Emotion In Psychology

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What is an emotion? When one is asked to think of an emotion, one finds it fairly easy to name a handful. Nonetheless, if one is asked to define an emotion, one is left bewildered. The linguistic usage of the word itself takes on various meanings. When looking through a psychological lens, the term emotion signifies ongoing states of mind which are marked by mental, physiological, and behavior symptoms. In order to ascertain an intelligible understanding of emotion, similar concepts have to be differentiated. An emotion is directed at something that is based in reality, whereas a mood is more general in quality and not directed at anything specific. A trait describes a general tendency to experience a particular emotion, while a state relates …show more content…
Emotion can be measured through self reported subjective, and conscious experiences, known as feelings, or objective measures of intensity and time-frame. Having established a foundation upon integrative principles, these levels of analysis were integral in my investigative journey on sadness. When is sadness functional or dysfunctional? Under which conditions does sadness facilitate adaptive or maladaptive behaviors. Through this inquiry, it is my hope to disentangle the misconceptions and stigmas associated with …show more content…
Appraisal theorists contend that sadness exhibits an action tendency of inaction and a withdrawal into oneself. Sadness in this context would be functional because it “promotes quality of life in part by facilitating social withdrawal and promoting the conservation of remaining resources.” Conversely other theorists assert that sadness exhibits action tendencies that strengthen and reinforce social bonds. Gray et al. provides an in-depth analysis that challenges preconceived notions about sadness. Sadness in common usage is often conflated with seclusion. Yet Gray et al., argues and support through empirical evidence that sadness can increase motivation to form and strengthen social bonds, only when elicited by social loss. Heather et al., conducted three experiments to explore the effects sadness had on attention and motivation. In the first experiment the motivation to form and strengthen social bonds is operationalized to measure the extent to which subjects in happy, sad or neutral mood states directed their attention to vocal tone. This operationalization is predicated upon the notion that in the public forum speech content is regulated to avoid social ties to members in the audience, however vocal tone is harder to control, thus vocal tone serves a salient measure of an individual’s true feelings, beliefs, and

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