What is Emotions: Definition and 31 Discussions

Emotions are biologically based psychological states brought on by neurophysiological changes, variously associated with thoughts, feelings, behavioural responses, and a degree of pleasure or displeasure. There is currently no scientific consensus on a definition. Emotions are often intertwined with mood, temperament, personality, disposition, creativity, and motivation.Research on emotion has increased over the past two decades with many fields contributing including psychology, medicine, history, sociology of emotions, and computer science. The numerous theories that attempt to explain the origin, function and other aspects of emotions have fostered more intense research on this topic. Current areas of research in the concept of emotion include the development of materials that stimulate and elicit emotion. In addition, PET scans and fMRI scans help study the affective picture processes in the brain.From a mechanistic perspective, emotions can be defined as "a positive or negative experience that is associated with a particular pattern of physiological activity." Emotions produce different physiological, behavioral and cognitive changes. The original role of emotions was to motivate adaptive behaviors that in the past would have contributed to the passing on of genes through survival, reproduction, and kin selection.In some theories, cognition is an important aspect of emotion. Other theories, however, claim that emotion is separate from and can precede cognition. Consciously experiencing an emotion is exhibiting a mental representation of that emotion from a past or hypothetical experience, which is linked back to a content state of pleasure or displeasure. The content states are established by verbal explanations of experiences, describing an internal state.Emotions are complex. There are various theories on the question of whether or not emotions cause changes in person's behaviour. On the one hand, the physiology of emotion is closely linked to arousal of the nervous system. Emotion is also linked to behavioral tendency. Extroverted people are more likely to be social and express their emotions, while introverted people are more likely to be more socially withdrawn and conceal their emotions. Emotion is often the driving force behind motivation. On the other hand, emotions are not causal forces but simply syndromes of components, which might include motivation, feeling, behaviour, and physiological changes, but none of these components is the emotion. Nor is the emotion an entity that causes these components.Emotions involve different components, such as subjective experience, cognitive processes, expressive behavior, psychophysiological changes, and instrumental behavior. At one time, academics attempted to identify the emotion with one of the components: William James with a subjective experience, behaviorists with instrumental behavior, psychophysiologists with physiological changes, and so on. More recently, emotion is said to consist of all the components. The different components of emotion are categorized somewhat differently depending on the academic discipline. In psychology and philosophy, emotion typically includes a subjective, conscious experience characterized primarily by psychophysiological expressions, biological reactions, and mental states. A similar multi-componential description of emotion is found in sociology. For example, Peggy Thoits described emotions as involving physiological components, cultural or emotional labels (anger, surprise, etc.), expressive body actions, and the appraisal of situations and contexts.

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  1. PainterGuy

    Can High Intelligence Truly Govern Our Emotions?

    Hi, I often hear people saying that why and how that person could react in such a way , he or she is so intelligent, so educated etc. The statement implies that if a person is considered to be intelligent or educated, he or she could control their emotions such as anger, jealousy, depression...
  2. J

    The Role of Endocrine Glands in Emotions: A Scientific Exploration

    How big is the contribution of endocrine glands to emotions? What if we only have brain and no endocrine glands.. what emotions remain?
  3. O

    Medical Exploring the Neural Correlates of Emotions: A Scientific Approach

    What are the neural correlates of emotions? Is the neural correlate of emotion the same as the qualia of emotions? What is the latest research about this in the medical and neuroscience field?
  4. FallenApple

    Why are emotions important for creating strong memories?

    I mean, we live in a current technological era where knowledge and intellect surmounts. I can see why emotions were important in the caveman era. Anger/jealousy/rage etc are all emotions that clearly backfire more often than not in the modern era, but for cavemen who's tribes were probably...
  5. G

    Medical What is the Actual Difference Between Feelings and Emotions?

    What is really the difference between feelings and emotions? When you are a male and you have a female friend and you told her "I have feelings for you".. she seemed to think you are in love with her.. but if you told her "I have emotion for you".. she seemed to think it is more neutral. Why is...
  6. P

    Medical Can a person choose to not feel emotions or empathy?

    With training can you shut down your emotions and empathy?
  7. I

    Are different emotions in different areas of limbic system?

    Does anyone know if there has been any data on whether different emotions fire in different areas of the limbic system. Basically, are there "angry" neurons, and "sad" neurons, or to be more direct, neurons that fire exclusively when one is angry, and different neurons that always fire for when...
  8. V

    Do Insects Experience Emotions?

    Do creatures as tiny as flies feel sorrow, love, anger. Are their brains programmed to do most basic of tasks like finding food or do they exhibit some community behavior?
  9. I

    Distinct circuits of emotions and love?

    I am curious about the concept of distinct circuits/systems of neural activity that give rise to basic emotions. I drew this info from the article below, which focuses specifically on "three kinds of emotions of love" by Helen Fisher (who got popular through her viral TED talk about love)...
  10. E

    Medical Why do we enjoy listening to music?

    I've been researching this subject for a little while. I'd like to hear your ideas, because the topic is widely discussed. So here is some part of my research which makes my opinion quite clear: "Sometimes we say , that one is moved by music. Of course, it does not mean for him/her to be...
  11. A

    Why emotions cannot be assigned numbers?

    Okay, this might be a weird question and I am not sure which sub-forum it belongs to - Math, biology or here. We have this concept of more or less. Given two quantities, we can see whether they are equal, more or less. So we assign each quantity some number, symbol to address it. Similarly...
  12. J

    Emotions and the Heart: Exploring the Connection

    Despite that emotions actually come from the brain, through language, we usually speak of them coming from the heart. Why is this? Why do we associate emotions with the heart? Is it because of how the heart reacts to emotions as to why primitive people began to associate them with the heart?
  13. S

    What are the causes of perceived emotions?

    As as I understand it, there's some event and there's neurological connections between neurons triggered by the release of a chemical which triggers the signal that travels through other neurons that eventually reaches the hypothalamus which releases that would eventually cause the perceived...
  14. K

    What emotions arise in glands outside the brain?

    Possibly I'm misinformed, but adrenal glands make us feel excited, sex glands (whatever their name) makes us feel the appropriate (or not, depending on your situation) emotions. Maybe to rephrase, how emotional is the brain on its own? And possibly, how important are these emotions or...
  15. M

    A Story of Messy Emotions: Learning to Trust

    Long story short: I messed up. She gets me (and trust me, very few do) and she always stuck around. It's an idea that's crossed my mind a few times but I always figured I'd be better off* on my own and shrugged the idea off. She's leaving in less than a week for Europe (undergrad study). Won't...
  16. Z

    Schools Can My Emotions Help Me Meet My GPA Requirement?

    I was emotional - could I list this, so my 1st two years' marks are looked over for the 3.0 GPA minimum calculations? I also come from a top-tier undergrad university that really challenges you
  17. EnumaElish

    Dealing with Difficult Emotions | Tips & Advice

    For you, what is the most difficult emotion to deal with? Anger, grief, guilt, shame, anguish, gratitude, euphoria, attachment, dependence? Feel free to suggest other(s) that you find difficult.
  18. N

    AI Is our subconscious influenced by genetics and learned behaviors?

    I'm not sure how i to explain, because it's not easy for me this area of study. There is a part of us, the mental body, of which the subconscious is part of. I believe that they are transmited through the genetic code and when in the womb (mother->baby). It's like when animals react to...
  19. A

    Modifying Emotions with Silicon Devices

    People should be allowed to use siliconal devices that can be used to control their own emotional sensations on demand.
  20. B

    Medical Sensations in body due to emotions

    I know I'm not the only one who really has felt anything like this. If you ever get that feeling that runs through your body that you are being watched or your skin crawls. Being one who listens to a lot of music if I relax I usually get great sensations that go through my body. The music...
  21. A

    Are emotions physical? Is imagination tangible?

    Are emotions a product of biochemical releases? Is imagination a product of thought? Are thoughts and consciousness the same thing? I am trying to figure out if there is such a thing as "the absence of material" I was under the impression that there is no perfect vacuum whereby one can...
  22. K

    Can we accurately read people's emotions through subtle cues?

    I wasn't sure whether to put this in S&D, but here we go. I've found that I have a really strange ability to tell what people are feeling/thinking. It doesn't occur with everyone, sometimes it happens straight away, sometimes after I have known them for a while. Often I meet someone and just...
  23. Galileo

    Gotta Release the Emotions Releasing Emotions: A Journey Through Love and Anxiety

    Gotta get this outta my system. Never mind me. Oh daaammnn! I`m sick to the stomach. What the hell is happening!? I can't sleep. I can't think about anything but her. She is at the moment my whole universe! My productivity is down to zero and I have so much to do (she'll pay for this). I...
  24. wolram

    What Is My True Identity Among Multiple Nicknames?

    I have one :cry: and it will not go away
  25. JamesU

    Smiley Codes - Learn How to Represent Your Emotions with Symbols

    shouldn't the smiling smiley be coded as :) instead of : smile : shouldn't most of the smileys have a code that is related to their appearence, like: :frown: :( or :eek: :O :bugeye: 8| :biggrin: :D :wink: ;) :cool: B) :-p or :-p :P :cry: :*(
  26. quantumdude

    News Plight of Terri Schiavo: Facts, Emotions, and Outcomes

    I just got an email from a former student of mine regarding the plight of a disabled Florida woman, and it made me really mad. I am wondering if anyone else has heard this story, and if it is as he says. Here is an excerpt from the email.
  27. Z

    Can Humans Think Logically Without Emotions?

    I wonder... do you all think that it's possible to have a human with "conscious thought" (excluding the idea that particles result in fate), without emotions? That is to say, can we still think logically if we don't exhibit emotions? I'm asking because, I believe that if we all had no...
  28. T

    Fox sheep cabbage - mind emotions body

    This is a writing about wholeness, meaning keeping awareness of our 3 centers: Physical, Emotional and Mental. This is in three parts: First, an ancient parable or brain-teaser, second, interwoven aspects meant to stimulate growth of awareness and understanding and third, commentary. Ancient...
  29. R

    Why do we feel emotions while dreaming?

    Why do we dream?, has caught my attention. When I read a book, four things can happen. I can read out loud and then stop talking and hear myself keep on reading, remembering all that I read. (Conscious mind) The second is to read for several lines or pages or minutes or hours and not remember...