it to end; however, when someone is in a bad place in their life they just want that feeling to go away or stop completely. Inflicting harm or pain to oneself is sometimes the answer for many individuals because they just want something to keep their mind off the real problem or issue that is going on in their lives. The individual figures that the pain they are causing to themselves is not as bad as what their actual problem is. These individuals cut, stab, and starve themselves in efforts to feel something other than their current feeling. Distraction is not the only reason why many individuals choose to inflict self harm. Some people inflict self harm not to numb or distract themselves from that feeling they were feeling earlier, but they inflict self pain as a way to punish themselves for feeling a certain way.
A gut feeling, or gut reaction, is a visceral emotional reaction to something. It may be negative, such as a feeling of uneasiness, or positive, such as a feeling of trust. Gut feelings are generally regarded as not modulated by conscious thought, and as a reflection of intuition rather than rationality. The phrase "gut feeling" may also be used as a shorthand term for an individual's "common sense" perception of what is considered "the right thing to do"; such as: helping an injured passerby, avoiding dark alleys and generally acting in accordance with instinctive feelings about a given situation. It can also refer to simple common knowledge phrases which are true no matter when said, such as "Water is wet", "Fire is hot", or to ideas that an individual intuitively regards as true, without proof (see "Truthiness" for examples).
The Feeling of Knowing or Not Knowing
The way that we see other people express their emotions or feelings is what we use to respond back. The way an individual responses to a situation is based on feeling rules. If an individual is uninformed about a situation the way they respond would be in a completely different demeanor than if they were informed about a situation. If a tragic situation had occurred and you had knowledge of it, then your response would be sympathetic to that situation versus if you had no knowledge of the situation then your response would be indifferent. A lack of knowledge or information about an event can shape the way an individual sees things and the way they respond back.
Timothy D. Wilson, a psychology professor tested this theory of the feeling of uncertainty along with his colleague Yoav Bar-Anan, a social psychologist. Wilson and Bar-Ann found that the more uncertain or unclear an individual is about a situation, the more invested they are. Since an individual does not know the background or the ending of a story they are constantly replaying an event in their mind which is causing them to have mixed feelings of happiness, sadness, excitement, and et cetera.
Individuals in society want to know every detail about something in hopes to maximize the feeling for that moment, but Wilson found that feeling uncertain can lead to something being more enjoyable because it has a sense of mystery. In fact the feeling of not knowing can leave our minds to wonder off and to constantly think and feel about what could've been.
There are two types of emotion work, evocation and suppression. Evocation is used to obtain or bring up a certain feeling and suppression is used to put away or hide certain unwanted feelings. Emotion work is done by you yourself, others upon you, or you upon others. Emotion work is done to achieve a certain feeling that one believes they should feel.
There are three types of emotion work: cognitive, bodily, and expressive. Cognitive changes images, bodily changes physical aspects, and expressive changes gestures. A person who is sad uses expressive emotion work to lift their spirits by trying to smile. A person who is stressed uses bodily emotion work by trying to breathe slower in order to lower stress levels. Emotion work allows individuals to change their feelings to suit the current situation.
Feelings are deemed appropriate if they fit the current situation. Since individuals want to fit in and be normal, they are constantly working on their feelings in order to fit the situation. Emotion work is more so how people want to feel or how they want other people to see them feel. Feelings are not permanent, but an ongoing thing because people constantly try to bring up, suppress, or manage feelings.
Social Class and Feelings
Class differences influence and varies how a parent raises their child. Middle-class parents raise their child through the use of feelings and lower-class parents raise their children through behavior control. Middle-class parents and lower-class parents raise their children to be like them feeling and behavioral wise. Middle-class children get reprimanded for feeling the wrong way and lower-class children are punished for behaving in a bad manner or behavior.
Lionel Trilling, an author and literary critic described the technique that the middle and the lower class parents use over under-working and overworking their children's feelings causes them to seek approval of their feelings in the future. When children of the lower class of working class family go out into the work field they are less prepared for emotional management than the middle class children.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1921 Collier's Encyclopedia article Feeling.|
- Affect or Affective
- Cognitive neuroscience
- Feeling rules
- Hard problem of consciousness
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
- Psychological Types
- Sensation (psychology)
- Vedanā, the Buddhist concept of feeling
- feeling - Dictionary definition and pronunciation - Yahoo! Education
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