Emotion Science Cognitive and Neuroscientific Approaches to Understanding Human Emotions

ISBN-10: 0230005187
ISBN-13: 9780230005181
Edition: 2008
Authors: Elaine Fox
List price: $66.00
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Description: Emotions and affective processes are fundamentally important to our lives. They regulate our relationships and social interactions, they help us communicate with one another, and almost certainly help us maintain good health and prevent the onset  More...

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Book details

List price: $66.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date: 9/15/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 496
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.650
Language: English

Emotions and affective processes are fundamentally important to our lives. They regulate our relationships and social interactions, they help us communicate with one another, and almost certainly help us maintain good health and prevent the onset and development of disease. The study of emotion has a long history in philosophy and psychology. However, until recently, emotion research has been a marginal activity in psychological science. In the behaviorist era, which dominated much of the twentieth century, emotion was often deemed unworthy of serious research because the field lacked objective ways to measure emotions and their associated feelings without resorting to introspection by subjects, which is, by definition, non-behavioural. In addition, since Plato, it is easy to discern a quiet bias in the sciences against emotions or "passions," which were often posited as inferior to the higher gifts of Reason and unworthy of serious research. This view, however, has changed radically in the past few years. With the development of sophisticated imaging tools like fMRI, researchers have uncovered the centrality of emotion to our thinking and reasoning and remembering, and evidence has demonstrated that it may be misleading to posit two separate phenomena altogether, i.e., "cognition" and "emotion." These traditional categories have been shown to be highly interdependent processes that interact with each other in a dynamic way. Our memories of the past; our decisions and plans for the future; what we attend to on a moment-to-moment basis; what we think about as we daydream: all of those cognitive operations are coloured by emotions, just as emotions themselves are influenced by cognitive processes. Therefore, in order to gain a more complete understanding of the richness of our mental life we need to more fully understand the role of emotions and how these processes interact with the traditionally defined "cognitive" processes. The Science of Emotion aims to achieve this. It is the first textbook to integrate psychology and neuroscientific evidence to develop a modern understanding of emotion and the nature of the links between processes that have traditionally been considered "cognitive" and those that have traditionally been considered "emotional." While these two constructs, as discussed above, have often been treated as separate, residing in two separate areas of the brain-the neo-cortex and the limbic system, respectively,The Science of Emotionuses the latest research to show how the two phenomena are intertwined and interdependent both at neural and psychological levels. The booknbsp;contains at least one focus box per chapter that will either take an interesting question (e.g. Do we run because we are afraid, or afraid because we run?) or a more empirically-based question from everyday life (e.g. Are we more likely to remember emotional events?). Therenbsp;is also a further material website with links and more detailed descriptions of key experiments.

List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Boxes
Introduction to Emotion Science
Different frameworks to study emotion
Neuroscience and cognitive approaches
The subject matter of emotion science
Defining affect: emotions, moods and feelings
Affect-cognition interactions
Controversies in emotion science
Plan of this book
The Nature and Measurement of Emotions, Moods and Feelings
Defining emotions and moods
Distinguishing moods and emotions
The measurement of affect
Measuring emotions
Measuring moods
The experience of emotions and moods
What and how do we feel?
Chapter summary
Individual Differences in Emotional Reactivity and Regulation: Temperament, Personality and Affective Style
Affective style
Affect regulation strategies
Chapter summary
Categorical Approaches to the Structure of Affect
Emotions as discrete categories
Criteria for basic emotions
Overview of empirical evidence for discrete emotions
Chapter summary
Dimensional Approaches to the Structure of Affect
A dimensional view of affect
What do we mean by dimensions?
Criteria for identifying general dimensions of affect
Overview of empirical evidence for dimensions
Comparing discrete and dimensional approaches
Chapter summary
Affect-Cognition Relations: Perception, Attention and Judgment
The return of affect in psychology and neuroscience
The interaction of affect and cognition
Processing of affective information: empirical data
Chapter summary
Affect-Cognition Relations: Memory
Are affective events better remembered than neutral events?
Does affect influence memory by means of arousal or valence?
Does affect influence memory at encoding, consolidation or retrieval?
Do mood states influence memory?
Does the type of mood make a difference to memory?
Are positive and negative moods associated with different information-processing strategies?
Theoretical accounts of mood and memory interactions
Chapter summary
Individual Differences in Emotional Processing
Do cognitive biases influence emotional reactivity?
An overview of empirical evidence
Interactions between personality traits, emotions and mood states
Perception and attention
Interpretation and judgment
Neural reactivity
Genetic determinants of individual differences in emotionality
Chapter summary
Determinants of Emotional Disorders
Risk factors for anxiety and depression
Environmental events
Temperament and personality
Neurobiological factors
Cognitive factors
Genetic factors
Chapter summary
Determinants of Resilience and Well-Being
Resilience to stress
Happiness and well-being
Temperamental and personality factors
Cognitive and neurobiological factors
Neurobiological mechanisms
Chapter summary
Theoretical Overview
Key aspects of emotion science
Seven sins in the study of emotion
Multiple levels of analysis
A unifying frameword
Integrating neurobiological and cognitive models of affect
Translating basic emotion science to clinical practice
Chapter summary
Name Index
Subject Index

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