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Emotion is important in personal and social life (Izard, Kagan, & Zajonc, 1984), is very complex (Young, 1996), and has been an important topic of study throughout most of the history of psychology (Lazarus, 1993). Reiman and his associates (1997) have recently demonstrated that particular parts of the brain are associated with different aspects of emotion. The term "emotional intelligence" has been coined to describe attributes and skills related to this concept (Koonce, 1996).
Some dictionary definitions of some important terms associated with the affective system demonstrate how difficult it is to clearly articulate what is meant by emotion:
- Affect--a feeling or emotion as distinguished from cognition, thought, or action
- Emotion--an intense feeling; a complex and usually strong subjective response, as love or fear; a state of agitation or disturbance
- Feeling--sensation perceived by the sense of touch; an indefinite state of mind; an affective state of consciousness, such as that resulting from emotions, sentiments, or desires; an emotional state or disposition; nonintellectual or subjective human response
- Subjective--proceeding from or taking place within an individual's mind
As is evident, many of the definitions refer to one of the other terms, resulting in a somewhat circular process.
Some related definitions from psychology show how the concept of emotion requires reference to other faculties of mind as well as internal and overt behavior:
- Emotion--the application of mental processes to the world of feelings, interpersonal relationships, and inanimate objects to which the person is attached
- Emotions --complex, subjective experiences that have many components including physical, cognitive, organizing, and expressive, as well as highly personal, subjective meanings.
Classification systems of emotions
- Orony and Turner (1990) summarize the lists of the basic emotions that have been compiled by a wide variety of researchers
Emotional impact on behavior is well documented
- Example -- Anxiety (show transparencies)
- Wide variety of emotions could be focused
- Izard, C. (1977). Human emotions. New York: Plenum.
- Izard, C., Kagan, J., & & Zajonc, R. (1984). Emotions, cognition, and behavior. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Koonce, R. (1996). Emotional IQ, a new secret of success? Training & Development, 50(2), 19.
- Lazarus, R S. (1993). From psychological stress to the emotions: A history of changing outlooks. Annual Review of Psychology, 44, 1-21.
- Ortony, A., & Turner, T. J. (1990). What's basic about basic emotions? Psychological Review, 97, 315-331.
- Plutchik, R. (1980). Emotion: A psychoevolutionary analysis. New York: Harper & Row.
- Reiman, E., Lane, R., Ahern, G., Schwartz, G. and others. (1997). Neuroanatomical correlates of externally and internally generated human emotion. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154(7), 918-925. Retrieved April 1999, from http://earth4.galib.uga.edu:4000/QUERY:fcl=1::sessionid=23676:19:entityChkscreen=20:bad=html/Errormsg.html&term-an:=03319017?&tdbname=PARE:entityNewArticle=1:next=html/Article.html
- Young, C. (1996). Emotions and emotional intelligence. Cornell University. Retrieved April 1999, from http://trochim.human.cornell.edu/gallery/young/emotion.htm