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The Nature of Emotion

Fundamental Questions

Edited by Paul Ekman and Richard J. Davidson

Publication Date - December 1994

ISBN: 9780195089448

512 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $100.95


The editors of this unique volume have selected 24 leading emotion theorists and asked them to address 12 fundamental questions about the subject of emotion. For example; Are there basic emotions? How do you distinguish emotions from moods, temperament, and emotional traits? Can we control our emotions? Can emotions be non-conscious? What is the relation between emotion and memory? What develops in emotional development? Each chapter addresses a different one of these fundamental questions about emotion, with often divergent answers from several of leading researchers represented here: James Averill, Gordon Bower, Linda Camras, Lee Clark, Gerald Clore, Richard Davidson, Judy Dunn, Paul Ekman, Phoebe Ellsworth, Nico Frijda, Hill Goldsmith, Jeffrey Gray, Carroll Izard, Jerome Kaga, Richard Lazarus, Joseph Le Doux, Robert Levenson, Jaak Panksepp, Mary Rothbart, Klaus Shere, Richard Shweder, David Watson, and Robert Zajonc. At the end of each chapter, the editors--Ekman and Davidson--highlight the areas of agreement and disagreement about each of the 12 questions about emotion. In the final chapter, Affective Science: A Research Agenda, the editors describe the research they believe would help answer each of the questions. Not a textbook offering a single viewpoint, The Nature of Emotion, uniquely reveals the central issues in emotion research and theory in the words of many of the leading scientists working in the field today. It is ideal for students, researchers, and clinicians interested in emotion.

About the Author(s)

Dr. Paul Ekman, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D. is Williams James Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


"An excellent selection of readings!"--Jeffrey Cohn, University of Pittsburgh

"Includes all of the important theory, research and data on the major issues in emotions."--Thomas Hershberger, Chatham College

"Valuable entry to the literature on the pervasive impact of emotion in many research problem areas of psychology."--R. Dale Dick, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

"An outstanding text--much more than just a compilation of articles--rich in scope and information, well organized and put together with a fine discussion by the editors at the end of each section."--Philip Very, National-Louis University

Table of Contents

    Question 1: Are There Basic Emotions?
    1.1. James R. Averill: In the Eyes of the Beholder
    1.2. Paul Ekman: All Emotions are Basic
    1.3. Jaak Panksepp: The Basics of Basic Emotion
    1.4. Klaus R. Scherer: Toward a Concept of "Modal Emotions"
    1.5. Richard A. Shweder: "You're Not Sick, You're Just in Love": Emotion as an Interpretive System
    1.6. Paul Ekman and Richard J. Davidson: Afterword
    Question 2: How Do You Distinguish Emotions?
    2.1. Richard J. Davidson: On Emotion, Mood, and Related Affective Constructs
    2.2. Paul Ekman: Moods, Emotions, and Traits
    2.3. Nico H. Frijda: Varieties of Affect: Emotions and Episodes, Moods, and Sentiments
    2.4. H.H. Goldsmith: Parsing the Emotional Domain from a Developmental Perspective
    2.5. Jerome Kagan: Distinctions Among Emotions, Moods, an Temperamental Qualities
    2.6. Richard Lazarus: The Stable and Unstable in Emotion
    2.7. Jaak Panksepp: Basic Emotions Ramify Widely in the Brain, Yielding Many Concepts That Cannot Be Distinguished Unambiguously...Yet
    2.8. David Watson and Lee Anna Clark: Emotions, Moods, Traits, and Temperaments: Conceptual Distinctions and Empirical Findings
    2.9. Richard J. Davidson and Paul Ekman: Afterword
    Question 3: What Is the Function of Emotions?
    3.1. James R. Averill: Emotions Are Many Splendored Things
    3.2. Gerald L. Clore: Why Emotions Are Felt
    3.3. Nico H. Frijda: Emotions Are Functional, Most of the Time
    3.4. Robert W. Levenson: Human Emotions: A Functional View
    3.5. Klaus R. Scherer: A Phylogenetic View
    3.6. Lee Anna Clark and David Watson: Distinguishing Functional from Dysfunctional Affective Responses
    3.7. Paul Ekman and Richard J. Davidson: Afterword
    Question 4: How Do You Explain Evidence of Universals in Antecedents of Emotion?
    4.1. James R. Averill: It's a Small World, But a Large Stage
    4.2. Paul Ekman: Antecedent Events and Emotion Metaphors
    4.3. Phoebe C. Ellsworth: Levels of Thought and Levels of Emotion
    4.4. Nico H. Frijda: Emotions Require Cognitions, Even if Simple Ones
    4.5. Richard Lazarus: Universal Antecedents of the Emotions
    4.6. Klaus R. Scherer: Evidence for Both Universality and Cultural Specificity of Emotion Elicitation
    4.7. Paul Ekman and Richard J. Davidson: Afterword
    Question 5: What Are the Minimal Cognitive Prerequisites for Emotion?
    5.1. Gerald L. Clore: Why Emotions Require Cognition
    5.2. Phoebe C. Ellsworth: Levels of Thought and Levels of Emotion
    5.3. Nico H. Frijda: Emotions Require Cognitions, Even if Simple Ones
    5.4. Carroll E. Izard: Answer--None: Cognition Is One of Four Types of Emotion Activating Systems
    5.5. Richard Lazarus: Appraisal: The Long and Short of It
    5.6. Joseph E. LeDoux: Cognitive-Emotional Interactions in the Brain
    5.7. Jaak Panksepp: A Proper Distinction Between Affective and Cognitive Process Is Essential for Neuroscientific Progress
    5.8. Klaus R. Scherer: An Emotion's Occurrence Depends of the Relevance of an Event to the Organism's Goal/Need Hierarchy
    5.9. Paul Ekman and Richard J. Davidson: Afterword
    Question 6: Is There Emotion-Specific Physiology?
    6.1. Richard J. Davidson: Complexities in the Search for Emotion-Specific Physiology
    6.2. Jeffrey A. Gray: Three Fundamental Emotion Systems
    6.3. Joseph E. LeDoux: Emotion-Specific Physiological Activity: Don't Forget About CNS Physiology
    6.4. Robert W. Levenson: the Search for Autonomic Specificity
    6.5. Jaak Panksepp: The Clearest Physiological Distinctions Between Emotions Will Be Found Among the Circuits of the Brain
    6.6. Richard J. Davidson and Paul Ekman: Afterword
    Question 7: Can We Control Our Emotions?
    7.1. James R. Averill: Emotions Unbecoming and Becoming
    7.2. Joseph E. LeDoux: The Degree of Emotional Control Depends on the Kind of Personal System Involved
    7.3. Robert W. Levenson: Emotional Control: Variations and Consequences
    7.4. Paul Ekman and Richard J. Davidson: Afterword
    Question 8: Can Emotions Be Nonconscious?
    8.1. Gerald L. Clore: Why Emotions Are Never Unconscious
    8.2. Joseph E. LeDoux: Emotional Processing, but Not Emotions, Can Occur Unconsciously
    8.3. R.B. Zajonc: Evidence for Nonconscious Emotions
    8.4. Richard J. Davidson and Paul Ekman: Afterword
    Question 9: What Is the Relation Between Emotion and Memory?
    9.1. Gordon H. Bower: Some Relations Between Emotions and Memory
    9.2. Richard Lazarus: The Past and the Present in Emotion
    9.3. Joseph E. LeDoux: Memory Versus Emotional Memory in the Brain
    9.4. Jaak Panksepp: Subjectivity May Have Evolved in the Brain as a Simple Value-Coding Process That Promotes the Learning of New Behaviors
    9.5. Richard J. Davidson and Paul Ekman: Afterword
    Question 10: How Do Individuals Differ in Emotion-Related Activity?
    10.1. Richard J. Davidson: Honoring Biology in the Study of Affective Style
    10.2. Jeffrey A. Gray: Personality Dimensions and Emotions Studies
    10.3. Richard Lazarus: Individualized Differences in Emotion
    10.4. Mary K. Rothbart: Broad Dimensions of Temperament and Personality
    10.5. Paul Ekman and Richard J. Davidson: Afterword
    Question 11: What Develops in Emotional Development?
    11.1. Linda A. Camras: Two Aspects of Emotional Development: Expression and Elicitation
    11.2. Judy Dunn: Experience and Understanding of Emotions, Relationships, and Membership in a Particular Culture
    11.3. Carroll E. Izard: Intersystem Connections
    11.4. Richard Lazarus: Meaning and Emotional Development
    11.5. Jaak Panksepp: Lots of "Stuff"...Especially Mind "Stuff" That Emerges from Brain "Stuff"
    11.6. Mary K. Rothbart: Emotional Development: Changes in Reactivity and Self-Regulation
    11.7. Richard J. Davidson and Paul Ekman: Afterword
    Question 12: What Influences the Subjective Experience of Emotion?
    12.1. James R. Averill: I Feel, Therefore I Am--I Think
    12.2. Gerald L. Clore: Why Emotions Vary in Intensity
    12.3. Joseph E. LeDoux: Emotional Experience Is an Output of, Not a Cause of, Emotional Processing
    12.4. Jaak Panksepp: Evolution Constructed the Potential for Subjective Experience Within the Neurodynamics of the Mammalian Brain
    12.5. Paul Ekman and Richard J. Davidson: Afterword

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