Emotional State

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



  • 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.


  • (Wikipedia, 2014) ⇒ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/emotion Retrieved:2014-1-12.
    • In psychology and philosophy, emotion is a subjective, conscious experience characterized primarily by psychophysiological expressions, biological reactions, and mental states. Emotion is often associated and considered reciprocally influential with mood, temperament, personality, disposition, and motivation. It also is influenced by hormones and neurotransmitters such as dopamine, noradrenaline, serotonin, oxytocin, cortisol and GABA. Emotion is often the driving force behind motivation, positive or negative.[1] An alternative definition of emotion is a "positive or negative experience that is associated with a particular pattern of physiological activity." The physiology of emotion is closely linked to arousal of the nervous system with various states and strengths of arousal relating, apparently, to particular emotions. Although those acting primarily on emotion may seem as if they are not thinking, cognition is an important aspect of emotion, particularly the interpretation of events. For example, the experience of fear usually occurs in response to a threat. The cognition of danger and subsequent arousal of the nervous system (e.g. rapid heartbeat and breathing, sweating, muscle tension) is an integral component to the subsequent interpretation and labeling of that arousal as an emotional state. Emotion is also linked to behavioral tendency. Extroverted people are more likely to be social and express their emotions, while introverted people are more likely to be more socially withdrawn and conceal their emotions. Research on emotion has increased significantly over the past two decades with many fields contributing including psychology, neuroscience, endocrinology, medicine, history, sociology, and even computer science. The numerous theories that attempt to explain the origin, neurobiology, experience, and function of emotions have only fostered more intense research on this topic. Current areas of research in the concept of emotion include the development of materials that stimulate and elicit emotion. In addition PET scans and fMRI scans help study the affective processes in the brain. [2]
  1. Gaulin, Steven J. C. and Donald H. McBurney. Evolutionary Psychology. Prentice Hall. 2003. ISBN 978-0-13-111529-3, Chapter 6, p 121-142.
  2. Cacioppo, J.T & Gardner, W.L (1999). Emotion. "Annual Review of Psychology", 191.



  • (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.