Download Assessment and Modification of Emotional Behavior by Janet Polivy (auth.), Kirk R. Blankstein, Patricia Pliner, PDF

By Janet Polivy (auth.), Kirk R. Blankstein, Patricia Pliner, Janet Polivy (eds.)

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Indeed, they caution against assuming that the process would be simply the reverse of the negative case. They note, for example, that an unexpected positive performance can often lead to embarrassment-a negative emotion. According to the present analysis, events with positive outcomes would elicit fewer self-attributions of emotion than would events with negative outcomes, unless in the former case the actor had some reason not to assume full responsibility. Thus, we do sometimes become embarrassed at positive deeds, especially if we believe others may evaluate us too highly, or more than we deserve.

Why, for example, should a person risk his own life to save that of another, especially if the other person is a stranger and there is no immediate reward or coercion involved? Courageous acts also tend to occur in emergency situations in which there is little time to think or deliberate. Hence they may be characterized as intuitive and impulsive. And, of course, a courageous act often requires a great deal of energy (intensity) and persistence in order to overcome the danger. In short, the typical act of courage has many of the characteristics of a passion.

559) Whether this is a correct explanation of laughter is not of concern here. The important point is that, according to Dewey, laughter will not result in feelings of mirth unless the laughter occurs in a manner related to some such meaningful function. For Dewey, then, emotional behavior is the recurrence, in modified form, of a teleological (functional) act, and the feeling of emotion is a "reflexion" (reflection) of that act. Reflection, in Dewey's sense, involves feedback from motor and visceral discharges, as James had postulated.

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