Emotional State

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An Emotional State is a mental state / subjective experience that involves a psychophysiological response and a mental label (within an emotional agent).



  • (Wikipedia, 2023) ⇒ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotion Retrieved:2023-6-20.
    • Emotions are mental states brought on by neurophysiological changes, variously associated with thoughts, feelings, behavioral responses, and a degree of pleasure or displeasure. [1] There is currently no scientific consensus on a definition. Emotions are often intertwined with mood, temperament, personality, disposition, or creativity.

      Research on emotion has increased over the past two decades with many fields contributing including psychology, medicine, history, sociology of emotions, and computer science. The numerous attempts to explain the origin, function and other aspects of emotions have fostered intense research on this topic. Theorizing about the evolutionary origin and possible purpose of emotion dates back to Charles Darwin. Current areas of research include the neuroscience of emotion, using tools like PET and fMRI scans to study the affective picture processes in the brain.

      From a mechanistic perspective, emotions can be defined as "a positive or negative experience that is associated with a particular pattern of physiological activity."[1] Emotions are complex, involving multiple different components, such as subjective experience, cognitive processes, expressive behavior, psychophysiological changes, and instrumental behavior.[2] [3] At one time, academics attempted to identify the emotion with one of the components: William James with a subjective experience, behaviorists with instrumental behavior, psychophysiologists with physiological changes, and so on. More recently, emotion is said to consist of all the components. The different components of emotion are categorized somewhat differently depending on the academic discipline. In psychology and philosophy, emotion typically includes a subjective, conscious experience characterized primarily by psychophysiological expressions, biological reactions, and mental states. A similar multi-componential description of emotion is found in sociology. For example, Peggy Thoits described emotions as involving physiological components, cultural or emotional labels (anger, surprise, etc.), expressive body actions, and the appraisal of situations and contexts.[4] Cognitive processes, like reasoning and decision-making, are often regarded as separate from emotional processes, making a division between "thinking" and "feeling". However, not all theories of emotion regard this separation as valid.

      Nowadays most research into emotions in the clinical and well-being context focuses on emotion dynamics in daily life, predominantly the intensity of specific emotions, and their variability, instability, inertia, and differentiation, and whether and how emotions augment or blunt each other over time, and differences in these dynamics between people and along the lifespan.[5]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Schacter, Daniel L.; Gilbert, Daniel T.; Wegner, Daniel M. (2011). Psychology (2nd ed.). New York: Worth Publishers. p. 310. ISBN 978-1429237192.
  2. Cabral, J. Centurion; de Almeida, Rosa Maria Martins (2022). "From social status to emotions: Asymmetric contests predict emotional responses to victory and defeat". Emotion. 22 (4): 769–779. doi:10.1037/emo0000839. ISSN 1931-1516. PMID 32628033. S2CID 220371464.
  3. Scherer KR (2005). “What are emotions? And how can they be measured?". Social Science Information. 44 (4): 693–727. doi:10.1177/0539018405058216. S2CID 145575751.
  4. Thoits PA (1989). “The sociology of emotions". Annual Review of Sociology. 15: 317–342. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.15.1.317.
  5. Reitsema, A.M. (2021). "Emotion dynamics in children and adolescents: A meta-analytic and descriptive review". Emotion. 22 (2): 374–396. doi:10.1037/emo0000970. PMID 34843305. S2CID 244748515.


  • Yann LeCun. (2015). Emotions are the effect low-level/instinctive drives and the anticipations of rewards.
    • QUOTE: (1) "AIs won't have emotions." They most likely will. Emotions are the effect low-level/instinctive drives and the anticipations of rewards.





  • (Tamir, 2009) ⇒ Maya Tamir. (2009). “What do people want to feel and why? Pleasure and utility in emotion regulation.” In: Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18(2).
    • ABSTRACT: It is typically assumed that people always want to feel good. Recent evidence, however, demonstrates that people want to feel unpleasant emotions, such as anger or fear, when these emotions promote the attainment of their long-term goals. If emotions are regulated for instrumental reasons, people should want to feel pleasant emotions when immediate benefits outweigh future benefits, but when future benefits outweigh immediate benefits, people may prefer to feel useful emotions, even if they are unpleasant. In this article, I describe an instrumental account of emotion regulation, review empirical evidence relevant to it, and discuss its implications for promoting adaptive emotional experiences.