Talk:Emotion/Archive 1

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Archive 1


Some General Concerns about This Review of Emotion As a Scientific Review

To borrow from Jaak Panksepp (a premier researcher and theorist in affective neuroscience whose own work is not adequately represented in this review), trying to discuss emotion in two or three pages in this fashion is a little bit like trying to navigate the Atlantic in a rowboat. In both instances, there is a better than 95% chance you're going to get swamped.

This article needs a major, major overhaul. It has major weaknesses in almost every single critical domain related to emotion science. It is very weak in terms of addressing a host of definitional and terminological issues that plague discussions of emotion, it references a tiny fraction of the affective neuroscience literature, it misrepresents/oversimplifies a host of complexities, it misrepresents the neuroanatomy of emotion, it has no conceptualization in any systematic way for how to understand the reciprocal relationships between emotion and cognition, and it has no principled evolutionary perspective (in which emotion might be thought of as an extension of homeostasis) other than some modest discussion of Darwin's contributions. It even contains several statements that are genuinely nonsensical such as "An emotional feeling, like an aroma, has a volatile or "thin-skinned" quality because sensory cells lie on the exposed exterior of the olfactory epithelium (i.e., on the bodily surface itself).

It frankly reads much more like an undergraduate college essay/laundry list of ideas about emotion rather than a professional review of such a critical subject. Such an important topic really does mandate someone to go in and start with a clean sheet of paper and overhaul the whole thing. Preferably someone with a serious neuroscience background who can write a balanced and decent review. This isn't even an adequate reference for someone trying to write a high school term paper. If one of my graduate or medical students produced something like this, they would get a D. It's frankly embarrassing to Wikipedia. WE CAN/SHOULD DO BETTER!! DFW April 2, 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:42, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes I agree (in full); this article is in a sorry state.
Even worse, besides not referencing Neuroanatomy/Neuropsychology, the quality of the traditional psychology arguments is very low.
I think Wikipedia is getting overtagged with cleanup tags, but this is one of the few articles where I agree with each and every one of them. Arnoutf (talk) 07:29, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

DFW: Thanks for the supportive comments and validation. If I had (much) more time, I might try to clean this thing up myself, but right now I have too many other things on my plate. Perhaps later (if I can talk a senior colleague of mine into helping me out). In the meantime, I worry that students who read this and take Wikipedia as near-gospel are going to absorb a whole bunch of pretty muddled ideas as state-of-the-art science. Hopefully readers will see some of these tags. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:30, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

So it is agreed then that this page should be substantially reduced? It would look better as a central area connecting all the other various pages on emotions (e.g. notable figures in emotions, affective neuroscience, aesthetic emotions). On this page there should just be some discussion of how emotions are defined, and even here it would involve links to different pages on emotion theories. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thomascochrane (talkcontribs) 09:22, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

That is not how I read above, the agreement seems to be a major overhaul is needed.
Practically I think your suggestion has some merit as it maybe a way to build the area from scratch. We need some historical overview of Emotion research and comparison of approaches somewhere though, I am not sure that is in the other articles as these are topic specific. Arnoutf (talk) 09:29, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Consistancy of the List of Emotions

"Gay/Happy" are adjectives, while the rest are nouns. "Gay" redirects to the sexuality, while "Happy" redirects to "Happiness" (which is also on the list). Is this right? 21:29, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Reflecting NPOV in the List of Emotions

Several prominent researchers each have their own lists of what they regard as an emotions. See for example three referenced lists at: To accurately represent a NPOV this article needs to describe the lack of agreement on a definitive list of emotions. The list of emotions that appears at the end of this article, and is listed as a sidebar on others pages (see for example anger), needs to either have a definitive reference, or be presented in the context of the on-going debate in the research community.--Lbeaumont 14:32, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Excellent point. Perhaps this (although a bit older by now) reference may help Ortony, A., & Turner, T. J. (1990). What's basic about basic emotions? Psychological Review, 97(3), 315-331.. Arnoutf 08:36, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Agreed also. Nowhere in the article (or even the talk) is the word "criteria" mentioned for determining whether a given word described should be called an emotion. That seems like a basic omission. I am aware that this is a bit of an old chestnut, but there seems to be active debate at this moment bearing on the WP emotion categorization. DCDuring 17:16, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
It will not be easy, as world renowned emotion psychologists are still not fully agreeing what the criteria should be. Arnoutf (talk) 08:50, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Old talk

Why is emotion defined as a decision and not a state? One can legitimately argue about states and will, but this approach seems very unusual. User:CSTAR

"It is not even clear whether emotion is a purely human phenomenon, since animals seem to exhibit conditions which resemble emotional responses such as anger, fear or sadness." Is it clear that humans experience emotion? We say yes because they are able to communicate that emotion. But who would be willing to say that a baby doesn't experience emotion, despite the similar lack of communication that other animals have? Wouldn't that imply that emotion is clearly not a human phenomenon? --Brad 20:59, 2004 Jun 21 (UTC)

I don't think the article claims that existence of emotion in human beings follows from any kind of verbal communication. Perhaps you could reformulate your argument. In fact the article as it stands claims very little. CSTAR 18:10, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I agree that the article doesn't claim it, but I think it implies some form of communication (not necessarily verbal, as I originally implied). Let's assume that humans feel emotion. I could claim that I know this because I'm a human and I feel, but choosing the associative category of human is arbitrary. I might as well say "all programmers experience emotion, but it's not clear it's restricted to that profession." We could take it to the other extreme end and say "all matter experiences emotion," althought that's pushing it a bit. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we can agree we feel because we can express that emotion and understand it through empathy and sympathy. I don't see how else we could make such a claim. --Brad 20:59, 2004 Jun 23 (UTC)

OK that's an important claim. Note that the article is constrained by some (perhaps false) precept of objective narrative. I think what's missing in the artcile is a short section asking the question whether it is even possible to theorize about emotion without devaluing the human quality that characterizes it. The reason I put the comment about animals was twofold:

  • To suggest (by a kind of reductio-ad-asburdum) the essentally human characteristics of emotion
  • This is not a new idea, by a long shot. Aristotle already had it.

In this regard, I think Martha Nussbaum's work is almost heroic, because she is attempting to inject the element of humanism into the dry discourse of academic philosophy.CSTAR 22:38, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Instead of splitting this article into the peculiar categories of psychology and culture, we might simply note that emotion has been studied physiologically, philosophically (including religious and psychological studies departing from standard accepted neurologic research), as well as including differing views of emotion occuring through the traditions of the world, and not just in recent European popular outlook. (-anonymous user}

This article is psychology-centric :)

This article looks at emotions pretty much exclusively from the point of view of psychology. I actually came here looking for information on how emotions actually work in the brain, in particular to what degree neuron firings are involved, and how much of it is chemical reactions/processes. Someone wants to expand? :) — Timwi 16:01, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Yes that should be included under something like physiology of emotions. Sorry can't help you there :( CSTAR 16:32, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. for now, see affective neuroscience. sallison 08:18, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Still not enough, from another angle there is almost no mention of the extensive philosophic tradition on emotions. The ontology of the mind and it's emotions is too big a problem to just mention a few views from science and Descartes (who hasn't disproved him?). There should be a serious consideration of phenomenological works, and the other lesser known traditions in cognitive science besides computational functionalism. There have been serious issues raised with the scientific methodology in this area by Fancisco Varela and others.

Lead paragraph

Why is emotion now described as a language (of an internal state of being?) I would have thought emotion would be described as a state or a process of a person. Whether that state/process is internal, external or observable inobservable is an entirely different matter. CSTAR 16:11, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I agree -- I find it bizarre and nonstandard to describe emotion as a "language". I recently edited the article to remove that claim, but I see that Stevertigo reverted my change. Stevertigo, can you please defend your reversion...? Look up "emotion" in the dictionary, I don't see any definition that resembles yours at all. --SethTisue 14:07, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I have not heard from Stevertigo, so I have again removed the description of emotion as a "language".--SethTisue 4 July 2005 19:58 (UTC)

It may be noted that emotional reaction can be considered personalised and individuated. In cases where emotional reaction is highly individuated, this might not designate a neurotic severance from society, but rather as exposure to social variances that are not usually combined. Interpetation of a sufficiently individuated emotional reaction becomes nonreflexive, and a conscious process. However, it is the experience of another's emotion and articulation of emotion that is similar to learning a language, at least if we view emotion as physiological: the physiological emotion itself is a complex inborn trait. In spiritual or philosophical analysis, all depends on the basis from which any individual philosophy or spiritual theory extends. Often we find less proofs in the spiritual than in the scientific, and hence emotion needn't be governed by rules and thus emotion could be seen as a language.
Emotion could in any case be theoretically linked to language or might possibly extend evolutionarily from expressive tendency in complex organisms with neural structure (though I doubt that it's a direct tie: language comprehension and actual emotion, despite the effect of slander or of flattery). My belief is that the state of this emotion article is presently limited and should be open to large development (with small revisions and repositions under new categories) rather than large negative revision (deletion of passages to reword them entirely). It's usually better to find a way to fit things in.
Emotion is a very interesting subject. Please add neurological definitions or links to these. (all three above paragraphs by anonymous user)

song lyrics useless?

should this be removed? I find them overly lengthy and not very helpful.--Mr. Moogle 23:15, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Yes please remove the lyrics. This article needs serious attention. CSTAR 04:29, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Evolutionary views

I got rid of a link to a page on "discrimination" that was all about an entirely different definition of the word.

Incomplete template

For some unfathomable reason, Desire and Lust are missing from the "Emotions" template. Perhaps William Blake knows why they are missing. But can someone who knows how to work with templates please add them in? Haiduc 04:01, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Two years later, I'm wondering too. I will try to add them, as I searched this talk page, and found no argument why they should be excluded (e.g. pyschologists exhibit such base emotions themselves so little that they don't recognise them). In my opinion, desire should be amongst the base emotions. Centrepull (talk) 11:08, 7 April 2008 (UTC)


Should material in the expanded introduction be largely moved to the body sections below? Dpr 05:37, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)


This article overall needs better structure and interal consistency/integration. Thanks. Dpr 05:52, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Deleted Links

I deleted this [1]. It is a link to an individual researcher on emotion and contains nothing that would serve someone looking for general information on emotion. --Kzollman 02:17, May 3, 2005 (UTC)

Is emotion simply are response?


Based on the many complaints above and my own reading of this article, I see a need for a major clean-up. I am willing to spearhead this process, but I am very interested in what the other authors who have invested in this page have to say. A few issues that I see on a first read are:

  • The article needs a more coherent structure (a clear outline structure that fairly presents different approaches to the topic that will make room for new sections like 'physiology of emotions' as requested above.)
  • The article needs to be less wordy. Some of the paragraphs present ideas that could be expressed in one or two sentences. Also, the introductory section should be much shorter. Being concise will result in a clearer article for the reader.
  • The article needs to be more balanced. Specifically:
    • Philosophy of Emotion needs to be more balanced with current understandings of emotion through psychological science and other social sciences. There should also be some room for perspectives from the biological sciences.
    • Personal opinions are presented in this article without reference (some of these can be supported with research ... it just isn't included). Science and philosophy arguments should be transparently grounded with references that the reader can follow.
    • Opposing viewpoints that are well supported by research are not represented (e.g. the relative constancy of many emotions across cultures as demonstrated by Paul Ekman)
    • Links to individual researchers, clinicians, and programs should be avoided unless they are widely accepted as historically important to the vast subject of emotion.

What are the most important ideas on this page that you want preserved? What are your references? In addition to what's been listed above by others, is there anything else that you would like to see on this page?

sallison 08:02, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

This article definately needs some Ekman. That was the first thing I thought when reading it. It shouldn't be reduced to just his framework through - he assumes that only commonly expressed emotions are universal. Things like "lust", "spirituality" and "enlightenment" are probably equally universal, they just aren't commonly expressed directly. 00:15, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

thoroughly agreed. it's one of the most comprehensive scientific studies of valence of emotion. i also agree with you on its limitations. it is especially important to add as the page currently makes it sound like emotion is not universal. great suggestions. thanks, sallison 00:56, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

i added a brief few paragraphs to emotion and relation to social factors. just trying to condense a little and pull from sources around wikipedia to avoid any repetition. this is just a rough draft, please email w/ changes and opinions. Genery351

Removal of Psychotherapeutic POV

I've removed a couple of anonymously contributed sentences today which seemed to be pushing particular views of emotions held by some members of the psychotherapeutic community. So far as I know, there is no balance of evidence supporting the views that were inserted. If evidence can be provided, let's put it in. If not, it's just POV. WMMartin 19:43, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Men and women

A blogger wrote:

"Who's more emotional, men or women? Contrary to popular belief, I think men are much more emotional than women. Women let out surface s**t like crying to their friends because everyone's going away to school, but I think men have emotion that runs deeper than oceans. We hold them in, (we must) and we confront them in private, in our rooms, in our sleep, in our car, in our MUSIC. Music can BREAK a man in half. Tear him down to a child. Sitting on the floor, crying, listening to those beautiful melodies, wanting love, wanting to give love, share love, feel, feel, feel. Women like to dance to music, and have beautiful rhythm, but I've never met one where the music could kill them. Where the music was EVERYTHING. Where music had the power to strip them of walls and masks. For my male friends, music saves them. It purges them of deep desperation and anguish in this idiotic world where men can't cry." [2]

It might also be interesting to compare the views of John Gray, author of the Men Are From Mars series. Uncle Ed 01:09, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Talking about differences men and women sounds really interesting. There's some great peer-reviewed literature in this area, so I think it will be possible to add something even stronger than people's individual impressions on the subject. I'll take a look and summarize what I find here soon. sallison 02:58, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

--Yanni Murfetto would like to add--: In general, the chemical makeup and innumerous drama scenes involving men often depict a deeper emotional loss to the male (not that women can't feel pain from such a situation, I'm just going by how often it occurs). Perhaps the testostorone creates more than just a passion for sex, but the desire to be with a mate as well. And this, mind you, is just speculation from me. I agree on your music opinion. It's one of the only accepted ways we can show and proclaim emotional state. It's miserable, really, and I'm very sensitive myself so it's even more difficult than the common chum. =End Reply=

My take on the literature so far is this: While there may be some differences in emotional terms between men and women, for the most part there are more differences between individuals within each sex than there are between women and men on the whole. This can be taken another way to mean that given any one man and any one woman, it would not be possible to predict much about their emotions based only on knowing their sex. In short, it seems likely that exploring individual differences in emotion is likely to be even more interesting than trying to characterize sex-related difference in emotion. sallison 22:09, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

Level of emotions is not dependent upon gender. It is different for every person. There is one saying in Marathi "Vyakti titkya Prakruti" It means that each and every person on the earth has different properties and nature. Instead emotional leval depends upon various things such as ones culture,surroundings,way of bringing up etc.- Shilpa Choudhari

"War on emotion"

The author Hackwrench removed content from this page and put it on a new war on emotion page, most likely because he disagreed with that section's POV. The funny thing is that I agree with the author that this content does indeed represent a limited POV; nonetheless, we can arrive at the final result better through intelligent discussion than through rash provocative deletions and postings. I'd appreciate if in the future, Hackwrench would take a deep breath himself and cool down his own emotions before making changes to articles. His action was inappropriate, but I look forward to working with both him and the other authors to come to a compromise that works for everyone. Perhaps a section titled "Approaches to Emotion in Psychotherapy" would be acceptable to all parties. sallison 20:58, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

The most concise and useful definition of emotion: A physiological change in response to a stimulus. Most of this article deals with human conscious awareness and interpretation of those changes. Many human and non-human emotions occur without conscious awareness. --Mike 21:05, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

As an affective neuroscientist I agree with you, but I think others with valuable viewpoints will disagree with that approach. It could also be argued that the most important aspect of emotion is the subjective conscious experience, and that wouldn't be wrong, as at that point it comes down to a matter of definitions. I suggest we split the article into sections, so that everyone can have their fair say. The best overall article would come out of a synthesis of these different perspectives. As an overall structure to the article I suggest:

  • Perspectives on emotion from philosophy
  • Perspectives on emotion from psychology
  • Perspectives on emotion from psychotherapy
  • Perspectives on emotion from neuroscience and psychophysiology

Each of these views is valid and more different than one might think. Our initial definition of emotion would then need to avoid offending any of these viewpoints. The definition you proposed is most likely to be untenable to the philosophical and psychotherapeutic views. Perhaps if we just used an even more general definition of emotion derived from the etymology section at the end, that would be accetable to everyone. Thoughts? sallison 21:59, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

There is a danger in generalizing one definition too far, when one can just instantiate multiple simple definitions that are accordingly clarified and classified as to general realm of usage. Consider trying to create a single definition for the word 'and' that actually retained knowledge informative outside of grammar.
In terms of physical psychotherapies such as yoga, I believe that definition wouldn't be too untenable (but wouldn't cover everything, probably) — 21:59, 9 June 2006 (UTC) (Formerly

A main theme I keep seeing in the debate over this article is between these two perspectives:

  • Understanding (and coping with) our personal subjective experience of emotions
  • The scientific or philosophical study of emotions from a detached perspective

These two different approaches are very interesting. An article that addresses both may result in a very fulfilling synthesis on this subject, with the added benefit of stoping people from deleting each other's entries. sallison 08:48, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

My understanding of emotion in the "measurable by machines" sense is that it is a neurological not a physiological state, brought about by the combination of rules encoded in the brain's neuro net and external stimuli. That neurological state, however results in a physiological effect. Some people cry when they are happy, for example. Hackwrench 22:44, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

However, to the best of my knowledge, everyday human experience, has not been observed outside itself, which is to say that no one has hooked up a device to say, ah ha this person is experiencing something, or this object is exhibiting a phenomenon that can only be human experience. Hackwrench 22:44, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

NOTE TO ALL AUTHORS: PROVIDE A REFERENCE TO A PUBLISHED SOURCE FOR ANY ADDITION YOU MAKE TO THIS ARTICLE. Only by grounding this article in established bodies of knowledge on emotion will we be able to reach any sort of consensus on what does and does not belong here. sallison 08:48, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

What about?

Pride and Shame?

agreed. those are very interesting emotions that need to be added. the first four you mention are particuarly intersting, as they would seem to be from a class of emotions that requires theory of mind, as might jealousy. the last two (calm/relaxed) would seem to be related to the concept of arousal, which is also an important theme that needs to be developed here with regards to emotion. lastly, a discussion of arousal needs to be developed alongside a discussion of emotional valence. sallison 16:54, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Are some of these (ie. Calm/Relaxed) emotions, or non-emotional states sometimes instantiated by emotions (or the lack thereof)? I think what my question boils down to is whether emotions are singular, or are/can be compound (emotion vs mood state); and if they are considered as compound, whether this loses information (ie. treating the class of organs as a subset of the class of tissues). -- 22:19, 9 June 2006 (UTC) (Formerly

molecules of emotion

I suggest to take in consideration the discoveries of Candace Pert on neuropeptides and their implication in emotional behaviour. Including her point of view, it might even be possible to mention the "new era" theories on emotions with a consistent scientific base. There is a need to explain the many alternative therapies who claim to be manipulating emotions or use their terminology to describe diseases (pe. he died of sorrow). Also Pert's discoveries put a link between popular wisdom on emotions and pharmaceutical descriptions of body chemistry where they mention emotions (pe. gutfeelings). Candace Pert is Ph.D in farmocology and currently holds a Research Professorship in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. I add a link to her personal page, for those who want to read her biography. Cwn 20:05, 16 November 2005 (UTC)


I just added some ideas (and references) to article from spanish version.

Please make comments

Carlos J. Duarte

PD. Sorry the grammar

sorry i was really baked

William James' Emotion

From William James' Emotion as given in Joseph E. LeDoux's "The Emotional Brain: the Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life"; ISBN: 0684836599; p. 43.

Why do we run away if we notice that we are in danger? Because we are afraid of what will happen if we don't. This obvious (and incorrect) answer to a seemingly trivial question has been the central concern of a century-old debate about the nature of our emotions.
It all began in 1884 when William James published an article titled "What Is an Emotion?" The article appeared in a philosophy journal called Mind, as there were no psychology journals yet. It was important, not because it definitively answered the question it raised, but because of the way in which James phrased his response. He conceived of an emotion in terms of a sequence of events that starts with the occurrence of an arousing stimulus {sympathetic nervous system} and ends with a passionate feeling, a conscious emotional experience. A major goal of emotion research is still to elucidate this stimulus-to-feeling sequence—to figure out what processes come between the stimulus and the feeling.
James set out to answer his question by asking another: do we run from a bear because we are afraid or are we afraid because we run? He proposed that the obvious answer, that we run because we are afraid, was wrong, and instead argued that we are afraid because we run:
Our natural way of thinking about... emotions is that the mental perception of some fact excites the mental affection called emotion, and that this latter state of mind gives rise to the bodily expression. My thesis on the contrary is that the bodily changes follow directly the PERCEPTION {the bear} of the exciting fact, and that our feeling of the same changes as they occur is the emotion {called 'feeling' by Damasio}.
The essence of James' proposal was simple. It was premised on the fact that emotions are often accompanied by bodily responses (racing heart, tight stomach, sweaty palms, tense muscles, and so on) and that we can sense what is going on inside our body much the same as we can sense what is going on in the outside world. According to James, emotions feel different from other states of mind because they have these bodily responses that give rise to internal sensations, and different emotions feel different from one another because they are accompanied by different bodily responses and sensations. For example, when we see James' bear, we run away. During this act of escape, the body goes through a physiological upheaval: blood pressure rises, heart rate increases, pupils dilate, palms sweat, muscles contract in certain ways {evolutionary, innate defense mechanisms}. Other kinds of emotional situations will result in different bodily upheavals. In each case, the physiological responses return to the brain in the form of bodily sensations, and the unique pattern of sensory feedback gives each emotion its unique quality. Fear feels different from anger or love {need} because it has a different physiological signature. The mental aspect of emotion, the feeling, is a slave to its physiology, not vice versa: we do not tremble because we are afraid or cry because we feel sad; we are afraid because we tremble and are sad because we cry.

From Spinoza's Ethics, Part III - E3:D.III

"By emotion I mean the modifications {sympathetic nervous system} of the body, whereby the active power of the said body is increased or diminished, aided or constrained, and also the ideas of such modifications."

EMOTION is a change in one's °Perpetuation. Its intensity is proportional to the change.

If the change is negative, it is Sorrow.
If the change is zero, it is Boredom.
If the change is positive, it is Joy.

Yesselman 16:22, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Image suggestions

I would like to see an image related to emotion in the article. My suggestions is the painting The Scream. hgamboa 18:39, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

sounds good. any suggestion for the caption? A series of Ekman's faces showing sadness, anger, fear, joy, surpise, and disgust would also be good. Stephen Allison 10:42, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

The System of Emotions


Deleted comments

The following comments were deleted by User: in this edit and have been reintroduced here in their original form' Semiconscioustalk 08:24, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

This diagram shows how emotions are related together. I call it Subjations which is a blend
of the words subjects and relations. A detailed description is posted below.
I'm not sure about the "right/wrong", "happiness and unhappiness", and "more and less" designations. It looks to me like "arrogance" for instance is on the happiness, "more", extrinsic axis and somehow relates to dignity. This is kind of confusing and definitely would break the Wikipedia:No_original_research rule. However it is interesting and I'd like to hear you explain in a little more detail. Semiconscioustalk 18:14, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Very nice effort. However the emotion field is debated since about Aristotle, or in other words there is no consensus on the structure of emotions at all. Such a scheme as sketched here needs a vey strong source, and even then can not be put beyond 'according to ......' status. Personally I would not easily agree that arrogance is an emotion for example. So if you want to continue with putting up this scheme, please introduce the necessary cautious phrasing and a large number of essential references. As far as I know you may be interested in Frijda's 1986, or Ortony Clore et al 1988 schemes. But there are more around. Best of luck Arnoutf 23:01, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to see the other schemes posted here. Then we could compare. I'd like to see what their diagrams look like.

New comment

Although I appreciate the time and effort put into this section, the above diagram and resulting discussion are not at all scientific. Although these can add to the discussion of emotion it should not be stated that this is THE definition. Furthermore, to follow the rules of Wikipedia one should not be putting forth his or her own agenda or ideas without peer-review and publication. If this is simply one persons idea it should be published and sited, if not it should be removed.

This should be under the category of Emotion Theory, but that category redirects to here.
The Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. It wants information. If other systems exist, they should
be posted here as well.

A few examples that are incorrect:

"Hate - excessive apathy" Apathy basically means indifference. Hate is a very active, intense emotion and although there is a popular saying, "The opposite of love is not hate; it is indifference" this far from makes hate equal to indifference. Also "excessive apathy" isn't logical. If apathy is lack of concern how can a person be "more unconcencerned".

Good point. A better term as the opposite of empathy would be antipathy. I'll change it.

"Expectation - future Contentment" Expectation is a preconceived idea of how some future event will pan out. It does not have an implication of positive or negative, which are both objective.

Future contentment does not imply positive or negative. This refutation is irrelevant.
Applying positive and negative to expectation incurs surprise, disappointment and
embarrassment. Surprise is above expectation (positive). Disappointment is antipathetically
below expectation or standard (negative). Embarrassment is empathetically below expectation
or standard (negative). There is also ecstatic which is excessive surprise and sadness
which is excessive disappointment or embarrassment. This definition of sadness is especially
interesting because it clarifies how sadness is differentiated from unhappiness.

"Crazy - if the extrinsic subject is ambiguous" Example: I am awoken by something and get angry. I didn't know what caused me to become awake; maybe a sound, or a bug landing on my face? Simply because I didn't know what the subject was or from where it came does not make me crazy.

Not knowing what the subject was or where it came from can drive one crazy. Crazy is also
known to mean not knowing right from wrong. JHuber 05:25, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

New comments

This is a diagram of our emotional system. It is a metaphysical philosophy based on subjects and relations. Since anything can be a subject, it is the highest of all possible systems.
(There is a little more information in this description than is in the diagram. Not everything can be drawn.)
Subject - a cross-utilized unit of a relation
Relation - more than one subject combined together
Extrinsic Subject - subject given to a relation
Intrinsic Subject - subject contained in a relation
Right - if a subject is within an extrinsic subject
Wrong - if a subject is not within an extrinsic subject
Possession - if an intrinsic subject is within a subject
Good - what increases a relation
Bad - what hinders or decreases a relation
Horror - excessive bad
Serious - being within an extrinsic subject, also known as relevant
Silly - happiness that is not within an extrinsic subject
Crazy - if the extrinsic subject is ambiguous
Confusion - if the choice of an extrinsic subject is ambiguous
Value - direction of a relation
Like - to share Values
Happiness - occurs if subjects combine and form a relation. There are five different types of happiness. In order to include non-social relations in these definitions, the generic term combination is used symbolized with the letter 'C'.
  • 1stC - occurs when subjects combine and a relation is formed. Here the extrinsic subject is created. The terms 'more' and 'less' do not apply with 1stC. It is very important to clarify that with 1stC one does not say, "Happiness is the combination of subjects," but, "Happiness occurs if subjects combine and form a relation."
  • 2ndC - occurs when subjects are combined to an existing relation. Here the extrinsic subject already exists. The terms 'more' and 'less' apply with 2ndC. Leverage and contentment exist because of 2ndC.
  • 3rdC - occurs as the back and forth dynamics between relations. Here more than one extrinsic subject is involved.
  • Leverage - resembles a lever, the relative lowering of a subject in a relation causes the relative increase of the other related subjects. This also is known as antipathetic happiness. Subjects on opposite sides of the lever are antipathetic to each other. An examples of this is kidding.
  • Contentment - is a relative position a subject has in a relation. This position is what we mean when we say we are "happy". Another term that applies here is "fashion". Fashion is the active form of contentment. Contentment happiness is personal and can be stronger than 1stC. Some sub-emotions of contentment are:
^Enjoyment - having what you want (having what gives you contentment)
^Grief - not having what you want
Frustration - not getting what you want
Anger - excessive Frustration
^Distress - having what you don't want
^Relief - not having what you don't want
Unhappiness is, of course, the converse but with separation instead of combination.
Sorry - empathetic Unhappiness
Regret - the action toward Sorry
Gratitude - the action toward antipathetic Happiness
Forgive - declaring Unhappiness to be irrelevant
Blame - declaring Unhappiness to be relevant
Nervous - anticipation of a combination
Shy - excessive Nervousness
Worry - anticipation of a separation
Concern - mild Worry
Fear - excessive Worry
Terror - extreme Fear
Anxiety - general term for Nervous, Shy, Worry, Concern, Fear or Terror
Pride - above Contentment
Shame - below Contentment
Dignity - empathetic Pride
Arrogance, Conceit - excessive Dignity
Honor - the action toward Dignity
Jealousy - antipathetic Pride related to Contentment
Envy - the action toward Jealousy
Respect - antipathetic Pride related to Fashion
Admiration - the action toward Respect
Modesty - empathetic Shame
Humility - the action toward Modesty
Pity - sympathy for antipathetic Shame
Pathetic, Pitiful, Contempt - excessive antipathetic Shame
Disgust - the action toward antipathetic Shame
Expectation - future Contentment
Hope - the action toward Expectation (to want a future Contentment)
Standard - past Contentment
Surprise - empathetically or antipathetically above Standard or Expectation
Embarrassment - empathetically below Standard or Expectation
Disappointment - antipathetically below Standard or Expectation
Elation, Ecstatic - excessive Surprise
Sadness - excessive Disappointment or Embarrassment
Hate - excessive antipathy
Love - excessive empathy
Miss - absent empathy
^The definitions for Enjoyment, Grief, Distress and Relief are from
I. Roseman 1984. Cognitive determinants of emotion: a structured theory. In P. Shaver (ed.),
Review of personality and social psychology (Vol. 5: Emotions, relationships, and health). Beverly-Hills: Sage, 11-36.
Axiom - Extrinsic subjects can not be related to intrinsic subjects. If this occurs a new
extrinsic subject is instantly created.
Axiom - Related subjects can not combine for the same reason that unrelated subjects can not
separate. This is a significant factor in morality.
Has there been any research using standard methods of psychology or sociology providing evidence for this scheme? If not, then I don't think it should be included, since I can come up with an alternative scheme, as could just about anyone else. Without scientific support such schemes are little more than diagrammed opinions. Also, Wikipedia has a policy of no original research. Without references to this scheme in previously published research, it appears this scheme does not pass the policy of no original research. User:Kc62301
Technically, the policy of Wikipedia:No_original_research does not apply to talk pages such as this. Also, the concept of subjects and relations goes all the way back to the middle ages. One can read more about that here:
Medieval Theories of Relations:
In it one can see that philosophers debated about non-reductive and reductive relations for centuries. This is analagous to 1stC and 2ndC of the Subjations scheme. Another analogy is that of what they called a 'Cambridge Change' to what is in the Subjations as 'Leverage or Antipathetic Happiness'. Being from the foundations of philosophy, I believe this qualifies as previously published research.
You make the claim that you or anyone else can come up with an alternative scheme but this is not possible. This system is based on a philosophically provable foundation. Here is the proof. Relations exist. There is no such thing as a relation of a singular entity. These entities must be called subjects. Subject is the most general of all terms. A relation itself can be a subject. Therefore, the system is closed. It is impossible to 'not belong' in this system. All one can do is add to it. Adding to it brings forth emotion theory. Emotions such as pride, shame, jealousy, dignity, modesty or pity are relative. They must be based on the word relation. If you tried a similar term such as comparison or valence, this wouldn't work with family members. We refer to family members as relatives, not comparitives or valencives. Also, there is no such thing as a singular relation. Relations must be composed of something. If you tried a term other than subject such as unit or object, this wouldn't work with people. People don't refer to themselves as units or objects outside of the purpose of counting. The rest of this system is built on common sense. For example, pride is the opposite of shame so you have to diagram these opposing each other from contentment. Terms other than contentment could be used here, such as par, but one has to be chosen. Contentment is used because it is the most generic. Given this much jealousy can be included. Since it is impossible to be jealous of oneself, jealousy can be defined as antipathetic pride. This is common sense. The same goes for dignity. One can't be dignified of someone else so dignity can be defined as empathetic pride. The rest of this system is built in this way. Therefore, no other schemes are possible. Standard scientific methods are not necessary when it comes to common sense. Besides, emotions can't be measured. This is a non-empirical science. This leads to the question is emotion theory science or psuedoscience? Although emotions aren't tangible in themselves, they are caused by tangible events and they themselves cause tangible events. I suppose they would then fall into the category of psuedoscience that is actually real. Others claim to have made emotional models as well. There is a link to a table of them posted further down this page which I will copy here:
As you can see, this is a table of lists. What one does with lists is to try to prioritize them. That is why this table is organized into primary, secondary and tertiary sections. Lists have their purposes but they are different from models. In a model the items aren't in any sort of order, they are organized to fit. They are displayed in reference to each other. As I replied to someone above, I welcome other diagrams to be posted here. I'd like to see what they look like. If you think this is simply an opinion then show me an alternative. Let's see if it works. --JHuber 07:00, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Warped definition


Emotion, in its most general definition, is a neural impulse that moves an organism to action, prompting automatic reactive behavior that has been adapted through evolution as a survival mechanism to meet a survival need

Further down:

These universal emotions include anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness and surprise.

Nobody would say that the opening definition relates very well with their experiences with the list of emotions in the second part of the entry. Hackwrench 21:48, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Good remark, not an easy solution. I agree ot seems contradcitory indeed. However both could follow Frijda's (1986) framework of action readiness. The problem may be that the definition of emotions has never been universally accepted even among emotion psychology. The first definition is more grouded in the (social) cognition literature, where emotion has a function. The second phrase seems to be related to the anthropoligic psychology of which Paul Ekman is the most important person. Perhaps we have to introduce the different approaches to emotions. This would greatly increase the length and depth of this article (the first not necessarily being good for an encyclopedia entry). Arnoutf 22:53, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

I concur, and will go out on a limb and just state that, despite any "distinction" elaborated on by "Daniel Goleman, in his landmark book Emotional Intelligence" (should be italics) and used (apparently) in the language of psychology, the current form is improper for this context (Wikipedia). In cases like these, its not proper to simply say 'that very common usage of this term is wrong' and you should go over there to read about that. Just doesnt work. (And if that was the proper handling, some reasonable attention should be likewise made to that article too!). Im going to write my own "how to write an article, for 'experts' new to Wikipedia" which I can point to and people can criticise it or not, but the basic rule here (as Ive come to understand it during my hours spent here) is to start with disambiguation, meaning that where (as in this case) the subject is not sufficiently or commonly differentiated from the current one (where a simple otheruses tag would suffice), "disambiguation" means starting with the common definition:
In common [not "general"] usage, emotions are..." In psychology, the term is distinguished from "feeling"...
That's a basic starter. Im pleased to see the high level of writing, but the issue is understanding the organizational requirements (or constraints) of the context (ie. massively hyperlinked info platform). Before I go, I should state that its a bit tacky to use external links or ref numbers in the lede to refer to an individual, who, if they in fact belonged in the lede, would have an article about them. Red links are red for a reason: Wikipedians are trained by Pavlovian response to stub any red links! Dont ask what the carrot is, though - I dont know. -Ste|vertigo 23:29, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

I also want to add that not all neural impulses that moves an organism to action are emotions. Physical pain is differentiated from emotional pain, and I don't recall anyone calling hunger an emotion. Nervousness? What about the neural impulses involved in bicycling or driving a car? No onw gets emotional over a Red or yellow light!Hackwrench 21:35, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

I have to say I agree that emotion is certainly what drives living beings to action. Even something as simple as a red and yellow light boils down to the emotion of desire. A person will choose to stop their car at a red light because, above arriving upon their destination in a speedier manner, they desire to not get a ticket or to not place themselves at the risk of having a car accident. Emotion, however, is not required for life, as can be observed through the living sponge whom has no cognitive faculties. However, as an emotionless being, a sponge makes no decision and takes no action; the sponge simply sits there and fits into its ecosystem in whatever manner circumstance or other living beings will allow it to.

That said, much of the article still needs to be changed as it makes assertions about properties of emotions that are debateable and/or can never truly be proven, though they can be suggested. Take, for example, the statement "Emotions are mental states that arise spontaneously, rather than through conscious effort.". Anyone who powerlifts or bodybuilds could easily oppose that statement as the emotion of aggression is frequently consciously and deliberately created before the gym sessions and/or the competetions.![I have no user name] 2:35, 01 May 2006

Genery351's suggested additions

Genery351 added the following to the top of this article. I moved it here because in outline form it was too difficult to understand. Here it can be discussed in outline form. Genery351's comments above are copied here as well. sallison 21:05, 21 February 2006 (UTC)


dna - code

emotion - frequency

much the way a computer processor / brain may be hardwired to receive a set of instructions / code that it then processes into a signal / working frequency that another processor interprets into code emotion is the energy level that governs the way humans behave / work

and to the "Relation to cultural and social factors" section:

there are many kinds of people / energy levels / frequencies / wavelengths that operate within emotion's general spectrum.

much can be likened to cellular activity.

-cells -tissues -cell growth and metabolism -viruses

by these can be seen social interactions.

-friendship -procreation -societies -war

we all know what these feel like, and each emotion or exchange has its own structure / fluctuation / frequency,although it is worked differently by everyone

emotion transcends many boundaries that other frequencies cannot

eg. people cannot see light of what is going on the other side of their country, yet still operate as a part of a whole, fitting into or separating from what is around them.

{ant colonies- workers change according to situations going on inside of their hive; although they are quite aways from it} emotion has many strong mediums {tv, radio,, people,,, nature...}

i added a brief few paragraphs to emotion and relation to social factors. just trying to condense a little and pull from sources around wikipedia to avoid any repetition. this is just a rough draft, please email w/ changes and opinions. Genery351

im sorry, this is not really my area of focus. it is of very deep interest to me, however, and i see it in a very condensed way; where broad generalizations become very similar. mainly i just wanted to use the vast network of wikipedia to help support a topic, rather than having the topic set its own roots. i dont know that i can do this article justice, but as a reader, i would really like to see it a little simpler.

Additional Models

I have found the model prostulated by Parrott, W. (2001), Emotions in Social Psychology, Psychology Press, Philadelphia and shown at to be helpful. As it is a table, I shall not try to post it here. But it does explain why we can react at a basic level, fear, to one event, and with a higher emotion, anxiety to a different experience.

I don't have the reference handy, but one model is that emotions are my inner reaction to my perception of what I am experiencing. So the emotions can be common through out humanity, but the actual response to eperiences is different.

A thought can be viewed as the comparing or contrasting of data items while a feeling is a visceral perception of the difference between the items. When a belief is attached, subconsciously or not, to the cause of, or reason for the difference and contains a strategy for resolving the difference, the perception is amplified or enhanced and takes on a specifically labeled quality assigned by experience and learning. It is this felt internal force that propels one to action or inaction or internal stress when suppressed.
Jiohdi 20:51, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't see how to include Parrot, let alone user POVs. Suggestions about Parrot? DCDuring 17:05, 3 October 2007 (UTC)


Confusion should most definately be added to the list of emotions and have a full article made of it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Right now, the closest article seems to be mental confusion. Rfrisbietalk 03:44, 9 April 2006 (UTC)


What do you think about merging Feeling into this article.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 02:28, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I definitely support merging the narrative paragraphs into this article so that the Feeling article can be the disambig page it says it is. Rfrisbietalk 02:59, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Feelings and Emotions are sufficiently different - don't merge

I have seen some consensus that emotion is action oriented and feeling is information oriented. The two are therefore sufficiently different in nature and deserve their own space but with the existing link. Please leave them in their separate spaces.

I tend to agree with the option NOT to merge. However in the current state of the articles I would not object the merger. In my opinion both articles require significant improvements/editing. Arnoutf 18:08, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Controlling emotions?

How does the concept of controlling emotions fit in anywhere? Hackwrench 00:39, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Asperger's syndrome and emotion

As an individual with Asperger's syndrome, I am going to have to disagree with the introduction that says people with Asperger's syndrome have no or perhaps reduced experience of emotion. This is not true! The main difference is in our ability to express emotion through facial expression, tone of voice, and the like (i.e., flat affect). I have worked on learning to express my emotional state of mind more openly in words and in body language and facial expression so that other people can "read" me better. This does not mean I've ever had a lack of emotion. In fact, I would say that underneath I am very emotionally sensitive.--NeantHumain 08:14, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to go ahead and remove the sentences about Asperger's syndrome since they don't really add information about the topic in the first place.--NeantHumain 03:03, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Emotions and feelings: keep separated

I'm researching emotions in neural nets, and have read that feelings are the cognitive (informational) aspect of emotions, the latter being more associated with physical arousal and other physiological changes. Feelings are much more specific (i.e., easily categorised by verbal report) than emotions, the latter having common features for a range of feelings, like increased heartbeat, sweating, etc. The literature always draws the distinction; hence I believe they should be separated, but they should be hyperlinked.

Hmm... it seems to me that "feeling" is just an everyday term for "emotion" which has received at least some level of technical definition in psychology and neuroscience, e.g. the ABC model, various theories of emotion. The wikipedia entries certainly don't distinguish between them very well. Fear is discussed as a "feeling" on the feeling page, but I'm quite confident that fear is an emotion. If, as the above post states, feelings are considered by some as more cognitive and informational, then this departs significantly from the traditional (partly false) dichotomy between feeling and thinking, heart and head. I'm leaning toward a merging emotion and feeling at this point, as I don't see a clear difference between them. --Jcbutler 07:36, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree that they are different, there are many more differences as well, I discuss the relationship between emotions, feelings and thoughts in my online book "The Psychology of Emotions, Feelings and Thoughts" it has many new advances in understanding what an emotion is, i suggest it as an external link? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

Emotional Detachment

I know there's a seperate article for emotional detachment, also known as being numb, but I was wondering if maybe there could be a slight mention of it here? It seems as though it might fit somewhere along the way. I'm open to any other opinions/suggestions on this matter; it's just a suggestion. -WikiFiend90 01:19, 18 June 2006 (UTC)


Reading the intro a few questions about accuracy come to my mind. Emotions are a neural impulse, but not all neural impulses are emotions. More correctly, emotions are described as collections of neural impulses. Most correctly, they are a type of patterned neural impulses that move an organism to action.

The relationship between emotions and feelings offered here is generally consistent with Goleman's description, but introduces a similar error by defining feelings only in the context of emotion. Feelings are generally proprioceptions or interpretations of proprioception. Only some proprioceptions convey emotional conditions. Pain, fatigue and hunger are feelings but not emotions. The relationship between feelings and emotions is mutual instructive -- we feel emotions and we emote in response to feelings. MoniqueRN 19:04, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

The Coincidence of Happen

This is something interesting concerning emotion theory and language. It is a consequence of the subjects and relations theory posted above under the heading "The System of Emotions." In it is the claim that one of the types of happiness is if a subject combines with an existing relation (2ndC). Also, nervousness is the anticipation of a combination and worry is the anticipation of a separation. Consider the example of someone walking on the ledge of a tall building. This person would naturally be nervous that he might fall. It could also be said that he would be worried that he might fall. He would be nervous of a future event and worried of separating himself from life. Time is a relation of events. Adding to a relation is one of the types of happiness (2ndC). This person's nervousness is caused by what might happen. The point here is that there is a coincidence between the emotion of happiness and the verb to happen. Does the verb, happen, come from happiness or is this just a coincidence? JHuber 05:39, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Gut feeling

The idea that "gut feelings" relate to common sense is rather narrow. "Gut feelings" to my understanding are "hunches" that employ intuition that is linked to the so called "sixth sense". This is the ability to "know" somthing without recourse to the normal five senses. It can therefore be consider as a psychic ability which possibly involves both the pineal and pituitary glands which are recognised as the psychic sense organs of the human body. These organs when developed can respond to frequencies outside those employed by the other senses and hence information not available to the average person becomes cognised. I stand open to correction. Vince Staples

Euhm, let's not go to the 6th sencse. Yes Gut Feeling is linked to intuition and hunches; and you can argue these allow you to know things without conscious thought / deliberation. This is fairly hard to accept for many as the rationalistic decision making models for human consciousness have been dominant since Descartes. Since the mid 1980's the notion in Psychology/Neurology is swinging towards the acceptance of non-conscious though as an important decision making aid, in which emotions play an essential role (hence this article). Note this is not at all related to anything outside the 5 senses - and does not need esoteric glands that do not turn up in medical science (e.g. pineal gland whose soul-function was invented by Descartes to be allowed to study human physiology, as separation of body and mind left the Church the final word of the latter). Arnoutf 14:39, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Emotions are not feelings?!?

The entry for Emotion currently claims the following:

Growing consensus does agree that the distinction between emotion and feeling is important. Feeling can be seen as emotion that is filtered through the cognitive brain centers, specifically the frontal lobe, producing a physiological change in addition to the psycho-physiological change. Daniel Goleman, in his landmark book Emotional Intelligence, discusses this differentiation at length.

The notion that this is a consensus is untrue, and Goleman does nothing of the sort. In fact, like most theorists in this area, Goleman uses emotion and feeling interchangeably:

The lopsided scientific vision of an emotionally flat mental life... is gradually changing as psychology has begun to recognize the essential role of feeling in thinking... psychology is coming to appreciate the power and virtues of emotions in mental life... our humanity is most evident in our feelings. (from Emotional Intelligence, p. 41).

The Wikipedia entry claims that emotions are "filtered through our cognitive brain centers". This somehow implies that emotions are purely physical and unconscious until we "feel" them. The true consensus in psychology is that emotional experiences are subjective experiences, by definition. The common model given in most PSYC 101 texts is the ABC model. All emotions have Arousal, Behavioral expression, and Conscious experience.

The notion that "cognitive filtering" produces a "physiological change in addition to the psycho-physiological change" doesn't make any sense at all.

I'd like to do some editing on this page, and I think we need to consider the relationship between this page and Feeling, but I wanted to get some discussion going on this issue first. Are there any good reasons to make such a hard distinction between emotions and feelings? --Jcbutler 18:28, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Most scientists seem to think so, but most cannot agree how to relate them (LeDoux's opinion is but one of many). There are several models in Psych text books (besides the ABC idea), (Singer Schachter model etc) which may all be worthwhile to list.Arnoutf 20:12, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Singer and Schachter consider the subjective "labeling" experience to be a defining quality of emotions, and do not distinguish between feeling and emotion, as far as I know. It's also worth noting that the misattribution hypothesis has received poor to mixed empirical support in the research literature.

Here is how emotion is defined at "a strong feeling, aroused mental state, or intense state of drive or unrest directed toward a definite object and evidenced in both behaviour and in psychologic changes, with accompanying autonomic nervous system manifestations."

And this is from AllPsych Online: "The mainstream definition of emotion refers to a feeling state involving thoughts, physiological changes, and an outward expression or behavior."

Emotions are feelings. --Jcbutler 21:41, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

So the AllPsychOnline sees a difference as their emotion definition is more or less Feeling+Thoughts+Physiological Change+Expression in Behaviour Arnoutf 21:56, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

The structure of the sentence is: E = F, which includes A, B, and C. Thus, emotions are feelings, and emotions/feelings include thoughts, physiology, and behavior (the ABC model).

Goleman gave a similar definition in Appendix A of Emotional Intelligence. On page 289 he states "I take emotion to refer to a feeling and its distinctive thoughts, psychological and biological states, and range of propensities to act" (emphasis mine). The ABC model is the consensus and should be highlighted in the Wikipedia entry.

Goleman also distinguishes moods and temperaments from emotion, but not feelings. As I said before, saying that Goleman discusses the diffentiation of emotions and feelings at length is nonsense.

Emotion is conceptually sloppy, but feeling is even more so. Attempting to make a scientific distinction between feeling and emotion is speculative and precarious. I don't mean to be antagonistic, but this is an important point. --Jcbutler 22:14, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification, I misread the sentence and hoped we could just plug it in.... I agree the definitions are practically impossible to get right; even a well renowned emotion researcher as Nico Frijda in his 1986 the Emotions never assumed to come up with more then a working definition of emotion. Arnoutf 22:41, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

AllPsych Online says"The mainstream definition of emotion refers to a feeling state involving thoughts, physiological changes, and an outward expression or behavior." I think it means that, according ot most of authors, a feeling is the cognitive component of an emotion. So every emotion features a feeling (thought related to the emotion), a physiological reaction and a behavior or expression. In other ways, Emotion = thought(feeling) + physiological change + behavior (it can be an expression)

Example:Fear is an emotion it features

  1. a Subjective bad feeling (thoughts)
  2. a physiological change (for example, it increases the heart rate)
  3. a behavior (for example, a fight or flight reaction)

So according to this definition, no, emotions are not feelings and feelings are parts of emotions.Frédérick Lacasse 23:20, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Ah, well there is some ambiguity then. Nevertheless, there is a traditional distinction between thoughts and feelings in psychology, and Goleman certainly distinguishes between emotions and feelings on the one side, and thoughts, cognitions, and information processing on the other. His point being, of course, that psychologists have placed too much emphasis on thinking and not enough on feeling.
I've done a bit of looking around, and it appears that Damasio is the main proponent of the feelings-are-not-emotions camp. I hesitate to comment further, as I have not studied his writing in any detail. For now, I'll continue to defend the main points of this post, a) there is not a consensus on the distinction between emotion and feeling, and b) Goleman does not take this position, much less discuss it at length. --Jcbutler 00:07, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Sounds good, my first confusion about feelings and emotions arrived after reading Damasio, and he still seems to go against the flow. The strict division Thoughts; Cognition<->Emotions is attacked in much psych research (e.g. Damasio's Somatic marker) although recent stuff bij Dijksterhuis (unconscious thought) does not explicitly address emotions. So let's for now keep the division in this article as this is still the settled and commonly accepted pov in mainstream psychology (although personally I don't belief in such Black-White divisions). Arnoutf 09:06, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

If nothing else, this has been a very interesting discussion! I like LeDoux's (and Zajonc's) idea that emotion and cognition are separate but interacting brain systems. I suppose I would open to distinguishing feeling from emotion if we can define feeling as the subjective, inner experience of an emotion, rather than as thoughts or cognitions about emotion. I think this would be compatible with both LeDoux and Damasio, as well as the majority of Wikipedians. Emotions themselves are clearly complex and multifaceted, so we'll probably have to settle for some kind of "working" definition. --Jcbutler 17:23, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

A thought can be viewed as a comparing or contrasting of data items while a feeling is a visceral perception of the difference between the items. When a belief is attached, subconsciously or not, to the cause of, or reason for the difference and contains a strategy for resolving the difference, the perception takes on a specifically labeled quality assigned by experience called an emotion. It is this that propels one to action or inaction or internal stress when suppressed.

Emotion(s) ( Latin ex-, ex- + Latin mov re, to move)

Human reason only works when emotion is involved --David Concar Jiohdi 19:14, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Significant point, worth including. Reason is a tool. Use of tool requires evaluation, at many levels. Emotional is evaluation. Where does the point go? DCDuring 17:08, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Sociology of emotions

I've read this section and noticed that it is one of the remaining issues in this article that needs to be addressed. There are no citations for this section and on the whole it seems to be a bit disorganized and unclear. The first few paragraphs talk about a few different perspectives but the last two paragraphs are kind of vague in terms of who to attribute the point of view to. I would suggest that whoever feels up to it, to perhaps organize this section in a similar way that the section Theoretical traditions is organized, and then follow with citing the statements that remain. I would, but I'm much more well-versed about the neurobiology of emotion than I am about the sociology of most of anything. --Ubiq 08:36, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Semi protection

Hi all, I had to revert an anonymous vandal even after JCbutler semiprotected the page. Apparently something went wrong. Can someone truly protect the page (for now); or alternatively remove the protection template. Thanks Arnoutf 22:37, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Please be adviced that only administrators can truly semiprotect a page, and that merely placing the template on top of the page does not achieve the protection itself. Either do both, or neither Arnoutf 13:40, 18 February 2007 (UTC)


Though many studies show activities of emotion in the brain, no scientifical eveidence has proved that consciousness does not or does play a part in producing emotions. Merlot70 06:11, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Consciousness is still more of a philosopher's field of study. Attention is closer to what psychologists and cognitive scientists study. What do you propose? An empty article? This area is going to have to have many perspectives (with sources!!!). DCDuring 17:15, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

New theory

This section is badly written and lacks reliable sources. Mainly though it is not very focussed and is hard to understand. A important problem is that the name 'new theory' is very vague and does not add any information. Furthermore, the theory is not that new as it has very close similarity to the 'common currency' idea of Michel Cabanac (1992) or the computational approach to hedonic tones of Victor Johnston (Why we feel - book: 1999). Arnoutf 07:42, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

The "new theory" is described very poorly, and the only reference provided is to the personal page of Steven Harris, who is trained as an actor and clown but not as a psychologist or philosopher. Even if it was better-written, I'm not convinced that the theory it describes is prominent enough to deserve inclusion in a very general article on emotions. I'm deleting the section for now. Inhumandecency 18:17, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree, my tag has been up for almost 2 months now, so improvement is not likely. Arnoutf 18:46, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
agree. thank you, sallison 21:02, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Theoretical traditions

This section says there are four main traditions, while only three are mentioned. After reading it very well, the theory of Walter Cannon is probably the fourth one (in the eyes of Cornelius)

In general, the way those theoretical perspectives on emotions are ordered on wikipedia is a real mess:

I suggest that only the Emotion article should contain a list of theories, or alternatively that a new article is started (something like Emotional theories).
All articles about specific theories can then refer to that page, instead of each of them giving an incomplete list.

Since I don't know much about this field (I just briefly studied it for a paper I was writing), I suggest someone more experienced in the field should commit the changes. I just added references to the Cannon-Bard and James-Lange articles. --Bernard François 10:40, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

I noticed that the fourth theory in the article (the cognitive perspective) might be the same as the Two factor theory. --Bernard François 10:43, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Generally the cognitive perspective is related to the Singer-Schachter theory which is indeed the 2-factor theory. In my experience the three most mentioned theories are
1 James-Lange
2 Cannon-Bard
3 Singer-Schachter (cognitive or 2 factor indeed)
Addition of the Darwinian perspective maybe a fouth. However I have not read Cornelius; so I am not sure what his 4 are. Actually this is one of the problems with this article, there is so much literature and research out there it is very hard to come to consensus which approaches to take up. PS I moved this down to the bottom of the page as it is customary to place new remarks at the end.Arnoutf 11:59, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Fairly rigorously rewrote the section. Please copyedit or ammend; this is just a first start. Arnoutf 14:26, 6 May 2007 (UTC)


To whoever made that bear analogy. xD Mightywayne 17:58, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Unclear statement

"However, current research on the neural circuitry of emotion suggests that emotion is an essential part of human decision-making and planning, and that the famous distinction made by Descartes between reason and emotion is not as clear as it seems."

Could someone who is familiar with Descartes point out which distinction this sentence is referring to?Ziiv 01:29, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

The core of Descartes ideas is that there is a body, which has animal like urges and needs (emotions) and a rational soul. These two are separate entities (only connected through the pineal gland). I.e. emotions are related to lower urges and animal like behaviour, where ratio is the domain of humanity. When emotion research shows the importance in decision-making (the core domain of the rational mind idea) this duality/distinction body-soul becomes impossible. Arnoutf 11:42, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Emotion is generally regarded by Western civilization as the antithesis of reason. This distinction stems from Western philosophy...

As of now, this article regards Cartesian dualism and Stoicism are the primary source of this tradition. Where I can see how Cartesian dualism would have contributed to this notion, Stoicism dealt with a somewhat different definition of passion, even though the current use of the word 'stoic' is used to describe someone who doesn't show their emotions. I changed the wording slightly from specifically stoic and Cartesian dualism approaches to Cartesian dualism and modern interpretations of Stoicism, although I am not certain as to whether or not this change is any more accurate. Is there currently any consensus as to the history of this distinction? 02:38, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Good comment, thanks. Rereading the article I am again slightly shocked about the state it is in. This one will need a lot of work to get it up to any acceptable level; on more than such loose ends alone. Arnoutf 13:07, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Announcing categorization work on emotions

One goal of WikiProject Psychology is to "Construct a coherent framework for categorization of psychology articles". Articles on emotions especially need a more coherent categorization framework. Some participants in the WikiProject are presently focusing their attention on that. You are invited to have a look at Talk:List_of_emotions#Editing the emotions section of the Psychology Project, and to take part if you please. Robert Daoust 16:04, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

oi —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:01, August 22, 2007 (UTC)

I am submitting a new Wikipedia categorization scheme for dealing with emotions, and more generally with all affective topics. I was using a section at the page Talk:List_of_emotions while I was working out that scheme, but then I realized that it would be more appropriate to create a new subpage at WikiProject Psychology. Interested people may have a look at the new page: Wikipedia:WikiProject_Psychology/Emotion. Please note that the initiative, in order to go further, now requires that at least a person or two agree with the propositions made. Robert Daoust 04:09, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone agree? I suggest to reorganize Category:Emotion into Category:Affective states and processes: details of the new category and its provisionally proposed subcategories may be found here. If anyone agree, I will make a 'request for renaming' at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion. Robert Daoust 18:31, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Actors are able to produce different emotions on cue.

Interesting. I was looking for a place to note something like

Actors are able to produce different emotions on cue.

when I ran into

students acting as boarders in their own homes reported others' astonishment, bewilderment, shock, anxiety, embarrassment, and anger; family members accused the students of being mean, inconsiderate, selfish, nasty, or impolite. Actors who breach a norm themselves feel waves of emotion, including apprehension, panic, and despair.


  1. My schoolboy paragraph belongs nowhere near such an erudite other paragraph.
  2. Even my simpleton meaning of actor is different too.

So someone please stick my idea in edgewise somewhere. Thanks. Jidanni 02:38, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

The difference between expression of emotion and emotions should be noted, although it is not as separable as it seems. Also indeed the difference between the word actor (i.e. someone who partakes in whatever action) in psychology is different from that in daily use. Arnoutf 07:41, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I have created an article on Affect display to provide a focal point for things like interpersonal deception, cultural differences in expressions of emotion, "poker faces", "acting" theater and everyday, even malingering, flat affect. "Affect display" is what the APA Dictionary uses for the display of affect or emotion. That dictionary is my candidate for an authoritative, modern source of definitions for psychological terms. DCDuring 17:26, 3 October 2007 (UTC)


I did some restructuring as there were several issues that were dealt with in different sections. As a result some leader 3 headers have appeared. I agree this is not a good idea, but please do not create any more level 1 headers. With 15 I think this article already has to many chapters. We need to prune down to the core and perhaps start writing sub articles rather then making this even harder to read. Arnoutf 11:50, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

My impatience with this article has gotten the better of me. I should have discussed my thoughts more before beginning edits. I have bitten off more than I can chew, but really want to make this better. I actually think it may be too much for most experts because so much of human experience is involved. I hope the definitional efforts in the lead are an acceptable beginning. DCDuring 17:29, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Announcing a request for renaming category emotion

I made a request, after gathering a bit of support, for renaming Category:Emotion to Category:Affective states and processes. You are invited to share your thoughts on the matter at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2007_September_12 --Robert Daoust 03:29, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

It appears that such a renaming is unacceptable. People want to keep the term emotion as a category. Then, this means one of two alternatives: (1) category emotion includes all affective topics, (2) category emotion is reserved for 'strong' feelings. Alternative (1) is the present problematic situation. Alternative (2) seems to me the way to go for a solution, but the problem of naming and organizing the category 'all affective topics' will require another initiative than mine. --Robert Daoust 18:15, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

That would be fairly subjective though, strong feeling. What is strong, what is weak???Arnoutf 20:30, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Your're right, and moreover a strong affective state is not necessarily only an emotion, it can be much more than that (I was qualifying emotions as strong feelings to make a long story short)! That's why the all-inclusive parent category 'affective' (or perhaps 'feeling' if the word affective is too problematic) is needed: (sub)category 'emotion' could perhaps be reserved for what is clearly considered as an emotion by almost everybody. --Robert Daoust 20:59, 13 September 2007 (UTC)


Just in case anybody here wanted it, you might want to know disappointment was recently deleted as something that can't possibly be expanded beyond a dictionary definition. Chubbles 03:46, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Disappointment can be defined as antipathetically below standard or expectation.
This is similar to embarrassment which is empathetically below standard or expectation.
Sadness, by the way, is excessive disappointment or embarrassment. An argument could be
made that disappointment isn't an antipathetic emotion because one could be disappointed in
oneself. However, being disappointed in oneself is looking at yourself from a second or third
person point of view. Whoever deleted it better put it back. —Preceding unsigned comment added by John Huber (talkcontribs) 01:46, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
First we need good definitions in Wiktionary for the words describing individual emotions. Then we need good articles, from multiple perspectives on the basic emotions (lists of basic emotions include from 2 to 12 or so different emotions). More subtle emotions will probably only have literary references and references to one or more basic emotions. If no one wants to actually write a good-enough-to-keep article on a subject, then we won't have an article, unless some portal puts it on some list of must-have articles. DCDuring 17:37, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Mood disorder is a major category of mental disorders

A Mood disorder is a major category of mental disorders. For example, Bipolar disorder (manic depressive psychosis), Clinical depression (major depressive disorder) and Schizoaffective disorder are considered mood disorders. Or is this article going to be divorced from professional definitions? --Mattisse 16:56, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to take a run at some improvements here. I'm usiing the APA Dictionary (2006) as a start for terms. I'll try to make sure that there are links to good articles in appropriate contexts. DCDuring 17:41, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
One of the problems is the Emotions template. I notice the Emotions article features William Glasser's theory, along with those of other people. Is there any evidence that these theorists agree on what emotion is? I looked in the Glasser article and it is not defined. And if you had the definition of emotion from each of the people mentioned in the article, would it agree with the Emotions template? I'm thinking, perhaps you should get as many different definitions as you can from theorists and then summarize them, unless they all agree - then you have it made! Especially if they agreed with those listed in the template! --Mattisse 18:07, 3 October 2007 (UTC)


You probably know this already, but APA has a journal Emotion[3]

  • [4] - This link pretty much nails down the diferent definitions and the problems therein. Perhaps you could use that article as a rough outline as it looks fairly good. --Mattisse 18:31, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
  • [5] William James's definition/explanation. --Mattisse 18:38, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't have access to Emotion. I own James in (supposedly superior) 1982 edition. (Interesting how often James is a good starting point. Not so much conceptual progress that helps at the phenomenological level, I guess.) I wonder whether his order of presentation is useful, even if his theory is not up to date. He was a great writer. I will look at the Stanford article. Thanks. DCDuring 19:07, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Categories of Emotions

Organizing emotions into categories might look something like this:

  • Anxiety Emotions
    • + Nervous, Shy
    • - Concern, Worry, Fear, Terror
  • Empathetic Emotions
    • + Dignity, Honor, Arrogance
    • - Modesty, Humility, Embarrassment, Sorry
  • Antipathetic Emotions
    • + Jealousy, Envy, Respect, Admiration
    • - Pity, Disgust, Contempt, Disappointment
  • Excessive Emotions
    • + Shy, Arrogance, Ecstatic, Love
    • - Fear, Terror, Contempt, Sad, Hate, Horror
  • Performance Assessors
    • + Surprise, Ecstatic
    • - Disappointment, Embarrassment, Sad
  • Static Emotions
    • + Pride, Jealousy, Respect, Dignity
    • - Shame, Pity, Modesty
  • Action Emotions
    • + Envy, Honor, Admiration
    • - Disgust, Humility, Regret

JHuber 01:17, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

This idea has similarity with Russell's circumplex or Mehrabians PAD model, or the PANAS models, or Frijda Kuipers and ter Schure (1989) appraisal model. If we go there I would say to start from such a scholarly source. Arnoutf (talk) 13:29, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Emotions in Philosophy

Where this may just be my interpretation, it seems as though the following section is not all that encyclopedic in nature, and in fact consists almost exclusively of the personal beliefs of whomever wrote it:

Emotions in Philosophy
What is the relationship between reason and emotion?
Only by controlling one's emotion and physical desire, Zeno of Citium (333 BC - 264 BC) argued, could we develop wisdom and the ability to apply thereof. By developing an indifference to pain and pleasure through meditation, the practicing Stoic will develop a wisdom stemming from suppressing the influence of passions, and ultimately, will attain wisdom.
4 Maccabees [7] echoes nearly the same idea, and "philosophically" discusses the reason versus emotion in an argument that if reason rules the emotions that prevent self-control, then it may rule the emotions that stop people from acting justly (malice) and courageously (anger, fear and pain), and describes primary emotions using a branching and farming analogy. In short:
The two primary emotions are pleasure and pain, which can affect body or soul, and cause many effects. Pleasure can be preceded by desire and followed by delight. Pain can be preceded by fear and followed by grief. Anger embraces pleasure and pain. In pleasure is a malevolent tendency, causing complexity; in the soul it boasts, covets and craves honor, rivalry, and malice; in the body it causes careless eating, gluttony, and the greedy consumption of food.
Summary: Pleasure and Pain are two plants growing from the body and the soul, and have many offshoots, each of which Reason weeds, prunes, ties up, waters, irrigates, and so tames the jungle of habits and emotions.
Such basic views of emotions have seen the world through thousands of years, leading to ideas like the age of reason, age of enlightenment (ironically scorned by many Christians) and logical positivism, and affecting the history of logic, reason and science from its roots to its latest stems. Conversely, emotional people experience reason as cold, irrational and evil, despite its benefits. There is no use to proving wrong such meaningless, logic-eschewing beliefs that don't want to or claim to be reasonable.

Where I am inclined to believe that if such a section were elaborated upon, it may be quite useful to this article, at the time being it seems to be in need of revision, citation, and a good deal of change in tone. By no means am I trying to form a personal attack against the writer or writers of this section, and I apologize if this comment comes across as such, however I do wish to bring into question whether or not this section is up to the standards of wikipedia. 06:37, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

The first paragraph is from Zeno. The (cited) middle is chronologically middle and related (by influence) to the previous and next examples. The last paragraph is influenced by the book "Fundamentals of Reasoning" by Robert M. Johnson. None of it is my personal belief. Emotions in Philosophy (as a section) might be a good idea, but my execution ignores all rules. Wikipedia is the main source. Thanks for bringing it up. Is it up to the standards of Wikipedia? Maybe not now, but it could fill in more of this broad topic of emotion, because the article seems strait. Erudecorp 08:07, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Build the web rule. Applying this idea to this article could replace what I wrote. Erudecorp 10:59, 20 October 2007 (UTC)


I think that link to Sadness in Emotion's table is incorrect, because Depression mood is a state that is defined like "extreme sadness". Hence, sadness and depression are not the same. I think I'd better to link Sadness with sadness article in wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:19, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

One at a time or not

Can you have multiple emotions at once or do they occur in sequence? Renegadeviking 11:40, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

I would answer that this depends on the capacity and capabilities of the person experiencing the emotions, and that we (hopefully) develop the ability to hold multiple emotions in mind as we grow. Whitespace (talk) 00:14, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
That depends on the model of emotions you adopt. If you adopt emotions as functional states that maybe located in different brainparts; then yes, you can have two emotions at the same time (although you may consciously experience only one, or a single "mixed feeling"), if you adopt emotions as the result of a cognitive decision process / position in a multidimensional space (e.g. circumplex-Russell / PANAS, Watson et al) then you would not expect more emotions at the same time.
Personal capactiy has more to do with things like emotional intelligence I guess, and I don;t think that is very relevant in this context. Arnoutf (talk) 07:23, 3 April 2008 (UTC)


Related to the above discussion (about emotions being discussed from a scientific stance), it is surely false to open the article/overview with "emotions are an evolutionary adaption". It would make much more sense to start "emotion is a mental state"... you see. As certainly the factual accuracy of evolution is disputable, and linking emotions to it is quite tenuous indeed, I suggest a rewrite of the intro in line with the dictionary definition: a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others, and have provided what I believe to be an adequate first sentence to the article. --Osndok (talk) 20:07, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Your comment has some merit. However, in the light of the state of the whole article, that single sentence can hardly push the whole of the mess towards NPOV. However I also think your argument is flawed as in science evolution is not disputed (but that is not a discussion for this talk page). Arnoutf (talk) 20:19, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I completely rewrote the introduction to be a summary of the article (for what it's worth) WP:LEAD. Arnoutf (talk) 20:29, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Would also like to see the subjective, experiential, non-empirical, event-in-consciousness nature of emotions made explicit. SmithBlue (talk) 05:33, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Euhm, there is a lot of empirical evidence for the subjectivity, experiential nature of emotions; so yes please add it somewhere, but to make sure to provide a reference. Arnoutf (talk) 09:19, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

clean up April 2008

I have started a major cleanup of this article. I hope my changes don't annoy anyone too much. I don't plan to delete much but rather move some things to separate articles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thomascochrane (talkcontribs) 11:13, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I have finshed cleaning up for now and took the liberty of removing the clean up tag. The page looks a lot better now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thomascochrane (talkcontribs) 12:59, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Keep coming back to edit this page! But I have now removed the expert request tag, since although I can only claim some expertise in emotions, this page is now as good as most other pages on Wiki that don't have this tag. Obviously experts are always needed.Thomascochrane (talk) 18:44, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the work, I think it is time to archive the rest. Arnoutf (talk) 19:44, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your support Arnoutf. I hope we can make this a real A grade article eventually. Thomascochrane (talk) 19:56, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Thank you and congratulation, Thomas, for your work here on this topic. All affective matters were, and still mostly are, awfully dealt with on Wikipedia. It looks like if 21st century psychological science was helpless on these matters. Let's keep improving the state of the art here at least... --Robert Daoust (talk) 16:05, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Emotion Templates

the emotion side bar template seems useful here, but I won't add it to the page until the debate about whether it should be merged/connected with the emotion-footer is resolved. I have also swapped the psychology side bar for the psychology navigation footer.Thomascochrane (talk) 08:48, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Anyone's input at Template talk:Emotion-footer#Merge from Template:Emotion would be appreciated. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:47, 18 April 2008 (UTC)


Recently an editor added numerous references to a portugese emotion researcher. I removed this as although this professor maybe somewhat notable, he is not a leading figure in the field; like the other people mentioned (publishing over 100 articles, books, conference papers is not a big deal for a university professor, many do this). I think there are many emotion researchers who have a similar resume. I mention the mention putting him on par with Ekman (Ekmans and Magelhaes seminal work). The most important of the implied work by Paul Ekman was conducted in the early 1970's when Magelhaes (born 1966) was not even 10 years of age..... Arnoutf (talk) 19:45, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree he was over-referenced in the article, but I think you should reinstate him in the list of notables. It's pretty harmless to have a link there, and we should be broad in what we include.Thomascochrane (talk) 08:40, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
I would not object reinstation, but have you actually read the Freitas-Magalhaes article (and looked at its history, and all the tags it evoked). I think there are several dozens of emotion researchers who have a similar claim to fame (e.g. Agneta Fischer, Tony Manstead (sorry for the Amsterdam bias) have a similar resume and have worked extensively with Nico Frijda (like F-M has with Ekman)). I am sure there are many, many other professors at this level. I suggest to wait re-adding this person to the list, at least untill the discussion on his bio page is resolved. Arnoutf (talk) 12:06, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

notable theorists

Recently some notable theorists were removed as red-links. This is IMHO a bad reason for removal. Notability is needed to get an article on Wikipedia, but not having an article on Wikipedia is not necessarily a claim to non-notability.

There is something to a clean-up though as this list has the potential to expand forever. I go through the list and state my claim to notability; and whether I think the person should be kept. Please amend, as my personal point of view may colour my scoring. Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Magda Arnold
    • Strong keep, important in revival of emotion appraisal Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Antonio Damasio
    • Strong keep, arguably the most important figure in neuropsychology of emotions Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Strong keep--Thomascochrane (talk) 15:34, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Phoebe Ellsworth
    • Remove, good and probably notable for psychology and law, but not a generally known theorist of emotions Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Keep, additional appraisal theorist. Sarcasmyst (talk) 14:00, 8 June 2008
    • keep--Thomascochrane (talk) 15:34, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Paul Ekman
    • Strong keep, probably the most important person in facial expressions and emotions Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • strong keep--Thomascochrane (talk) 15:34, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Lisa Feldman Barrett
    • Weak keap, has done some important work Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Keep, important theoretical work in neuroscience of emotion (not discrete emotions) and structure of basic emotions: circumplex model. Sarcasmyst (talk) 14:00, 8 June 2008
  • Barbara Fredrickson
    • Weak keap, has done some important work Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Keep, major positive emotions researcher. Sarcasmyst (talk) 14:00, 8 June 2008
  • Nico Frijda
    • Keep, e.g. author of the landmark book "emotions" (1986) Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Peter Goldie
    • Remove, has done some work on the philosophy on emotions Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • keep. At least as senior as de Sousa. Also has many articles in philosophy journals on this--Thomascochrane (talk) 15:34, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • William James
    • Strong keep, one of the founders Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Carl Lange
    • Strong keep, important early theorist Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Richard Lazarus
    • Strong keep, one the early people in the revival after behaviorism Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Strong keep--Thomascochrane (talk) 15:34, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Joseph LeDoux
  • Batja Mesquita
    • Weak remove, is an expert in the field and has published but not much more notable than many others Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Jaak Panksepp
    • Add. One of the most important neuroscientists doing work on emotion. He coined the term affective neuroscience, it is said. However, I wonder if this is a list of "emotion theorists" in the strict sense, or in a larger sense... --Robert Daoust (talk) 20:26, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
      • comment: I had been thinking about Panksepp as well as he is indeed important. However as the list is already fairly long I think we need fewer rather than more listed. Perhaps exchange for LeDoux (another neuroscientist)? Arnoutf (talk) 20:46, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
        • comment: Agreed, LeDoux is as much a memory theorist as an emotions theorist, while Panksepp's work is more directly emotional in nature. Also, Panksepp is an animal researcher, which none of the other notables here are (to my knowledge). Pursuing diversity (a "representative sample") may be the easiest way to maintain a "good" notables list that isn't too long. Sarcasmyst (talk) 17:00, 8 June 2008
          • comment: Please keep LeDoux, since he is very well-known as an emotion theorist. If the list must be shorter, I suggest again that it should include only emotion theorists who are known for being first and foremost emotion theorists, plus a very few others who are very widely known as emotion theorists though their first specialty might be something else... --Robert Daoust (talk) 22:43, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Robert Plutchik
  • Jesse Prinz
    • Remove, philosopher with medium strength link to emotions Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Strong Keep. Although only active recently, has become very influential in philosophical circles.--Thomascochrane (talk) 15:34, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Klaus Scherer
    • Keep, important person in the field at the moment Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Strong keep--Thomascochrane (talk) 15:34, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Robert Solomon
    • Keep, if we need a philosopher on emotions, let's take Solomon who was the most important one Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Strong keep. What's all this 'if we need a philosopher'??--Thomascochrane (talk) 15:34, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
      • Psychologist speaking ;-) That's why I need second opinions here. Arnoutf (talk) 15:41, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Ronald de Sousa
    • Keep, also an important philosopher/theorist Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • keep
  • Jeanne Tsai
    • Remove, certainly a promising researcher but not truly notable in the field (yet) Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Robert Zajonc
    • Keep, the mere exposure effect and positive emotions, that has to stay Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • keep--Thomascochrane (talk) 15:34, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • James A. Russell
    • Strong Keep, developed the dimensional factors of emotions and the relation environmental psychology and emotions. Arnoutf (talk) 17:00, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • keep--Thomascochrane (talk) 15:34, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
As nobody responded I have used my argumentation above to clean out the list. Please post discussion here before re-entering people Arnoutf (talk) 18:39, 6 June 2008 (UTC)


Why there is no place for any literature [6] ?

Austerlitz -- (talk) 17:31, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
What do you mean? There is an extensive reference list. In case you are referring to a further reading section. That is plain impossible. An amazon search on emotion yields over 350,000 titles. Several thousands of these will be very influential, many less so. In any case, too many to list; so let'not start as that will lead to a POV debate within minutes Arnoutf (talk) 17:38, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Okay. Austerlitz -- (talk) 17:40, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Problem with The James-Lange Theory section

The "The James-Lange Theory" section seems to have been screwed up and needs to be reverted. --1000Faces (talk) 23:40, 12 July 2008 (UTC)


  • Daniel Goleman: why is it that he is not mentioned? Some goalkeeper must have an argument not to refer to Goleman. Please tell.
Austerlitz -- (talk) 11:33, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Neurophysiology of emotions

At some point, this Wikipedia article had a section on neurophysiology of emotions, as can be seen in this revision. The section on neurobiology of emotions consisting of 735 words had completely been wiped out, possibly for being poorly referenced. It seems to me the section contained valuable material, possibly worthy of resurrection with proper referencing. The topics covered:

  • role of limbic system in emotions, including amygdala
  • hormones: dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin

--Dan Polansky (talk) 17:54, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

I restored it. The section has potential and is certainly no worse referenced than the rest of the article. Let's improve it instead of deleting it. --Jcbutler (talk) 19:58, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree, certainly sufficiently relevant. Arnoutf (talk) 12:18, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

When I opened this article, I was searching for the answer to this question: Is it possible to be physically incapable of emotions, in other words, is it needed in order for the body to function? Does anyone have any thoughts or information on this matter? (talk) 07:06, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

No it is not needed for the body to function (but then again the body can function for someone being braindead). It seems however to be fairly important for an individual to function in society to have developed emotions. Neurologist Antonio Damasio makes this case in his (popular science) book Descartes' Error Read e.g. the sad story of Phineas Gage whose emotional but not cognitive functioning was damaged. Arnoutf (talk) 16:33, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Evidently, emotions are not even required for an individual to function in the society/world. - Nearfar (talk) 04:50, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Gage isn't what I mean, as he still possessed some animalistic emotions. I mean someone that is incapable of any and all types of emotions. This could be from brain damage like Gage, or from a natural or purposeful genetic aleration in the brain, thus eliminating the chemicals that generate emotion. Would someone be able to survive such a situation? (talk) 02:06, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Such a change would most likely eliminate all brain activity altogether. So my bet would be no; but that has nothing to do with emotions. Arnoutf (talk) 18:02, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Arnoutf. The emotional systems of the brain are so highly integrated with the cognition and memory systems that it is hard to imagine selectively removing the anatomical hardware of emotion and still having a functional human being. As for eliminating the "chemicals that generate emotion," the relevant neurotransmitters (e.g dopamine) are used in other brain systems, so their removal would take out much of the rest of the brain too. Hypothetically, if we were to have such an individual, he or she would be so psychologically impoverished that even normal daily life and decision-making would be impossible. Trying to be a computer or Mr. Spock would be a really bad idea for a human being. Now that said, some psychiatric patients are characterized as having "flat affect" which means that they have little emotional response. And certain kinds of brain damage (e.g. at the amygdala) could also impair and restrict emotional experience. But to have no emotions at all and still function? I don't think so. It's an interesting question though! --Jcbutler (talk) 18:34, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Jcbutler, So, you think that we will never be free of many of the debilitating emotions (fear, sadness, boredom etc.) that plague us? That would be truly sad; also, the neurotransmitters themselves wouldn't have to be eliminated, just the emotion receivers of the chemicals, thus the chemicals could exist for other purposes, yet not cause emotions. I believe that people could have little problem with decision-making while having no emotions by relying on logic, reason, and practicality,(yeah, like Spock, but more so). However, the only real problem is that people would be making decisons without concern for morality. (talk) 01:40, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't think emotions, even negative ones, are sad. They are signals triggering personal change (e.g. Fear can trigger rapid response, avoiding collision with a train: A logical process might be too slow; Sadness is a contemplation time needed to separate links to a lost goal (i.e. resetting priorities).).
In other words, in my opinion emotions are probably a very powerful way how humams arive at rational decisions without expending unreasonable amounts of cognitive effort. Logic and reason is an illusion (e.g. if mankind followed these paradigms, there would be no religion - everyone would be an atheist). Arnoutf (talk) 02:02, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

"Emotions are probably a very powerful way how humams arive at rational decision". Huh??? Emotions are not the way people make rational decisons, but the opposite, how they avoid making them. Emotions are the means by which people make hasty and poor decisions without thought, and sometimes without true cause. For example, a man is being charged at by an angry bull, instead of running, the man just stares in fear and freezes, as a result he doesn't do anything and the bull tramples and kills him. Sadness, on the other hand, is a horrible emotion that can result in a person not doing anything for long periods, oftentimes missing out on opportunities to improve the situation and obtain happiness. These are not just extreme examples, but typical ones to help prove my point. Animals need emotions because they act on instinct, they can't make decisions without a pre-programmed set of rules and emotions allow it to make snap decisions when they are needed. A person's health and wealth, however, depends on them making rational decisions that are based in logic and intelligence, not on emotions, which rely largely on luck to make a good life for a person.

Oh, and about religion and emotions, you're are quite right. People would not have reason for religon, as it makes no logical sense. If we didn't have emotion, we wouldn't even have religion, as it is the product of emotion, the fear of death and want for meaning and mystery are what created it to begin with. We also would have no good or evil, has they are the result of our compassion, our fear of punishment, our selfishness and our hatred of others. (talk) 11:17, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

The image of emotions in contemporary psychology is more balanced then that - especially Re the role of emotions and the difference between animals and humans. The simple Cartesian Body-Mind division is no longer the mainstream opinion in science. Arnoutf (talk) 13:03, 22 December 2008 (UTC), I think you are making Daniel Goleman's point about how strong emotions can "hijack" your brain and lead to less rational decisions. Emotional regulation and control are clearly important. But remember, the research indicates that people who have damage to the emotional centers of the brain are actually impaired in their ability to make decisions. Without the ability to feel anything, it is impossible to value anything, and there is no reason to choose A over B, or to do anything at all for that matter. When we see a charging bull, we experience fear and run, which is a very rational thing to do. Without emotion, it would be difficult to motivate ourselves in other contexts as well, e.g. earning a living, having sex, taking care of our families. Your example of sadness is a bigger challenge for adaptation explanations of emotions, but there are some theories on how it might actually be useful to "step back and reassess" when things are not going well in life. In any event, don't be so quick to discard the entire emotional system. It's here for a reason. --Jcbutler (talk) 18:10, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Jcbutler, I do not find your argument surprising at all, for we all live in an emotional world. As such, it is difficult for any of us to imagine a world without emotions and that scares us. The emotional system was created as a survival mechanism by our ancesters, as back then they had little or no intelligence to guide their actions. Before, they could not "think" and relied on instinct, which is where emotions came from. Our ancesters used this mechanism to make quick decisions without thought, as thought did not really exist. They passed these emotions on, which worked well for their purpose, until intelligence was developed. Afterwards, people could survive by thinking, making emotions detrimental to survival or at least useless. Emotions merely stall intelligence, with intelligence we make emotions obsolete. (talk) 23:29, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
I am not sure how this discussion is meant to improve the article; please keep in mind that the improvement of the article is the only reason for these talk pages. - Your opinion of emotions (ie that they are epiphenomena and detrimental) reflects a long held view in culture (in the West from people like Descartes, Freud, and supporters of strong AI). The mainstream view however holds that emotions are essential and that without the quick-and-dirty solutions often provided correctly (but sometimes wrong) no intelligence is possible. This latter view is currently mainstream in the scientific debate (see e.g. Herbert Simon, Daniel Dennett, Frijda, Zajonc, Damasio, LeDoux, and basically everybody else in the notable theorist list in the article).
You may not like it, you may not agree, but Wikipedia talk pages is not the place to discuss. Arnoutf (talk) 08:29, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

That was the point of my first couple sentences, we exist in a world with emotions, so we can't conceive of a world without them, and/or we don't want to. Thus, even if we found out that such a world without emotion were more viable and effective than the current, we would never admit it.

On a side note, really Arnoutf? Could have fooled me, because not a single talk page I've ever been to seems to follow that rule, and no one does anything about it. Besides, Wikipedia is for entertainment and information purposes, so may I politely ask that you not ruin it for people like me that like it as such. (talk) 00:29, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree we cannot conceive of a world without emotions. However the argument that something like emotions is essential for all intelligence is case made by a number of people who think emotions are essential (mainly people like Simon and Dennett who are very cognitive / AI in background) reason something like this:
(1) Intelligence depends on the capacity to make good (rational) decisions
(2) In a complex universe making good decisions is also complex
(3) In certain cases making good decisions can be be extremely complex, to the level that it is theoretically impossible to make a rational judgement (cf chaos theory; where relevant computation power requires more decimals than there are fundamental particles in te universe - ie even if each and any electron, quark or neutrino in the universe would store a number we would still lack precision to make useful predictions)
(4) To make decisions of acceptable (satisfing) quality in such a complex situation, shortcuts (heuristics) are needed that require much less cognitive effort (processing power)
(5) Such shortcuts must indicate/reinforce good choices; and set the decision maker on an alternative path to avoid bad choices/situations
(6) Happiness is an indicator to reinforce positive actions, different negative emotions give solution directions to get out of bad situations (this is the Johson-Laird / Oatley 1987 follow up of Simon's original idea)
(7) The shortcuts to arrive at solutions have evolved and therefore require an evolutionary path that can be followed throug from simple to more complex creatures (i.e. it is impossible for a new set/system of heuristics spontaneously as there is no evolutionary path of gradual improvement leading there). This is more or less Dennet's argument.
In the creatures of the world, we call this system emotions or feeling. I agree that the specific implementation is earth specific, but based on arguments 1,2,3,4,5 and 7 a similar system of coping with complex situations must be expected in every intelligent race in the universe.
On the side note: Feel free to debate for fun; I do as well in this discussion; but that is truly what Wiki is not for. Also so Talkpage guidelines especially the keep on topic.
By the way, the evolution and atheism talk pages keep to these guidelines as they are clear that the value of evolution vs creationism or the worth of atheism against a deistic worldview are neverending, repeatedly emerging debates that are completely irrelevant to the article. Most of the discussions elsewhere (as is the current one) tend to be more positive, and the rules are not strictly enforced as many people like to discuss article subject to some extent, next to article style and quality.Arnoutf (talk) 11:12, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

I guess my next part in this "game" will be to attempt to give a counter argument to S&D, so here goes: 1. Intelligence is not dependent on the capacity to make rational decisions, it is the reason the capacity to do so even exists; without intelligence, rationality is not possible. 2. Complex decisions can be made with a intelligent mind quickly and easily, if no other forces exist to obstruct it, such a emotion, which is the reason that a lack of intelligence exists in some people. 3. There are no judgements that are insurmountable, it is merely we have not worked out the answers yet, when we do, such answers will become simple enough to make rational choices without much difficulty. The only thing that is impossible is that anything else is impossible. 4. As stated above, making decisions of "acceptable (satisfing) quality" will become easier with time, thus making emotional shortcuts obsolete. 5. and 6. If we had only intelligence to rely on, eventually our well-being and need to better ourselves would be our driving force. Besides, it would be less than intelligent to eliminate all emotion, just the negative ones, such as sadness, anger, fear, and morality, while keeping the happiness and such intact; life wouldn't be worth living without positive emotions. Don't ask me how we would pull that off though, I'm no scientist. 7. We would be foolish to rely upon evolution to solve our problems, this involves both that which were developed as a result of evolution, or things to come. The human race needs to use our intelligence to solve things that would take millions of years though evolution alone. Thus, a new "set/system of heuristics" would be rendered obsolete.

Side note: Arnoutf, thanks for taking it so positively, most would be fuming at that comment. I believe that I was staying on topic for the most part, so I will continue for as long as I am interested. (talk) 05:52, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

If you want to play the 'game' you should play by the rules. My arguments are not my own but those of highly regarded scientists (including a noble prize laureate). To refute my reasoning you will need more than your own opinion.
BTW the point is not that we should rely on evolution to solve our problems, only that intelligence has evolved as an evolutionary strategy to cope with problem much more quickly compared to natural selection (Dennett tower of generate and test). Arnoutf (talk) 17:53, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, but finding sources is not my area of expertise, otherwise I would have no reason to post my question to begin with. As such, I don't really have anything besides my own opinions, however logical and rooted in common sense as they may be. As for the your info on evolution of intelligence, it didn't really give me the impression that I now see you intended, so I didn't retort well. (talk) 05:57, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

That is the exciting thing about the modern psychology/philosophy of emotions, it goes against much of the logic and common sense present in Western culture since Descartes :-) Arnoutf (talk) 18:44, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, as a matter of fact, I would probably be right at home in the ranks of philosophers. It's just too bad that being a philosopher is not really a viable career anymore, despite the major impact they have had on the world. I would like to see logic and common sense applied more in psychology, especially when it comes to emotions. The irony is that because of emotions themselves, it will likely be long, if ever, that logic and common sense will dominate, because of the fact that emotion interferes with them. (talk) 23:48, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

"I would like to see logic and common sense applied more in psychology"... I'm sorry but that just strikes me as funny. I really don't want to be rude, but do you have any understanding of what you are talking about? Logic and common sense are surely ways of going astray in psychology. Logic tells me that I will come to hate what I have suffered for, but this is not always the case (see cognitive dissonance). Logic has also proven on more than one occasion that motion cannot exist (see, for example Zeno's paradox). Common sense tells me that the world is flat! This is why psychology uses the empirical method, rather than logic and common sense. Please read some of the scientific research on emotion (starting with Descartes' Error by Antonio Damasio), and maybe some social psychology, and then come back and tell us what you think, ok? --Jcbutler (talk) 15:17, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Descartes' Error is a good book to start with indeed, as it is written for a general public not for scientists alone. The books by Joseph E. LeDoux read easily as well. Arnoutf (talk) 15:37, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

I read the cognitive dissonance article, and to be honest, it went a little over my head (I hope I don't sound stupid saying that). From what I can gather, it is when one does something without reasonable cause to do so, and regrets it, but if this is truly what it is, it is caused by a tendency to overestimate what reasonable cause is; to believe, at least briefly, that it is reasonable to do so, only to find out later that it wasn't, which is the result from a lack of knowledge.

As for your other arguments, you are referring to ways of thinking that are old, and/or incorrect. Common sense and logic are derived from present world experiences, what is happening and what results from it. Zeno's paradox is faulty because it is not rooted in logic, for this is what logic is: Ex: event A occurs, so event B must occur, if one chooses to cause event C, then event D will occur, or if A is true, then be must be true, etc. This is what the scientific method was derived from, and under these definitions, motion occurs, so motion must exist. As for common sense, it is the knowledge that is easily obtained by anyone with any real intelligence, acquired by observing the world as it is, and is the commonly accepted view on the subject. However, this view may not always be fact, which some people may know. For example, common sense back in Columbus' days was that the world was flat, but many people, including Columbus himself, knew that logically it couldn't be, and believed it was round, something that has become common sense in our time. This is a proven fact, yet despite this, there are people in this world that still believe that the world is flat, which would be a lack of common sense. (talk) 12:30, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Ignoring that mankind is an emotional species is not realistic; your own mentioning of regret (which is an emotion) is an example of this. Please read up on (and internalise) the literature, abundantly provided by myself and Jcbutler before repeating your arguments. Thanks Arnoutf (talk) 22:38, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Regret isn't only an emotion, it is when one makes a decison based on their current knowledge, only to discover later further knowledge and realize that it was a incorrect decison. Thus, regret is when one later does not want to have made the same decision then, this result does not require an emotion to trigger, though it often results in one. By the way, I was not ignoring that mankind is emotional, merely defining what cognitive dissonance, logic, and common sense are, which doesn't require emotional context, or at least, that's how I understand it. Besides, mankind being an emotional species is the point I've been making all along, that we would be better off if we were not, though to take such to an extreme, such as a complete removal of all emotion would not be benefical, just the negative ones. (talk) 17:33, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Mmm, remove the negative ones... Anger - To continue fighting disregarding personal harm in the face of defeat.... Sadness - Taking time to reset resources for a no longer possible aim/contact .... Fear - Immediate reaction in time of crisis... Disgust - Stay away from contaminated substance, even in time of need... I would say these are pretty useful.
But truly this discussion is not going anywhere. Emotions are there, they are important to mankind, and they are here to stay. That is all we need to know for the article in my opinion. Arnoutf (talk) 18:06, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

As I've been trying to say from the start, anything good about negative emotions can be attained with simple intelligence. Thus, removing these negative emotions would not hinder mankind, it would in fact help it, by removing the negative part of these emotions. You're right, emotions are here, and if there is any justice in this world the negative ones will be eliminated sooner or later, what better could we hope to accomplish? And you're also right, this discussion isn't going anywhere (though as we discussed before, it isn't really supposed to), so I guess I'll stop here, unless you have something else for me to respond to. (talk) 15:00, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Emotion sidebar

I restored the emotion sidebar because it is a convenient reference for other emotion articles on Wikipedia. The footer is less obtrusive which is generally good, but not on this page where it is actually a disadvantage. If the emotion sidebar is going to be removed at some point, perhaps we can replace it on this article with a table of links. I don't think we need to put the sidebar on any other emotion articles, but I believe that it is uniquely useful on this article. --Jcbutler (talk) 19:53, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

I am not against a side bar per se, however this was never the reason why it was removed to my knowledge.
The reason for removal was the content of the sidebar, where words like "acceptance" "compassion" and "wonder" were doubted to be emotions. The side bar has been improved since, but principal worries about the listing of these emotions (mainly the complete and utter lack of any reference) has not been solved. By placing the sidebar into this top impotance psychology article we suggest the list provides a comprehensive and accurate listing of emotion related terms. Arnoutf (talk) 12:23, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Then what we need is some outside, external standard or typology of human emotions. But was that really the problem? The footer suffers from the same issue, doesn't it? I thought the sidebar was removed because several editors preferred the footer and thought that having two templates was redundant. --Jcbutler (talk) 14:07, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Well, at least it was my personal reason to support deletion at the time (when there was a tendency to add the weirdest words to that sidebar). The footer is less obvious, and less a seemingly endorsed list of emotions. As it has calmed down now, I am happy to leave the list up for now, but would indeed like to have a typology. Arnoutf (talk) 14:26, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Homeostatic Emotion

Sorry for bursting in with a section on homeostatic emotion without suggesting it here first. I had just done a minor edit at insular cortex and there wasn't much happening in the discussion page there. After reading this article, I was thinking it was this article that had nothing happening in its discussion page.

The theory of homeostatic emotion was introduced by Craig in his

  • (2002) How do you feel? Interoception: the sense of the physiological condition of the body.
  • (2003) Interoception: the sense of the physiological condition of the body.

Each of the above has been cited over 750 times including by Singer in his seminal (2004) Empathy for Pain Involves the Affective but not Sensory Components of Pain. (cited by 727).

I agree it is a new approach (but it should not be excluded from this article on that basis) but can't agree that it is relatively unknown. Craig is a neurologist ( I think). At any rate, he is working from the bottom up. In particular, lamina I of the spinal dorsal horn and the pathway via that from C and A delta fibers to the thalamus and right anterior insula. He's not as easy to read as Damasio but, I believe, he has much more to contribute. Would you do me the favour of reconsidering a small section on homeostatic emotion for inclusion in this article? Cheers Anthony (talk) 22:40, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

I am personally not familiar with the content of homeostatic emotion. I was triggered by the change in structure that was caused by your edits (which probably without intention) placed Homeostatic emotions as a superlevel over all cognitive theories.
With you explanation that it is one version of neurological emotion, I think I understand what you intended to do, and you do have a point. I restored your edit, with some changes to make it fit better in the existing structure. Sorry for being so blunt in deleting without considering the possibility for a non-intended structural change. (PS I have n't heard much of major interest of Damasio in the last few years so I think you may be right that his view is not all there is). Another idea, behavioral biologist Michel Cabanac uses feelings as a mechanism to achieve homeostasis in behaviour. This work is a bit older (early 1990's) and I have lost track of how it is used. It used to be labeled as cognitive theory (not in this article). I am not sure it should be added, but just to say that the homeostasis view goes beyond a single author. Arnoutf ([[User talk:|talk]]) 06:50, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Oops. I had not noticed I'd done that to the essay structure! And you had every right to slash it out of there, Arnoutf. I think it's so rude when people make wholesale edits without running it by the discussion group first. Anthony (talk) 15:03, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Intro' paragraph

Is the second sentence, "Emotions are subjective experiences, or experienced from an individual point of view," a tautology? Anthony (talk) 12:24, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

No takers? So I'll pull out the second, redundant, half of the sentence. Anthony (talk) 17:41, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

No problem, on my account you can be a bit bolder; my original revert was triggered by the change in structure of the article you created by accident. This article is sometimes plagued by people pushing fringe theories on emotions, so my affective ;-) reaction was "not another one". Since then you have shown to have knowledge on the topic and having true intention to improve the article.
So feel free to make some steps outside lengthy talk on my account, I might comment later on, but then we know we have touched something to get agreement on. Arnoutf (talk) 19:31, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Cool. If I think of something... Anthony (talk) 17:52, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Notable theorist

Can I suggest including Jaak Panksepp under Notable theorists? In the late 70s he was experimenting on chicks and rats with opiates and naloxone and was first to propose that mother-child attachment is based on the affective component of the brain's pain system. He coined the term and wrote the book on Affective Neuroscience in 1998. his contribution has been immense. A true pioneer of Affective Neuroscience. I also recommend altering Richard Davidson's entry from "American psychologist and neuroscientist who pioneered the discipline of affective neuroscience." to "American psychologist and pioneer in the discipline of affective neuroscience." because the way it stands it reads like he started the discipline. If anybody deserves that title (and no individual does), it's Panksepp. Anthony (talk) 23:26, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Fine with me, I have been doubting adding him myself from time to time, but decided not to, to keep the list managable. We might consider replacing either Damasio or LeDoux, who were in fashion a few years ago but whose ideas are no longer so visible in the field. Arnoutf (talk) 20:58, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

OK, Arnoutf, I'll add Panksepp. I have no position either way on deleting Damasio or LeDoux. Anthony (talk) 12:33, 14 November 2009 (UTC)


What a lot of (excellent) pictures! Too many? Anthony (talk) 18:56, 2 December 2009 (UTC) I have cut back the illustrations to 3. Anthony (talk) 03:28, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Automate archiving?

Does anyone object to me setting up automatic archiving for this page using MiszaBot? Unless otherwise agreed, I would set it to archive threads that have been inactive for 30 days and keep the last ten threads.--Oneiros (talk) 21:35, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

 Done--Oneiros (talk) 23:00, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Main photograph

I question the choice of a photo showing children being inducted into a religious sect and being taught by peer pressure to feign a heightened emotional state as the best representation of human emotion.

Couldn't we find a photo of a more genuine, spontaneous, universal emotional expression?

WanderingFool (talk) 06:00, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree with WanderingFool. I put it there because I wanted to see a positive emotion represented, I think it replaces Picasso's "Incredibly depressed woman sitting in chair", or something of that order. But, when I look at it these days I think it's theatrical. SO, everybody, keep your eyes open (or actively search) for a more genuine, spontaneous, universal emotional expression... but emotions are contagious, so please make it a positive or amusing one. Anthony (talk) 12:59, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

First person reference

From sub-section on the James-Lange theory:

The issue with James-Lang theory is that of causation (bodily states causing emotions and being a priori), not that of the bodily influences on emotional experience (which I would argue is still quite prevalent today in biofeedback studies and embodiment theory).

This is either part of the quote above or someone that thinks we care what his/her own opinion is. Please update. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:00, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

definition of emotion

Recently user:Wolfdog installed an opening line with a definition of emotion.

I think this is a very good idea, but am not sure the line reads as easily as possible.

My suggestion would be to rephrase this (but this will need some further tinkering)

Suggestions? Arnoutf (talk) 10:08, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Would it be possible for Wolfdog to post the cited Myers passage, and Arnotf the Frijda here? Anthony (talk) 13:13, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
WIll have a look but my Frijda books are at the office, and I am not there for the next few weeks. Arnoutf (talk) 14:49, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Here is the Myers citation: Myers, David G. (2004) "Theories of Emotion." Psychology: Seventh Edition, New York, NY: Worth Publishers, p. 500. The entire sentence I excerpted is "Emotion: a response of the whole organism, involving physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience" (500). On the page before, Myers also calls emotion a "mix" of these three attributes, though I don't feel that word specifies what emotion is, and as you can see I ended up going with the phrase "Emotion is a complex psychological phenomenon..." rather than "Emotion is a mix..." Wolfdog (talk) 15:35, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

In response to Arnoutf's proposed opening paragraph (which definitively includes the word human, just as I rather weakly wrote emotion to be a phenomenon "occurring in some organisms (namely humans)"), I would just say that this brings us to the debate of whether or not emotion is a completely human-specific topic. If we are sure that part of emotion is a cognitive evaluation of that emotion by the very brain experiencing it, then it must be a human-specific phenomenon. Just another annoying thing to think about in defining the word. Wolfdog (talk) 15:41, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Can we leave "psychological" out of "complex psychological phenomenon," as it is both a physiological and psychological phenomenon?
I'm not ready to attempt the definition, but I've just started reading Derek Denton's (2006) The primordial emotions: the dawning of consciousness. On pages 216-219 it contains a summary of Kleinginna & Kleinginna's (1981) classification of 92 definitions of emotion into 11 categories, on the basis of the emotional phenomena or theoretical issues emphasized. That may help anyone who is brave enough. If you can't access those pages on Amazon, I can email you the very readable Kleinginna & Kleinginna paper. Anthony (talk) 17:55, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
@wolfdog I realise the 'human' thing is problematic as some animals may also have (things similar to) emotions and cognitive evaluation (see e.g. Panksepp and De Waal). The risk with such definitions is that it leads to circular reference to humans - Emotion is a human thing which is limited to humans. My problem was with the word "organism" as that raises an image of bacteria and algae with me (and I am pretty sure these do not have emotions, or a brain for that matter). But I do fully agree we need to carefully consider this Arnoutf (talk) 18:08, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
@anthonycole. Do you think a 1981 reference is still sufficiently up to date in the light of the major advances in the (neuro)psychology of emotions in the 1980s and 1990s? Arnoutf (talk) 18:08, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree with pretty much all of this. The only thing for me is why take out the word "psychological" altogether? Phenomena are so various that I feel the word "phenomenon" should be specified beyond just "complex." Perhaps "psychological and physiological phenomenon" should be inserted...or perhaps the terms "psychophysical" or psychophysiological, which are more accurate, though these terms are not exactly popular in colloquial usage. Wolfdog (talk) 02:51, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

My suggested phrasing:

Wolfdog (talk) 19:03, 22 July 2010 (UTC)


I suggest that the feeling of Triumph be added to the list, and that if the article does not already exist, that the article be made. It might be irrelevant to the discussion, but the feelings I experience when I have achieved victory, overcome obstacles and crushed others under my feet, are very strong, and I feel that it should be included. (talk) 12:22, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree. Be my guest. Additions to Wikipedia articles have to be attributed to a reliable source, per Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources and, since this article is health-related, you probably should conform to Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (medicine). If you're interested, either edit something into the article, or post it here for discussion first. All versions are saved, so you can't do any permanent harm if you get it wrong. Anthony (talk) 12:49, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

New comment from

Hi to everyone here, please forgive me for my lack of knowlodge regarding rules on writing on this page, but i need to add this following comment, and i have the feeling that learning the rules and common usage of wikipedia (and particularly relating to writing in Edit pages) would take me hours, and not only that i do not have that time but by the time i would achieve the understanding of these last issues, i would defenitly not ending wrtiting this summary .

I edited the "and" of this particular paragraph, paying attention to the fact that it is a definition. First i would like to state that I am not a native english speaker (not that i believe that you wouldn't realize that in the momment you started to read all this) , i just want to declare that i realize this fact and that i may be totally wrong in the correction that i made. Secondly, and in connection with this former statement, I am not a mental health professional nor a specialist nor student or researcher, what i want to say basically: this is not my field. And this last fact makes me not very suitable for editing this kind of text (even though wikipedia is in essence filled with the knowledge of everyone and everyone have the "right" to edit and write). Just want to end my very boring intromission by saying that i did that edition because i am almost certainly that is appropriate to remark that the effect of an emotion ( being this effect external or internal as it is called alternatively in the definition) can be any of those and not ( as i understand the former definition prior to my correction was stating) from the union of those two.

I may be wrong, but felt that this kind of text should be very precise. Let me end by saying that i found instantly right after i pressed the edit button of this article, the evidence against to my most substantial doubt (or con) about wikipedia vs. traditional enciclopedias; the care payed in the content by always a group of people (in this case you, almost certainly being here knowers of the matter that their treat and why not, also people like me with the intention to understand diverse kind of things, and try to collaborate maybe accidently being my condition of not native speaker (and not knowing exactly the grammar of english language, and not being an authoritative source (not meaning this that i can't be right) ) .

Sorry again if by a very possible chance did i wrote this in the wrong place of this space and not following the propper conventions, I promise to myself i would some day read and learn how to do this correctly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Hi, and thanks for the edit. While I agree with the sentiment behind your change, the problem is that slashes (as in "and/or") aren't generally acceptable in formal written English, so I'm going to remove the "or". However, I don't think it matters much, because "and" in this case doesn't mean "always both at the same time," but, rather, means "these are two things that can and do effect emotions, either together or separately". However, please do continue to make edits that you think are helpful (as long as you're generally following policies; I'm going to leave a list of links on your talk page that might help with that). We encourage people to try editing, looking for ways to improve things anywhere, and it's very easy to change them back if other editors disagree. Qwyrxian (talk) 13:52, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

arousal link

In the opening paragraph, the link labeled physiological arousal goes to the page for sexual arousal, which is not the kind of arousal indicated in this context. I think the page for arousal, which includes autonomic arousal and cognitive arousal, makes more sense.Genesyz (talk) 07:29, 8 April 2011 (UTC)genesyz

Removal of Feeling theory

An anon user recently added a section on Feeling theory based on a 2010 book by Marc Jackson. Although the book may give an interesting perspective on emotions and feelings, neither Marc Jackson, nor the book received useful attention in secondary or tertiary sources (Marc Jackson can only be readily found on Google in direct relation to this single publication). Thus this theory is at this moment in time far from notable enough to warrant inclusion in the top level emotion article per WP:INDISCRIMINATE. The anon editor has re-added it, which sheds additional doubts per another WP:NOT category WP:NOTPROMOTION. Please discuss, supported by reliable sources before re-adding. Arnoutf (talk) 11:41, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

And it was reverted again, while per WP:BRD discussion would be in place. Additionally the edit summary for reverting "the theory adds a perspective that is missing from the article, if it is missing wikipedia loses out on a broad perspective on emotions" does not give one single argument WHY the perspective is notable or even remotely relevant. This makes me wonder whether this might be classified as Self-promotion and indiscriminate publicity. I still stand by my decision to remove, but leave it in for now, waiting for additional editors to have a look at. Arnoutf (talk) 15:38, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Contradiction in Prefontal cortex

There seems to be a contraddiction in the "prefrontal cortex" paragraph.

First it says that "There is ample evidence that the left prefrontal cortex is activated by stimuli that cause positive approach." then, in the second part it says that "The Direction Model predicted that anger, an approach emotion, would activate the left prefrontal cortex. The second model was supported.". Maybe I don't get it, but it's unclear in any case. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marco b2 (talkcontribs) 22:36, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Stanley Schacter

I notice Mandler says of Schacter: "The single most important contribution in the form of both direction-changing theory and innovative experiments was made by Stanley Schacter..." (in Gregory, Richard L. (ed) 1987. The Oxford Companion to the Mind. Oxford University Press. 'Emotion' p219). Yet, strangely, Schacter is not mentioned in the article. Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:28, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Oh, I see the link to Singer–Schacter theory. Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:49, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Understanding emotions without language

Understanding emotions without language. I don't know but is emotion strictly a non-verbal language in a communicative sense? This article doesn't give more insights about this. Komitsuki (talk) 12:07, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

"is emotion strictly a non-verbal language in a communicative sense"
I think your questions implies a number of problematic assumptions. (a) Emotions have an important communicative role. And while this is one of the approaches to emotions, it is not the dominant approach; and receives relatively little attention in the current article. (b) The fact that emotions can be understood without language, does not make them strictly non-verbal.
The emotion field is an incredibly complicated field of study, which means that in a top level article like this, many details will be ignored and many specific questions will remain unanswered. Of course if you think these ideas should be more central feel free to add them based on high quality sources (the actual research paper in Emotion mentioned in your link might be such a source). But even then make sure the article remains balanced across approaches. Arnoutf (talk) 12:38, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
That's why I asked here. Something is a bit missing in this article. I just can't figure it out. Sorry. I was slightly confused. Komitsuki (talk) 12:55, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Comparing Emotions

In light of a recent review I've read on emotions, I'm planning to add some information to the page currently called "List of Emotions" (and rename it to Contrasting and Categorization of Emotions). In doing so I'm also going to slightly adjust the paragraph starting "Robert Plutchik" and also include a pointer to LoE. Ultimâ (talk) 21:55, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

The people maintaining this page have my respect, it is such an ambiguous and difficult topic to handle. Sorting the wheat from the chaff must be quite a delicate issue. The start of this page is really good, but it becomes a bit uncoordinated. Perhaps the section on theories could be reduced to those that are common fields of research at Universities and a second page created detailing theories in general (and sorted by date)... Ultimâ (talk) 22:25, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Merger of two paragraphs in Classification section

I think the first two paragraphs should be merged and the part about Robert Plutchik removed, since his wheel is described on the page "Contrasting and categorization of emotions". Ultimâ (talk) 12:36, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Done. Also removed the line "Some have also argued for the existence of meta-emotions which are emotions about emotions" as it's unrelated to classification. Ultimâ (talk) 16:54, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

The 6 basic emotions (Paul Ekman)

Currently this page presents the Paul Ekman's basic emotions inaccurately both in location (sub-field) and in number.

  1. Ekman's research was cross-cultural and modern. I believe that characterizing it as "evolutionary psychology" is misleading. The research has evolutionary implications, but it is more properly a survey of basic emotion recognition across cultures.
  2. Ekman proposed 6 basic emotions not five.
  3. Ekman's 6 basic emotions (evidenced by the ability of people across cultures to identify these emotions from photographs) are commonly given in psychology textbooks and widely accepted by psychologists.

I propose that the 6 basic emotions are not controversial in this field and should be a more prominent part of this article. In addition, I propose that the current picture "examples of basic emotions" be replaced by pictures of the 6 basic emotions. The empirical justification for the "examples of basic emotions" that are currently displayed eludes me.

Armsbf11 (talk) 15:12, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Article structure

Emotion is something that we can see and experience, but the explanation/origin is rather elusive. We should try to keep the page concise with solid facts rather than rambling over the multitude of theories presented by different researchers over the last 20 years. A history of theories holding sway up to that point would be useful (I suppose beginning from the ancient Greeks). Thus my suggestion for copying the theories section to a new page, and on this page reducing the theory sections to paragraphs.

I'm sure I read some wiki article about documenting contested theories, unless they were a widely held view at some point in the past, I'm fairly sure they shouldn't be on the main page. One example being the paragraph about Lövheim's theory and "Anger is, according to the model, for example produced by the combination of low serotonin, high dopamine and high noradrenaline."

(Not to mention emotions can occur practically instantaneously so there is insufficient time for chemical concentrations to be the cause, but rather a result) Ultimâ (talk) 21:58, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

I second this. The current article is rambling and ineffective in its presentation. Presenting a laundry list of theories past to present does not accurately represent the state of the field. Armsbf11 (talk) 15:16, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Notable theorists section

No sources and a long list of names few people will bother reading. I propose removing it. Academica Orientalis (talk) 09:43, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

A situated perspective on emotion

Hi Wikipedia community. I'm interested in adding information to this page under the section on theories. I wanted to add information I recently read about a situated perspective on emotions written by Paul E. Griffiths and Andrea Scarantino from their paper "Emotions in the wild: a situated perspective on emotions." I am new to editing wikipedia and wanted to make sure that added this information would be alright. Retsasidenna (talk) 04:08, 13 December 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Retsasidenna (talkcontribs) 04:06, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes, it should be okay to include, but probably only a short section, since it's only the theory of a single set of researchers, and a relatively new one (2005) at that. I note that the paper has been cited a fair number of times, though I see some duplications in who is doing the citing. Do you know if this is a widely held theory? Qwyrxian (talk) 06:21, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your response! I added a small section under theories. Griffiths and Scarantino are the only researchers I have seen using the exact term of "situated perspective one emotion" but they draw largely upon transactional accounts of emotion proposed by some contemporary psychologists such as Fridlun, Parkinson, and Fischer. Do you think what I added is okay? Thanks again for your help. Retsasidenna (talk) 01:53, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Well, if it's only one group's theory, then it could be argued that the section shouldn't be there at all, as Wikipedia prefers information to come from secondary sources...but I don't know enough about the field to say if it's really fringe. I made some minor changes, but I think it's great the way it is! Qwyrxian (talk) 03:52, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

I propose to create a new section called "Social constructivist perspectives" and include the situated perspective as a subsection. The impact of Griffiths and Scarantino's theory does not warrant a second-level heading next to the other major perspectives, although it should be included. Social constructivist approaches have had a major impact on how emotions are conceived and investigated, there is a wide area of empirical research and theorizing, and the data generally support the importance of social processes (together with individual/neurobiological processes). I am new to wikipedia, but I am happy to make the respective changes (see also [[7]] (talk) 10:41, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Emotions templates

There are two templates both listing emotions. One at the bottom and one at the side. Unnecessary duplication. I propose removing the side one as few articles seem to be using it. Academica Orientalis (talk) 09:47, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

The two lists of emotions also don't have the same words and links. The one on the right side of the page has "Boldness" and "Fearlessness", which both link to "Courage". "Despair" and "Depression" both link to "Depression". "Satisfaction" and "Contentment" go to "Contentment". "Dread and "Fear" go to "Fear". Also, the list on the right side is missing a good amount of emotions that are listed on the bottom. (talk) 22:07, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Theories section

If someone can make a link to a NEW PAGE for the older historical theories (e.g. James-Lange, and older theories), that would be nice. I will try to update this page as I feel it is really important topic and the article is really under developed. Aldaros23 (talk) 23:00, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree that we should prioritize improving this articl up to good article quality, along with several related pages (at least for the basic emotions). I like the idea of having a fully-fleshed "Emotional theories" page, although that would be a little confusing until this article is more complete in other sections -- for example we could add a "Attitudes toward emotion" section. We should also make Template:Emotion better, because it is currently confusing Mynameisntbob1 (talk) 08:18, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

I have spent about an hour or so cleaning up the theories section, diverting duplicating text that already appear on the "main pages" for these theories. Will continue tomorrow. Aldaros23 (talk) 02:52, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

measurement section

while a measurement section may be useful, the current attempt was too problematic to leave up because

1) What was reported (MDS) is a statistical technique to analyse data; but says nothing about the actual data gathering (ie the measurements)
2) The MDS approach is only feasible if (and only if) emotions are assumed to be mappable in a dimensional space. This is as the classification sections states only one of the theoretical approaches to emotions (the basic emotions being the other one)
2a) Even if we adopt MDS (or PCA) methods, the classification in valence and arousal is only one possible outcome. Alternatives like PANAS (positive, negative affect as orthogonal dimensions) or the PAD mode (adding dominance to valence and arousal) are also frequent. There is no argument why the approach taken is preferable (the tertiary source is a general psychology textbook, so probably lacks depth on emotions to explain all this)

As MDS is more of a classification than a measurement method, I moved it there, where it does balance out the bias towards basic emotions in that section in my opinion

If we were to go for a measurement section I think we should start structure it something like the following:

a) Using self-report measures (surveys or utterances). (i) Dimensions extracted from scales. (ii) Use of self reports to measure basic emotions
b) Expressions. Measuring emotions from facial expressions (or bodily gestures). Based on the work by Ekman and somewhat like the techniques depicted in Lie to Me.
c) Psychophysiological and neurological measurements: Think of galvanic skin resistance, heart rate variability etc. but also fMRI or PET scanning.

The measurement section covered only part of part of a)(i), and was positioned before the classification (ie before the reader of the article was told what it was that might be measured). As such it is probably more confusing than illuminating and for that reason I removed it for now. Arnoutf (talk) 19:02, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Hi Arnoutf and thank you for your comments! I reverted your deletion before you finished writing all this. I see that you know way more about this than I do and I won't revert you on this anymore. Groetjes! Lova Falk talk 19:28, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
I was looking to incorporate a measurement section, but just didn't have the oversight on what to include. Aldaros23 (talk) 02:55, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Solomon and judgements - possible error?

"Solomon claims that emotions are judgements."

Does he claim that emotions are judgements or that emotions lead to judgements? Because the first claim would be wrong, only the latter would be true.

Moreover, this article describes only what some academics think about emotions, therefore very limited and incomplete. Why isn't Wikipedia being used to model reality instead of reciting academic theories? Just a thought... -- (talk) 13:23, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Because modelling reality is original research. Actually the job of academics is to model reality so by reciting academic theories we do indeed provide models of reality. Arnoutf (talk) 09:41, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

Differentiating between attitudes, emotions, and moods

In the etymology, definitions, and differentiation section another term should be added. This term is attitude. It is also closely linked to emotion and mood. I think it would be beneficial to differentiate between attitudes, emotions, and moods since they often get misnamed and used interchangeably. First you can start by defining each, listing characteristics, and discussing how they differ. Use of examples could also be beneficial in helping the reader understand the difference between the three.

Dderiggs (talk) 01:07, 22 October 2014 (UTC) dderiggs October 21, 2014 Dderiggs (talk) 01:07, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Not that closely related. Attitude is a general evaluation, that does indeed involve affect; and emotion does involve evaluation but they are fairly far removed and there are many other terms more closely related to emotions than attitude. Arnoutf (talk) 17:40, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Isn't User:Dderiggs an example of why emotion should be differentiated from attitude? (talk) 18:58, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
I can't see why. We also do not have a section in the circle article differentiating it from square. Arnoutf (talk) 19:25, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Is there evidence that squares and circles get misnamed and used interchangeably? If so, it would be useful to differentiate between the two within the article shape; as they both are classed as shapes. (talk) 14:31, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Compare; "An attitude is an expression of favor or disfavor toward a person, place, thing, or event - attitude (psychology)" with "(emotion) ... characterised by psychophysiological expressions", "(emotion as) ... the appraisal of situations and contexts - emotion". I.e Emotions are characterized by expressions and may be a result of evaluations, as in Appraisal theory. In this sense it may not be obvious, the differences between the two concepts. There is no article on the category to which attitude (psychology) and emotion belong that I am aware of, such as psychological concepts, leaving somewhat of a void in the differentiation of the two concepts. For this reason it is worth talking about, at least briefly, emotion in respect to attitude, just as on attitude (psychology) it talks about attitude in respect to emotion. Particularly, as this pair of concepts has been mentioned. (talk) 14:31, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Missing sections

This is a list of possible missing content from this article (please add/subtract other points) (talk) 14:44, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Facial expression - There should be a section dedicated to how emotions are expressed, There is no reason to make this article inaccessible to those interested in emotion from non-academic perspectives. (talk) 14:44, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Expressionism - Emotion is an important concept to many artists. There is no reason to make this article inaccessible to those interested in emotion from non-academic perspectives. (talk) 14:44, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a volunteer effort. If you think these sections are missing. Write them yourself. Arnoutf (talk) 16:26, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
At the moment I don't have resources to write them myself2.100.13.29 (talk) 12:19, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

No mention of Hobbes, who wrote extensively on the emotions with great clarity. Seems far more appropriate to include Hobbes than Machiavelli, who merely glossed over them. Luan Hanratty (talk) 09:49, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

emotion is a subjective, conscious experience

What does it mean, in the opening sentence, to say that emotion is a conscious experience; in respect to dreaming? Is dreaming an unconscious experience? Can we experience emotions in dreams? (talk) 18:55, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Aren't dreams "conscious " experiences? Ignatios2000 (talk) 07:46, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

6 basic emotions

According to Paul Ekman, Ekman has added 11 more emotions to the list of basic emotions -- we should acknowledge that in the discussion of the 6 basic emotions, and maybe start using the expanded list instead. Mynameisntbob1 (talk) 07:49, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

There is much more evidence for the 6... and they are much more interesting than the 5 additional ones. Aldaros23 (talk) 22:24, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Has anyone besides Ekman adopted the additional ones? That would be the key issue when deciding whether they are of enough weight to include here. Qwyrxian (talk) 23:55, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
A Google search with "six basic emotions" gives 70 200 results, a search with "eleven basic emotions" gives 350 results. This is an indication that the eleven emotions do not have enough weight. Lova Falk talk 12:10, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

It seems the whole classification section needs to be better suported. Also, is Google search result number really a valid measure of weight? Ignatios2000 (talk) 07:48, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

Classification section

Elaborate schemas for classification of emotions are described, but the only real reference is a blog entry that cites no primary sources.that seems rather weak. I am not sating the article is factually incorrect. At least the Eckman portion seems correct to my non expert eyes and memory. I just thought ab imprtant section conveying so much info should be able to be supported better. Ignatios2000 (talk) 07:43, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

I guess you mean the Basic Emotions sub-section in particular (the multiple dimensions subsection has good sources in my view). I agree, the blog entry is not a strong reference (although it does not seem to say anything factually wrong to my knowledge either). Since the Ekman-Plutchik theories are so central to the topic, I agree we should look for better references. Text books on psychology should give the information and would already be a stronger source. (if I, nor anyone else can find the time to fix it, we could always add {{Self-published|section|date=November 2015}}, later on, but let's wait and see whether someone solves it).Arnoutf (talk) 09:52, 29 November 2015 (UTC)