Chapter 1: What is an Emotion?

Summary of an Emotion

An emotion is caused by an eliciting event or the situational cause of the emotion.  After the eliciting event occurs, the following four emotion components change: behaviors, cognitive appraisals, subjective feelings, and physiology.  Researchers disagree on whether behavior and cognitive appraisals are required changes to experience an emotion.

Emotions are different from other psychological concepts.  Unlike drives and moods, an eliciting event is required to cause the change in the four emotion components.  In general, emotions last for a shorter period of time compared to moods, personality traits, and attitudes.  Although emotions and personality are separate constructs, emotions do contribute to our personality traits and attitudes.  Finally, although moods and emotions are separate constructs, emotions can cause moods and mood can cause emotions.


Yale Expert Interview: Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett

Watch from beginning to 9:46


Share This Book