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Q: Definition of emotion ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Definition of emotion
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: raphael929-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 22 Jul 2005 14:10 PDT
Expires: 21 Aug 2005 14:10 PDT
Question ID: 546745
What is emotion? How does one distinguish an emotion from a thought or
physical sensation? I'm writing about this and would love a google
researcher to gather as many possible definitions and clarifications
from as many possible sources, both scholarly and popular. At least
10, especially including the most authoratitive such as the APA,
textbooks, etc.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 23 Jul 2005 15:17 PDT

You can get a pretty fast read on a wide variety of dictionary definitions here:

I'm particularly fond of the extra tidbits made available through the
Webster's online dictionary:

And of course, there's the ever-helpful Wikipedia:

Are these the sorts of information you're looking for?  If not, please
let me know what additional information you need.



Clarification of Question by raphael929-ga on 24 Jul 2005 15:24 PDT
This is a helpful start - thank you. If possible I'd also like/need
some "technical" definitions from textbooks or psychological
organizations that show the leading understanding in the field. Thank

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 24 Jul 2005 16:51 PDT
Here's a pretty academic take on the meaning of 'emotion' but it may
be more than you had in mind:

Note that the onelook link I gave you earlier includes several links
to medical dictionary definitions of emotion, such as:

Let me know if these are getting closer...


Clarification of Question by raphael929-ga on 24 Jul 2005 17:45 PDT
This is enough for me - great job, I've got it now, thanks, R
Subject: Re: Definition of emotion
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 24 Jul 2005 18:57 PDT
Thanks for getting back to me...I'm glad to hear you have the information you need.

Here are a few more tidbits which may be useful:

This site:

has a large list of specialty dictionaries that might be worth an
explore.  For instance, one of the links led me here:



Minsky views emotions as types of thoughts, types of thoughts that we
wrongly credit with lots of stuff that reason does. Emotion is viewed
as a product of conflicts among goals. "The question is not whether
intelligent machines can have any emotions, but whether machines can
be intelligent without any emotions."

You might also want to have a look at the site, with its
excellent set of reference documents, including these on 'emotion':

All the best with your inquiries.


search strategy -- used bookmarked sites for references, dictionaries,
and speciality dictionaries.
Subject: Re: Definition of emotion
From: orangeduncan-ga on 31 Jul 2005 22:52 PDT
Just a thought:

Perhaps emotion can be defined as a combination of neurological
logical operators and nuerological mental states.

For example:
Take the human emotion we would call LOVE. Could love, from a truly
unromantic point of view be the simple recognition of need
Then HATE would be the logical recognition of that which CREATES
needs. Those things in our lives that create needs would have the
tendancy of making us feel like avoiding them, while the things that
fullfill needs would attract us to them.
From a biological point of view, it is only important that we do this,
and not so important that we understand why we are doing so. The
emotional operator creates emotional mental states that MOTIVATE us
into action (or inaction, such as the case of DEPRESSION), as needed
or deemed appropriate.
We can therefore elaborate on other emotions:

FEAR becomes a simply biological prioritizer. When faced with what we
fear we have the almost uncontrollable urge to pay attention to the
fear-source until the percieved threat is dealt with.

FRUSTRATION is the logical conclusion that the individual lacks the
resources (intelligence, money, etc.) to adequately FIGHT a problem,
or "deal with it directly", while at the same time putting emotional
value on doing so.

PANIC is the logical conclusion that escape, or FLIGHT, from a
situation/environment is not possible, or seemingly unlikely, however

DEPRESSION would be a defense mechanism. An individual can only
maintain a belief system that is in disagreement with their
environment for a definite period of time (usually), although that
period will vary from person to person. When a threshold has been
overcome in the form of STRESS from this disagreement between ideal
reality based on belief system versus the perceived reality of the
individual, then the defense mechanism process starts. Depression of
the brain is necessary to "rewrite" the neurological connections of
the brain, and therefore rewrite the belief system to bring it into
accordance with the perceived reality.

I could go on (as I have mapped out every human emotion now, with
relation to evolutionary development, and referenced to emotional
mental state as well), but I think the rest becomes self evident. If
you have any questions please feel free to contact me. This is just a
hobby/interest of mine, and I found this question by accident.

I just thought I would have some fun by answering a little bit. :)

Have a nice day.

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