Chapter 3: Basic Emotion Theory and Social Constructivist Theory

Bodily Movement

A third way to consider behavior changes is by looking at how the entire body moves. As we go through each emotion, we will discuss whether people approach or avoid eliciting events that cause their emotions. Generally, positive emotions cause approach behavior, whereas negative emotions cause avoidance behavior. There are some exceptions. For instance, anger causes us to approach the person who blocked our goal, and some research suggests the emotion guilt may cause us to approach the individual we harmed to apologize. Finally, some emotions may cause freezing behavior (such as fear) or vacillation between approach and avoidance behavior (often mixed emotions – such as relief or happiness/sadness).


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