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Emotion, Cognition, and Social Interaction - Information from Psychology and New Ideas topics self help

By: Mark Pettinelli
This selection and arrangement of content as a collection is copyrighted by Mark Pettinelli.
Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0
Collection structure revised: 2013/03/31
For copyright and attribution information for the modules contained in this collection, see the "Attributions" section at the end of the collection.

1How do Emotion, Attention, Thought, and Arousal Work Together?*

You can buy a hardcopy of this from connexions here - another emotion article I wrote is more basic than this you may want to read first is online The Psychology of Emotions, Feelings, and thoughts

Unconscious and Conscious Processes

A Study by Douglas Derryberry and Mary Klevjord Rothbart titled "Arousal, Affect, and Attention as Components of Temperament"[7] concluded that "This study demonstrates that the general temperamental constructs of arousal, emotion, and self-regulation can be successfully decomposed into more specific subconstructs revealing interesting patterns of relations."

I believe that statement makes a lot of sense - there are several key factors that influence what a person is going to feel, and the main ones are probably affect, arousal and attention. If you think about it, when you are in a social situation, your affect is constantly changing, and so are your levels of arousal and attention. Those things constantly fluctuating is going to determine the emotions you are feeling on a moment to moment basis. Your attention can change and be directed at many different things in a brief time period - the only other significant factors other than the attention changes are going to be your affect (which shows your subtle emotions) and your arousal (which shows your more powerful emotions).

Actually your thinking and physical response is also going to be significant - in the study they had a number of items they defined - here is the "thinking" one:

  • Cognitive Reactivity (CR). The amount of general cognitive activity in which the person engages, including daydreaming, problem solving, anticipatory cognition, and the ease with which visual imagery or verbal processes are elicited by stimulation. "A continuous flow of thoughts and images runs through my head."

In a way there is always a continuous flow of thoughts and images running through a humans mind. People are always processing information from their minds or from their environment. I would think that the cognitive thinking aspect directs the emotional and physical ones. Information or thoughts trigger you to feel different things or react in different ways all of the time, probably many different times in a minute. Every slight physical reaction, such as you looking at something different, or shifting your position, or a subtle change in affect, was somehow triggered by thought.

In this article I am going to analyze things such as... what types of emotion are generated in which high arousal situations, and what is the level of attention involved. For example, when you are in a high intensity social situation, your arousal and attention are higher, but there is also fear. By "arousal" in that example I don't mean sexual arousal, I just mean non-sexual arousal.

The thoughts someone experiences all of the time are incredibly complex, my understanding from observing my own thoughts is that you have natural impulses that cause thoughts to arise automatically all of the time. These thoughts usually aren't clear to the person having them that they are having the thought possibly because it directs a behavior or response that they aren't aware they are doing. For example if you experience an emotion generated by someone else in a social situation, your affect might change in a subtle way that you are not aware of. That change in affect is an unconscious thought because thought was necessary in order for your affect to change.

In the study they separated out these natural impulses (which I would say are unconscious thoughts) into the positive ones and the negative ones:

  • Inhibitory Control (1C). The capacity to suppress positively toned impulses and thereby resist the execution of inappropriate approach tendencies. "I can easily resist talking out of turn, even when I'm excited and want to express an idea."

  • Behavioral Activation (BA).The capacity to suppress negatively toned impulses and thereby resist the execution of inappropriate avoidance tendencies. "Even when I am very tired, it is easy for me to get myself out of bed in the morning."

Your positive emotions might cause you to want do something and because you are so positive about it there is that strong, impulsive drive which could cause you to do things. It is the opposite with negative emotions, if you feel very strongly these feelings are going to cause you to do things and think things automatically in order to satisfy the feeling.

This "impulsive drive" as I called it in the previous paragraph, is related to a persons level of arousal. Arousal would be someones stronger, more potent emotions and therefore would cause someone to become impulsive because the drive is powerful. If you are feeling very strongly (such as high arousal), then you are going to be consciously and unconsciously motivated to think and do things you wouldn't otherwise do. In addition, I already mentioned how even without feeling strongly, people have many different reactions in a minute (such as slight changes in affect). These probably increase if you are feeling more strongly. That makes sense, when you are talking to someone and you say something that gets a reaction, the other person usually changes their expression more or something.

The amount of arousal someone experiences can change from normal to high in a certain time period, or high to low in a similar time period - this was defined in the study:

  • Rising Reactivity (RR). The rate at which general arousal rises from its normal to its peak level of intensity. "I often find myself becoming suddenly excited about something."

  • Falling Reactivity (FR). The rate at which general arousal decreases from its peak to its normal levels of intensity. "I usually fall asleep at night within ten minutes."

So, as I have said, a higher arousal rate is going to result in more reactions from you, or as the people who wrote that study called it, "rising reactivity". A higher arousal rate is also going to cause your attention to change in some way, too. I would think it would cause your attention to increase normally, but it is possible that more excitement or arousal could cause you to pay less attention, though usually when people have more energy they are more attentive. Here is from the study again how they defined someone's ability to focus their attention and someone shifting their attention:

  • Attentional Focusing (AF). The capacity to intentionally hold the attentional focus on desired channels and thereby resist unintentional shifting to irrelevant or distracting channels. "My concentration is easily disrupted if there are people talking in the room around me."

  • Attentional Shifting (AS). The capacity to intentionally shift the attentional focus to desired channels, thereby avoiding unintentional focusing on particular channels. "It is usually easy for me to alternate between two different tasks."

Snygg and Combs speak of a "narrowing of the perceptual field under tension," which means that when people are tense and anxious, they tend to be less observant and less aware of their environment. As these authors say, "the girl too concerned over her appearance entering a room is only too likely to be unaware of the disastrous carpet edge in her path."[8]

There is likely to by many things that people do and think that they aren't aware of. I would say that each minute you have a few unconscious thoughts you aren't aware of. These thoughts probably influence your emotions in subtle ways. These thoughts are going to be influenced anxiety, arousal, your attention, (and, obviously, what is happening). There are obvious unconscious thoughts, such as something you might notice you missed later on, and there are (I believe) more subtle unconscious thoughts, a great level of detail in emotion and thought that occurs every second. Analyzing that level of what is going on I think could reveal more about what someone is feeling and thinking.

The following passage by Lindgren, Henry Clay[9], shows how unconscious processes operate in everyday life.

  • Even though it constitutes a denial of reality, repression often serves a useful function in that it enables us to adjust more easily to the demands of life, relatively unhampered by unpleasant thoughts and feelings and unaware of contradictions in our behavior. It enables us to perform tasks and operations that would be difficult or impossible if w e were bothered by recurring painful reminders of past faflures or by other disturbing thoughts and memories.

  • ...our conscience or superego plagues us with guilt feelings whenever w e indulge in thoughts and actions that run contrary to the accepted standards of our culture. Tliese feelings often cause us to repress certain thoughts that might otherwise lead us to perform forbidden or disapproved acts. Some actions that are disapproved are violations of moral standards, while others involve certain patterns of behavior that are less acceptable than others. For example, there is a tendency in our culture to repress feelings that would lead to an emotional display. Under most circumstances w e disapprove of weeping in public, and this attitude leads us to repress feelings of deep sorrow, particularly when w e are with others. W e condone kissing in public on certain occasions, provided it is more or less formal and perfunctory. But if a nine-year-old girl throws her arms around her mother and effusively kisses her — sa\, on a streetcar or in a department store — the mother is likely to be embarrassed and to scold the child. These are examples of a cultural pattern which stresses emotional control and which regards the expression of strong emotions as babyish, immature, unmannerh', or even abnormal. Thus the typical American not only expresses less emotion than, say, the typical resident of the Mediterranean countries, but wfll often deny that he feels any emotion at all when faced by situations that would evoke considerable emotionality on the part of the Mediterranean person. In our " flight from emotion," w e often try to present ourselves as calm, reasonable, competent, and efficient persons, even though we may not feel this wa}'. W e stress the intellectual aspects of our behavior and attempt to deny to ourselves and others the presence of strong feelings.

  • Unconscious feelings do not always reveal themselves through such obvious means as a slip of the tongue. Usually they express themselves indirectly through subtle little mannerisms, quirks, facial expressions, tones of voice, and so on.

But is that the full mystery behind unconscious operations? It couldn't be - there must be a lot more going on unconsciously that needs explanation. For instance, in each different social situation there are probably different emotional responses. Your anxiety, arousal, attention, perception and emotions could vary - I already stated that those were the main factors involved with psychological functioning.

The following passage (also by Lindgren) shows the importance of empathy, it also explains a little how it impacts your perception and anxiety:

  • Empathy, as used in this sense, is the ability to be aware of the feelings and attitudes of others without necessarily sharing them. W e gain this awareness by observing the speech, facial expression, posture, and body movements of others. As one four-year-old said, " I k n o w m y M o m m y 's mad, 'cause she walks mad." Empathy is the result of sensitive and acute perception. Like other forms of perception, it m a y be sharpened or dulled, depending on the state of our emotions. Sometimes anxiety can serve to sharpen empathic awareness, but usually it operates to distort it.

Empathy, and its influence on anxiety and perception, is just one aspect of psychological functioning. It has to do with how connected people are to other people, but there are many aspects about how people are connected and a complex emotional and intellectual exchange that occurs moment to moment when people interact. Your perception, connectivity, anxiety, arousal, feelings and thoughts are constantly changing.

This next passage by Lindgren mentions how interactions are sort of like unconscious interchanges of feeling:

  • Most of us are capable of empathizing most of the time, and as w e empathize with one another, w e find our actions and atdtudes conditioned or affected by one another's feelings. This amounts to a sort of communicadon or exchange of " feeling-tone " that takes place below the level of consciousness. In many, if not most, situations involving two or more persons, the interchange of feeling-tone at the unconscious level is of greater importance than the verbal exchange at the conscious level.

Lindgren shows an example of feeling-tone by a salesman who is hiding contempt for some of his customers. Even though his contempt isn't obvious in his tone and gestures, nevertheless those customers end up feeling tense and stressed. Here is another example he uses the shows how teachers do a similar thing:

  • Teachers, too, are in a position to use or misuse the communication of feeling-tone. Some teachers are technically competent, but so unsure of their relations with others that they attempt to " cover up " by being grim or pedantic or hypercritical. Teachers of this sort usually succeed in communicating the very feelings they are tr}'ing to hide, with the result that the class becomes tense, hostile, or just bored. Other teachers are able to empathize with their students to the point that they can determine whether students understand or are confused, whether they are recepti\-e, or whether they are in a m.ood calling for a change of pace and subject matter.

Lindgren also showed how some things are unconscious, people may come up with reasons for their behavior, but the real reason could be something that is unconscious and beneath their awareness. The feeling-tone that people convey is similarly beneath awareness most of the time. People could be acting one way, but be communicating something completely different unconsciously.

Here is another example he gives and a conclusion:

  • The communication of feeling-tone is essential, too, in courtship. T w o people may meet accidentally and discuss the weather or the latest television program in a casual fashion. Yet whfle this desultory con\'ersation proceeds, there is an exchange of feelingtone, and each may begin to feel the effects of mutual attraction and warm feelings. This experience leads to other meetings, untfl the participants are sufficienth' a-ware of their feelings to make them a subject for communication on the conscious level.

  • In the situations w e ha\'e described above, the words spoken at the conscious level do not necessarily give clues to the communication taking place at the feeling le\el. And, as we have indicated, the latter type of communicadon realh' plays the more important part in attitude formation, motivation, and the course of action people actually will take.

Here is another conclusion he makes, which shows that you cannot hide or act differently, your feelings are there and going to determine what occurs:

  • The abihty to put oneself in another's place and sense his attitudes and feelings is an unconscious process termed " empathy." It is highly necessary- if one is to understand others and communicate with them effectively. If w e are not empathic, w e are in danger of being chronically disappointed in others. Thus we must be aware of h o w others feel, and of the fact that their feelings are frequently at odds with what the}' say. At the same time, w e must be aware of our own feelings, which have an effect on others. There is, in short, an exchange of feeling-tone.

Emotions lie at the heart of social interactions. Subtle changes in emotion occur all of time, and these changes are going to influence what you think and do, and also the larger, more potent emotions that you feel. Empathy is just one important aspect of how emotion works in a social interaction, without it there would be a disconnection, and much of the subtlety involved might not occur. For instance the "subtle little mannerisms, quirks, facial expressions, tones of voice, and so on" might not occur at all.

Cognitive Performance

Someones beliefs and views of the world are obviously going to influence how they socially interact - along with their personal history. Their personal history is going to matter because it is who the person is - people use knowledge of past events and especially experience from them to guide behavior in social interactions. Knowledge may be activated whenever the proper conditions for retrieval are met - that basically means when the time is right, your knowledge is going to be used accordingly.

So someone's knowledge about the world and their understanding of the world is going to be used in social situations (their semantic memory), and so is memories of their personal history (their episodic memory). Knowledge is contextualized, whatever someone knows, this knowledge was learned from some experience that may also be recalled (consciously or unconsciously) at various times.

People might also use knowledge of their attitudes and preferences, their abilities, shortcomings, behaviors or their identity as a whole. They use their knowledge of their own history and of the world around them. They use this knowledge on a moment to moment basis all of the time, in social interactions or otherwise.

When someone uses knowledge of their personal history (their memories), they may interpret this information in their own way. People have their own beliefs and understanding of what happened. Each memory has its own implication to the person, and what each memory means, how the person remembers it, what they learned from it, etc - is going to vary from person to person. Even for two people that were at the same event and remember the same details, the knowledge they learned is going to be different.

Sensory information is also remembered, people have a "feel" for each memory and what it was like being there. How someone learns from memory is something that will never be completely understood because it is so complicated. Different memories are linked in some way, people use all or some of their memories to interpret the facts and information they have. In that way, semantic and episodic memories are linked. People may bias facts and information, memories, and feelings and interpret them in their own personal way instead of a more truthful way or the truth.

Each memory, or even knowledge and information, is going to have a certain personal meaning and emotive power. Memories and knowledge make people feel in possibly deep, meaningful ways - or nothing at all. They may also impact judgement, perception of others, problem solving skills, etc. Memory is a resource for living, it impacts what you feel, forms who you are, and helps determine what you are and aren't conscious of. For instance if you had a personal history of something, say perhaps abuse, then you might be more conscious of such things.

Memories may provide a parallel model of everyone else's inner life. People are constantly interpreting and predicting the behavior of others and, as a result, adjust their conduct according to their analysis. We use our experience to explain the actions of others, or even our own actions. Our awareness of what is going on in a situation is going to to then be related to our memories and past experience. We might be more conscious of certain situations and certain feelings if we have experience of it, giving us more insight into our subjective state and more insight into others feelings.

How do people perceive and evaluate others? Obviously their autobiographical memory is going to play a role in how they do that. People make attributions and other daily explanations. Indeed, in order to analyze the situations in which we find ourselves, to make decisions, or to understand, evaluate and predict the behavior of others, everyday life often leads us to refer to these memories.

A self-schema is basically ideas someone has about themself that were derived from their experience (their interpretation of their experience). Therefore, since they are about the self, they organize information and processing related to the self:

  • Cognitive-affective structures representing one's experience. They organize and direct the processing of info relevant to the self. We hold self-schema for particular domains, domains that are personally important for which we have well-developed self-concepts.(self-concept) Packages of self-knowledge derived from experience and our interpretation of experiences (I’m friendly, a people person, I don’t trust others, “I’m shy) – vary in content and in how elaborate they are, some are interrelated (student athlete) and others are separate; they vary in their temporal focus (past, present, future) and in the extent to which they are congruent or discrepant from each other.[10]

These self-schemas can change the amount of attention someone gives things, for instance if there is something related to independence, someone may pay more attention if they are interested in being independent. There are many ideas about the self someone could have that could motivate them to pay more or less attention to things. Taking that further, someone's attention all of the time, on everything, is partially determined by the ideas they have about themselves - the ideas and thoughts they formed from their experience, and the ideas and conclusions they come to continuously from their knowledge and memory.

I should note here that this means people have a lot of ideas about themselves, or you could call them "self-evaluations", and that these ideas form their perception and how their memories are created. This also means that they might have certain expectations about their own behavior and the behavior of others based off of these ideas - which may or may not be accurate.

Autobiographical memory could help someone put themselves in the right or wrong emotional state. Based off of what someone would like to be and what their own self concept is, psychological states of emotional discomfort could result because they aren't corresponding their self-concept with their emotional state. Self-standards (such as standards of how they want to be, what they want their emotional state to be like) may have been internalized during childhood. So certain autobiographical memories are associated with certain emotional states. For instance, if you put yourself in the emotional state of happiness, or happiness with a little sadness, then the corresponding childhood memories (or recent memories) may be easier to bring up.

People can have many different things that they pay attention to at one time. There are going to be things people automatically, unconsciously pay attention to and things they do consciously. There is going to be a priority list of which things you want to pay more attention to in your mind (and how much energy you are going to devote to each task). If your controlled, conscious attention is going to take over a task that is usually unconscious, the person must 1) be aware of the automatic effect (what the unconscious is doing) 2) have the motivation or intention to think enough to dominate the unconscious and 3) have enough attention capacity to support the flexible, unusual type of unconscious attention usually given to the task.

If someone is trying to pay attention to something, and they are in the wrong emotional state, it may be harder to focus. For instance, if your emotional state is a happy one it may be harder for you to focus on something sad that is occurring. This gets even more complicated if you consider that the emotional state you are in is going to bring up memories related to that emotional state, which are also going to impact your ability to focus or pay attention to certain things. That being said, positive or negative emotions may help or hinder your ability to pay attention, depending on the type of emotion and the set of feelings it is, the memories or thoughts it brings up, and what you are paying attention to.

How does memory of ones past influence how someone thinks? First off, there are two types of memories that might influence thought, one is taxonomical categories (supplies, birds, sports) and the other is categories derived from goals (birthday gifts, camping equipment, things to do by the sea). Of course just regular memories of events could influence thought as well, but how exactly would that occur? If you are just thinking, "I want this for lunch", memories of certain items you wanted for lunch in the past may come up. Those would be a category that is goal related - each item in the goal related category is going to be goal related to a certain degree, some things more desirable than others. I doubt that when you think "I want this for lunch" that a memory of an event is brought up in your mind, it is more likely just items from the past are brought up.

That shows that a lot of your thought is derived from previous items that you have experience with. Your memories of your past aren't going to play an obvious, active role with most of your thinking. But maybe they do, if these memories are personally meaningful for you, then perhaps they influence your thinking in subtle ways. It obviously would if you bring up the memory and recall it while trying to think about something else, or recall the memory then do a related task.

Marks [11] has shown that people tend to think that their opinions are widely shared and their abilities unique, underscoring the existence of a false idiosyncrasy effect or a uniqueness bias. During social interactions, people develop a need for enhancement that turns performances, reinforcements and other events into episodes associated to their cognitive, emotional or behavioral consequences, such as mood and self-esteem. So basically people are constantly striving to increase their self-esteem and mood, by comparing themselves to others, trying to help their own thoughts and emotions and behaviors, and continuously trying to reward themselves. This probably means that self-esteem is a key feature for autobiographic memory - when something that triggers the feeling of self-esteem or wants to start the feeling of self-esteem, memories of the persons personal history may help (and self-esteem is wanted or triggered frequently in life and in social interactions). That makes sense, when I want to feel good I can recall memories. I meant that it was used more automatically and in a more subtle way, however.

For instance, when you are simply interacting with someone, you are probably bringing up lots of old memories. You are certainly using the experience you gained from studying those memories or thinking about them. If the conversation involves thinking about certain memories, then you may also bring up previous conversations or other subtle, little things from memory. If you think about it in terms of just experience, if you use experience all of the time, then there is going to be a lot of memories associated with that experience that may come up or are used unconsciously.

Wegner[12] has argued that cognitive control requires two mental processes: An intentional operating process, that searches for and implements a mental content consistent with the preferred cognitive state, and a monitoring process to search for mental content not consistent with the intended state. Wegner argues that the monitoring process is always active and constantly searching for material that conflicts with our intentions and goals. Botvinick and colleagues[13], on the other hand, believe the monitoring system becomes activated only when conflict arises. However, the basic goal of both system is similar: to reduce conflict and help achieve goal-oriented behavior. For Wegner that also includes an additional process: the operating process.

That basically means that whatever it is you are doing or want to do, your mind is going to support you doing that, at the same time, your mind is going to monitor what else it is that you are doing and see if it in line with the intended state. That makes sense, people have cognitive capacity, when someone does something, it is much more complicated than them doing one single simple thing - there are mental processes involved. These mental processes distract attention, use mental resources (such as attention and focus), and cause complex emotional and cognitive phenomena. It makes sense that the "monitoring system" focuses on other aspects than your conscious "operating system". I don't know when it operates most, when you are doing a conscious task with the operating system, or when conflict arises, such as Botvinick and colleagues suggested.

Under particular circumstances, this two process system may not function properly; we may not be able to think positively, inhibit certain thoughts, or focus our attention on particular items. We may, in fact, perform the exact opposite of our intentions. Wegner refers to this as counterintentional error, where, in given situations, instead of performing an appropriate behavior or response, we behave or think in an opposite manner. For example, when we need to receive a good night sleep for an important day, yet the more we want to fall asleep the more we fail to fall asleep. There seems to be an interaction, in these situations, between how much we think about something and the increasing amount of failure of that action occurring.

That makes sense, when you try to do something, you are creating a new cognitive task, your mind is doing something new, this new thing might detract from what you want your mind to do - trying to assert conscious cognitive control is going to change how your mind normally functions.

The ironic process occurs as a direct result of this two-process cognitive control, the monitoring process is sensitive to our failures and may operate in the opposite direction whenever the intended state is overwhelmed or undermined. This overwhelming or undermining of the operating process is due the mental capacity load of the two processes. The operating process is a conscious process that consumes greater cognitive processes due to the effort required to attend and control the desired ideas and thoughts compared to the normally autonomic, unconscious monitoring process. The theory of the ironic process states that the variable that separates successful from unsuccessful cognitive control is the availability of mental resources. The operating and monitoring processes work in tandem; while the operating process is searching for desired state and implementing goal-oriented ideas, thoughts or emotions to achieve the desired state, the monitoring process is insidiously searching for any mental content not consistent with the desired state. When an unwanted idea, thought or desire infiltrates working memory, it tries to reset the operating process to begin anew and filter out the unwanted ideas, thoughts, or desires. However, because the monitoring process is constantly searching for any material not associated with the desired state, it is exactly this type of mental material that may become sensitive and intrude upon the desired state.

So basically, while one part of your mind tries to put in place certain emotions, thought, or desires - another part is searching for the unwanted emotions, thoughts and ideas and is trying to filter them. When an unwanted idea penetrates and comes into consciousness, the system is reset. Because the monitoring process is constantly searching for material that is unwanted, it is exactly that type of material that is going to intrude upon the desired state. This makes sense, clearly there is going to be the state that you want to have, and the states that you don't want to have. You would have to be conscious of both states all of the time, your mind cannot simply have the desired state and it be clean and running perfectly, the rest of your mind is also there, while temporarily less conscious than the state you are in, there are still all the other states you may have. So each state you are in is only one state of many, the other states are still there in unconscious form producing desires, thoughts and emotions. The operating process is conscious and consumes more resources, and the monitoring process is unconscious. The monitoring process may work against the operating process if the operating process fails. That makes sense, if you are trying to do something consciously or have some sort of conscious state, then when you fail at that, your unconscious mind may take over and start to use the resources, directing you into a different state.

Obviously, the irony being in that a system that is intended to search for an undesirable state, in order to reinstate the operating process, actually brings about this undesirable state. This may occur under conditions of capacity limitations, as seen in both normal and clinical populations during times of stress or distraction, where the monitoring process may supersede operational processes and create more sensitivity to the opposite desired state because the executive resources needed to successfully avoid them, or initiate thought avoidance, are limited. When executive resources are limited, our ability to effectively control our cognitive abilities diminishes; our operating or monitoring system may not work properly. If cognitive control depends on operating or monitoring processes that rely on limited resources, it would be important to know how, and under what circumstances, those resources become limited.

For instance if someone is anxious they may not perform either conscious tasks (the operating system) or unconscious ones (the monitoring system) well. Saying, "when executive resources are limited" is basically like saying, "when you can't think clearly". Executive there means your main, primary thoughts that you are aware and conscious of and that are more primary than the other things your mind does, such as feel and focus attention. so when executive resources are limited, you might be stressed or distracted. The irony of the ironic process is that your unconscious functions, which are supposed to support your conscious ones, actual can hinder them. For instance you are doing one thing, but wind up with more anxiety or wind up being more distracted because unconsciously you were searching for some other state to be in.

Eysenck[14] also describes how an aversive emotional and motivational state that occurs in an adverse environment may negatively affect performance on cognitive tasks. He explains that a person who is highly anxious would need more resources to obtain a specific performance level compared to a person who is not highly anxious. This need for additional resources would result in negative effects on some cognitive tasks that are already demanding sufficient cognitive resources. Esyenck refers to this reduction of processing efficiency as, quite simply, the Processing Efficiency Theory. The Processing Efficiency theory involves two components: worry and motivation. Worry is characterized by concerns over evaluations and expectations of negative evaluation and may be observed in situations where a person is tested or evaluated. The motivational component involves an increased effort by the individual to minimize the aversive state. These two components would affect the monitoring process that was described earlier by Botvinick and colleagues and Wegner, Eysenck argues that this increase of worry and motivational activity interrupts normal processing of working memory by taking up additional attentional resources. Because attentional resources are limited, the two components consume attentional resources that would normally be available for other tasks; thereby, resulting in a reduction in cognitive performance.

It makes sense that anxiety decreases mental functioning and performance. There is also probably going to be automatic amounts of worry and changing levels of motivation. The motivation shows an effort by the person to automatically try to decrease the anxiety or worry, which are more unconscious processes (because it is hard to control your anxiety or worry). Worry, motivation, and anxiety are going to take up resources and impact working memory (cognitive performance).

Eysenck and colleagues[15] recently extended the Processing Efficiency Theory to the more specific Attentional Control Theory. The Attentional Control Theory posits that anxiety, defined as a negative emotional and motivational state under threatening situations, affects cognitive performance by affecting two components of attentional control: top-down and stimulus-driven processes. Posner and Peterson[16] described the top-down or goal-directed attentional system as the involvement of expectation and knowledge of current goals, while the stimulus-driven process involves detecting and responding to sensory events that are clear and obvious. The Attentional Control Theory states that anxiety disrupts the balance of goal-directed stimulus-driven processes by decreasing top-down processing and increasing stimulus-driven processing (Eysenck). Assimilating this information with Wegner's two-process theory, anxiety would decrease the operating process, which is conscious and goal oriented, and increase the monitoring process, which is automatic and stimulus driven. Anxiety reduces stimulus-driven processing by affecting the automatic processing of threat-related stimuli, but may also affect performance in any ongoing task. The rationale for this is that it would be harmful to the individual to focus on only threatening material; the best strategy would be for anxiety to affect attentional resources globally, not just towards threatening material. The idea is that anxiety may be affected by external and internal cues, with worry being an internal cue. Because anxiety involves emotion and arousal, it is important to understand how emotion and arousal, in general, affect cognitive control.

In my view, the theory is that anxiety decreases conscious thinking (such as goal-oriented thinking) and it increases sensory response (such as things you feel or just response to sensory stimulation). This makes sense to me, anxiety is going to make someone less conscious because it is an unconscious process itself. When you aren't thinking, you are going to be responding to the world more physically. Anxiety would thus actually increase your sensory response. For instance you might be faster physically - more aware of your body and your own condition. Anxiety is going to decrease your worrying or whatever it is you are thinking about because you have to deal with being anxious. At the same time, you are going to be at a higher state of alert, so you would respond faster to physical, sensory stimulation.

So anxiety can impact your attention, and your ability to shift your attention. It could also impact the thoughts you have and the emotions you are experiencing. Anxiety could cause your attention to shift to more sensory things, and make you less conscious about your thoughts or non-sensory things that you are thinking. People pay attention in different ways, and have different cognitive processes. There are conscious processes and unconscious ones. Unconscious ones can monitor for other thoughts and other emotional states, and the conscious processes are going to be the things you do that are more or less under your control. But the conscious is just a small part of mental functioning. People couldn't do everything and have it be completely conscious - that is why there is a monitoring or unconscious process that keeps track of the other options - the other thoughts and emotions you might experience. Anxiety, attention, emotion, thought, consciousness - all of these things are key factors in mental functioning.

Cognition and Emotion

Feelings, values and preferences are going to influence even simple perceptual judgments. Your judgments are thoughts, and your feelings, values and preferences are all highly emotional. This example demonstrates an aspect in the age-old quest to understand the relationship between the rational and the emotional aspects of human nature. Is affect or cognition primary or dominant? From this example it would seem that they are separate, you have values and feelings, and that is separate from when you make decisions and judgments. When you make those judgments, feeling influences the judgment and motivates it, but it is a separate system.

There is a growing recognition that there are different categories of affective phenomena and their role in social cognition is quite distinct. One crucial distinction is between emotions and moods. Both emotions and moods may have an impact on social cognition, but the nature of this influence is quite different. Emotions are usually defined as intense, short-lived, and highly conscious affective states that typically have a salient cause and a great deal of cognitive content, featuring information about typical antecedents, expectations, and behavioral plans. The cognitive consequences of emotions such as fear, disgust, or anger can be highly complex, and depend on the particular prototypical representations activated in specific situations. As distinct from emotions, moods are typically defined as relatively low-intensity, diffuse, and enduring affective states that have no salient antecedent cause and therefore little cognitive content (such as feeling good or feeling bad, or being in a good or bad mood). As moods tend to be less subject to conscious monitoring and control, paradoxically their effects on social thinking, memory, and judgments tend to be potentially more insidious, enduring, and subtle.

Powerful emotions often leave a lingering mood state in their wake, and moods in turn can have an impact on how emotional responses are generated. Emotions are obviously going to be intense and short lived compared to moods, if you consider that a mood is your overall emotional state, it is not specific like emotions are. You feel each emotion, a mood, however, is something that could just hang around for a while. Since emotions and moods are so different, they are each going to have a different impact on your thinking, memory and judgments. It is probably more clear what the impact of a specific emotion is then a mood, which is going to have some sort of subtle impact on what you do. For instance if you are cooking, a bad mood might have some impact, but if you experienced an emotion, say, excitement or sadness, the impact would be more obvious.

A major development in affect-cognition research in the 1980s was the realization that in addition to influencing the content of cognition - informational effects - affect may also influence the process of cognition; that is, how people think about social information. It was initially thought that people in a positive mood tend to think more rapidly and perhaps superficially; reach decisions more quickly; use less information; avoid demanding and systematic processing; and are more confident about their decisions. Negative affect, in turn, was assumed to trigger a more systematic, analytic, and vigilant processing style.[17][18][19][20] More recent work showed that positive affect can also produce distinct processing advantages, as people are more likely to adopt more creative, open, constructive, and inclusive thinking styles.[21][22] It now appears that positive affect promotes a more schema-based, top-down, and generative processing style, whereas negative affect produces a more bottom-up and externally focused processing strategy. This processing dichotomy has close links with the fundamental distinction between promotion-oriented vs prevention-oriented processing developed by Tory Higgins, a distinction that has deep roots in evolutionary theorizing as well as classic conditioning accounts.

It makes sense that when someone is in a good mood, their thoughts are also going to be more positive. They are less nervous, and not worried about the environment around them, also, they don't need to think everything through from the bottom up but instead can generalize and think more casually. When positive, people can even think rapidly and superficially. They are more relaxed. Pain causes people to do work - it puts them in a more demanding state. They have to think harder, and they are more vigilant in their thinking.

Having adopted early on the perspective that emotional reactions were organized and had evolved to serve largely adaptive functions, Magda Arnold was among the first of the the contemporary emotion theorists to recognize the difficulty and importance of addressing the processes by which emotions occur. Arnold[23] and virtually all subsequent theorists started with the assumption that different emotions served different sets of circumstances. The puzzle that appraisal theory set out to solve, then, was to describe the mechanism that had evolved to elicit the appropriate emotional reaction when a person was confronted with circumstances in which the functions(s) served by that emotion were called for. This puzzle was complicated by the fact that, as Arnold recognized and subsequent appraisal theorists emphasized, emotions are not simple, reflexive responses to a stimulus situation. It is relatively easy to document that the same objective stimulus situation will evoke a broad range of emotions across individuals. Thus, an evaluative exam that might be anxiety producing to a person who doubts his abilities might we a welcome challenge to one who is confident of hers, and yet elicit indifference in one who is not invested in the outcome. Rather than assuming that this heterogeneity or response reflected a disorganized or chaotic system (as did the conflict theorists), beginning with Arnold, appraisal theorists have assumed that emotional reactions are highly relational, in that they take into account not only the circumstances confronting an individual, but also what those circumstances imply for the individual in light of her or her personal hopes, desires, abilities, and the like. The elicitation mechanism Arnold proposed to give emotion this relational character was one of "appraisal," which she defined as an evaluation of the potential harms or benefits presented in any given situation. She then defined emotion as "the felt tendency toward anything intuitively appraised as good (beneficial), or away from anything intuitively appraised as bad (harmful)" (p. 182).

So people make intuitive, unconscious appraisals about things that determine what the emotions they are going to feel are. You might unconsciously decide that something is going to be good for you, so therefore that thing is going to make you feel good. However, this unconscious appraisal process is probably a lot more complicated than that. There are many unconscious reasons why something might cause positive or negative emotions. Furthermore, each emotion has a different, unique feeling that could be described by describing whatever is causing the emotion, and how that cause is unique.

Beyond being relational, it is important to note that appraisal is also meaning-based and evaluative. the fact that appraisal combines both properties of the stimulus situation and of the person making the appraisal means that it cannot be a simple or reflexive response to the emotion-evoking stimulus. Instead the appraisal is a reflection of what the stimulus means to the individual. Appraisal is also evaluative, in that it does not reflect a cold analysis of the situation, but rather, as Arnold emphasized, it is a very personal assessment of whether the situation is good or bad-is it (potentially) beneficial or harmful for me? That this evaluation is meaning based, rather than stimulus based, provides the emotion system with considerable flexibility and adaptational power. Not only will different individuals react to very similar situations with different emotions (as illustrated previously), but also objectively very different situations can elicit the same emotions if they imply the same meaning to the individuals appraising them. In addition, an individual can react very differently to the same situation across time if changes in her or her desires and abilities alter the implications of that situation for his or her well-being.

So, everything has a different meaning for each person. That also means that each thing in life is going to evoke unique emotions in each person. Everyone is different, everyone experiences emotions differently, but on the other hand, people are also general and ordinary (and are going to experience similar emotions in similar circumstances).

A further assumption is that appraisal occurs continuously. That is, a number of appraisal theorists have proposed that humans constantly engage in a meaning analysis in which the adaptational significance of their relationship to the environment is appraised, with the goal being to avoid, minimize, or alleviate an appraised actual or potential harm, or to seek, maximize, or maintain an appraised actual or potential benefit. The reason for proposing that appraisal occurs continuously is that the emotion system is seen as an important motivational system that has evolved to alert the individual when he or she is confronted to adaptationally relevant circumstances. In order to serve this alerting function, the emotion-elicitation mechanism must be constantly "on guard" in order to be able to signal such circumstances when they arise. It is important to note that in making this assumption, appraisal theorists do not assert that the appraisal process need be conscious or deliberate; instead, they have consistently maintained that appraisal can occur automatically and outside of awareness. The importance and implications of this latter assumption is considered in more detail when I discuss process models of appraisal.

So, basically, there is something in people that is constantly searching and alerting people for significant emotional events. I don't know how to explain the complexity of the appraisal process that someone goes through in order to respond to emotions. People experience emotion constantly, there must be extremely complicated evaluations going on all of the time - you are constantly deeply thinking about the significance of what is going around you and how that is impacting your own emotions.

A final major assumption is that the emotion system is highly organized and differentiated. Appraisal theorists recognize that the same basic approach/avoid dichotomy associated with drives and reflexes and subscribed to by theorists endorsing two-dimensional conceptions of emotion, such as positive and negative affect, is fundamental to emotion. However, appraisal theorists describe emotion as being far more differentiated than a simple view of this dichotomy would allow. They argue that there are different major types of harm and benefit, and that these different types have different implications for how one might best contend with them. This is especially true for actual and potential harms, in which, depending on the circumstances, the most adaptive course might be to avoid the harmful situation, but could also range from active attach of the agent causing the harmful circumstances to reprimanding oneself if one caused the circumstances, to accepting and enduring the harmful circumstances if they cannot be avoided or repaired. Building on Arnold's definition of emotion mentioned previously, contemporary appraisal theorists tend to conceptualize different emotions as different modes of action readiness, each of which is a response to a particular type of adaptationally relevant situation ,and each of which physically and motivationally prepares and pushes the individual to contend with those circumstances in a certain way (e.g., at attack in anger, to avoid or flee in fear, to accept and heal in sadness). Within this differentiated system, the fundamental role of appraisal, again, is to call forth the appropriate emotion(s) when the individual in confronted with personally adaptationally relevant circumstances.

So when someone experiences an emotion, there is an adaptation taking place (at least if the circumstance is somewhat new). They have to process if this emotion is harmful or beneficial, and they respond to each in the appropriate fashion. People can learn each time they have an emotional response. The way their emotions respond to something each time changes. Not just in terms of if it is beneficial or harmful, but perhaps if it is cool or exciting. Though I would think that pain and pleasure (or beneficial or harmful) would be the dominant things by which people respond to, seeing as everything - even when it includes other complicated elements (such as other emotions or attitudes) - is dominated by our response of it is beneficial or harmful.

The existing appraisal models generally include some sort of evaluation of how important or relevant the stimulus situation is to the person, whether it is desirable or undesirable, whether and to what degree the person is able to cope with the situation, and who or what caused or is responsible for the situation (and thus toward what or whom one's coping efforts should be directed). Different patterns of outcomes along such dimensions are hypothesized to result in the experience of different emotions. Moreover, the specific pattern of appraisal hypothesized to result in the experience of a given emotion is conceptually closely linked to the functions proposed to be served by that emotion. To illustrate how these models are organized in this way, I draw on the model of Smith + Lazarus[24].

According to this model, situations are evaluated along seven dimensions: motivational relevance, motivational congruence, problem-focused coping potential, emotion-focused coping potential, self-accountability, other accountability, and future expectancy. Motivational relevance involves an evaluation of how important the situation is to the person; motivational is a key part of the term, however, in that importance is appraised in a subjective, relational sense, evaluating the relevance of what is happening in the situation to the individual's goals and motivations. Motivational congruence is an appraisal of the extent to which the situation is in line with current goals, which again is relational - to the extent to which the circumstances are appraised as being consistent with one's goals, they are appraised as highly congruent or desirable, whereas to the extent to which they are appraised as inconsistent with those goals, they are appraised as incongruent of undesirable. Problem-focused coping potential is an assessment of the individual's ability to act on the situation to increase or maintain its desirability. In contrast, emotion-focused coping potential evaluates the ability to psychologically adjust to and deal with the situation should it turn out not to be as desired. Self-accountability is an assessment of the degree to which an individual sees her/himself as responsible for the situation, whereas other accountability is the extent to which the individual views someone or something else as responsible. Finally, future expectancy involves an evaluation of the degree to which, for any reason, the person expects the circumstances to become more or less desirable. According to the model, different patterns of outcomes along these dimensions (having different adaptational implications) result in the experience of different emotions (serving different adaptations functions). Thus, these appraisal dimensions are held to be responsible for the differentiation of emotional experience.

So, in other words, people care about the emotions they experience and therefore they are constantly evaluating if these emotions line up with the goals and motivations that they have. They evaluate who is responsible for the emotions and the situation they have, if the situation is going to get better, if they can do anything about it, etc. People make these types of decisions and think about these things all of the time - whether they are aware of it or not.

2Social Cognition, Personality, and Emotion*

You can buy a hardcopy of this from connexions here - another social interaction article I wrote is online Useful Psychology Information (...An Integration of Personality, Social, Interaction..., and an emotion article I wrote is related to this you may want to read is online The Psychology of Emotions, Feelings, and thoughts

An Introduction

This article integrates the three fields in the title - social cognition, personality, and emotion. Social cognition is basically your social thought, or how your mind processes social information (information related to other people and interacting with them). I think it would be simplest to start off by describing how personality and social psychology relate. Social psychology just obviously being the study of social interactions (like how psychology is the study of life).

In short, personality is who you are and social psychology is how you interact. Obviously these two factors are going to relate to one another. What someone is like, or what type of person they are, is going to determine the things they do and think in an interaction.

Social cognition, which is how your mind works in a social setting, is extremely complicated. Emotions can change what it is you are thinking and how you do the thinking. For instance, if you are afraid, then maybe you won't be thinking as well as you could be because the fear is causing you tension. This is a matter of free will then, is a person really completely open and can think whatever they want whenever they want? The answer is no - they are subject to the emotions they experience, unconscious thoughts, and even their own conscious thoughts may cause them to not function as they would like.

There are other aspects of thought other than sentence like thinking. There are your perceptions and attitudes, which are developed by your thoughts. Your perceptions and attitudes are constantly changing. These might also not be under your control as well, a temporary emotion could cause you to alter your perception or attitude about something for that brief moment, but also might change it permanently.

For instance, if you experience a brief emotional moment, or an intense emotional experience, those events could change how you think or how you feel. However long the intense experience is, it is going to impact you in some way. People are influence by all of their experiences, however more potent ones are obviously going to be more influential. I would say your body "remembers" the emotional and physical state it was in and this impacts you for a longer period of time. These emotions might also have been influenced by social factors. A painful experience (physically or emotionally) is going to be like a "lesson" for who you are and how you experience emotion.

That is a lot more complicated than just someone being in pain and that teaching them to be more careful in the future. There are complex sets of emotions and ideas that people learn about and experience all of the time. When someone goes into a social situation, there is probably a large number of various feelings, and these feelings each might have a various number of associated ideas.

These experiences also change who you are, your personality and beliefs are going to change as your ideas and perceptions change from emotion and life.

Social Cognition and Emotion

Jon Elster defines what he labels as "core emotions" in his book "Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences". These emotions are inherently pleasurable, derive from powerfully emotional sources, and are the result of your own actual, current experiences. I would like to add an important point - it is important to consider what thoughts you have from these core emotions; or on the other hand, what thoughts arise from your smaller, less significant ones:

  • Certain emotional experiences are inherently pleasurable and desirable. They arise from the enjoyment of beautiful sights, tastes and sounds; from love and friendship; from the use and development of one's powers and abilities; from the recognition of one's achievements by competent others. These emotions have a specific person, temporal and modal structure. They derive from my experiences, not from those of other people. Moreover, they relate to my current experiences, not to my past or future ones. Finally, they derive from my actual experiences, not from those I may have or could have had. We may think of emotions with these qualities as core emotions. Although I have cited only the inherently positive core emotions, there are also inherently undesirable ones: disgust, fear, hate, shame, anguish. Anger also belongs to the core emotions, but is neither inherently pleasurable nor unpleasurable.

If you think about it, you are going to have thoughts that you think that arise from a non-emotional source. If you are just doing something practical or some sort of work, then you are just thinking normally and the thoughts weren't motivated or caused by some sort of powerfully emotional source. On the other hand, everything that happens is emotional in some way, so therefore all thought is going to be motivated by emotion. Even when you are just doing work or a complicated task, those thoughts are going to be influenced by the emotions you are experiencing from the task at hand. You probably wouldn't notice how your thoughts arise or are influenced from such minor amounts of emotion, but they are.

On the other hand, you probably notice somehow when you have a large emotion, you would speak out about this emotion or take note of it in your mind. For instance, if you went to go have a picnic, you must have realized at some point that the atmosphere there was pleasurable. You probably don't know exactly how pleasurable, but that is probably a "core" emotion. There could be other, smaller things occurring at the picnic that cause you to have other thoughts as well.

Elster also points out that when a core emotion that is positive emotion ends, grief or disappointment is felt, and when a negative emotion ends, relief is felt. I should point out that this response is noted or clear with core emotions, because core emotions are large and easy to observe:

  • ...of emotions is generated by loss rather than lack, with grief and disappointment being felt if the core emotion is positive and relief if it is negative. The cessation of an emotional state - be it positive or negative - does not simply bring us back to the earlier emotional plateau. Rather, it tends to generate another emotional state of opposite sign. Consider a person who has just discovered a lump in her breast and is extremely anxious. Upon hearing from her doctor that there is no possibility of cancer, her mood for a while turns euphoric before she returns to an affectively neutral state. Conversely, the interruption of a good sexual experience can create acute frustration before, once again, the person returns to a neutral state.

Something like this probably also occurs with more minor emotions in a way that you don't notice. Also, if you think about all of those emotion changes, it makes you wonder what then the impact on your thoughts is. Also, it isn't necessarily that each time something bad happens, you switch to a negative state, and then to a neutral state. You could also switch to a negative state and then stay in that state for a long period of time. You could also even switch to a negative state for no apparent reason.

Elster later describes that emotions make someones views and opinions more unrealistic and wishful. However, he also describes that people that aren't under the influence of their emotions don't want very much. The motivating power of emotions seems to come with a distortion of reality:

  • Emotions matter because they move and disturb us, and because, through their links with social norms, they stabilize social life. They also interfere with our thought processes, making them less rational than they would otherwise be. IN particular, they induce unrealistic expectations about what we can do and achieve, and unrealistic beliefs about other people's opinions about ourselves. In itself, this effect is deplorable. It would be good if we could somehow insulate our passions from our reasoning powers; and to some extent we can. Some people are quite good at compartmentalizing their emotions. Often, however, they don't have very strong emotions in the first place. They may get what they want, but they do not want very much. Granting supreme importance to cognitive rationality is achieved at the cost of not having much they want to be rational about. Conversely, lack of realism about our abilities and about the proper means for achieving our ends may be the price most of us pay for caring about life, knowledge or other people. When we are under the sway of strong emotions, we easily indulge in wishful thinking, such as the belief that all good things go together and that there is no need to make hard choices. The belief that one can have the motivating power of emotions without their distorting power is itself an instance of the same fallacy. Emotions provide a meaning and a sense of direction to life, but they also prevent us from going steadily in that direction.

Elster doesn't mention that these emotions have this influence on a moment to moment basis (at any one moment one of your thoughts might be distorted by an emotion). Not only do emotions distort, but they also motivate your thoughts consistently. Without emotion, you wouldn't have reason to think many of the thoughts that you do. People have complex goals and motivations. If there was a robot that was programmed with the goal "live life", then it might have motivations and emotions that surround that goal, however it wouldn't have all the other motivations that humans have (such as our dynamic range of emotions (fun, excitement, satisfaction, etc)).

Personality and Social Cognition

The 'theory of cognitive orientation' presented by Kreitler + Kreitler[25], is concerned with the contents of situational stimuli and the processes through which their meaning is established by the individual. The basic postulate of the theory states that behavior is guided by cognitions, i.e. meanings, which perform an orientative function for behavior by promoting or repressing certain behavioral decisions.

The transformation of situational stimuli into behaviourally relevant cognitions is conceived of as involving five steps:

  1. In the first phase, called meaning action, incoming stimuli are compared with immediately preceding stimuli stored in short-term memory. This comparison is based on a 'match vs. mismatch' strategy. If a new stimulus 'matches' the preceding one, this indicates that no change has taken place in the environment and present information processing can continue without adaptation. In case of a 'mismatch', the new stimulus is subjected to a first search for meaning guided by four potential interpretations: (a) The stimulus is a signal for a defensive or an adaptive reflex, or for a conditioned response; (b) It is a signal for molar action and requires a more elaborate clarification of its meaning before a behavioral decision can be made; (c) It is known to be irrelevant for the present situation; (d) The stimulus cannot be interpreted conclusively in terms of the first three options because it is entirely new for the person. This means that another exploratory reaction is triggered so as to collect further information until a meaning in terms of options (a) to (c) can be assigned.

  2. If, after the first stage, the meaning of a stimulus still requires further clarification, as in option (b), the second phase, meaning generation, is activated. In this phase, a complicated system of meaning dimensions and types of relations between those dimensions facilitates the ascription of more specific meanings. Kreitler + Kreitler suggest a total of twenty-two meaning dimensions, including spatial and temporal parameters of a stimulus as well as its casual antecedents. The smallest units of a which the dimensions are composed are termed 'meaning values'. In this phase of the cognitive orientation process, individual preferences for certain meaning dimensions could be demonstrated empirically, leading Kreitler + Kreitler to suggest a redefinition of traits in terms of 'patterns of preferred meaning assignment tendencies'.

  3. If the person has assigned a meaning to the stimulus that involves the requirement to respond behaviourally to it, then the cognitive orientation process enters into the third stage, called belief evocation. 'Beliefs' are defined as cognitive units consisting of at least two meaning values plus a rule relating the two (e.g. conjunction or disjunction). The main characteristic of a belief is that is predisposes the person to develop certain behavioral intents. Apart from 'general beliefs' and 'beliefs about norms and rules' referring to issues not immediately related to the self, two more specific types of self-related beliefs are distinguished: beliefs about goals aspired to by the person and beliefs about the self. Taken together, the four types of beliefs form a 'belief cluster' associated with a particular behavioral response.

  4. A person is expected to develop a behavioral intent to perform a particular response option if at least three out of the four belief categories are favourable towards that option. The behavioral intent regulates the selection as well as the actualisation of behavior programmes containing detailed instructions about how to perform the response in question. Behaviour programmes may be innate, learned or formed ad hoc or may be composed of a combination of innate and learned elements.

  5. The final phase consists of programme execution, i.e., the realization of behavioral intent. Cognitive orientation plays a crucial role even in this final phase inasmuch as it provides feedback about relevant stimuli as well as discrepancies between desired and actual behavioral effects which may eventually require a revision of the original behavior programme.

So first there is some sort of stimulus, any stimulus, say for instance you see a person - you then compare to see if this stimulus is new - is this a new person, or are there or were there other people in the environment? - then you process it - this stimulus either causes you to make an automatic response or is something that you have to think about further.

So if you have to think about it further then you assign some meaning to it. What is the purpose of the object, what are the possibilities for it. You assess what is happening in the current situation with regards to the stimulus. That is obvious, you make a logical assessment as to what is going on. Furthermore, you have your own beliefs and values related to this stimulus.

So maybe you then make the assessment "that person is dangerous" - that is a belief of yours about the stimulus (the person). Next you start to form a behavior intent, such as, "I am going to walk away from them because they might be dangerous".

There is no telling how complex your assessment is after you identify a stimulus. You could go through many different beliefs you have that you could assign to it or opinions about what the stimulus is.

This means there is a deeper meaning that people give to everything they encounter. Some things you are going to respond more automatically too, while other things are going to trigger some kind of complex unconscious response. The behavioral intentions you form could have been determined unconsciously. If you do something that you didn't consciously plan, and that is true for a lot of the things you do throughout a day, then that was something that was determined unconsciously.

And its more than the things you aren't aware of that you do, you form complex beliefs and thoughts about things you aren't aware of. That is true probably for people especially. You could also form an unconscious belief for something simple, say there was an object you might not get, you might form an unconscious belief that the probability of you getting it was a lot higher than the assessment you would have made if you thought about it more consciously. That is typical, people are often under the sway of their emotions and that influences their beliefs and assessments.

How do people perceive and evaluate other people? They probably do this mostly automatically. If you think about it, people come to conclusions about other people unconsciously and then respond to them based off of those unconscious conclusions. People observe tone of voice, posture, gestures, their physical appearance - all of those things are consciously and unconsciously noted. For instance, maybe you realized later that you were responding to someone in a certain way because they did one of those behaviors differently.

When people are observing other people in an interaction, each person may have a different observational goal. That is, what does a person observe about people, and is this observation conscious or unconscious? For instance some people might empathize with other people while other people might try to get social information from them, such as a deeper perspective as to what they are like. I could image there might be individual quirks, that is, some people might try to observe specific things about the people they meet. One person might be constantly trying to find out how nice the people he interacts with are, while another how intelligent.

So a good question would be, what types of people have which types of observational goals? If you think about it, each person is going to have a unique way of gathering information or perceiving other people. This in part is going to be due to his or her own perception of themselves. How they evaluate themselves and the schema they have of themselves. A schema is something like, "I am a good soccer player" or "I am a strong individual". If you think about it, if you perceive yourself as being a strong individual, this is going to influence how you observe and perceive other people. All of the ideas you have about yourself, which in part forms who you are, is going to determine to some extent how you perceive other people.

So, how someone perceives themselves is going to determine how they perceive other people. It is possible that how you perceive yourself changes many times in a day. In that case, for one interaction, you might perceive yourself as strong, while in another interaction you might perceive yourself as being weak. There could be countless ideas about yourself that might change over the course of one interaction that you could carry into the next, only to have those ideas change back or become new.

Not only how you perceive yourself is going to determine your cognition, but who you are is going to determine how you respond in situations and what you think. All of your personality traits are going to determine what you think and what you do. If you are a person that is easily troubled (or a 'disturbed' person), then this is going to influence how you perceive others, how you respond to others, what you think about yourself and others, and your other thought processes in general. Similarly, if you are nice person, or a stubborn person, or any other personality trait, your thinking is going to be influenced accordingly.

If you have a specific opinion about yourself (a 'self-schema'), then this idea might intervene in a specific instance in a social interaction. If you think you are a good soccer player, then perhaps when you see someone else who looks like they are also then your thinking might change - you might identify with that person or try to analyze them further. That is just one example, there are many ideas people have about themselves that could intervene in their thoughts in a social situation.

When someone meets someone else, for the first time or even if they already know the person, an impression is formed. That means that they form opinions of what the person is like as soon as they meet the person at the beginning because this person is new. They also make predictions about the persons behavior based off of this impression. They get an idea of what the other person is like, and then they guess how that person that they have created in their mind is going to act. This applies to people who even already know each other because, even though the person stays the same, their moods and emotions, and even their opinions probably, change on a daily or hourly basis.

If someone is in a certain mood or emotional state, then this is going to change their behavior to some extent. That is why the impressions other people form and how other people respond to them is going to change. Not everything new that occurs in interaction happens between two people who have never met before. Furthermore, you never know how someone is going to respond to a new situation - and each situation you encounter someone in is going to be somewhat new.

For instance, if someone had a conversation recently or did something that is related to an interaction they have later on, then they are likely to make comparisons between the two interactions. People make comparisons between related things all of the time, much of which is without their awareness. If you think about it, you are going to relate the different conversations you have in one day to each other, consciously or unconsciously. Also you might also make specific comparisons between some of the contents of the interaction or the person you are interacting with.

What is the nature and consequences of an individuals conceptions of self, their conceptions of other people, their characteristic dispositions, and their characteristic attitudes and values. For instance, someone that is friendly and sociable might actually make the people and environment they are in friendly and sociable. Their values, dispositions, and conceptions of self and others are both complex and simple at the same time. If you think about it, there are going to be obvious, easy to observe values, dispositions etc, and there are going to be more advanced and subtle ones.

For instance, if someone values children or marriage, this might make them more friendly and kind than someone who doesn't value such things. To simplify that, you could have a category of values that are 'kind' values and another category of values that you could say are 'evil'. Most people probably have a mix, but making such categories still helps when trying to label and understand people.

An individuals beliefs about the social world may create their own social reality. What you believe about other people has am impact on how those people are. You exert an influence of sorts on how those people should be acting. This is probably so because maybe your opinion has some sort of value that the other person could benefit by. On the other hand, maybe your opinion is completely wrong, and you have to do a sort of 'reality-testing' in order to figure out if your beliefs are accurate.

Schemata are cognitive representations of generic concepts. They include the attributes that constitute the concept and relationships among the attributes. Social schemata are then abstract conceptions people hold about the social world-about persons, roles and events. People form hypotheses and develop expectations about extroverts, about college professors, about what events are likely to unfold when they enter a restaurant, and so forth.

So, basically, a schema is an idea or group of related ideas. You form a hypotheses or theory in your mind about something social - this is a social schema. This is important because all of the information in your mind is going to be related. For instance, if you have one theory about how you function socially in a restaurant, then this theory is going to be related to how you function at home. More importantly, schema are just things you think about the social world - that is different from the emotional reality of the social world that is also understood by you in another way. At some level you understand what is really going on because that is the truth - you come up with schema or theories to understand what is going on but those theories aren't necessarily correct.

Your unconscious mind could be coming up with lots of theories or 'unconscious schema'. However, I would think that you unconscious mind also understands what the truth is at the same time possibly. It is interesting to see when someone unconsciously understands one hard truth, but is trying to accept something else consciously because that is what they 'want'. Someone might do things that they aren't aware of that reflects that they actually know the truth, but their attempts to be biased consciously shows that they want some other reality.

Individuals and their Situations

What if a researcher were able to manipulate and control the beliefs of the perceiver, allow perceiver and target to interact with each other, and observe the impact of the perceiver's beliefs on the actual behavior of the target? He or she might observe that, when perceivers interact with targets whom they believe (erroneously, as a result of the experimental manipulation) to have friendly and sociable natures, those targets actually come to behave in friendly and sociable fashion. If so, the researcher would have witnessed an instance of the impact of events in the individual (here, the perceiver's beliefs) on events in the individual's social situation (here, the target's behavior).

People influence the people they interact with directly and the other people around them. They do so because humans are intelligent, verbal beings - they form beliefs and ideas about other people and this cognitive process possibly gets communicated and transferred to them.

Indeed, it has been possible to investigate experimentally the processes by which an individual's conceptions of other people exert powerful channeling influences on subsequent social interaction between the individual and other people. Actions of the individual based upon preconceived notions about other people can and do cause the behavior of other people to confirm and validate even erroneous and highly stereotyped conceptions of other people. The processes of behavioral confirmation, by which an individual's beliefs about the social world may create their own social reality, have been documented in diverse interpersonal domains.

So, even though people's beliefs about other people may be completely wrong, they still tend to have an influence. That makes sense if you consider that there is no real 'right' or 'wrong' when it comes to labeling people - it is all subjective. Anyone's opinion, no matter how invalid, is going to be a possible option. Anyone could be like anything, no one is completely set into a fixed, easily understood personality type. Personality is so dynamic that it could easily come under the influence of many different types of opinion.

For example, in one investigation of behavioral confirmation processes in social interaction, Snyder, Tanke and Bersheid[26] investigated the impact of stereotyped conceptions of physical attractiveness (i.e., "beautiful people are good people") on the unfolding dynamics of social interaction and acquaintance processes. They arranged for pairs of previously unacquainted individuals to interact in an acquaintance situation (a telephone conversation) that had been constructed to allow them to control the information that one member of the dyad (the perceiver) received about the physical attractiveness of the other individual (the target). In anticipation of the forthcoming interaction, perceivers fashioned erroneous images of their specific discussion partners that reflected general stereotypes about physical attractiveness. Perceivers who anticipated physically attractive partners expected to interact with comparatively sociable, poised, humorous, and socially adept individuals. By contrast, perceivers faced with the prospect of getting acquainted with relatively unattractive partners fashioned images of rather unsociable, awkward, serious, and socially inept creatures. Moreover, perceivers had very different patterns or styles of interaction for targets whom they perceived to be physically attractive and those they perceived to be physically unattractive. These differences in self-presentation and interaction style, in turn, elicited and nurtured behavior in the targets that were consistent with the perceivers' initial stereotypes. Target who were perceived (unbeknownst to them) to be physically attractive actually came to behave in a friendly, likable, and sociable manner. This behavioral confirmation was discernible even by outside listeners who knew nothing of the actual or perceived physical attractiveness of the targets.

This means that if you think someone is else is nice or competent, it might actually make them become nicer and more competent. I don't know the exact circumstances under which that is true, clearly in some instances one person perceiving another as competent is going to have some influence, while in other circumstances it could have none. Perhaps if the target person cared about the perceivers opinion or cared about them in general it might have more of an impact. I think that is why in that study the perceiver had an influence on the target - because they were being set up, so he had high expectations of the other person. If someone cares about someone else or places more value on the interaction then the beliefs of the other person are going to carry more weight.

In this demonstration of behavioral confirmation in social interaction, the perceivers' stereotyped conceptions of other people had initiated a chain of events that had produced actual behavioral confirmation of these conceptions. The initially erroneous impressions of the perceivers had, in a sense, become real. The "beautiful people" had become "good people," not because they necessarily possessed the socially valued dispositions that had been attributed to them but because the actions of the perceivers based upon their stereotyped beliefs had erroneously confirmed and validated these beliefs.

Other important and widespread social stereotypes also can and do channel social interaction so as to create their own social reality within the context of individual relationships. Empirical research has documented the behavioral conformation of stereotypes associated with race and gender. Moreover, the very act of labeling another person may initiate a chain of events that induces that person to behave in accord with that label. Empirical investigations have demonstrated the behavioral confirmation of labeling other people, for example, as hostile or non-hostile and as intelligent or non-intelligent. Even when individuals attempt to use social interaction as opportunities to evaluate and assess the accuracy of beliefs, hypotheses and, theories about other people, their "reality-testing" procedures may channel social interaction in ways that provide behavioral confirmation for the beliefs, hypotheses, and theories under scrutiny.

I wonder how testing your own beliefs about someone else plays out in reality. There are going to be beliefs you know you are testing out and beliefs your unconscious mind is testing out for you. You form many beliefs and have many different views about people that you aren't aware of. You probably project this via your subtle mannerisms without your awareness. In that way, you are testing out the beliefs you have about someone else completely without knowing what you are doing.

The consequences of behavioral confirmation processes in social interaction and interpersonal relationships may be both profound and pervasive. As consequences of behavioral confirmation processes, individuals may construct for themselves social worlds in which the behavior of those with whom they interact reflects, verifies, maintains, and justifies their preexisting conception of other people, including many highly stereotyped assumptions about human nature. It is as though, as a consequence of behavioral confirmation processes, individuals construct their social worlds in their own images of the social world.

Of course, in investigations of behavioral confirmation processes in social interaction, it has been possible to manipulate experimentally those aspects of the individual (i.e., their conceptions of other people) of concern to the investigators. Other attributes of the individual (whose impact on social situations the personality-social psychologist might wish to investigate) may not be so readily amenable to experimental manipulation. For example, it is in practice (if not in principle) somewhat more difficult to manipulate and control an individuals conceptions of self, characteristic dispositions, attitudes, and values than it is to manipulate and control his or her conceptions of other people. Nonetheless, one need not be deterred from investigating the impact of individuals on their situations either in the domain of conceptions of self or in the domain of characteristic dispositions. In either case, a consideration of the influence of individuals on their social situations suggests that it may be possible to characterize individuals in terms of the social world that they construct for themselves to habitate.

This brings up the point, what is the difference between beliefs people have of themselves and beliefs people have of others? Obviously people know themselves better than they do other people. They certainly know their attitudes and values better than those of the people they meet. They know how to be themselves, they don't know how to be other people. Their understanding and beliefs of themself are probably a lot more highly developed than their understanding of those attributes in other people. I mean, there is a certain understanding everyone has of themself that is superior to any sort of analysis anyone can make. I think that it is possible to have one type of understanding that can't be changed by thinking something else because your natural understanding is so powerful. If you really feel like someone is dumb, then maybe you cannot change that belief even though you try to think differently.

Consider, first, examples drawn from the domain of self-conceptions. It goes almost without saying that some individuals regard themselves as more competitive than other people. What influences might these competitive self-conceptions exert on the social worlds within which these individuals reside? As it happens, individuals with competitive conceptions of self believe that the world is composed homogeneously of competitive individuals; by contrast, those with cooperative conceptions of self construe the world to be composed heterogeneously of both cooperative and competitive people.[27] Furthermore, and perhaps as a consequence of these stereotyped beliefs about other people, individuals with competitive self-conceptions are highly likely to treat all people as if they were competitive individuals and thereby elicit competitive responses from all others with whom they interact, whether these individuals have cooperative or competitive conceptions of themselves. Effectively, those individuals with competitive conceptions of self create for themselves social worlds that no only provide behavioral confirmation for their stereotypic beliefs that all people are competitive, but also justify and maintain their own competitive dispositions. They construct their social worlds in their own self-images. Moreover, these social worlds are ideally suited to expressing or acting out their competitive conceptions of self.

It makes sense that people will try to support their own beliefs in their social worlds. If someone is competitive, then they look for and seek out competitive qualities in other people - that is how they see the world. So not only do people have their own beliefs, but they also try to support these beliefs by influencing the people with them as well. Each belief is going to form a part of their personality. For instance, is someone competitive going to be a nicer or crueler person? My guess is they wouldn't be as affectionate, seeing as how when someone looks for competition they are almost looking for a fight.

Consider another example drawn from the domain of self-conceptions. Consider the case of those individuals who conceive of themselves as competent, intelligent people. How might such individuals arrange the circumstances of their lives to preserve and sustain these images of self-competence? Jones and Berglas[28] have proposed that people strive to protect their images of self-competence by actions that make it easier for them to externalize (i.e., explain away) their failures and to internalize (i.e., take credit for) their successes. They have labeled such actions self-handicapping strategies. In an empirical demonstration of self-handicapping strategies in action, Berglas and Jones observed that male college students who have reason to anticipate that they may not perform well on a problem-solving task will choose to take drugs that will interfere with their subsequent problem-solving performance. Should they then perform poorly, they have provided themselves with a readily available explanation for their failure that in no way threatens their images of self-competence. should they then perform well, they may pride themselves for being sufficiently intelligent and competent to overcome the handicap of the performance-inhibiting drug.

It is commonplace for people to do such things. People often come up with excuses or try to make themselves appear to be competent or more competent than they actually are. This might be a serious issue that really impacts someones self-esteem. If people weren't foolish and didn't make up stuff about their own personal competence, they might not be as happy as they are. I believe that in some form self-promotion is necessary. I don't think that people necessarily have to lie or do things that are wrong in order to make themselves appear to be more competent - there are many other ways of being arrogant without making a fool of yourself or hurting someone.

More generally, Jones and Berglas have proposed that, to the extent that individuals are concerned with maintaining images of self-competence, they will try to choose settings and circumstances for their performances that maximize the implications of success for enhancing their self-competence images at the same time as they minimize the implications of failure for threatening their self-competence images. To the extent that their choices of life settings meet these criteria, they will manage to live their lives in worlds that protect and enhance both their private self-conceptions and their public images of competence.

One can readily imagine similar scenarios in which individuals actively construct social worlds well-suited to the maintenance and expression of other attributes of their self-conceptions. Individuals who regard themselves as liberals (politically and/or socially) may choose to associate whenever possible with other people whom they regard as liberals. They may choose to expose themselves selectively to the messages of liberally oriented newspapers, magazines, books, radio, television, and movies. These individuals may join organizations that are devoted to the advancement of liberal causes. They may pursue careers in occupations that they regard as appropriate for liberals. Such individuals even may choose to live in areas that typically elect liberal representatives to political offices. If so, by choosing to live their lives in "liberal" surroundings, individuals who conceive of themselves as liberals would have created for themselves social worlds ideally suited to the maintenance and expression of their liberal conceptions of self. Not incidentally, these individuals would have constructed for themselves social worlds that foster and promote the regular and consistent performances of liberal behaviors in diverse situations- social worlds that would encourage them to display the behavioral features that would appear to the personality psychologist to be representative of trait or dispositions of liberalism. Indeed, the proposition that individuals influence their social situations has considerable implications for conceptualizing and assessing stable traits and enduring dispositions of the individual.

It makes sense that people surround themselves with things they like. It is more subtle and difficult to note, however, the exact extent to which they do this. If someone likes certain type of a certain type of merchandise or a certain lifestyle or social world/type, then they are going to surround themselves with that. That is perhaps one of the biggest things one can point out about a person. I think the important point is that there are themes that run through what a person chooses as their "world" or their "social world" that can be noted - people clearly have specific tastes and they keep this same interest with everything they do and seek out.

Central to the activities of the personality psychologist are the conceptualization and identification of characteristic dispositions of the individual. Consider, for example, the case of sociability. If one assumes that some people are more sociable than others, how is one to identify these differences in sociability? And, having accomplished this identification task, how then is one to conceptualize the origins of these differences in sociability? Perhaps one might identify those behaviors that are manifestations of sociability and tabulate the frequency with which individuals engage in these actions. It might even be acceptable to trust individuals to report accurately the frequency with which they perform sociable actions. One then could identify as sociable individuals those who perform (or who claim to perform) relatively many sociable behaviors. Such an approach is, of course, very similar to traditional assessment strategies in personality psychology, strategies that focus on identifying regularities and consistencies in the behaviors that individuals perform.

It is hard to understand how social some people are compared to other people. I don't know if it is sufficient to just ask how satisfied someone is with their social interactions, because someone might not know if they are really at their full potential or not. I would think the best way would be to assess what a person could do better and how well they are functioning with other people socially. There could be a social problem that is causing a larger mental problem, so it is important to note if there is a major malfunction with someones social interactions.

However, a consideration of the impact of individuals on situations suggests a fundamentally different approach to understanding individuals. This approach focuses, instead, on the processes of choosing and influencing situations. Instead of defining sociable individuals as those who (1) when given the choice, choose to enter situations that foster the expression of sociability, and (2) once in a situation, will act in ways that increase the sociability of that situation. Thus, sociable individuals are those who, when given the choice of going to a party or going to the library, will choose to enter the party situation. Similarly, when sociable individuals find themselves with groups of people, these sociable individuals will work actively to mold their situations into one conducive to the display of sociability.

It is taking being social a step further when you actively try to influence a situation. You have to at least be getting along well first before you move up to that step. Someone that doesn't function well socially could try to influence a situation, but I doubt it will be very successful. I mean, if you are going to influence other people to be more social, it makes sense that you would have to be social yourself first. Some people do things that don't fit in with other people, while other people do things that exceed normal sociability. Some people easily engage in conversation, and get along when they do it. Others are awkward, while some do it with enthusiasm.

From this perspective, sociability is defined behaviorally as the processes of choosing whenever possible to enter sociable situations and acting to maximize the sociability of one's situations. In so doing, sociable individuals would be constructing for themselves social worlds most conducive to the expression and manifestations of their sociable dispositions. Not incidentally, as direct consequences of the active and constructive processes of choosing and influencing their social situations in ways that create "sociable" worlds within which to reside, "sociable" individuals would come to display sociable behaviors with high frequency and great regularity across situations and over time. In other words, these individuals would come to display the cross0situations consistency and the temporal stability that traditionally are regarded as the defining features of a "trait" or "disposition" of sociability. However, by understanding sociability in terms of the processes of choosing and influencing social situations, it has been possible to go far beyond the identification of regularities and consistencies in observed behavior to a theoretical understanding of these regularities and consistencies as the consequences of consistencies and regularities in the processes of choosing and influencing situations. This is not to say that the identification of regularities and consistencies in social behavior is not an important or a productive task. Rather, regularities and consistencies in social behavior are not important in and of themselves: they are important because of the processes that generate them. And from the perspective of one concerned with the impact of individuals on their social situations, regularities and consistencies in social behavior are the product of regularities and consistencies in the social worlds that individuals have constructed for themselves by means of the active processes of choosing and influencing their social situations.

So basically, take a look and see if someone is having a real impact on their social situations. In this way you could determine if someone is functioning properly socially. You can use this as a way of helping them become better - simply point out if they are actually influencing the situation and the people around them.

One may adopt a similar approach to understanding and investigating the nature of attitudes, values, and preferences. Consider the case of attitudes towards affirmative action. What does it mean to characterize an individual as one who possesses a "positive attitude" toward affirmative action? What does it mean to say that affirmative action action is a prominent feature of that individual's system of "values"? A traditional approach to understanding the nature of attitudes and values might characterize that individual in terms of a set of beliefs (e.g., he or she believes that affirmative action procedures increase the representation of minorities in the work force), a set of feelings (e.g., he or she feels that it is desirable to recruit minorities actively into the work force), and a set of intentions (e.g., he or she intends to take actions that might facilitate the goals of affirmative action). That is, the traditional approach seeks to understand attitudes and values in terms of the specific beliefs, feelings and intentions that are thought to be associated with global attitudes and general values. Moreover, this traditional approach would lead one to construct measures of attitudes and values that focus on the assessment of beliefs, feelings, and intentions.

So by assessing values and attitudes by looking at ones beliefs, feelings and intentions, you are looking at the person internally, what it is they are thinking that goes behind what they value and what attitudes they develop. That would pretty much be all of the thoughts and feelings that go behind developing attitudes and values.

By contrast, an approach that seeks to understand individuals in terms of their social worlds would characterize attitudes and values in terms of the processes of choosing and influencing situations. From this perspective, to the extent that an attitude or value is relevant and important to an individual, the consequences of holding that attitude or value will be reflected in that individual's choices of situations and that individual's attempts to influence his or her situations. Thus, when the individual for whom attitudes toward affirmative action are personally important and relevant is given the choice between spending time with a group of people who will be discussing affirmative action and spending time with a group of people who will be discussing baseball teams, that individual will chose to enter the "affirmative action" situation. Moreover, should that same individual find himself or herself thrust into a group that is looking for a topic of discussion, he or she will attempt to steer the topic of the discussion in the direction affirmative action. As consequences of these activities, that individual would be creating a social world conducive to maintaining and acting upon his or her attitudes and values in the domain of affirmative action.

So that would be looking at the behaviors of an individual in order to asses their attitudes and values, instead of looking at their thoughts (which would be their beliefs, feelings and intentions). You could look at both at the same time, the question, "what were the beliefs, feelings and intentions you had when you choose to do this or that thing related to your value or attitude" would be the one that links a persons thoughts with their actions.

Even with personal attributes as simple as preferences there may exist considerable benefits of examining the situations within which individuals live their lives. Consider the influence of musical preferences on the situations within which individuals spend their leisure time: individuals who like rock music go to one type of place to listen to their favorite music; individuals who like disco go to another type of place; individuals who like country music go to yet another type of place; individuals who like classical music go to still another type of place; and so on. Clearly each of these settings both indulges and perpetuates particular tastes in music. In addition, the choice to spend one's leisure time in one setting or another may have consequences far beyond the domain of leisure time activities. One may acquire whole "personalities" as consequences of these choices of settings.

Consider the hypothetical case of two individuals who are identical in all respects save their tastes in music. One individual regularly attends the symphony to satisfy his interests in classical music. The other individual becomes a habitue of discos to indulge in craving for that type of music. The individual who likes classical music is going to meet, interact with, form relationships with, and be influenced by the type of people to be found in the "symphony situation." The individual who likes disco music is going to meet, interact with, form relationships with, and be influenced by the type of people to be found in the "disco situation." As a consequence of choosing to spend their leisure time in either the "symphony situation" or the "disco situation," these two individuals eventually may live in drastically different social worlds - worlds populated by very different people with very different beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. As a consequence of their choices of situations, these two formerly similar individuals may develop into very different individuals: one may come to resemble the prototypical disco-person; the other may come to resemble the prototypical symphony-person.

Personality Psychology and Social Interaction

The task of personality theory and research is perhaps the most daunting in psychology, since it is in this area that we face most directly the need to predict the behavior of individuals, with all the complexity that this implies. The earliest attempts to give a personological explanation of behavior were based on typologies. Typologies of individual go back to antiquity, and Hippocrates; four basic types of temperament (choleric, melancholic, sanguine and phlegmatic) have shown an extraordinary staying power, if not in psychology, then at least is popular usage. No less popular are Kretchmer's (1926) attempts to relate psychological disorders to body build (e.g. "pyknic" and "asthenic" types), and the later extension of this typology to normals. His theory was developed by Sheldon (1949), who proposed three body-build based types (endormorphic, mesomorphic, ectomorphic). These biologically based typologies of personality, although manifestly speculative in their origins, have profoundly affected popular thinking. Perhaps only one typology was more successful in this respect, Jung's (1923) introverted and extroverted categories. These attempts to acount for the rich variety of individual behavior in terms of typologies proves largely unsuccessful. It in arguable, however, that the failure of the typological approach was attributable to the naivete of the methods used for defining types, rather than to the inherent falsity of the underlying principle of the existence of "human types". The continuing use of typological terms in everyday, commonsense situations suggests that typological approaches to personality may have some role to play, if only to explain everyday "naive" psychology.

It makes sense to me that there are going to be a few basic types of personality (typologies). You can put almost everyone into a few group types, and this is true in pretty much every situation. For instance there are only a few social groups, political groups, etc. When you break down how unique each individual is, however, you realize you could have a much more advanced way of labeling and categorizing the traits of personality.

Dynamic, motivational models of personality constitute the second main theoretical stream. These theories assume that deep-seated, and often unconscious motivations and impulses are the most important determinants of personality. Such impulses are not directly ascertainable, and can only be discovered through the study and interpretation of observable surface behaviors, which are the "symptoms" revealing the hidden mainsprings of personality. Dynamic theories have also included models of the structure, development and topography of personality (Frued, 1959). Until the recent advent of behaviorism in clinical psychology, dynamic theories were important as integrative models in an otherwise increasingly eclectic discipline. Their influence on academic psychology has been much more limited, however due to the serious difficulties associated with the quantification of the variables included in dynamic models of personality.

It makes sense to look at someones behaviors and use this as to clues as to what their personality is. I don't know if thinking that every behavior someone does is a symptom of some sort of deep-seated sexual drive is accurate, however. I would think that a lot of personality traits that people have aren't related to each other sexually. It makes sense, however, that each different personality trait is sexual in some way and consistent with who that person is sexually.

With the failure of type-theories in personality, and the limited appeal of dynamic models, trait-theories have become dominant. As Mishel[29] (1973) suggests, "During the last 50 years, when basic concepts were changing rapidly in most fields of psychology, the most fundamental assumptions about the nature of personality seem to have been retained with few substantial modifications". The central assumptions of these trait-based approaches to personality are that "personality comprises broad underlying dispositions which pervasively influence the individual's behavior across many situations and lead to consistency in his behavior ... These dispositions are not directly observed, but are inferred from behavioral signs..." As a consequence of this orientation "personality research has been a quest for such underlying broad dimensions", leading to the development of "hundreds of tests designed to infer dispositions and almost none to measure situations".

So a trait in personality, something like "nice", means that the person is nice throughout all of their behaviors - generally speaking. Furthermore, it is a complex thing that the person is nice, there could be many different factors pointing to the fact that the person is kind. However, people often can reach the conclusion that someone has a certain personality trait after talking to them only briefly. It probably hasn't occurred to most people that they could make a detailed list outlining someones behaviors that shows how someone shows various personality traits in their actions.

The central assumption of trait theories of personality, cross-situational consistency, came under fire fairly early on, but without much impact on personality theorists until later. In a widely ignored article published in the American Journal of Sociology, Reinhardt[30] (1937) was one of the first to point out the shortcomings of this model: "The reliability of predictions as to future behavior...when based solely upon a personality classification derived from individual reaction in a clearly defined type of situation depends not upon the constancy of individual purpose alone...but also upon the continuance or recurrence of the same type of situation". More important from the point of the current person v. situation controversy was the gradual accumulation of evidence suggesting that the personal consistency model underlying trait theories is only valid in certain circumscribed situations. Thus self-ratings of traits on paper-and-pencil instruments, the very stuff of personality tests, are fairly consistent over time. Similarly, other behaviors may also be consistent as long as the situation is more or less exactly replicated. Finally personality traits with a strong intellectual component were shown to have a reasonably high cross-situational consistency, which may be interpreted as the reflection of the well-known "g" factor in different tasks requiring intellectual problem solving. What the studies have not shown, however, is that pure personality traits can predict behavior across different situations. Although the evaluation of this emerging empirical evidence began a while ago, the person v. situation issue has only developed into a full-blown controversy in the early seventies.

So if someone is "nice", does this mean that they are nice in every situation? People probably have consistent intellectual abilities in different situations, as your intellect stays the same, but do people change other aspects of their personality from situation to situation? Maybe all people really have multiple personality types, they just aren't aware of it. If you are nice to some people but mean to others, would you call yourself a nice person or a mean one? Everyone is mean in some way - when you label someone as "nice", are you taking into account the other way you could easily perceive them - as being extremely mean?

The controversy was strongly stimulated by Mischels[31] arguments. He reviewed a broad spectrum of empirical studies and concluded that both trait and state theories are based on the assumption of intrapsychic consistency in behavior, an assumption which is clearly not supported by the evidence. As a replacement, he offers social behavior theory, which "seeks the determinants of behavior in the conditions that covary with the occurrence, maintenance, and change of behavior theory seeks order and regularity in the form of general rules which relate environmental changes to behavior changes". This formulation implicitly emphasizes the importance of physical, external, environmental forces on shaping behavior, and has a strong flavor of the old S-R formulations. This approach, which has, perhaps unjustly, been labelled "situationism", was no doubt strongly influenced by the then Zeitgeist in psychology with its strong reliance on positivistic methodology, and the patent success of pragmatic behavior therapies in clinical psychology, formerly a client-branch of personality theory.

Mischel's arguments have been criticized on numerous accounts. The most important of these is that he appears to ignore cognitive mediating factors in the determination of behavior, and he also seems to deny the role of individual differences, in favor of assigning a casual determinant status to situations. Thus Alker (1972) sought to defend the trait model by arguing that cross-situational consistency is not a necessary assumption for trait theories. He argued that personality variables remain a major source of variance in behavior, and criticized the studies showing situations differences on methodological grounds (the samples were too homogeneous, disturbed rather normal people were used, etc). Bem (1972) and later Endler (1973) have taken issue with Alker's propositions, defending Mishel's position in its importance aspects. Bowers[32] (1973) has also criticized Mischel's alleged "situationism", but his critique was oriented more towards the perceived extremity of Mischel's S-R formulations, and not against the substance of his thesis. Thus, he suggested that "situationsim has gone too far in the direction of rejecting the role of organismic or intrapsychic determinants of behavior...It is my argument that both the trait and the situationist positions are inaccurate and misleading and that a position stressing the interaction of the person and the situation is both conceptually satisfying end empirically warranted".

"S-R" is 'stimulus-response'. It makes sense that, in order to figure out someones personality, you would look at their internal thinking (their beliefs, judgments, etc) and compare this to how they actually interact. That is just a lot more complicated than looking at either one by itself, how they interact or how they think. You could come up with a set of rules as to how the environment changes behavior, analyze the rules taking into account the persons thoughts, and come to conclusions about their personality type.

Much of this controversy has been superseded is Mischel's later, much more moderate and more cognitively oriented conceptualization of the issue. He distances himself from a purely situationist position:

  • Evidence for the lack of utility of inferring hypothesized global trait dispositions from behavioral signs should not be misread as an argument for the greater importance of situations than persons.

Instead, he suggests that the individual's previous social learning history may contribute to his idiosyncratic perception and interpretation of given situations, resulting in idiosyncratic behavior in terms of the meaning the situation has for the individual. Thus, it "becomes important to assess the effective stimuli, or 'stimuli as coded', which regulate his responses in particular contexts. These stimuli as coded should not be confused with the totality of objective physical events". Aside from the S-R terminology, this position comes surprisingly close to what phenomenologists have said all along: the perceived, subjective, phenomenological situation, and not the objective situation is the most important determinant of behavior. The "cognitive transformations" an individual employs in interpreting a situation are the foci of interest: "Assessing the acquired meaning of stimuli is the core of social behavior assessment" (Mischel, 1968). Mischel (1973) goes some way towards developing his cognitive social learning model of personality. He proposes that instead of traits, person variables such as cognitive construction competencies, encoding strategies and personal constructs, behavior-outcome and stimulus-outcome expectancies in particular situations, subjective stimulus values and self-regulatory systems and plans should be studied. This may well be feasible and even profitable in one-to-one clinical settings, where the individual learning therapies may be constructed on the bases of an investigation of such cognitive, individual variables. But it is also clear that this method is drastically different from the nomothetically-oriented mainstream of psychological research, and its implications are more far-reaching than the sedate S-R terminology would suggest. For Mischel's (1973) cognitive social learning approach to personality appears to be, in everything but terminology, a recipe for idiographic, subjective and interpretative analysis of unique meanings and construals of unique individuals of the situations they encounter.

So basically analyze everything - subjective perceptions, the different types of stimulus, unique meanings of things and individuals, personal constructs (such as schema), ones expectations and ideas of the value of various stimuli, etc.

Social psychology, like most other branches of psychology for a long time operated on an implicit personal consistency assumption. Individuals were assumed to perceive each other, conform to social pressure, or hold attitudes in a fairly steady, constant and consistent fashion. While that is true to some extent, it is fairly obvious that people are much more dynamic and complex than previously thought.

3A Conversation About Measuring Emotion and its Conclusion: Mood Classification*

This may help you in describing your own emotions. After some conversation about the nature of emotion, Alex asked more directly how could you measure the emotions someone experiences (or at least the more significant, primary ones). I responded at length about how you could get into specifics about such a thing, pointing out you could assess all of the small emotions and factors and see how those played into the larger emotions and factors, and you could observe certain things which could make it easier to assess the emotions. I eventually reached the conclusion that the best way would be to do a good job of mood classification. ...

This article may help you in describing your own moods and emotions. It is available as a color book - isbn 9781105644931 (if you bought the book, that is the latest version)

Measuring Emotion

"Alex" (Xander T. Evans) in this conversation was initially a person who sent me an email about one of my articles.

Alex: I am very intrigued by the report you did entitled, The Psychology of Emotions, Feelings, and thoughts. I would like to discuss further research and run a few questions by you if you have time. ...

Mark: ... it is there are different ways of categorizing observations of emotion, one is common observations (such as sex is good for someones emotional health) and functional observations (when an emotion stops at one second and another one takes its place, what is happening there, what are the emotions, why do they stop and start, etc (for example, if someone thinks a happy thought it might stop the negative thought completely) also, what are the degrees to which the emotion is felt, is it completely gone etc. ...

Alex: ... interesting though. Sort of questioning if humans can have multi-emotional tracks or just one or two emotions at a given time.

It dose seem like someone can be happy but still worry about something, but then are they just fronting the happiness on the outside when really they only feel the discontent of worry emotionaly?

I was asking previously because of an A.I. system I have been working on for some time now. When I came to the problem of organizing the emotions, I became very confused with a proper way to organize them. So many generic psychology charts show happy and sad as opposites and depression as a gray or blue. Personally I don't think they relate to colors in any fashion other than what we base on our own personal experience.

Many teenagers find black to be comforting instead of morning. Its all about cultural relativity. ...

Mark: Ok. This seems obvious when i think about it now, but obviously there is going to be distinct emotions when you're doing something that are dominant, also emotions are going to change in an interaction or over the course of doing any one thing (someone could be being mean, the nature of the pain could change in a consistent pattern)

Alex: and then you run the question of things such as "S+M" where the boundaries of pleasure are pushed slightly into pain as a way of building towards anticipated release.

This is also true when waiting for fruit to ripen on a less morbid note....

So yours noting that as emotions continue they slowly regress in comparison to there physical input. Sort of like a drug addict always needing more drug induced input to get the same emotionally stimulated output?

Mark: I think that any new stimulus (assuming you like it a lot) (such as getting a new toy or meeting someone new) seems to provide the most emotion at first because it is more interesting because it is new. That is how emotion could change over a long period of time, I would like to know how emotion changes on a more moment to moment basis like in an interaction, how often does someone realize they made the other person happy or when an emotion occurs. People might know they made someone else happy, but i don't think it is like they become happy at a certain time and go from normal to happy in one second. People notice a lot of things that are emotional all the time you just wouldn't think of them as emotions but they really are -for instance - when you do something like say hi to someone you might have noticed that they were sad which caused you to say hi. You might or might not realize that you realized they were sad and that is why you said hi. That is how life works I would say, emotions cause people do things and sometimes they notice them and sometimes they don't.

I just realized something else. Emotions change in dynamic ways, my guess would be many more ways than saying they decrease over time. Each emotion could have a unique feeling - for instance the emotion happy could feel slightly or largely different each time you experience it. As an emotion continues over a period of a few minutes or days or any time period how it feels could change slightly or drastically. One emotion could lessen another emotion, like pain could make you less happy. One emotion could trigger another emotion - the emotion pain could trigger the emotion of happiness. Thoughts, physical inputs, and emotions all interact and influence each other in various patterns and in how they feel. I couldn't guess how many major patterns there are.

Alex: awesome, see this brings me back to my very first question. How you would measure the "primaries" of emotion.

All the parts that fit together that cannot be measured in any other way. I am certain like a multidimensional color wheel that an emotion can change intensity, relevance, sort of like opacities, and hues...

It's an oddball concept but I do think you could relate it to the moment to moment changes. You may experience contentment throughout the day and feel what some would consider many shades of green. Towards evening, like an old painting your emotions would sort of blur with less energy to fuel them, still dynamic and still very interactive even through the night in dreams.

I find interest and question in so many aspects of life it's hard to focus on just a single topic, though I must say if you could figure a set of dimensions to measure emotion with, you would have a much better time recording and studying them.

The way you brought it up reminds me of waiting for a phone call from a friend when maybe reading a sad novel. You get so into every page your nearly living the drama feeling more and more concerned for the direction of the protagonist. Then suddenly the phone rings and your perk up with a contradicting grin. This to me acts out a scenario of what you mentioned. ...

Mark: Ok. I think a way to measure emotions would be for the person experiencing the emotions to describe what the emotion feels like. Something that might help them do that would be to compare the experience or time period or object or whatever you want to know how it made them feel to things where they know what the feeling was like. For instance someone could say, "going to the restaurant felt more like talking to my girlfriend than moving lawns". So I think the only thing you can use really is things where they have identified what the feeling is like. If they don't know how something made them feel I don't know if they could use that to compare it with because it wouldn't be significant. If they say, That is kind of obvious though, the only way to describe how you feel would be to say what the emotion you felt was or compare it to something else significant. Maybe talking about significant things would put the person in a higher emotional state where they obviously appear to be more emotional. I noticed people when they are experiencing intense emotions, it is obvious to me - their eyes get watery or intense looking. Maybe in this state you could measure emotions better because they are really feeling emotions then and are being emotional. There is obviously a physical reaction in this higher state (the eyes I mentioned for instance). I also sometimes notice that there is at least a slight change in tone or whatnot when a person realizes something significant or just changes tone and starts to feel a new emotion that might be strong or not. I don't know if in the higher emotional state you could compare and rate different physical clues to different types of emotion. Though it would seem to me like it would be easier to see how someone feels about something when they are really in a "feeling" kind of mood. I guess an example of this would be someone saying "I don't care about that, it was nothing like (this other thing I felt)" Then maybe you measure the strong thing they felt by describing about how intense it was for them. I think in this higher more intense emotional state people could more obviously display how they feel about certain things, for instance if you mention something their eyes could glow or be really intense for those seconds and this would tell you rather well what the thing you mentioned felt like.

But I guess it's obvious that emotion is expressed in the eyes very well. You can just use logic to guess what someone might be feeling after you studied their emotions in the higher emotional state. This is kind of like ink blot tests - once a psychology researcher did the test on me and said I was depressed. I realized later that she was able to read my emotions better by doing the test and evoking that emotion from me. If you just go through someones significant life experiences you might be able make them more emotional or easier to read. That I would say is the only way to measure emotion, other than studying them and trying to figure out what makes them feel. I also think you might be able to use computers to analyze exactly what someone is feeling by looking at changes in the eyes and analyzing those changes carefully - but I am not in a position to do that. The eyes display so much information, you could easily measure subtle changes and observe those changes in a real situation.

I don't know if you could take this any further than that. Maybe I could classify more about the emotion that is occurring like you suggested. I think what is happening when people experience feeling is a lot more complicated than just saying, "this person is mostly happy, but also a little sad". Think about that, a state of feeling at any one time must be incredibly complex. I would think that this state is dependent on what you are doing right then primarily, or what you've been doing or started doing in the past hour. For instance, if someone said something to you that made you feel bad, then you know the primary feeling is sadness, but what is unique about it you could describe by describing the other person, why that person makes you feel bad, what about the comment they made exactly made you feel bad. That would be the primary emotion in that circumstance. Or if you are mowing a lawn, the primary feeling you would probably be experiencing is the feeling of mowing lawns, unless you are off in your own world thinking about something else anyway. That seems really obvious when I say that - that people feel emotions about what they are doing and each emotion is unique. Maybe you could do - this person is mowing lawns, and he is this much emotional (maybe from reading his eyes to see how emotional he is at that moment), so those emotions must be coming from mowing the lawn. I would think you could make a computer program that could at least read how emotional someone is anyway. Then try to attribute those emotions to what they are doing or have been doing recently.

I mean, if you are doing something, that is probably going to be the primary feeling. If you reflect on that later, then the reflecting will bring up the feeling again. You could try to measure how strongly the person is feeling during one of those two examples, and how strongly they are feeling will probably be feelings for what they were doing or thinking about. I don't know how you could connect the strength of feeling to what they have been doing. They could describe what they think they are feeling, and they could describe how strongly they are feeling in general and try to connect the two.

I mean, try to connect how strongly they are feeling, what they think they are feeling, and what they have been doing.

I think that way you could discover a lot. There are at least two dimensions for feelings, one is how strong it is, the other is what it feels like (apples or oranges). The feeling could be of various types, there could be long-term feelings like depression or the opposite of that. There could be short term feelings maybe like the feeling of mowing a lawn, and there are moment to moment feelings that are things like changes in the tone of a conversation. Feelings could be intellectual or emotional, or other ways of categorizing them such as aggressive feelings or feelings when around machinery. Maybe if you just find good ways of classifying the feelings like that (by observing how similar types of things feel, you could use a more significant, emotional example of something of the same type as a less significant object in order to identify the emotion the less significant object caused in you) so you could measure them better because you did such a good job classifying and comparing them.

I mean think about it this way, the only way to measure emotion would be to ask about the strength of the emotion. Maybe you could have a computer compare expression in the eyes to how strongly someone described their emotions were being felt at that time. That might seem awkward, asking someone, "how strongly were you feeling right then". I don't know if people would really know the answer to that. I mean, if someone doesn't know that they are depressed or not, how could you possibly come up with a reliable way to measure that emotion? The only way I can think of is to design specific tests that might evoke the proper emotions, like a ink blot test that was designed to bring out the emotion depression or not - or another test that was designed to bring out what that person was feeling right then (maybe of a certain type). Then you could have a computer measure expression or change in the eyes.

The complicated thing would be classifying what type of feeling it is. It would be hard for someone to assess the strength of the feeling or how short or long term the feeling is (seconds, hours, days etc), but it would probably be harder to describe what it feels like exactly. Though I could still probably come up with a list of ways of classifying the feeling - I already mentioned intellectual, emotional, aggressive. I don't know if someone would really understand those things in a way they can actually feel and experience, but someone could still guess that the feeling was composed of certain aspects. For instance if you are in a house you could say that the person might be experiencing feelings related to houses. Maybe there are a few major types of feelings (that are more descriptive than just the defined emotions and feelings at least). Those could reveal more specifically what someone is feeling and that would be more like you are measuring their emotions. If someone is experiencing affection, for example, maybe you could more accurately assess how much affection they are experiencing if you identified some of the key emotion generators for people (like if they were around machinery, or in a house). Then you could say, well this person was around machinery in a house, so they must have at least been experiencing this much emotion because those objects usually generate a lot of emotion for people. If you assess the circumstance the person is in and label everything that could be generating emotion, maybe there are only a few things in life that are key emotion generators (types of emotion I guess). For instance if you are trying to measure how much envy someone is experiencing, you could have labeled certain things as key for generating the feeling of envy that would also help classify the type of emotion it is (or the type of envy feeling). If you understood that sibling rivalry was significant, then you could say that a lot of envy was generated in this instance because the two people were siblings. I guess what I am saying is you could label everything in life that clearly generates emotion, such as things such as sibling rivalry, houses, machinery, people being aggressive, and you could then use these things as tools to identify how much emotion someone is experiencing. You could do this because you have an understanding of each of these key things of how much emotion they generate because they are significant things of which you really understand, or feel in a way how significant they are and how much emotion they generate. So it is like I said before, compare the emotion or experience you want to measure to things where you know what the emotion felt like, which would probably be anything significant, basically.

But I guess that seems obvious when I say it that way. Identify the time period the emotion occurred, its strength, label and classify it as much as you can (what type of emotion it is), and then compare it to other significant emotions and experiences in life so you get an idea of what the emotion feels like. You could make a list "this emotion feels like...". What if someone couldn't really identify what the emotion felt like though. If they compared it to other emotions and experiences, would that really give them a good feeling for the emotion so they could "measure" it? Is anyone ever really able to "measure" an emotion by getting a feeling for it? You could clearly ask someone how an experience felt on a scale of 1 to 10, how strong and powerful and potent it was. Maybe you could have a few other things to compare the emotion to that could help measure it, for instance ask "on a scale of one to ten, how aggressive do you think this emotion was". So if someone went to a park you could ask a series of questions to help measure that emotion.

  1. What was the time period that you were experiencing most of the emotions from being at the park, (for instance) when did you start to get happy and when did that emotion end.

  2. Was this feeling you had at the park strong or weak? 1-10?

  3. Was this feeling similar to aggressive feelings you have had or was it aggressive? 1-10?

  4. Was this feeling like this other (whatever it is) significant life experience or emotion you had? 1-10?

  5. Was this feeling like silly feelings you have experienced in your life? 1-10?

  6. (You could keep going on trying to compare and measure it in relation to these other significant life emotions and experiences)

I guess the hard thing to do to improve that list would be come up with the "significant" life emotions or things to compare the emotion you want to measure with. But I guess the things you would compare it to would be things that the person could actually measure with a scale of 1-10. They would be things that are so significant the person could come up with a measure of how much they relate (because they have a feel for the emotion involved). I mentioned silly and aggressive feelings, though I don't know if someone could answer, "how aggressive was going to the park". It seems stupid when I talk about it that way, but it makes sense, to measure any one emotion (say the emotion of happiness from going to a park) - it could help to describe it better by comparing it to other emotions or experiences. I guess that way you are describing emotions by using other emotions and significant things. So for the feeling of envy with a sibling the significant thing you could compare it to would be "sibling rivalry" in general, and you could go on comparing it to aggressive or silly emotions (or other significant emotions or things). So maybe that is the way to measure emotion, find the other emotions that relate and ask on a scale of 1-10 how much it relates. Like you could ask how much does the emotion passion relate to the feeling of envy you had for your sibling or your emotion of happiness at the park. I would think this means that any one emotion never stands by itself, that all emotions are mixed with other emotions, this is obvious if you consider that it is hard to be completely happy without being at least a little sad or irritated at the same time.

Ok. So again, to improve the list it would be good to know what other significant emotions, life experiences, or just significant things in life are (and how they relate) because those are obviously going to generate the most emotion, relate the most and make it easier to measure the emotion you want to measure because the emotions are so large you have an idea as to their size. So what I guess is occurring here is that in order to measure emotion, simply analyze all of the factors involved with that emotion that you know. If we take my example of the person going to a park and being happy, you could analyze if there was a dog at the park that made him happy, or if someone was flying a kite. Though I don't know if going into small details would really matter because those things aren't significant enough to generate noticeable amounts of emotion. It would seem the other significant thing to factor in would be what other emotions were evoked at the park, what emotions relate to the emotion happy, in this way you make the analysis more significant (discussing more significant things) so you would be better able to measure the emotion involved.

So just analyze all of the key emotion generators and emotions that relate to what you are trying to measure (an experience, emotion etc) - this might put the person in a higher emotional state in which they are easier to read, possibly showing more expression in the eyes. What might help is if you knew what key emotion generators were and what emotions related to certain experiences or other emotions.

Your examples I think showed well experiences that are clearly emotional. I think one significant factor I know that is worth mentioning is changes in tone. Every time the tone of a conversation changes, the feeling associated with that tone changes likewise. But I think that tone applies to more than just conversations. When someone is mowing a lawn, he might have a certain tone that is happy or a tone that he is upset. He might become slightly upset many times throughout mowing the lawn if he keeps making errors, being slightly upset I would say would be like a change in tone. Tone is just a way of saying that there are slight changes which you can notice (similar to the color wheel you mentioned). Only there are more emotions, feelings and changes in tone than the few colors which exist. My point is if you take note of all the small changes in emotion and tone, such as each time the person makes an error, you could better measure how those all add up to the overall emotion. The changes in tone that people have (which I think are most noticeable in conversations) occur all the time when they are doing other things. Each one of these tones is a feeling that could add up to large amounts of emotion. If the person becomes upset 20 times because of small errors, you could say that he was very upset. You could factor in the other changes in tone that occurred while he was mowing the lawn, how many times he smiled or achieved success. Maybe a negative change in tone ruined his getting a positive tone the next time he did something well. My guess here is if you can analyze the the moment to moment changes you might be able to see how it all adds up.

I know that my reply basically went from stating in order to measure emotion only assess significant factors, to saying the opposite of that (asses the small factors). I think the significant factors are going to show up as the small factors as well, however. If you think about it, maybe the feeling of happiness for going to the park only start in a series of tone (feeling) changes once you walk into the park - and then could stay at that level of happiness after you are in it. For example maybe once you see the park your happiness would go up a little, then after you enter a little more, then after see something a little more - that is just a guess as to how these small changes might play out. I think they might be able to be observed because people can notice changes in the tone of a conversation, why not changes in the tones of everyday feelings? All those small changes contribute to the larger, more significant feelings in some way.

I don't know exactly how all the small feelings play out in everyday life. My guess would be that it is incredibly complex, experiencing many feelings (that are at least slightly noticeable) every hour. You might only describe one large feeling as taking place over an hour, or if it something like pain the large feeling could occur for the minute you had the pain. I don't know what a large feeling would be that only lasts a minute other than the feeling of pain, which can be large in a very short time period like a minute or a second. It would seem that the emotion of happy can only be large over a long period of time, like if you were happy for an hour or a day you could say that the feeling there was large because it lasted so long. I don't know how someone could say, "I felt a large happy feeling for a couple or seconds or minutes". That is why it might be hard to notice how all the small changes work and add up to the larger feeling of happiness throughout the day. Because these minor changes in feeling might be hard to notice, but probably still occur a lot. Like when you said the person perked up when he got a call from a friend, that is an example of a small change in emotion that only lasted a brief period of time. Him perking up was a positive emotion that lasted a few seconds that probably made him happier for a longer period of time. I think I can describe these small changes by saying something a little silly - that you can label every little thing that happens in life as positive or negative, or with any description of feeling or an emotion. You might get a little envious and not even notice it, but would still be there as a change in your attitude that occurred suddenly. Or anything really, whenever someone says anything that indicated that emotion was felt (like the baseball game was fun, or when they hit the rock it was annoying) you can take that and analyze it in a larger context of feelings - of how the small and large feelings play out. I think these minute changes occur all of the time and contribute to larger feelings and how the other minute changes play out.

So I guess I can add to the list of questions some points about small changes:

  1. What were all the small changes in emotion that occurred, and how do these changes relate and contribute to the larger emotions that you were experiencing at the park?

  2. If you do not know what all the small changes in emotion were, maybe you can guess what they were by seeing how the small changes (or the larger emotions) might have influenced any of the feelings you experienced at the park (since it all occurred as one event in the same time period).

  3. How did the small and large changes in emotion and in your experience at the park influence your other small and large emotions and actions at the park?

  4. What happened at the park? Which of what happened at the park were the most significant for you emotionally? Is it just going to the event and the event overall that was emotionally powerful for you and the only emotion you can identify? Or can you identify other small emotions that occurred (if you step back and look at what happened at this event)?

But I think if you were going to want to actually try to measure emotion accurately, the smaller emotions would be too hard to assess. There might be an expression in the eyes for things like "annoyance" "interest" "sadness" or whatever eyes can express, whenever an eye expresses something that a human can figure out - you could ask a computer to measure that same thing. But those would just be things that the person is trying to communicate with their eyes at that moment, it wouldn't necessarily be what they are really feeling. Maybe to try and determine the primary emotions, you could have the person do something fun for an hour, then look at their eyes and determine what changed from before. Wait another hour and do the assessment again. That second assessment would determine how much of the "fun" emotion was still present after an hour. I don't know how many emotions someone could assess like this. You could have someone do something interesting for an hour, then do an assessment of their eyes to see what changed. I don't know how you would assess the eyes if someone did four things in a row (hour after hour) that each were different emotions, say something interesting, then something boring, then something happy or fun, then something sad. Would all of those things be displayed in the eyes at the same time? This would obviously be very slight changes in the eyes that my guess only a computer could pick up. But the change might be consistent for all people - allowing it to be accurate for everyone.

I don't know what this change might be visually - I mentioned the wateriness before. If someone can display an emotion with their eyes on purpose, maybe that would just be a more obvious example of how the eyes could show that. I think eyes change in two ways, one would be what the expression is - the other would be the "heaviness" to the eyes. For instance if someone was tired their eyes might look more drugged up - or if someone was emotional they might be watery. That I think would show the longer term, primary emotions because they have a physical change in the eye, versus just something you are expressing. The primary emotions probably cause a different physical condition that might be able to be read by subtle eye changes. I am not a medical doctor, but I know that if you feel very strongly you also have a physical reaction as well.

Though I don't think there could be much for us to discuss about measuring that since it would be mostly about computers if it was possible at all. I think a better example for how the small changes can add up to the larger more primary emotion would be if someone had a hopeful thought a couple of times when they were sad. Perhaps that made them happier and lessened the sadness. The previous example I used was of someone mowing a lawn who kept hitting rocks. Each time they hit a rock, they might get more irritated - you might be able to see how irritated they were overall if you looked at what happened each time. It might have stifled happiness from doing the rest of the job well. I don't know how many other clear examples you could discover other than the hope example and the being irritated example. If you discuss these small changes enough with someone maybe they will be capable of labeling how strongly their primary (and possibly minor) feelings were.

Some things (small or large phenomena) that could help someone assess how much emotion they are experiencing would be to consider:

  1. What were all the thoughts you had and how did these impact your feelings

  2. What were all the things (small or large) that happened and how many of these do you know impacted your feelings

  3. What was your emotional state (for instance if you were worried) and how did this impact your feelings and what happened during the event

  4. Did you have a physical reaction to anything that occurred (for instance jumping in excitement, or blushing) that might indicate a feeling occurred

I guess this means what I that what I said earlier about how anytime anyone makes any comment about emotion at all, they are indicating or trying to measure emotion to some degree. I am sure most people could come up with a lot of examples of this, and frequently do it themselves. Saying things such as "this happened so many times it annoyed me a lot". The word "annoyed" in that statement indicates the feeling of annoyance. There are degrees to which someone can describe what the feeling was like or describe the circumstances around it. An entire book could just be trying to describe the feeling for what something is like. Even a book that doesn't go on and on trying to write about how something felt, just any ordinary book has a feeling associated with it or that was communicated by it. I think most times people try to communicate emotion or how they felt they aren't very descriptive (at least from my observations). There could be someone who is very good at describing their emotions and gives a good idea as to how much they were feeling. I don't know the best way or all the ways someone could make describing feeling more scientific and accurate. You could do studies and find out what things someone says are more clearly emotional or what the best way to describe emotions for certain things are. I already mentioned that noticing everything that happened during an event, all your thoughts, your emotional state, and your physical reactions could be observed. There are probably many more better examples than my being annoyed while mowing a lawn example (that would be the type for asking about everything that occurred) and the hopeful thoughts alleviating sadness example (which would be for what all your thoughts are).

I already mentioned that you could try to measure an emotion by comparing and contrasting it to other relevant and or significant emotions or life events. You could try to compare an emotion to other emotions of the same type. I believe some people have already grouped emotions into various categories and ways of organizing them. It might help if someone reads a good description or explanation of what that emotion is and feels like.

But each persons own perception of their emotion or someone else's emotion is going to be very subjective. It isn't like you can measure emotion exactly, at best a large group of people could discuss how something is emotional or how significant something was in different ways. There are probably signs that indicate something is emotional, for instance if you like something a lot it is probably going to be more emotional for you. If something impacts you in various ways or causes you to do various things it is probably going to be more emotional.

Some of these things could be simple physical things, like playing with your hands or shuffling your feet. There are obviously the facial and eye expressions. That is why I already mentioned changes in the tone of a conversation, I would say that that is a significant part of life considering that conversation is the main way people interact. I don't know what would be the indications of the more primary emotions, maybe there is a certain tone or attitude someone adopts when they have one of those primary emotions, as well as certain actions (mental or physical) that follow along.

If people can notice tones in conversations, then maybe they can notice the tone of how someone has been feeling for the past hour or few hours (which would be their "primary" emotion". Though I don't usually notice if someone is happier than they usually are. If someone was sad or very happy I might notice it but most of the time I don't think I notice things like that. Someone could become happier than usually and other people probably wouldn't notice it at all. Does that mean that the only primary emotions are "happier than usual" "normal" and "sadder than usual" - since those are the only things other people might notice? If you think about it that way, then measuring emotion is simple. If you think about it the other way I suggested, which was to discuss with other people the many ways something impacted you emotionally, then emotion seems very complex.

I think the 'primary' emotions someone experiences would be simply changes in mood. I think if I find a good way of classifying moods then that would be the best way to measure the main emotions that people experience. If you think about it, there are so many single emotions you couldn't really say that the person mowing the lawn (who kept hitting rocks instead of just grass) was just 'happy' - that would be too simple of an assessment of his emotional state. A better assessment would be something like happy (from the action of mowing the lawn), with a little excitement, a little fear (from the loud noises hitting the rocks made), a little anxiety from hitting rocks a lot, and a little bleak and sad at being such a failure.

So the person mowing the lawn for an hour or so I would say developed a certain mood for that hour. A mood is just an emotional state, a set of feelings that are similar or point in a certain direction. Like someone could be a mood to do cooking, and they could have a certain set of feelings that come along with that. From the time they start cooking to the time they finish the feeling of the mood they are in for cooking is going to change, but is still the same mood with the same basic feelings. So a mood then in my view is just a certain set of feelings that relate to one thing (like cooking, mowing a lawn, or being happy or sad). An emotional state is also a certain set of feelings however they aren't necessarily about one thing, it is your entire emotional state including everything going on. A mood is just the emotions related to what the mood is about, which is probably going to be what you are doing. You could be in the mood to do cooking without actually doing cooking, and in that way you'd be experiencing some of the emotions you do when you cook without actually doing it. However, you could describe your entire emotional state as a mood if you labeled the mood well enough or if your entire emotional state was simple enough to be described as one mood (though I don't know if you could say someone's entire emotional state was of "cooking" or "happiness" for example).

Classifying Moods

A psychological mood is a relatively long lasting emotional state (a few days or so) (a temporary mood I would say (which is the kind of mood I am referring to in this article) lasts from a few minutes to a few hours). A mood therefore could be comprised of many different feelings at the same time. Moods can be positive, negative, neutral, or a mix. You could have a unique mood that maybe only you experience, such as a certain attitude that comes up around someone or someplace. You could then be in your own personal "mood" - because this mood has a unique feeling. Maybe in this mood you are both sad and happy at the same time, maybe you can classify what emotions are occurring and know that you might be the only person to experience a mood like that. Any emotion or feeling could be a part of a mood. It is really just a matter of how much of the feeling you can identify and label.

I would say that love is more of a mood than joy, because love is a much more complex emotion. If you are joyful, then you aren't sad, you are only describing the single emotion of happiness. If you are experiencing love, there might be many emotions that go along with it. Similarly, aggressiveness is more complicated than just being vigilant - if you are aggressive, you could be happy, frustrated, sad, optimistic; however if you are vigilant you are just being "ready". However, that is just how it seems to me, you could be joyful but still be in a more complicated mood than if you were experiencing the emotion of love, and you can be vigilant and be in a more complicated mood than you are when it seems to you that you are being "aggressive".

Figure 1
Robert Plutchik created a wheel of emotions in 1980 which consisted of 8 basic emotions and 8 advanced emotions each composed of 2 basic ones[33] It looks to me more like the "moods" are on the outside while the single emotions are towards the center.

The advanced emotions in the graph by Plutchik are the ones on the outside. They are advanced because they are a combination of the two legs of the diagram that they are in between. For instance aggressiveness could be the result annoyance, interest, anger, anticipation, rage and vigilance. The interest there raises the persons energy level and the anger directs it into aggression. Like I said before, some emotions and emotional states, moods, can be very complicated and some can be very simple. Just basically describing ones feelings in the most complicated way, by showing all of them and how they relate to the other feelings, is a great way to try to think about what you or someone else might be feeling.

An emotional state must be a lot more complicated than simply being a combination of a few feelings like afraid, happy, sad, anxious, etc. Each one of those feelings is going to be unique every time based upon what happened. For instance, if you were afraid because there was a gun involved, then the gun is going to contribute to the unique feeling of fear for that instance. There are probably going to be other things contributing to your feeling of fear that you aren't aware of but might be if you thought about it more, maybe something like a person you met earlier that day or some other smaller factor you might have not been aware of.

That just basically means though that everything in life contributes to unique feelings and emotional states. That is rather obvious, it is just then a matter of figuring out what the significant and relevant factors are. There might also be significant things that aren't obvious to most people, however. There is a way that emotions function on a moment to moment basis that is significant. If someone understood how much happiness would be too much for someone, then they might understand when someones excitement would automatically decrease in order to decrease the happiness to keep it from getting too large. A sort of emotional balancing probably occurs between emotions all the time that would be worthy to note. If you take into account all the thoughts that people have that they are not aware of, it seems clear that many of those thoughts could be significant you just don't happen to aware of them unless you learned which might be significant first. There are prejudices, social judgments, perceptions and self concepts - a lot of which you might not be aware of.

You could do your best to guess everything that someone was feeling at that moment. If you think about it that way, you could describe someones feelings based off of real things around them and that happened to them, instead of just with feelings and emotions. Just saying, "this person just went to the store" reflects something about their emotional state. It is taking it too a deeper level of analysis to then say, "this person just went to the store, so they are happy they got to get out of the house". If you just describe absolutely everything that is going on you would then have a better idea as to what the person was feeling. You can ask someone what their feelings are or what the best way to describe them would be. Showing the emotions (like the diagram by Plutchik) could help to discuss what the feelings someone is experiencing are.

The emotion annotation and representation language (EARL) proposed by the Human-Machine Interaction Network on Emotion (HUMAINE) classifies 48 emotions.[34] Those emotions are grouped into categories which I see as types of moods that people can have. There is an art image for each of those categories beneath. I have an analysis of each of the categories beneath the art images. Basically what I have done was show how there are other feelings and emotions (along with thoughts and emotion changes) that probably accompany those various moods. That is what a mood is, a set of feelings - and typical sets of feelings can be described and classified. There are also going to be certain thoughts that accompany various moods, and certain ways the emotions fluctuate (and how they fluctuate in relation to other emotions).

Negative and forceful
  • Anger

  • Annoyance

  • Contempt

  • Disgust

  • Irritation

Negative and not in control
  • Anxiety

  • Embarrassment

  • Fear

  • Helplessness

  • Lonely

  • Powerlessness

  • Worry

Negative Thoughts
  • Doubt

  • Envy

  • Frustration

  • Guilt

  • Shame

Negative and passive
  • Boredom

  • Despair

  • Disappointment

  • Hurt

  • Sadness

  • Stress

  • Shock

  • Tension

Positive and lively
  • Amusement

  • Delight

  • Elation

  • Excitement

  • Happiness

  • Joy

  • Pleasure

  • Affection

  • Empathy

  • Friendliness

  • Love

Positive thoughts
  • Courage

  • Hope

  • Pride

  • Satisfaction

  • Trust

Quiet positive
  • Calm

  • Content

  • Relaxed

  • Relieved

  • Serene

  • Interest

  • Politeness

  • Surprised

Figure 2
Negative and forceful

Anger could be a big component in being negative and forceful. I don't know how negative and forceful someone could be solely because of something like disgust or irritation or annoyance. Hate or contempt makes sense as well as those are also powerful emotions. I can image someone getting very angry and that being a powerful emotion, or hating something a lot. I think someone could get negative and forceful from disgust, irritation and annoyance but I would say that the negativity isn't as powerful as something someone could get from something like a true hatred or anger. If you hate something you are being passionate, it is a strong emotion. If you are disgusted by something you do truly dislike it and that could push you into the negative/forceful state, however you don't necessarily care in an extreme way. If you did, then you would hate it or be angry at it.

I mean, for what reasons would someone get negative and forceful? Maybe they feel like they want power and to do this they could hurt other people. That wouldn't be hatred or anger it would just be lust for power. Someone could be negative and forceful as a defensive response (such as being angry at someone or hating someone) or from their own initiation (getting angry for some selfish reason such as an attempt to achieve power). So there are different things that could cause a negative and forceful mood. These feelings would be a part of the mood because they caused it and are therefore related to it. When that person is being negative and forceful, some of the feelings they experience would be motivational feelings.

People could get angry because they were hurt in some way, and this could cause them to be negative and forceful. Or someone could just be aggressive, instead of being defensive, and become negative and forceful. In that case I don't think that anger would be a part of it since you'd have to get angry just so you could be negative and forceful, which I suppose is possible but doesn't seem to me to make much sense, since it is a lot easier to become angry in response to someone. You could be mad at someone, which could be the emotions contempt and and annoyance, but in order for the emotion of anger to be evoked in you you probably would have had to have something bad done to you by that person. Or at least your perception has to be that something bad was done to you, I suppose that it could be a trivial thing as long as you perceive that something bad was done to you.

This is why it makes sense to me that all of those emotions are grouped into the "negative and forceful" category - because in order to become negative and forceful it would be easier if there were more emotions involved. I mean if you were feeling all of those things towards someone - anger, annoyance, contempt, disgust and irritation - then it makes sense that that would cause you to become negative and forceful. If only one or two of those emotions were evoked I don't know if that would be enough for someone to become negative and forceful from. I suppose someone could be "forceful" without much of the negativity, and in that case none of those emotions would be needed considering that people can be violent without being emotional or annoyed by someone.

A dog sitting on a bed
Figure 3
Negative and not in control

I think the reason that "not in control" goes along with "negative" is that if you had control over your emotions or were stable then you wouldn't be experiencing the negativity because you would be making yourself happy. People are certainly in an inferior emotional state when they are embarrassed or experiencing anxiety. Helpless, powerless, afraid and worried is a state I wouldn't think many people would want to be in. That is probably where the sense of not being in control comes from, because you are probably less collected when in this state. These are things that hurt emotionally, so therefor it threatens your well-being. I also believe that negative feelings and pain serve as an emotional stimulus, which could help raise you out of the inferior emotional state by helping you focus and be more intense (due to the nature of the pain). Negativity I think can actually help a lot because of how it serves as a stimulus. While in the state of negativity, however, it probably doesn't seem like it is helping because of all of those negative feelings. But at least in this state you are in a state of intensity, which is important to have because emotional intensity is needed frequently every day.

What could cause a negative and not in control state? Maybe getting hurt really badly, that would certainly make you experience negative emotions and be helpless and afraid. I feel that way right now because I have a bad cold. But I am also doing other things while I have the cold, so it isn't my only mood or emotional state right now. Other things have kept me busy, but the negative mood of the cold dominates and makes me feel bad. Maybe some moods are only experienced by themselves, while other moods can occur simultaneously. I am not in control, there is nothing I can do about being sick. I can try and experience other moods to make myself feel better emotionally, however. No one is ever totally not in control, they can use their thoughts to help put themselves in a better mood or do something that might change the situation.

In addition to helpless, powerless, afraid and worried; lonely, embarrassed and anxious are also are part of this mood. I don't know if fear is necessary for this typical emotional state to occur. Fear is a powerful emotion, someone could be anxious without being afraid, or powerless or helpless or the others for that reason. Someone can experience anxiety and not be troubled by it. Or someone could experience a lot of fear and it could not cause them to be anxious in a similar manner. Though it could certainly seem that these emotions would all go together, I mean, if you have a lot of anxiety then it would make sense that you might be at least a little bit afraid, worried, lonely, embarrassed, powerless and helpless. It would seem to make sense that any one of those would rarely occur just by itself.

Self-confidence (or lack of it) is similar to being embarrassed. Though lack of self confidence seems like a minor emotion compared to the other emotions mentioned that comprise this mood. In fact, it seems like someone would be experiencing a lot of emotion if they were experiencing the emotion of fear and embarrassment at the same time. It doesn't seem possible for someone to experience all of those emotions full-force (the maximum each could be experienced) at the same time, that would simply be too much emotion for one to experience. Powerless seems like an easy emotion to experience since that emotion doesn't have a lot of force to it, it is more like experiencing that you don't have any power. Helplessness is similar to that, but loneliness is a little bit different in that there seems to be some tangible emotion involved. When someone is lonely, they have real feelings of loneliness, when someone is helpless, however, it doesn't seem like that would be a powerful emotion because it seems more like just being out of it, instead of feeling powerfully.

Powerless is similar to helpless. And worried and lonely are also similarly weak emotions, unless the worry and loneliness leads to anxiety, then those two by themselves wouldn't seem to me to be very strong because they are such weak emotions. Similarly, embarrassment and all of those are just similar to lack of self confidence, which isn't a strong emotion at all. Unless it leads to anxiety or fear (or occurs simultaneously), the other emotions in this mood group don't seem like they would be powerful by themselves. I suppose I am saying that the only strongly negative emotions are ones like anxiety, fear and pain. The other emotions by themselves don't seem to have pain as a part of them, they could be causing the emotion pain - but they are much more independent of it than something like anxiety.

Figure 4
Negative thoughts

Negative thoughts is an obvious kind of mood. Doubt, envy, guilt, frustration and shame are just thoughts that you wouldn't think help you in any way. I wouldn't think that doubt is that bad or painful most of the time, considering that there might be some doubt with every thought you have and that could be perfectly normal. Negative thoughts just seem to me like they don't generate any significant amount of real pain. Envy and guilt I would say are similar, they are probably harmless most of the time (though i'm not saying that they couldn't be fairly bad), I mean how big of a deal could it be for someone to be jealous of someone else, it isn't really going to hurt them over the long run. Frustration and shame seem more negative because those could be rather painful, while something like doubt probably isn't going to generate any pain. I think someone could be in a mood of having negative thoughts, all types of negative thoughts. I would think that such a mood could last from a few minutes to a few hours. I couldn't really imagine someone having constant negative thoughts for days, though I suppose that is possible. I personally try to be as optimistic as possible so I feel better, but the reality of life is that there is a lot to be negative about so it is possible that people get very upset and have lots of negative thoughts, impacting their mood and emotions for a while. You might not notice if you are having such thoughts, these thoughts might be more unconscious in nature or just thoughts you are less aware you are having.

Someone could be in a mood that makes them think a lot of negative thoughts. That would just be being in a "bad" mood, because it is negative. You could be in a bad mood and decide to not think negative thoughts, because your thoughts are under your control. You think about a lot of bad things that might happen to you or are happening to you, or how your current emotional state is that is contributing to the envy, guilt, frustration or shame you are feeling (whichever one(s) it is you are feeling). This seems rather obvious, a negative mood could further your thinking negative thoughts, which could further the negative mood. Real things that happened to you in addition to your own thoughts could contribute to this mood. Your negative mood could automatically make you think negative thoughts and there could be nothing you could do about it because you feel so poorly. It might be the natural thing to think negative thoughts while experiencing negative emotions, this could possibly help you deal with the emotions or something like that. I mean if something bad happened to you or is happening to you, it is natural to reflect negatively.

How harmful could negative thoughts be? They are just thoughts. I would say that anger, fear, and anxiety are much worse because they are more real. With those the person actually experiences real pain. I admit that envy and guilt can be fairly bad, but that is only because they would start generating the emotion pain they because they are so negative. Whenever one of these negative emotions starts generating the emotion pain, or the emotion anger, fear or anxiety - which are all closer to pain than the other negative emotions, then it is a lot worse than it is just by itself, without the pain. But that is sort of a redundant statement, it should be clear that a negative emotion can be painful. It is obvious, then, that any negative emotion could be mixed with stronger negative emotions or with pain.

Figure 5
Negative and passive

Boredom, despair, disappointment, hurt and sadness. The words "boredom" and "disappointment" make it seem like the hurt, sadness and despair aren't that bad. If you were really hurt you wouldn't be bored, you would be in pain. So my guess is that the negative and passive state isn't as bad as the negative and not in control state. If you are negative but it is directed outward, that is negative and forceful, which is also probably worse than negative and passive. I know from my own experience that boredom can cause pain, but it isn't negativity that is directed towards anyone, and you are probably under control. Though the pain and negativity in the passive type can be just as bad, it just wouldn't seem like it is that way because you aren't doing anything, you are just being passive.

This (my guess) might be something like, your feelings were hurt, and then you quietly accept it and just rest with the negativity, it not causing you to become forceful or think many negative things. Maybe this type of negativity isn't as bad as pain or negativity that causes you to become forceful or think bad things. Someone just quietly accepting the pain seems like it wouldn't be a pain that is too large or disturbing (that causes a reaction). Maybe when you start getting really annoyed, it makes you more aggressive by putting you in a higher, more intense emotional state - you might then be in both the mood "negative and out of control" and "negative and forceful" at the same time. I guess that would be negative, forceful and out of control. Emotion is something that is not under your control, you could become angry and forceful because of how your emotions or attitude made you feel.

On the other hand, grief and anguish are types of sadness that are rather extreme and one isn't being forceful or out of control in those states. However someone wouldn't be bored, and they would certainly be feeling more than disappointment, so someone experiencing grief and anguish wouldn't be in this emotional state, however those types of feeling sadness show that sadness can be experienced in a rather extreme way that isn't anything like the passiveness of this state.

So my point is that when sadness is combined with boredom the sadness wouldn't be that extreme because it is a passive sadness. Someone could experience a sadness that is extreme, such as grief or anguish, however then they wouldn't be bored or passive - they would be in pain. "Disappointment" is also a rather mild emotion, because the extreme of that would be angry.

Figure 6

There is probably more to agitation than stress, shock and tension. My guess would be that fear and anger also accompany agitation a lot. If you think about it, if someone is agitated, then they are probably also going to be angry and possibly fearful depending on what made them agitated. Anger and agitation are similar, if you are angry at something you probably are also at least a little irritated by it as well. If something was powerful enough to make you angry, it is also possible that you are afraid of it also.

My guess would be that agitation is something that is out of your control, the last thing someone wants to be is annoyed to the point of agitation. My guess is that it is possible that pain or a negative state could make you agitated. Or maybe the painful feeling overrides the feeling of agitation. Agitation wouldn't seem to be as bad of a negative state in general, because agitation doesn't necessarily include pain, and I would say that pain is the main thing that people don't want to experience, though agitation is a negative emotion as well. That makes me think, what feelings contribute to the emotion of pain? You could experience a negative feeling such as annoyance and not feel any pain. There is going to probably be a mix of pain and agitation, like there how feelings are always mixed.

Stress is similar to anxiety - so are the feelings of shock and tension. Anxiety has an uneasiness and nagging quality to it, so does stress and tension. Shock probably does to, only more indirectly - for instance someone could experience shock and then afterwards they would feel uneasy because they just experienced shock. So therefore the similarity between stress, shock and tension would be uneasiness, or anxiety. "Agitation", however, implies a sort of annoyance. If someone is agitated, they are more than uneasy and anxious, they are also irritated and annoyed.

That is why stress, shock and tension are in the category for "agitation" - because agitation is more than just being annoyed - it is being irritated to such a great degree that it causes stress, shock and tension. That doesn't necessarily mean that fear and anger always accompany agitation, it just means that it is possible, and even likely that someone who is agitated feels angry or afraid of whatever caused the agitation.

Figure 7
Positive and lively

Amusement, delight, elation, excitement, happiness, joy and pleasure. When said all together like that it would seem like someone experiencing all of those emotions at once would be in a state of ecstasy. The word "elation" seems to imply a higher than comfortable state of happiness, almost like you are elevated to a higher than normal state. Though each of those emotions differs in how it is positive, they are not all just "happy", - for each the feeling is unique. They could contribute to a positive and lively mood but I would think that no one is ever completely happy. Life isn't just experiencing those happy emotions all of the time. Even in this positive and lively state, a large amount of negative emotions would probably occur. For instance if you were having a good time at a party you would still likely experience some negative emotion of possibly envy or something.

Positive and lively might just be an attitude, you might be that way but not be happy, though I don't know if that occurs often or not - it doesn't seem like someone would feel like being positive and lively if they were in pain. You might be positive if you were pain, in an attempt to be optimistic, but I would say that the pain would stifle your "excitement". That is what pain is, it makes pleasure go away and liveliness is related to pleasure. You need positive energy that comes from positive feelings in order to be lively, I doubt if you are in pain you could be that way.

Amusement is when you find something funny or have any kind of smug attitude, you are amused. Excitement is when someone gets too enthusiastic or happy about something, they experience excitement because they are thrilled. Elation I would say is a state of too much happiness, sort of floating on air sort of happiness. Happiness is prolonged joy. Delight is similar to excitement and pleasure, when someone delights in something they get excited about it, relishing in it, or are overly happy. The definition of pleasure is obvious - it is a positive feeling that people enjoy - I would say it is the most positive feeling because it describes a feeling that is truly enjoyable - when people are experiencing it they are pleased or very satisfied.

So while I don't think that someone could really experience all of the emotions that are part of this mood because that would be too much, someone could still experience a lot of them or possibly all of them if there were minor amounts of each one. I don't know how often someone gets into a "positive and lively" state, or when they do, if using all of those words - amusement, delight, elation, excitement, happiness, joy and pleasure - would be the best way to describe it. Someone could easily be "positive and lively" with just a large amount of pleasure and some excitement. A moderate amount of any two of those could produce a positive and lively state, or possibly even one. Someone could probably get into a wonderful, positive state with just a small amount of one of those emotions.

Figure 8

What seems relevant to the mood of "caring" I would think would be attachment and dependency. Caring isn't about just affection, empathy, friendliness and love. With all of those things comes attachment and dependency. If someone is in a "caring" mood, are they more afraid of strangers or more accepting? Would they become more frustrated when interacting with people if they were feeling "caring" and the people they were interacting with ignored them, not returning their affection (frustrated at interpersonal failures because they care too much)? Caring could also be a personality trait. Would someone caring (as a mood or as a personality trait) be more attention-seeking since they care more about other people and would value people more?

So I guess then the question is, "what kinds of feelings does caring invoke?". It is comparable to loving another person, if you care about someone, you might also likely love them as well. And that is basically asking the question, "what is all they mystery involved in interpersonal relationships?". Caring for someone could invoke huge numbers of feelings and a large emotional response - in which case you would probably love the person. But that is the intense form of caring, there is a lesser type of caring that occurs in your normal social interaction, that would be more like the question, "how much do you care for other people in general". Perhaps people that don't care about other people would be considered cruel types, and people that care a lot about other people passionate, empathetic types. Though both types of people could be in a caring mood, I suppose. Maybe some cruel people never feel the emotion of caring or get in the mood for it.

This mood of caring, with the emotions it involves of affection, empathy, friendliness and love; could also just be called the mood of "love" - both love and caring involve affection for someone, positive feelings toward someone else. Love just also would involve an attraction or a desire of a certain sort as well. Caring is an important part of love, it shows the tender side of it. But someone could be in the mood caring and love wouldn't have anything to do with it. People are empathetic and affectionate often, that doesn't mean they are attracted to the person. Caring is a form of love, and love is a form of caring.

Someone could be in just a "friendly" mood - or just an "affectionate" or "empathetic" mood for that matter. Each of those definitions, including love and caring, could be mixed in some way. They are all related to each other. I don't know if each time you are in a caring mood you would then try to measure how much of each of those emotions you were feeling right then. Maybe some people who are friendly are in a "friendly" mood all of the time, or at least when they are around people. How would you measure how much of the emotion of friendly they were feeling then if that person is friendly all of the time? Maybe it is just a permanent part of their emotional state (such as "happy-go-lucky").

Figure 9
Positive thoughts

Courage, hope, pride, satisfaction and trust. These all seem like you have strong values and do a lot of pleasant activities - and are generally leading a good life. Those would lead to positive thoughts. This doesn't necessarily mean that you are happy, it just means that you are optimistic and a good, strong person. Though that would be a person who would have the most positive thoughts I would say, everyone else has positive thoughts as well - they just don't act like they are happy and in a positive mood all of the time. Positive thoughts isn't really a mood though - you could be in a positive mood and stop thinking and the mood would still continue. I would say that you can think all of those things or not be thinking anything and still be in a "positive thoughts" kind of a mood. Though it would seem like in order to enhance or maintain a "positive thoughts" kind of a mood thinking many positive thoughts would be necessary.

It would seem to make sense that happiness or a joyful emotion is necessary if someone is going to have positive thoughts, especially a lot of positive thoughts which would be a positive thoughts "mood". I don't know which would lead to more positive thoughts, someone achieving their objectives in life, objectives that they have thought about and therefore cognitively would make them happier if they are a success, or if someone is just experiencing joyful emotions. Both of those things could lead to positive thoughts. I don't know which mood or combination of moods would cause someone to want to think positive things. Probably the mood "positive and lively" would generate more positive thoughts than the mood "quiet positive" because you would be more motivated to think positive things if you were lively and engaged.

It would also seem to me like a person with a lot of positive thoughts has a lot of determination, or maybe they are just that positive naturally with little effort involved. I don't know how many of the emotions are necessary to assist positive thoughts - someone could have positive emotions that assist positive thoughts or they could just be thinking a lot of positive things without experiencing positive emotions. I know that if someone experiences a lot of positive feelings they could reflect on those feelings and say, "oh I felt good then". In that case more positive feelings would directly lead to positive thoughts. I don't know if someone necessarily has to be fortunate in order for them to have a lot of positive thoughts.

Quiet Positive.
Figure 10
Quiet Positive

Calm, content, relaxed, relieved and serene. I would hope that someones normal state is something in between "quiet positive" and "lively positive" considering that quiet seems too subdued and lively seems too happy and over the top. This emotional state / mood isn't completely quiet and positive, as I have said, all moods have a large mix of feelings all of the time. Even if the other feelings aren't felt very strongly, they are still there. I suppose someone could be "super relaxed" and then it would seem like they don't have a complex mood occurring, however. I would hope that life is more lively than just being relaxed anyway, I am grateful for the wide variety of feelings that people can experience, even if some of those are negative.

I guess my point is any "relaxed" emotional state probably wouldn't last very long given the nature that people need to experience emotional intensity in life. If I was simply in a relaxed state all of the time, my life would probably be pretty boring and meaningless. I would say that a mix of all the moods and emotions, combined with intensity, is the best way for someone to be happy. That makes sense to me - life isn't a joke, intensity cannot be experienced just by goofing around all of the time. Not that "goofing around" is what the mood of "quiet positive" is anyway though. I guess it just seems that way when you combine all of those relaxed adjectives together. If someone was going to have a mix of feelings, I would say using only one or two of those adjectives would be more than enough "relaxing".

This state is similar to the "negative and passive" state in terms that they are opposites - they are both quiet, passive states, only one is positive and one is negative. I think my personal experience of the passive states is a good one, even with the negativity - I guess I just like being relaxed. Someone else might like being lively, and then might find enjoyment in the "positive and lively" state. Like with the other states, it seems like too much to experience all of the emotions in this state at the same time (at least strongly anyway). Maybe in this "quiet positive" state someone is more relieved - "Relieved" seems to suggest a happiness that comes with relaxing, like you are relieved that you are no longer in an intense state, so therefore you are happy.

Figure 11

If someone shows interest, politeness, and is surprised then they are responding to someone or something in an active way. I don't know if "reactive" could be a mood by itself. Could you really say, "that person is being "reactive" now"? I think that someone could be like that, if they were in a mood of wanting to respond to other people and show interest. This makes me wonder how many different moods someone could have at once. That would kind of like be being bi-polar, if you have two different moods, then you are experiencing two strong emotional states at the same time. People that are bi-polar can go from being very happy to very sad, you could say that everyone is "multi-moodal" going from extremely strong moods all of the time, or normal or weakly strong ones depending on the person.

I really like this art image I have used for "reactive", it is very lively and energetic and cool. I would think that people who often respond to other people in a similarly cool and energetic way are received well in life. I don't know if that type of person experiences the feelings "interest", "politeness" and "surprise" more - it would seem to me like they would. They would certainly be more interested in other people. They might not be polite, you can be engaged and responsive (or reactive) and not be surprised and polite. I have taken the feeling "reactive" and applied it socially. I interpreted that those three adjectives are social ones, though two of them could occur without anything interpersonal occurring.

If someone shows interest, it would nice to be rewarded with surprise. I don't see how interest or politeness is that "reactive". It would seem like interest and politeness would be more of an action that is initiated by the person (self-motivated) than an emotion that is driven as a response to something, which would be reactive. Surprise clearly is something that occurs as a response to something. Interest I can see as being reactive or responsive, for instance someone does something interesting and then they show interest as a response. The same could be said for being polite - someone is a good person or is nice and as a response they are polite to them.

What Moods Do

Moods can change someone's self-perception, their perception of others, or a lot of other stuff related to what they are thinking. This is obvious if I explain it - for instance, if you are in a bad mood, you aren't likely to respond positively to other people because you are pissed off or something. There are probably a large number of examples I could use, if you are in a positive mood you are probably more likely to be more active. Moods obviously are going to influence your thinking, and what happens to you is going to change your mood. Maybe a mood could put you in a state of feeling emotion for only certain types of people. People make decisions based off of what they are feeling all of the time. If you feel poorly, you are probably going to do certain things to change that mood. People make evaluations about what they are feeling and then make decisions based off of those evaluations.

I would think that a mood is a distinct, strong feeling. The many feelings someone experiences at any one time could be divided and complicated - however if they are in a certain mood the mood might be fairly obvious. This doesn't mean that moods are simple and pure however. Moods are still complicated - they are comprised of different, distinct emotions that would all fall under the category of that one mood. I would think that a certain mood might take some time to kick in considering that the right emotions would all have to be in play and interacting properly and they might not start at the same time. For instance, if you wanted to get in the mood of playing at a park, maybe only a while after you started would the mood set in because you need to get accustomed to the emotions and you need to do the right things there that would trigger it.

Moods do not have facial expressions, however many single emotions do. Short, single emotions are more specific and therefore are stronger than moods because they are specific (and not as long lasting). You feel an emotion for a brief period of time, it is intense, however a mood is always there in the background hanging over you or providing a direction for your feelings. A mood cannot have a facial expression because a mood is too complicated for that, there are only a few facial expressions and unless your mood is one of those expressions, you are not going to be able to express it on your face. The six facial expressions are joy, surprise, fear, anger, disgust and sadness. Emotions are generated from large specific issues, those issues cause large changes in emotion. That is why short, single emotions are stronger than moods - because something specific made you feel strongly. If someone is in a happy mood, then that is different from being happy because of a single thing that made you feel strongly in a focused way.

I can express it in a way that makes it more clear. You can have a strong emotion for a brief period of time but such an emotion would be too strong to sustain for longer than that. A mood, however, you can sustain and have as a minor distraction, only a part of your feelings, for a while. You wouldn't want your mood to dominate your feelings while at an event, a mood is just a sort of like feel for whatever it is you are doing or feeling - it is not the primary feeling. The primary feelings people experience are the emotions that occur on a moment to moment basis. Some of those emotions are longer lasting that other emotions, but none of them would be a long lasting as a few hours, which would be your temporary mood. No one rages on and on for hours, though a mad man may. Such a case might be considered the emotion "rage" occurring for hours, however that is iffy. A mood can clearly last a few hours, and I suppose an emotion could too - however that would be hard to measure. You know what your mood is and how long it lasts, you couldn't possibly know how long all the longer-lasting single emotions you have are.

I mean, how could someone know if they maintained the emotion "vigilance" or "disgust" for a few hours? They might know they were vigilant or disgusted for a few hours, but that might be hard to identify or rare in occurrence. People have moods all the time however, so my guess is it is a lot more likely someone is able to identify what their moods are. Moods are more obvious because they are composed of groups of related emotions and feelings (the HUMAINE categorization in part 2). "Negative and forceful" and "positive and lively" would probably be obvious to someone if it occurred. However, say someone experienced the emotion envy, it might be hard to assess if that emotion hangs around in them for a few hours. It would be easier to assess if the emotion group that envy is in - which is "negative thoughts" (HUMAINE again) occurred for a few hours. That would be easier to feel and identify. In that way moods are stronger than emotions, however they aren't stronger than brief, single emotions that have a more easily identifiable cause.

You might be confused at this point because I have outlined both how moods are stronger than emotions, and how they are weaker than them. Moods are composed of a set of feelings and emotions, that is why they are stronger than one of those single emotions by itself. However, in a shorter time period, one of those emotions could be stronger than the overall mood. It is really a matter of your perception and what feels stronger to you. It could be that one of the single emotions that makes up the mood is stronger than the mood itself - though that wouldn't seem to make sense to me.

By the way, there are more moods than the categorizations in the HUMAINE system (though they didn't even intend for those to be viewed that way). You could have your own personal mood that you come up with that has its own set of emotions if you want.

So strong, individual emotions contribute to your overall mood or your specific mood. For example, if you are hit with something then you start feeling upset at the person that hit you at the same time you were cooking and the food was about to be done - your mood might be confused because so much was going on. You might stop feeling the pain and the anger at the other person because you become confused. All of those emotions led you to have a certain mood. What would your mood be in that situation for the next hour? Maybe once you stopped being confused your mood would go back to being painful/upset. So in that instance, in order to describe your mood, you would just describe the two main emotions that you were feeling. Those two would be your mood. If you were experiencing other smaller emotions, maybe you were ignoring those because you only cared about those two big ones, so they made up your mood. If you had relatives visiting at the same time, perhaps that was a smaller emotion that you were feeling, but because of the intensity of what happened you ignored that for the moment and only really felt the two stronger emotions. The relatives being over might have contributed to a mood of happiness or anger (depending on if you like them or not) - but also might have been a small factor or a large factor. I would say from this analysis that a few powerful emotions can override a mood, and that it is hard to classify some moods because you can't label them as any one thing, there are so many different emotions involved that don't relate or contribute to each other.

For instance, the relatives being over emotion (hate or happiness or whatever it is) might or might not be large or small, and might or might not contribute to your general mood when you are in the house. Maybe they get under your skin, maybe they don't, maybe they do the opposite of get under your skin. Maybe watching a movie recently put you in a unique mood for violence, and that contributed to your feelings when someone hit you over the head. If you watched a movie that caused an emotion that couldn't relate in any way to being hit, maybe then the two weren't related and therefore the emotions were separate in your head. Maybe if you saw a funny movie for example.

If you are in one type of mood and the next person you come across is in a different kind of mood (and everyone has their own emotions and their own moods, so they are going to) then the emotions in the interaction are going to be influenced because of these moods. That is rather obvious, who someone is (and who the other person is (i.e. their personality)) is going to impact what kind of things they feel in an interpersonal interaction, but also what they are feeling is going to impact this interaction. Say for instance one person was at one event, a concert or something, and was interacting via internet video to someone in a classroom. The mood of the concert is completely different from the mood of the classroom. Each person in this interaction is going to be feeling rather different things, and this is going to influence the feelings each person feels about the interaction because of the other person and where they are. To a lesser degree the mood of everyone you interact with is going to be different and influence the interaction. Say the person at the concert left the concert and, walking down the street, met someone who had just left a classroom. The emotions each person is experiencing are going to be very different, and in some way and to some degree this is going to be picked up by the other person. There is a certain feel (or "mood") each person has all of the time and this mood determines their (and the people they interact with) emotions to a certain degree.

I think that these moods as I have defined them are the key way to analyze emotion. If you think about it, thinking about each single emotion is both too simple and too complicated a way to think about someones emotional state. If you could perfectly assess each single emotion then you could see how it all works, but that is impossible considering how many someone has and how complex they are. However, a person might only have a few moods at one time, with many smaller emotions falling under each mood category. For instance someone might have an overall happy mood, a lesser mood from going to school recently, another mood created by a person they just interacted with. This type of analysis simplifies and explains the main types and amount of emotion someone might experience.

What someone thinks is going to influence these moods. For each mood, you are probably going to have thoughts that go along with that mood that possibly try to maintain the mood, diminish it, or cause it to change in some way. A mood might bias your judgments about people or things. Likelihood estimations - the tendency for people to judge probabilities, might also vary based on the state or mood you are in. For all of your thoughts there might be a single unifying theme that would also be the "mood" because the mood is, like I said, the main or primary emotion that all the other individual feelings fall under. That doesn't mean that those individual feelings and thoughts are less intense than the mood, however the mood is likely to last longer while the things that comprise it come and go. I think that means that some moods may not be coherent and easy to label, you could have a mood that could be hard to classify and consist of you experiencing and doing a great variety of things that you would find hard to put into one category. For instance if you had a discussion on a wide variety of topics, you could say that the mood was the mood of a discussion, but you wouldn't be more specific and mention which topic. The topics came and went, but the mood of a conversation stayed.

Two very big components to how someone experiences emotion (and therefore their moods) I would say are their appraisals and their attention for emotional events. Some appraisals include "blameworthiness", "arbitrariness", and "unfairness" of harm (which is relevant because of anger, guilt, and the deserving or not deserving of bad things - and praise in pity, sympathy or envy). So that means that people really care about what happens to them, and they get very emotional about it. Even if they aren't the emotional type, the principals of blaming, being arbitrary, attributing fairness, and feeling guilt, anger, sympathy and envy all apply greatly to people. These things are the cause for major emotional intensity, whether this intensity is obvious or not, it is still always there and would show up in certain ways. In fact, I would say that there is a comprehensive assessment system that people use for everything that occurs, and this assessment is there in a big way, influencing what the emotions people experience are, what their expectations are, what they want the other person to feel and what they think the feelings are its going to result in. That is why I mentioned attention for emotional events, because these processes are going to be so strong they are also therefore going to have a major impact on your attention, even if it is mostly an emotional kind of attention (things your emotions are "paying attention to").

Moods might not seem as intense as those intense emotions that I just described related to appraisals and attention. Moods and someones thought process related to the moods seem like minor things compared to the passionate, intense appraisals and back and forth interpersonal warfare that occurs with people. The emotions are deep and powerful, and thought with light moods would be the opposite.

But moods are hardly ever "light" - people feel strongly about specific things, which would cause strong specific emotions, but they can also feel strongly in a more general sort of way, which would be their mood. The specific feelings you have can be strong and short lived, but these all add up to what your mood is most of the time. When you are just hanging around, your emotions contributed to what you are feeling at that moment. You probably had a large number of possibly very strong emotions recently, all these contributed to a few feelings you have currently that you can feel. For instance if you feel relaxed, it is possible that the other emotions you experienced throughout the day contributed to this relaxed feeling you are currently experiencing.

Does this mean that someone is always in at least one of the moods from the HUMAINE classification (the negative and forceful, positive and lively, etc groupings)? How could someone describe their mood at any one moment? Is it necessary to do an analysis of what occurred in your life recently in order to figure out what you are currently feeling? I would think that clearly doing such an analysis would help. I wouldn't think that if you thought a lot more about how you were feeling you would understand less well what you were feeling, though I suppose that is possible.

4The Psychology Of Emotions, Feelings and Thoughts*

This book makes the statement that thought, action and feeling can occur in any order, it also puts forth the idea that life is divided into three groups, emotion, thinking, and feeling. These three groups make humans feel in certain ways, thinking, physical stimulus, and emotion all contribute to feeling. But what is the difference between a thought, an emotion, and a feeling? Is there an overlap between the three? Probably, since any emotion can be broken down into the sensations and real events that caused it, and these events all lead to emotions, feelings and thoughts. So emotions, feelings and thoughts all might have the same source, they are just expressed differently in the mind. Where do your emotions, feelings and thoughts rate on a scale of clarity? Where do they rate on a scale of focus and attention? How does understanding the psychology of ones emotions, feelings and thoughts lead to a long term increased consciousness?

This book makes the statement that thought, action and feeling can occur in any order. "Action turned into feeling, which caused you to think and therefore turned into thought. Thought, action (your action or external action) and feeling can occur in any order."

A much shorter emotion and cognition article of mine is also online in another module - How does Cognition Influence Emotion?

Emotion and Logic

Some things in life cause people to feel, these are called emotional reactions. Some things in life cause people to think, these are sometimes called logical or intellectual reactions. Thus life is divided between things that make you feel and things that make you think. The question is, if someone is feeling, does that mean that they are thinking less? It probably does. If part of your brain is being occupied by feeling, then it makes sense that you have less capacity for thought. That is obvious if you take emotional extremes, such as crying, where people can barely think at all. This does not mean that emotional people are not intelligent; it just means that they might be dumber during the times in which they are emotional. Emotion goes on and off for everyone, sometimes people cry, and sometimes they are completely serious.

Some things in life can identifiably cause more emotion than other things.

1. Color causes more emotion than black and white. So anything with more color in it is going to be more emotional to look at, whether it is the difference between a gold or silver sword, or a gold or silver computer. In both cases the gold is going to be more emotional.

2. Things that are personal are emotional, personal things that people like and that they feel are “close” to them. Things like home or anything someone likes actually. That is a definition of emotion after all, something that causes feeling. So if you like it, it is probably going to cause more feeling. Other things aside from liking something could cause emotions from it, such as curiosity, but usually like is one of the stronger emotions. You could say that the two are directly proportional, the more you like something, the more it is going to cause feeling.

But there are things that people like that cause thought. You could like something and it causes you to think, and we previously defined emotion as feeling, not thought. That thoughts are separate from emotions because thought is a period of thinking. What exactly is thinking then? You can think about emotions, “how did I feel then?” etc. So is thought just a period of increased attention? Or is it a sharp spike in attention focused on one particular thing that is clear? It is hard to focus that much if you are feeling a lot, however. This makes me conclude that there is an overlap of feeling and thought, like a Venn diagram. But there are still parts of thought that don’t have feeling or emotion in them, and parts of emotion that don’t have thought in them. That means that thought requires more concentration than feeling does, since we defined thought as a period of increased attention. You can be emotional and have more attention, but usually if you are emotional you are going to be less attentive than you would be if you were thinking more. Then again, if you are emotional you are being attentive to your emotions, whatever they may be, and if your emotions are on something like the sun, then when you see the sun you are going to be attentive to it, but not be thinking about it. So you can pay attention to something and not be thinking about it at the same time. But you aren’t going to be paying attention to anything else. It seems that thought is more attention than emotion, however. If you try to “feel” your computer you still don’t give it as much attention as if you were thinking about your computer. Then again, it depends what you are thinking about your computer, if you are thinking that your computer sucks, you are going to give it less attention than thinking that it is great. It also depends what your feelings are about that computer. If you feel that the computer is good, then you are going to give it more attention than if you feel that it is bad (possibly). The thoughts and the feelings correspond, however. That is, if you are thinking it is bad, then you are going to feel that it is bad. Thus thought and feeling are really one and the same. But thoughts are really clearer than feelings. Thought and feeling may result in the same amount of attention to something, but thought is more precise. It is more precise for you to think that the computer is good, then to feel that the computer is good. Who knows why you feel the computer is good, but if you were thinking the computer is good then you would know why you thought that. Emotions and feelings are more obscure.

So, the more you like something (or hate something, or have any strong emotional reaction to anything), the more emotional it is, but that doesn’t mean that it might not also cause you to think about it. One can’t label everything in life as either emotion or thought however. Life isn’t a scale with emotion on one end and thought on the other. There are other factors involved, things like adrenaline and physical action, which might also cause increased attention that isn’t either emotional or thoughtful. When you’re running you have a lot of attention on the fact that you are running, and you’re not thinking about it or being emotional about it. This means that just because you like something, doesn’t mean that it is emotional. You might like running, but it doesn’t cause emotions in you. What does emotion mean then? Emotions must be thoughts that you can’t identify, when you feel something, it must be that you are thinking about something unconsciously. You just have no idea what it is, usually. Emotions and feelings are thoughts then. By that I mean that they can be broken down into parts and figured out what those parts are. And thoughts are just really parts that you can identify. So the difference between emotions, feelings and thoughts is that you know what thoughts are about, but you don’t have as good an idea of what emotions and feelings are, as they are more obscure and harder to identify.

Thus once you find out what is causing the emotion, it is no longer an emotion, but it is a thought (that is, you now call the emotion a thought, so the thought is still probably generating emotion. In your mind then there is still an emotion, but this emotion is now “part” of a thought, it becomes part of the thought associated with it because you created this link, and hence you would call the emotion/thought just a thought because while thoughts can generate emotions, emotions cannot generate thoughts (by themselves), unless you realize what the emotion is (then you are generating the thought, not the emotion generating it), but you are realizing it is a thought, not an emotion: so this realization takes over and now the emotion is part of that realization (because you consider the emotion a part of you, and you generated the realization), instead of the realization being a part of the emotion (and since it seems like the emotion belongs to the realization (you), instead of vice versa, you call it a thought instead of an emotion, because you generated the thought (and hence it also seems that you are now consciously also generating the emotion (the emotion coming from the thought))). So that would mean that all emotions have route in real things, and these real things can be explained with thoughts, so all emotions then are really thoughts that you haven’t realized; an emotion would just be a thought that you haven’t identified yet, so the term “emotion” goes away when you realize it is a thought (because that is what it really was all along, a thought) (though this thought might still be generating a feeling). So, since you perceive the emotion as belonging to you, and you generate thoughts consciously, you consider the emotion to be part of a thought, not vice versa (and hence call identified emotions “thoughts”). So when you identify an emotion, it is a thought because thoughts can generate emotions, so if the emotion is still there after you identified it you would say it falls under the category “thought”, because the thought is making it. You might be lazy however and not want to spend time thinking, which are what emotions are for. “Ah that gold sword is pretty” might be the emotion, but to your conscious mind you would have no idea that you like the sword because it is pretty, you might just know that you like the sword and it is making you emotional about it. Therefore, emotional things are really any feelings that cause unconscious or conscious thought. Feeling is also another word for unconscious thought. That then leads to the conclusion that thought can be emotional (because thoughts are going to be about things that can cause emotion). I think that emotions can be more emotional than thought, however, because emotions can contain more than one thought (while thoughts are very slow consciously), therefore causing it to cause more feeling, or be more emotional. While you can only express a few thoughts a minute, your emotions can contain endless numbers of thoughts per minute – they are not as exact and hence don’t make as much sense as thoughts do.

So thought is just a lot of attention on one little thing. And emotion is attention on lots of individual things, or possibly one thing. So things that are emotional are things that cause you to think, consciously or unconsciously. And therefore they would cause you to feel, consciously or unconsciously. So the more you like something you can’t consciously identify as to why you like it, the more emotional it is, and the more you like something where you can consciously identify what it is, the more conscious thought it is going to cause, and the more logical that thing is going to be. Emotion is just unconscious thought.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • “Emotion goes on and off for everyone” – this statement shows how there are degrees to which someone can be focused on and feel thought, and degrees to which someone can be focused on and feel feeling. That then also explains the next statement in the chapter “some things in life can identifiably more emotion than other things”.

  • Since there are parts of emotion that don’t have thought (assuming that emotion and thought overlap – but that is a logical assumption because thoughts generate feelings and are therefore less independent) then emotion (especially emotion without any thought) is going to need less focus or concentration, because emotion is a more pleasurable experience, but thought is one where concentration is usually used.

  • Emotions can direct and control thoughts – if you are feeling that your computer is bad, then you might then give it less or more attention, and conscious attention is a function of thought because you need to think to start to focus on something. Or when you notice something you noticing it is a conscious experience because you “notice” it and thoughts are things which you are aware of which would then contribute to consciousness.

  • Next mentioned is how emotions and feelings are just harder to identify then thoughts, and that therefore emotions and feelings are really thoughts themselves, or vice versa. If all thought is really emotion, and all emotion really thought, then all intelligence could vary and be dependent on emotions. This is further evidenced by the statement “thus once you find out what is causing the emotion it is no longer an emotion, but it is a thought”. That shows how an emotion is a thought that you just aren’t identifying. It is just a matter of definition of the terms. Thought is concrete things which are real in the world, and emotion is something that you feel but can’t visualize. So therefore intelligence is just the ability to do things which are real, versus feeling something, which isn’t as “real” as thoughts are.

An explanation for this chapter:

This chapter basically described the difference between thoughts and feeling (or emotion). Thoughts are things that you are conscious of, when you have a thought, you know you have it because it is your thought. Unless you aren't aware of the thought you are having (which would make it an unconscious thought), then the thought is something that is clear to you, it is usually a sentence, though you might not be thinking of it as a sentence. You might know you want to do something, but you might not express it very clearly to yourself. When someone has a clear thought, they know what it is. You can want to do things and be thinking things all the time, some of the thoughts are going to be more clear than others.

Emotion, on the other hand, isn't clear like clear thoughts. When you experience an emotion, you might not know you are experiencing it at all, and it is certainly a lot more complicated than a sentence, which could be your typical thought. Emotion could be described with a lot of thoughts, and this probably occurs in humans all the time. People have complicated emotions, and these emotions would give rise to thoughts that people are aware of (a conscious, clear thought such as a sentence in your head), and thoughts that people are less aware of, (for instance you are doing something but you didn't fully realize that you were going to or are doing it.

Some Points on Emotion Theory

  • There are two types of observations in emotion theory, one type is general common observations (such as sex is good for someones emotional health) and the other type is functional observations (when an emotion stops at one second and another one takes its place, what is happening there, what are the emotions, why do they stop and start, etc (for example, if someone thinks a happy thought it might stop the negative thought completely) also, what are the degrees to which the emotion or thought is felt, is it completely gone etc.

  • Emotions stop and start all the time, this stopping and starting might occur as sudden transitions or slow transitions, one emotion gradually fading into the other. That is not a complete explanation for how emotion functions, however. Humans would probably have several emotions occurring at one time, each emotion interacting with one or more other emotions and potentially causing them to stop, start, fade or increase.

  • For instance, the emotions hate, love, painful emotions, sexual emotions, hopeful emotions, and humorous emotions are probably all constantly interacting with each other and being felt to some degree all the time. Those are only a few of the emotions/feelings that are probably felt a lot everyday.

  • There are going to be observable patterns that occur with those emotions, for instance pleasure might relieve pain and make painful feeling go away.

  • Life is intense and ongoing, so therefore intense emotion is probably maintained in humans all the time. These emotions might stop and start, someone could go from brief periods of intensity to periods of low intensity, but the point is there is that intensity that is felt and the continuous flow of emotional processing is ongoing.

  • There are different emotional states that can change your outlook on life or how you might respond to a situation. Fear, anger, kindness and admiration are all emotional states that change how you might respond to events. You can also be in a state of readiness for certain emotions, you could be prepared to experience pain or pleasure or be in one of those states.

  • Emotions are experienced consciously and unconsciously, the extent to which someone clearly feels an emotion is the extent to which it is conscious. If an emotion is being experienced but isn't under the awareness of the person experiencing it, by definition it is mostly an unconscious emotion because they are not conscious of it. Someone can experience a large emotion but that doesn't necessarily mean that the emotion is going to be completely under the awareness of the person experiencing it. They might describe the emotion as feeling like it is very large, but they might not be in touch with it (making it mostly unconscious). It is in this world of "seemingly larger emotions" that emotional processing takes place. Unconsciously there are many more emotions experienced than you are completely aware of that are being experienced. Therefor it is there, in the unconscious mind, that emotions interact in great depth and complexity, barely being felt consciously at times and with the person possibly only slightly aware that something emotional might be going on (unconsciously).

  • Emotion is experienced differently for each person. An emotion evokes a certain emotional response in a person because that person is who they are, however we all share the same world and there are going to be significant psychological things in it that are generally considered to be significant by most people, such as death or love. Any individual has peculiarities and specifics about what might trigger a large emotional response, it wouldn't necessarily just be something that they "like a lot" but mostly things they consciously or unconsciously find to be significant.

  • When emotion can stop and start, and there can be periods of intensity and low-intensity, it makes one wonder just how many different emotional states there are. For every mood in a social situation you could say is an emotional state. If there is a certain mood present, then the people are going to be feeling certain things and responding in a way that is correspondent to that mood. But that is just social moods, there are many other ways people's emotional state can change, if you are working on something you enjoy working on you could be in a certain emotional state for that.

  • An emotional state implies a certain set of feelings that come up with a certain activity or under certain circumstances.

  • An important observation to note in emotion theory is that pain can stop the current flow of emotion or feeling and alert the person. Pain and anxiety are different from the other emotions because they are unpleasant. How often is an emotion like hope or fun tainted by the emotion of pain? Is fun even an emotion or is it an emotional state? Fun would imply that you are experiencing a set of emotions that makes that circumstance fun, joy is an emotion, "fun" is more of an emotional state.

  • The flow of someone's feelings can stop suddenly, for instance, say you are relaxing in bed after waking up, then your alarm clock goes off - you went from feeling happy, relaxed emotions to those suddenly ending. Emotions and feelings stop and start like this all the time. In a conversation, for example, someone could be happy and the other person could show or adopt a negative expression and that could suddenly end the other persons happiness. There are many emotions someone could adopt in a conversation such as shyness, or an emotion expressing a thought or an idea, and these emotions could influence (or start and stop) emotions that the other person is experiencing. It should be clear that the many emotions someone experiences throughout the day changes all the time, stops, starts, transitions, and changes in complicated ways all the time. These changes may or may not be observed, however if you pay attention to these feelings and their behavior you could certainly notice a lot more.

  • Emotion can motivate thought. People go into different states or 'modes' where they are driven to think a certain type of thought or do a certain type of behavior. When someone enters a different mode, such as a pleasure seeking mode, that mode in particular is motivated by emotion. It is clear that with pleasure someone is feeling more, so you would say that it is motivated by emotion. However, every state someone is in, every different subtle social emotional state or emotional state when someone is doing work is going to have some emotion or set of feelings behind it. But it isn't just a set of feelings, the feeling is unique each time, and this uniqueness communicates certain information that is also unique. The feeling tells you what you like and what you don't like, that would probably be the primary emotions (pleasure and pain). But each other emotion communicates something - if you feel guilty you know what that feeling means, maybe that feeling in combination with other feelings is communicating something different or unique based upon the set of feelings it is and what it means in that context.

  • Therefore someone could enter into a mode such as an abusive mode, where, emotionally, they are being abusive. It makes sense that since this is a mode, it takes a reasonable period of time to experience. It isn't an expression or a gesture, which takes a couple of seconds, but a mode like this my guess would be at least a few minutes long. Another mode could be a humorous mode. Maybe that is clear by the person being observed as being amused - but maybe emotionally they are amused for a certain period of time before and after your observation of them being that way.

  • That isn't to say that someone couldn't experience amused feelings for a few seconds. Clearly when someone laughs the feelings mostly only last for the period of the laughter. But they would probably still be amused for a period afterwards. You just laughed - and you become happy or amused for a short period after that. My point about the modes is that there are certain powerful sets of feelings that last for a while - like a pleasure seeking set of feelings. That is different from laughter or amusement, this is a strong specific mode that brings up a set of feelings for someone. Maybe someone else has a different sort of mode - maybe they have a strong mode where they feel guilty, and they have a unique set of feelings and thoughts that are with this mode.

  • Some of these modes might be a reflective mode, where you are in period that is reminiscent of the activity you were just doing. Other modes might be powerful ones, abusive ones, submissive or dominant ones, calm ones. It is as if someone gets in a 'mood' for these modes. Moods are more quiet however, and there are only a few moods that people recognize. However, there could be many different unique moods as well. What then is the difference between a mood and a mode? In a mood you have different emotions, maybe someone gets in an abusive mood. That would be like getting in an abusive mode. I think it is just a matter of how strong the mood or mode is. Moods are probably less strong than modes, and modes are also ways of acting, not just ways of feeling. In a mode the emotions are so strong that they influence your behavior - the emotion motivates thought.

  • One emotion can lead or transition into another emotion. For instance, someone can rage, then become angry instead of being in a rage over a certain thing, and then the emotion could die to down to the person just being hateful at whatever the cause is. That is similar to if someone is punched, they might be at first angry, then upset, and then depressed or sad. Anger can lead to hate, or 'being upset' - and then after that the emotion might transition into sadness or whatever might follow someone being hateful. Maybe the lesser emotion of hate is bitterness. So they would go from being hateful to being bitter. Or maybe if someone is talking to them positively, they could go from being hateful to being happy or optimistic.

An explanation for this chapter:

An emotional state is a very complicated thing. If someone knew completely their emotional state, they would know everything they were feeling right then. Then they wouldn't really have any "unconscious" emotions, because they would be perfectly conscious of what they were feeling. But then again, it is impossible to feel the full force of all your feelings at once, so it is not possible to be completely conscious of all your feelings. Your unconscious feelings must be dimmed down, or only large in a way that isn't completely conscious. Like you know you have a large emotion, but aren't in touch with it.

Emotional states are complicated, it would be easy to say, "my emotional state right now is really messed up" because that is what emotional states are like, people have several emotions they are experiencing all the time, it is just hard to identify that this is occurring because I would say that people can only identify when they have a large, clear emotion that they can understand.


Anything that is said or done is possibly followed by a long series of unconscious thoughts and thought processes.

What is the difference between emotion, feeling, thought, logic, and intelligence? Use of any of them requires a lot of attention. Even when you are feeling something emotional your attention is directed toward that thing. The answer is that everything in life eventually results in a feeling. Even emotion results in a feeling. Emotion is unconscious thoughts about things, and thoughts are conscious thoughts about things. Thought results in feelings, so unconscious thought (emotion) is also going to result in feelings.

If you think about it that way, thought and emotion are both in part feelings, that is, to some extent you feel them right away, in addition to them resulting in feelings later on. But that still means that feelings are always the end result. Then again, thoughts might be the result of current thoughts. That is like emotion, unconscious emotional thoughts are going to result in unconscious emotional thoughts later on. Even feelings could be called unconscious thoughts, because thought is just focusing on one thing for a brief period of time.

Therefore emotion, thought and feeling are really just periods of focus on certain things. With thought you just recognize what it is that you are focusing on. With emotions you feel deeply about what you are focusing on, and with feelings you are focusing on it less. Physical stimulus also results in feelings, and then you focus on those feelings, you aren’t necessarily focused on what caused the feelings (the physical stimulus itself) however.

Thus life is really just different types of feelings; you could categorize all of life as feeling. Even when you think you are in a period when you’re not feeling anything, you really are feeling something; you just don’t recognize what it is that you are feeling. Remember that feelings are thoughts you can’t identify. And since a thought is going to be about something, another way to think about life is just stuff happening. Stuff happening results in feelings in your brain, where more stuff happens. It is all-concrete.

The definition of intellect and thoughts is almost understanding (those concrete things). Emotion is feeling, completely separate from facts or information. All facts and information are going to be about things that cause feeling, however, since all things that happen cause feelings and all facts and information are about things that happen. So facts and information are just feelings organized in a logical manner. Intellect and thought also generates feelings when those thoughts are processed in your mind. Since thought is really only about feelings, it is logical that thought actually has root in feelings. For example, all events are really feelings in the mind, so thoughts are actually just comparing feelings. You take two feelings and can arrive at one thought. Take the feeling of a frog moving and the feeling of a threat of danger. The two feelings combined equal the idea or thought that the frog needs to move when there is danger – the thought is actually just understanding how feelings interact. All thought is is the understanding of how feelings and real events interact with themselves. Feeling is what provides the motivation to arrive at the answer (the thought). If you just had the facts, there is a threat, and the frog can jump, you aren’t going to arrive at the conclusion that the frog should jump away. You need to take the feeling that there is a threat and the feeling that the frog can jump and then combine the two sensory images in your head to arrive at the answer.

That shows how all intellect is powered and motivated by emotion. It also shows that frogs have thoughts; the frog has to have the thought to jump away when it sees a threat, as a thought is just the combination of two feelings resulting in the resulting feeling of wanting to move away. That process of feelings is like a thought process. Thoughts are a little different for humans, however, because humans have such a large memory that they are able to compare this experience to all the other experiences in their life while the frog only remembers the current situation and is programmed (brain wiring) to jump away. The frog doesn’t have a large enough memory to learn from new information and change its behavior. That shows how humans are very similar to frogs in how they process data (in one way at least), and that one thing that separates a human from a frog is a larger memory which can store lots of useful information and potential behavioral patterns.

Thoughts, especially in humans, are not that independent – they can be much more complicated and it can appear to be that nothing is as it seems. If someone says to you, “I know x”. He isn’t just saying that he knows x, but there is a chain of other thoughts that also occur in your mind. You analyze the statement he made and it causes you to think automatically, “Do I know x too?” “Why does he think I care that he knows x?” “Is there anything else about x that is significant that I am missing?” “What if this other person is smarter than me?” that doesn’t lead to a feeling of being dumb (it might), instead it leads to another concrete thing “maybe I am stupid” or the thought “maybe that person is stupid” interacting with the thought “because that thing he said was wrong”. So one simple thought for a human can mean much much more than that one thought. That example shows another way in which humans are different from frogs – they are capable of more simultaneous thoughts. It is also the memory working hand in hand with that capacity of simultaneous thought as well, if you had no memory then you wouldn’t have information to compare and bring up those simultaneous thoughts.

They can all be moving at the same time as well, not only does one thought follow another; but it occurs instantaneously. If the thing the person said was something you didn’t know, it might make you feel stupid, thus the thought results in a feeling. But that feeling can be translated to a thought. So it isn’t the feeling, “I am stupid” it is the thought “I am stupid”. Feeling stupid might make you feel bad, but it isn’t just that you are feeling bad, you are also thinking over and over “I am stupid” unconsciously, and that is what is making you feel bad. Or you are paying attention to the fact that you are stupid. Thus thought, feeling, and emotion is just paying attention to different things in your head. Concrete things.

It is a little more complicated than that, however. It is going to be a mix of a lot of concrete thoughts interacting with each other, not just the thought “I am stupid” repeated over and over but maybe also a less intense idea of “well I know x and y that that person doesn’t, maybe this was just one event”. So anything that is said or done is possibly followed by a long series of unconscious thoughts and thought processes.

There were two examples of thoughts, one was with the frog and the danger of a threat, and the other was a questioning of ones intellect relative to someone else. The example with the frog was an example of a thought process that was simple, while the example with the person showed how some thought processes can be much more complicated than they appear.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • It is stated first that use of emotion and thought requires attention, and therefore they both cause feelings, and if they both cause feelings then they are going to be similar in nature. Your intellect (or ability to do things which are real) is going to generate feelings just like emotions do.

  • Feelings can result in thoughts – this was shown with the frog example, the frog has the thought “jump” which comes from the feeling of a threat of danger, and the feeling of it’s understanding that it can jump. That shows how thoughts can be encouraged by feelings and mixed in with them.

  • Thought is also powered by feeling in other ways, as when you are nervous that you didn’t understand something, your feelings then cause you to think nervous things like “do I know that too?, does he think I care that he knows that?” Those thoughts are a function of intelligence, because they are causing you to think about real things, which is what intelligence is.

An explanation for this chapter:

This chapter basically outlined that thoughts can cause feelings and real things to happen, and these three things (thought, action, and feeling) can occur in any order. Feelings can cause you to jump, or some other action, and so can thoughts. Thoughts can cause feelings which could cause you to do an action. This means that any feeling, a physical one, a certain emotion, anything, could result in any thought which could cause you to do anything. For frogs, this process seems simple, if it has feelings, they are easy to label such as fear of a person coming near them. For a human, these feelings might be much more complex, involving many more unconscious thoughts and worries or whatnot. A frog isn't going to be worried if its intelligence is insulted, or any number of other possible unconscious thoughts that a person might have. You could still say the frog has thoughts though, since it reaches the conclusion at some point to jump away, and it moves in very complicated patterns. Those patterns of movement for a frog, however, are easy to understand and the same pattern occurs each time you see the frog pretty much. Humans can adapt their behavior with thoughts and make their behavior and thinking much more complex.

I say in this chapter that thought, feeling and emotion is just paying attention to concrete things in your head. If you talk to someone and they make you feel bad, it might be because you are unconsciously thinking they think you are stupid. Or you could say that you are just feeling like they think you are stupid. I guess it doesn't really matter if you say you are thinking they think you are stupid or you are feeling like they think you are stupid. If you are thinking that they are thinking you are stupid it is conscious, you are aware that they might be thinking you are stupid, and this might be making you feel bad. You pay attention to the thought you have of awareness of their thinking about this. You could also pay attention to the emotion of you feeling bad because you are thinking this. Or maybe you could describe what is going on as the other person is thinking you are stupid, and because they are thinking this you feel bad, no matter what you think or want to feel. They could be influencing your emotions by treating you as stupid. Maybe you're thinking unconsciously back to them, no actually i'm really smart. Maybe that is what you are thinking, but you could still feel bad about it. The point is, the difference between saying you have an unconscious thought and you have an emotion is just how much attention you are paying to each one. You are probably going to be paying more attention to it if it is an unconscious thought because that is what thoughts are, something you think and are aware of. You think you are smart, so unconsciously you are thinking that they shouldn't be thinking you are stupid. Maybe you thinking that unconsciously determines how you feel, so you don't feel bad because they think you're stupid because you know and are thinking that you're actually smart. So when someone treats you as stupid, you could in response a) feel that they are wrong, or b) be thinking that they are wrong. Those are two types of responses to things, you could respond with thoughts, or respond with feelings. If someone is mean to you, and you feel good in response, maybe it is because you are just a happy person, or maybe it is because you are "really" thinking they are stupid and ignoring them. However you want to label what is going on by saying you are feeling something or you are thinking something, you are ultimately just paying attention to your emotions or their emotions or what ever it is you are paying attention to, you don't have to think about it with words necessarily. If you are paying attention to your emotions or what you are thinking or what they are thinking or feeling, you could notice a lot. There could also be a lot going on that you don't know about because you can feel emotions for a lot of reasons you aren't aware of. Emotion is unconscious thought.

So what is the difference between someone thinking something and someone feeling something? You can feel bad, or you could think negative things about yourself that make you feel bad. When someone thinks, they are aware of what they are doing and what they are thinking about. When someone feels an emotion, they might not be aware of it or know how it was generated. What is an unconscious thought then? If thoughts are something you know you are thinking and are paying attention to, then how could you not be aware of them? A thought is something you are thinking, you know you are thinking it. You don't always (or maybe even never) know if you are experiencing an emotion, on the other hand. Emotion is unconscious thought because emotion is just you feeling something about something, so you could express it as a thought. "I feel bad because they treated me like I was stupid", could be the unconscious thought, and the emotion would be, "I feel bad because they treated me like I was stupid". They are exactly the same. If you are aware of what an emotion is, then it is a thought because you think about what the emotion is. It is also an emotion, because you are feeling it, but when you realize what caused the emotion or think about the emotion in your head, it is a thought because you are thinking about it (its still an emotion obviously though).

So if someone makes you feel bad, you might think, "this person made me feel bad". Then you would be experiencing the emotion sadness from them making you feel bad, and you would have verbalized that emotion into a thought, "this person made me feel bad". The emotion sadness turned into the thought in your head, "this person made me feel bad". So someone made you feel bad, this made you sad, then you realized you were sad and thought to yourself, "this person made me feel bad". Action turned into feeling, which caused you to think and therefore turned into thought. Thought, action (your action or external action) and feeling can occur in any order.

Emotions and Feelings and the Difference Between Them

Emotion is more similar to conscious thought than feelings are to conscious thought. Although emotion and feeling can be described as unconscious thought, one of them is going to be more similar to conscious thought. Feelings are more like sensations, when you touch something you get a feeling. Therefore feelings are faster than emotions and thought, because when you touch something there is a slight delay before you can think of something about it (thought), or feel something deeply about it (emotion). Emotion is therefore just unconscious thought. Actually it would better be described as unconscious feeling (so a feeling is like a conscious emotion because you can "feel" it better and easier but emotion is a deeper, more unconscious experience similar to unconscious thought, but emotions are also more similar to conscious thought because thought is a deep experience while feelings are intense or shallow, but not deep).

One definition of emotion can be "any strong feeling". From that description many conclusions can be drawn. Basic (or primary) emotions can be made up of secondary emotions like love can contain feelings or emotions of lust, love and longing. Feelings can be described in more detail than emotions because you can have a specific feeling for anything, each feeling is unique and might not have a name. For instance, if you are upset by one person that might have its own feeling because that person upsets you in a certain way. That feeling doesn't have a defined name because it is your personal feeling. The feeling may also be an emotion, say anger. "Upset" is probably too weak to be an emotion, but that doesn't mean that it isn't strong like emotions are strong in certain ways. Cold is also just a feeling. There is a large overlap between how feelings feel and how emotions feel, they are similar in nature. So there are only a few defined emotions, but there are an infinite number ways of feeling things. You can have a "small" emotion of hate and you could say that you have the feeling hate then, if it is large you could say you are being emotional about hate, or are experiencing the emotion hate. You can have the same emotion of hate in different situations, but each time the feeling is going to be at least slightly different.

You can recognize any feeling, that is what makes it a feeling. If you are sad that is a feeling, but if you are depressed that isn’t a feeling it is more like an emotion. You can’t identify why you are depressed but you can usually identify why you are sad. Feelings are more immediate, if something happens or is happening, it is going to result in a feeling. However, if something happened a long time ago, you are going to think about it unconsciously and that is going to bring up unconscious feelings (the reason the things that happened previously are going to be more similar to emotion than things that are happening currently is that sensory stimulation (or things happening currently) is a lot closer to feelings than things that are less linked to direct sensory stimulation (such as emotions which are therefore usually going to be about things which require memory to figure out, things like thoughts that are less like feelings and more like emotion)). So emotions are unconscious feelings that are the result of mostly unconscious thoughts (instead of feelings – a feeling can trigger an emotion, but it isn’t a part of it). Feeling defined there as something you can identify. Also, you can’t identify the unconscious thought that caused the unconscious feeling, but you can identify the unconscious feeling itself (aka emotion).

Another aspect of unconscious thought, emotion, or unconscious feeling (all three are the same) is that it tends to be mixed into the rest of your system because it is unconscious. If it was conscious then it remains as an individual feeling, but in its unconscious form you confuse it with the other emotions and feelings and it affects your entire system. So therefore most of what people are feeling is just a mix of feelings that your mind cannot separate out individually. That is the difference between sadness and a depression, a depression lowers your mood and affects all your feelings and emotions, but sadness is just that individual feeling. So the reason that the depression affects all your other feelings is because you can no longer recognize the individual sad emotions that caused it. The feelings become mixed. If someone can identify the reason they are sad then they become no longer depressed, just sad. Once they forget that that was the reason they are depressed however, they will become depressed again.

That is why an initial event might make someone sad, and then that sadness would later lead into a depression, is because you forget why you originally got sad. You might not consciously forget, but unconsciously you do. That is, it feels like you forget, the desire to get revenge on whatever caused the sadness fades away. When that happens it is like you “forgetting” what caused it. You may also consciously forget but what matters is how much you care about that sadness. It might be that consciously understanding why you are depressed or sad changes how much you care about your sadness, however. That would therefore change the emotion/feeling of sadness. The more you care about the sadness/depression, the more like a feeling it becomes and less like an emotion. That is because the difference between feelings and emotions is that feelings are easier to identify (because you can “feel” them easier).

The following is a good example of the transition from caring about a feeling to not caring about a feeling. Anger as an emotion takes more energy to maintain, so if someone is punched or something, they are only likely to be mad for a brief period of time, but the sadness that it incurred might last for a much longer time. That sadness is only going to be recognizable to the person punched for a brief period of time as attributable to the person who did the punching, after that the sadness would sink into their system like a miniature depression. Affecting the other parts of their system like a depression.

In review, both feelings and emotions are composed of unconscious thoughts, but feelings are easier to identify than emotions. Feelings are faster than emotions in terms of response (the response time of the feeling, how fast it responds to real world stimulation) and it takes someone less time to recognize feelings because they are faster. Feelings are closer to sensory stimulation, if you touch something, you feel it and that is a fast reaction. You care about the feeling so you can separate it out in your head from the other feelings. “You care” in that sentence could be translated into, the feeling is intense, so you feel it and can identify it easily. That is different from consciously understanding why you are depressed or sad. You can consciously understand why you are depressed or sad, but that might or might not affect the intensity of that sadness.

If the intensity of the sadness is brought up enough, then you can feel that sadness and it isn’t like a depression anymore, it is more like an individual feeling than something that affects your mood and brings your system down (aka a depression). Also, if you clearly enough understand what the sadness is then it is going to remain a sadness and not affect the rest of your system. That is because the feeling would get mixed in with the other feelings and start affecting them. The period of this more clear understanding of the sadness mostly occurs right after the event that caused the sadness. That is because it is clear to you what it is. Afterwards the sadness might emerge (or translate from a depression, to sadness) occasionally if you think about what caused it or just think about it in general.

The difference between emotion and feeling is that feelings are easier to identify because they are faster, a feeling is something you are feeling right then. An emotion might be a deeper experience because it might affect more of you, but that is only because it is mixed into the rest of your system. That is, a depression affects more of you than just an isolated feeling of sadness. In other words, people can only have a few feelings at a time, but they can have many emotions at the same time. Emotions are mixed in, but to feel something you have to be able to identify what it is, or it is going to be so intense that you would be able to identify what it is. Emotions just feel deeper because it is all your feelings being affected at once.

Since emotion is all your feelings being affected at once, emotions are stronger than feelings. Feelings however are a more directed focus. When you feel something you can always identify what that one thing is. When you have an emotion, the emotion is more distant, but stronger. All your feelings must feel a certain way about whatever is causing the emotion. So that one thing is affecting your entire system. Feelings can then be defined as immediate unconscious thought, and emotions as unconscious thought.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • When you care about an emotion, you could say that you have a higher attention for emotion or that emotional event during that time. You are probably going to be in a higher state of action readiness, that is, you are probably more alert and going to be able to respond faster to whatever it is you are focusing on, or just respond faster in general. You also are going to have a better understanding of the emotion if you care about it more - you make an assessment of the emotions strength and its nature when you think about the emotion (or the event that generated the emotion).

  • Feelings are more direct than emotions and thought because they are more sensory – when you touch something you get a feeling. That shows further how emotions are really about things in the real world, only it more like you are thinking about them instead of feeling them in real time. Things that come from memory are going to be emotions and/or thoughts, not feelings because feelings are things which are more tangible, those memories might result in new feelings, but the memories themselves are not feelings because they are just thoughts. That shows how you can feel some things more than others, that thought and feeling are indeed separate and intelligence is sometimes driven by feelings and emotions, and sometimes it isn’t. You can think about things and not have feelings guiding those thoughts Or your feelings could be assisting your thoughts.

  • If you care about a feeling then it becomes easier to identify it – that shows how your feelings can help you to identify other feelings, so your emotions contribute to your emotional intelligence.

  • If a certain emotion is larger than others then to your intellect it is going to be easier to recognize, and easier to think about (that is why a depression feels like it does, because you don’t know the individual emotions contributing to it so you cannot feel a specific emotion of sadness from it.

An explanation for this chapter:

So feelings are easier to "feel" than emotions, that is probably why they are called feelings, because you "feel" them better. Maybe someone else thinks you can feel emotions easier, I don't know, the point is you can feel emotions and feelings with different levels of intensity and in more than one way, a feeling could be not intense but clear to you. So how conscious you are of the feeling or emotion influences the intensity of it and your conscious experience of it. A feeling could be more intense than en emotion if it is the only thing you are feeling as well. That makes sense, if an emotion is very complicated, then you probably couldn't feel the entire thing as clearly in a brief period of time. So my theory is that feelings are more simple, and therefore there are more shallow but possibly more intense than emotion because you can focus on a simple thing easier.

If you are having a deep emotional experience (experiencing an emotion) then it makes sense that you aren't as in touch with all of those feelings that are occurring. When you touch something you get the feeling "cold" - that is simple to understand. When you are in a depression you don't understand all the complicated emotions that you are experiencing. You could experience sadness all day. When you can say "oh, I really "felt" that", then you know you feel it and it is a feeling. When you feel something, it is a feeling. When you are emotional about something, those are feelings too, but it is more powerful and deeper, you aren't as in touch will all of it because it is more complex. You could be in touch with something complex and feel that too, I guess. Though I would argue that a feeling is easier to focus on if it is simple and clear to understand and feel to your conscious mind.

The significance of this chapter:

If someone is emotional, then they are feeling a lot. I could say that the emotions someone is experiencing could be brought up at different times and felt more - translated from somewhere in your strong emotions to something you feel more closely. So you can feel some things but that doesn't mean that the feeling is intense or clear - those things might become clear however at some point.

When those emotions become clear and you 'bring them up' - either by caring about the emotion or the thought that represents it or it just emerges by some other method (such as by doing an evaluation of your emotional state) - then they become feelings because you can feel them easier. These feelings are more clear, similar to when you touch something you get a feeling that is simple and tactile. That is why feelings are called the result of emotions, because emotions are like the basis for feelings (at least non-tactile ones). You might have a feeling that has a shallow source however as well I would say. It doesn't have to be that a feeling is first felt deeply, and then you feel it more clearly later on (the feeling being the result of an emotion). Maybe the feeling is simple at first and then it becomes more complex later.

What role does attention have to play? Being emotional or feeling something can make you pay more or less attention to things, including other feelings. Your attention can naturally rise just because of your emotional state.

People feel emotions, and they can feel feelings. Emotions are strong and the powerful source of human behavior, and while feelings are also powerful they are also diverse, curious, and unique - 'old feelings returning'.

How to Change Emotions and Feelings

An appraisal is when you assess something. People make appraisals or assessments of emotion all of the time, however they aren't aware most of the time that they are doing this. How much someone cares about an emotional stimulus is something that is probably thought about frequently during the experience. If you think about it people frequently are going to naturally analyze what is going on in every situation they are in and think about what the emotions occurring are.

I said in the previous paragraph that people make appraisals of emotional things but they aren't aware of themselves doing that. How is that possible or what does that mean exactly? If people care about emotion, which they clearly do, then they are going to want to know what is going on in the situations they encounter in life. So clearly people make assessments of how much emotion the things around them are generating, the only question is can they do this in a a way that is beneath their awareness.

People surely must make assessments since they often work on inducing or inhibiting feelings in order to make them "appropriate" to a situation. If you are going to be changing feeling, then obviously you are going to need to measure and assess it first. Sometimes people think this process through consciously, and sometimes they don't.

It makes sense to me that people are going to "know" how valuable certain things in their environment are. This is clear when you realize that people focus on some things very quickly - such a thing would clearly be something of interest to that person or something that generates emotion - which would make it interesting.

So you could say that a person whose attention gets alerted to something around them made an assessment about the stimulus or responded to it, the stimulus (the thing in their environment they paid sharp attention to) was clearly emotional for them. It could have generated any feeling - disgust, surprise, happiness, - or maybe an intellectual reaction such as 'that person has a bright coat'.

Does that mean that the person assessed if the bright coat generated emotion for them? What would it mean if it generated emotion? Could they respond in a fast way without being interested? Someone could respond quickly to something and not be in a mood that is very caring at that time, in which case maybe little emotion was involved. However if someone was interested in something then it makes sense that it is going to cause them to have feelings.

Is something someone is interested in going to cause them to have deep emotions or shallow feelings? What types of stimuli result in deep or shallow feelings? Just because something generates more emotion for you doesn't necessarily mean that it is going to cause you to respond to it faster or you would be more interested in it. Maybe your interest is more intellectual or maybe you are interested or responding to it quickly because you have to.

Under what circumstances do people care more about feelings? This relates to appraisals - if you care about something then you are going to make more assessments during the experience about how much emotion is being generated probably. People can care more about feelings but that doesn't mean that they are aware that they care more during that time. This is similar to people going into modes where they are seeking pleasure. My theory here is that people have levels of desire and need that fluctuate constantly.

This means that there are many different levels someone can experience an emotion or feeling. It is more complicated than simply saying that the feeling has a certain strength - each feeling or emotion is going to have a unique nature, represent unique ideas and objects, and have a unique significance on your psyche.

Maybe you can say that there are shallow feelings and deep emotions, and that there are certain properties that shallow feelings have and certain properties that deep feelings have. For instance you probably care more about deep feelings (unless the feeling is negative) and therefore they probably cause you to have a faster reaction time. However if the feeling is deep, sappy, and emotional then maybe your reaction time is slower because the emotion is weighing you down.

This relates to the 'emotions and feelings and the difference between them' section above because I am outlining further that deep feelings/emotions or shallow feelings/emotions are different and things happen to humans differently with each one. It shows that clearly emotion can make someone be different physically, as when you are motivated by emotion you often move faster.

This is just bringing up ideas of depth - some feelings are simple and some are complex - that is obvious, however I think people could notice a lot more if they grouped their emotions into a categories of strength and shallowness or depth and how they responded differently to each different category. - Also the person should note what the interest was, the reaction time, the negative or positive valence of the emotion.

Goffman suggests that we spend a good deal of effort on managing impressions - that is, acting. Your impression of other people makes you feel in different ways, and you try to manage this in a social situation. So therefore all of your strong feelings you try to influence by thinking about what caused those feelings - such as your impressions - and how you can change them.

So people are basically "emotion-managers", constantly thinking about their feelings and what caused them and how they can change them. Whenever you change an impression of someone, you are also changing your feelings. When you think about your own feelings you are changing them because you are changing how much you care about them. You set goals for yourself about your own feelings - 'if I do this I am going to become happy'.

When you think about your feelings you can make insignificant feelings large or large feelings small. When a feeling is small, you could say that it is more unconscious or beneath your awareness. Something (including yourself) could trigger this small feeling and it could emerge into something you feel more closely and more consciously.

So the question is, what circumstances and what type of thinking warrant that feeling of 'that sort'.

We assess the 'appropriateness' of a feeling by making a comparison between the feeling and the situation. We also have goals for how we want to feel that we don't know we are thinking, and we have goals for how we want to act as well. Is there a 'natural attitude' or a natural way of behaving and thinking? Not really - especially when you consider that you are unconsciously constantly creating goals, drives, thoughts and behaviors that are not fully under your control.

  • In secondary reactive emotions, the person reacts against his or her initial primary adaptive emotion, so that it is replaced with a secondary emotion. This "reaction to the reaction" obscures or transforms the original emotion and leads to actions that are not entirely appropriate to the current situation. For example, a man that encounters danger and begins to feel fear may feel that fear is not "manly." He may then either become angry at the danger (externally focused reaction) or angry with himself for being afraid (self-focused reaction), even when the angry behavior actually increases the danger. Listening to this reaction, someone is likely to have the sense that "something else is going on here" or "there's more to this than just anger." The experience is something like hearing two different melodies being played at the same time in a piece of music, one the main melody and the other the background or counterpart.

  • Secondary emotions often arise from attempts to judge and control primary responses.

  • Thus, anxiety may come from trying to avoid feeling angry or sexually excited, or it may arise from guilt about having felt these emotions.

When someone rejects what they are truly feeling, they are likely to feel bad about themselves. Feeling or expressing one emotion to mask the primary emotion is a metaemotional process. Feelings about emotions need to be acknowledged and then explored to get at the underlying primary emotion.

Experiential therapists see clients emotional processing as occurring on a continuum with five phases (Kennedy-Moore + Watson, 1999[91]):

  1. prereflective reaction to an emotion-eliciting stimulus entailing perception of the stimulus, preconscious cognitive and emotional processing, and accompanying physiological changes

  2. conscious awareness and perception of the reaction

  3. labeling and interpretation of the affective response; people typically draw upon internal as well as situational cues to label their responses

  4. evaluation of whether the response is acceptable or not

  5. evaluation of the current context in terms of whether it is possible or desirable to reveal one's feelings.

What role does the emotion 'interest' play in emotional responses? It is a baseline emotion of great importance - the action tendency of interest involves intending, orienting, and exploring. Interest is felt very frequently, probably without being noticed. If you think about it, to some degree interest is going to be present with each reaction to stimuli. With every response someone has, they are interested to some degree. You can look at interest further when you consider secondary emotional responses - what was the interest that came from the response that had some other type of interest?

Through each stage of evaluation of a response, or simple evaluations that aren't a response to things, there is interest involved as well. This 'interest' induces caring, and the interest and caring is going to change your emotions - emotions are going to be brought up, intensified, changed based off of your interest or caring or evaluations. When you think and make evaluations, you change the nature and intensity of the emotions that are related to what you are doing or processing.

Are people going to be more interested in clear, primary emotions or feelings that they aren't in touch with? When someone is interested in a feeling, how is that different from being interested in the source of the feeling? If someone is feeling sad, they might not care about the sadness if the feeling is unclear to them or they don't know they are sad. If someone is going to try to change a feeling of sadness, it clearly would be beneficial if they knew when the feeling is occurring.

Is it possible to experience deep emotions without being aware at all that these emotions are occurring? Yes it is, but there are times when people are conscious of those emotions - say when they are recalling them - that the deep emotions are more clear. There could be a deep emotion that occurs over a long period of time - say anger at someone, this anger could be in your body for a long time, during being the person, or while away from the person; the point is the anger is reflected upon or it occurs more deeply at certain points - and then you are going to be aware of the emotion.

That anger is a significant, primary feeling. The feeling is significant because it shows how large the emotion is that is behind it. People can feel feelings that are shallow or intense at the time, but these feelings don't necessarily mean more than that or are deeper than that because they aren't deep or primary - they don't mean anything else or occur at other times you aren't aware of (indicating that this feeling is significant). The feeling of shallow feelings is still potent (because you are feeling them in real time), but they aren't as powerful as feelings that have a special meaning or significance for you (which would make you feel deeper in real time and feel more effected).

If you think about it, people change their feelings by thinking all of the time. The way they could help manage this is probably by making assessments of their emotional state. If people think about what just made them happy or sad, then they might be able to do something or think something to change that. Some emotional responses are going to be more noticeable, and that is when people might try to figure out what went on.

There are subtleties of emotion as well. People probably respond in many ways that they aren't aware of consciously, but they might have responded because something beneath their notice occurred emotionally. You could say that the emotional world beneath your notice is the "unconscious" mind or the unconscious world.

Your emotions change all of the time, only sometimes are you going to notice when an emotion changes or when you are experiencing one. Furthermore, you might want or expect to experience one emotion but you are actually experiencing a different one because unconsciously that is how you are responding. For instance, maybe you have an unconscious bias against a group of people so you feel hate when you interact with them, but you consciously think that you like those people and feel like you should be happy and positive towards them. A feeling might be important to your unconscious mind, or a feeling might be important to your conscious mind - in which case you would probably 'care' about it.

Your attention is constantly divided between various things in your environment, your own internal thinking and your own emotions. Your emotions are going to determine and assist what you pay attention to. For instance, if something is emotional in your environment for you, then more of your attention is probably going to spent thinking about or focusing on that thing.

Or maybe something in your environment is just more interesting than something else, the point is something in your environment or something in your head (emotions, thoughts) caused an intellectual or emotional reaction in you, and that then caused you to pay more attention to it. That doesn't mean that you notice it more after you pay attention - this type of paying attention might be unconscious - i.e. - more of your attentional resources or just more of the focus that people have (not all of which they are aware of) is going to be directed at it.

Attention and Thought Control

How does the attention process work? Do people who are anxious pay more attention to threatening things in their environment than people who aren't anxious? Do people who are depressed have less motivation and a slower reaction time or do they pay more attention to negative stimuli than positive? There is going to be emotional biases with mental illnesses or each time someone pays attention to something - if someone is experiencing an emotion, than that emotion is going to influence their attention in a certain way. For instance, if someone is experiencing the emotion of 'guilt' then clearly if they see something they feel guilty about they are going to pay attention to it differently (as they would associate and compare the guilt they are feeling with the guilt related to the object they are looking at).

Attention also relates to the thoughts someone experiences - if someone is paying attention to their own thoughts, then they might do things to control their thoughts. Some thoughts are voluntary and people direct or create them consciously, and some are more unconscious and instinctual - thoughts that they have less control over. Wells and Morrison (1994) [92] investigated dimensions of naturally occurring worry and intrusive thoughts in 30 normal subjects. They were asked to keep a diary and record their worries and intrusive thoughts, and they were also asked to rate each thought on the following dimensions:

  1. Degree of verbal thought/imagery involved

  2. Intrusiveness

  3. How realistic the thought was

  4. How involuntary the thought was

  5. How controllable it was

  6. How dismissable it was

  7. How much the thought grabbed attention

  8. Degree of distress associated with the thought

  9. Intensity of compulsion to act on the thought

  10. Degree of resistance to the thought

  11. Degree of success in controlling the thought

Wells and Davies (1994)[93] have attempted to distinguish types of thought control strategy. They interviewed patients with a range of anxiety disorders to determine the types of strategy used to control unpleasant and/or unwanted thoughts. Seven types of strategy emerged from the pilot interviews: cognitive and behavioral distraction; punishment; distancing; re- appraisal; mood changing activites; exposure to the thought; worry about more trivial things. Sometimes people might think that their thoughts are likely to come true, or that their worries are not controllable. "Cognitive and behavioral distraction" probably means distraction by your own internal thinking or distraction by you doing something - such as behaving in a certain way. "Punishment" would mean punishing yourself for having a thought you didn't want, distancing would mean somehow separating yourself from the thought, and re- appraisal would mean thinking of the thought differently or assessing that thought in a different way.

Multiple dimentions of emotional control strategy have been found in other studies. For example Mayer et al. (1991) [94] identified three dimenisons of emotion management distinct from dimensions of mood, labelled "suppression" (including distraction), "thoughts of actions" and "denial".

We can to some extent distinguish worry, intrusive thoughts and negative automatic thoughts on criteria such as intensity, unpleasantness, realism, intrusivenss and controllability, but those things are hard to define. How does someone know when the thought they have is 'intense' or when they thought they have is clear and realistic? If the thought is realistic is it going to be clear? I would think that the more realistic the thought is - tied in with reality - the more clear it would be because it is linked to real information. If you are fantasizing your thoughts are more like in a cloud (for example a dream state). It is also hard to tell if a thought is unpleasant, how is someone supposed to know how positive emotionally one single thought is? That seems too hard to measure. Someone might know how easy it is to control their thoughts or how pleasant their thoughts are for a certain period of time, but not every single thought they experience, or even a single reoccurring thought.

Two categories of appraisal are important in determining emotional experience and influencing subsequent coping efforts: primary and secondary appraisal. Primary appraisal is the process of evaluating the personal meaning and significance for well-being of events, which may be irrelevant, benign-positive or stressful. Stress appraisals may be further subdivided into harm/loss, where the person has sustained physical or psychological damage; threat, where harm/loss is anticipated; and challenge, where successful coping may lead to gains. Secondary appraisal is concerned with what can be done to deal with a situation, and includes reviewing the range of coping options available and their likely success in the situation at hand. A third form of appraisal delineated by Lazarus and Folkman (1984)[95] is reappraisal, which refers to the changes in appraisal which follow as the event unfolds and new information is acquired, including feedback on the success of attempts to cope.

There are a few more things to consider related to appraisals. How does considering the personal meaning of an event change the feeling involved? How does it change your thinking, and subsequently, what you are paying attention to? How does your history or beliefs change how you make that appraisal? Do you make it with a bias or a unique significance to yourself? Whenever someone makes an assessment, that assessment is unique to themself. When someone makes a secondary appraisal, how does that impact their attention different from their primary appraisal? You first assess a situation (primary appraisal), and then you assess what can be done about it (secondary appraisal), however how do those two actions influence your attention and your thinking? Are the primary appraisal and the secondary appraisals separated out by time or by other thoughts (intrusive or voluntary)?

What types of thoughts do you have in between the first appraisal process and the second one? What occurres with your levels of feeling during this process? - i.e., what happens to you emotionally after a strong appraisal or a strong thought? Does that influence your subsequent thoughts and appraisals? How is your attention to external stimuli fluctuating during this process? What sequence does your significant thoughts/appraisals/emotions occur in, and how does that impact your attention? Do you focus on your emotions or your own thoughts when you pause to consider what happened after you had a significant thought or a significant stimulus input (experience).

It appears that anxiety is only positively associated with on-task effort under rather special circumstances, where there is a strong and immediate perceived threat, or, perhaps, where task performance is appriased as instrumental in effecting avoidance or escape (see Eysenck, 1982)[96] That probably means that the decreased performance from anxiety in most other circumstances is a result of people being distracted by the anxiety i.e., scanning their environment for threats or just being distracted by the pain.

Negative mood, which indicates that the environment poses a problem and might be a source of potential dangers, motivates people to change their situation. Negative mood is then thought to be associated with a systematic elaboration of information and greater attention to details. Bodenhausen and colleagues (1994)[97], investigating the impact of negative affect of social judgment, showed that induced sadness promotes the use of an analytic, detail-oriented mode of processing, whereas anger induction leads participants to process information on a shallow or automatic mode. If sadness (negative valence, lower arousal) triggered a type of processing identical to that fostered by the negative mood usually induced, anger (negative valence, higher arousal) fostered the hueristic or global mode of processing commonly associated with positive mood states (e.g., happiness or joy). This last result suggests that mood states of opposite valence may have similar effects as they share the same level of arousal (like happiness and anger). Likewise, it has been suggested that motivational-related approach and avoidance behaviors are independent of valence, leading to evidence that both happiness and anger moods are approach oriented, whereas serenity and sadness are avoidance oriented (when someone is depressed they avoid).

A sad mood experienced at our own wedding or birthday party may result in attempts to improve the mood, thus triggering systematic processessing in order to understand why we are sad in a situation that should normally make us happy. The same motivations are less likely to be aroused when the sad mood is experienced in situations where sadness is socially expected (e.g., at a funeral). According to Martin's model (2001)[98] people not ask merely: "How do I feel about it?" They ask "What does it mean that I am feeling this way in this context?" In other words, people evaluate the targets by taking into consideration both their mood and some features of situation and doing this configurally. Moods are processed in parallel with contextual information in such a way that the meaning of the mood influences and is influenced by the meaning of other information. The meaning of a mood experience can change in different context, and therefore the evaluative and motivational implications of mood are mutable.

To sum up, the informational value of mood lies not so much in the moods themselves as in the interaction between mood and context. Moods provide input for evaluative, decisional and inference-making processes, and these processes determine the effects that one's mood will have on one's evaluations, motivations, and behaviors. This course of reasoning, known as the context- dependent effect of mood, implies that the influence of mood on one's evaluations, motivations, and behaviors depends on the interaction of mood and the situational conditions.

In accordance with the context-dependent effect of mood, one's mood is not synonymous with one's evaluation. Whether a positive or negative mood leads to a favorable or unfavorable evaluation depends on the meaning of one's mood in that context. The question about the meaning of one's mood in different contexts is therefore a crucial one. In order to answer it, the mood as input model relies on the role-fulfillment process (Martin, 2001), also known as the "What would I feel if...?" process. This process can be characterized broadly as follows: when people make evaluations, they act as if they were asking themselves the question "What would I feel if...?: (For example, "what would I feel if the horror movie I just saw was a good horror movie?"). An evaluation is rendered subjectively when the person compares his/her current moods with the expected feelings. Favorable evaluations arise to the extent to which the person's moods (positive or negative) are congruent with what would be expected if the target had fulfilled a positive role (i.e., if this was a good thing I would feel good, I feel good, so I think this positive thing about it). Unfavorable evaluations, in contrast, arise to the extent to which the person's moods are incongruent with what would be expected if the target had fulfilled a negative role (i.e., if this party was bad, it would make me feel bad, however I feel good).

When people make evaluations, they are thinking more about what is going on then when they don't make evaluations. That is why negative mood enhances attention to detail - because it puts you in the state where you are questioning why the event or environment you are in is making you feel bad. Asking how you might feel if something is felt a certain way is a good way of analyzing the situation. If you think about it, asking how something makes you feel is important - people probably constantly evaluate the events they experience for value or what they got from them. Your mood is going to help you to evaluate those things because those events caused you to have that mood. The mood provides the information of what that event or stimulus does to you - how it makes you feel. If people didn't evaluate how an event or stimulus makes them feel, then they wouldn't really be analyzing that input any further than they normally would.

You basically can be put into a state where you are thinking about what the event or stimulus you are evaluating is like. This state is when you are questioning what the feelings the event made in you are like or what you think about the event. It is interesting that someone can simply not think about those things if they wanted. On the other hand, it seems natural for people who experience negative emotions to think more deeply about the source of those emotions. I guess the trouble that the negative emotions causes them forces one to think more deeply.

Emotions are Dulled Feelings

Feelings are more immediate than emotions, they are easier to identify and are “faster”. You can also have only a few feelings at a time but your emotions are possibly composed of many more components. That is, you can have a feeling about a Frisbee, and you can have a feeling about a Frisbee game as well. But if you have emotions about the Frisbee game then in order to get those strong emotions there would have to be many things you are feeling about the Frisbee game.

So one could think of emotions as just more than feelings. Emotions are greater than feelings and therefore they must have more parts in order to cause that greater feeling. Feelings are easy to understand because they are simple, but emotions are harder to understand because they are more complicated. A moody person would be described as emotional because emotion is a component of mood. Emotion is something that affects your entire system like a depression does. A feeling such as sadness is only an individual feeling and can be identified as such.

If something is intense, then it is a feeling, emotions aren’t intense they are deep. They aren’t as intense as feelings but you could call them intense. Feelings are more intense because that is how we define feelings, if you can feel something then it is a feeling because, well, you “feel” it. Emotion is just something that affects you, your mood, how you are, etc. That is why feelings are easier to identify, because they are more intense. Emotions are deeper, however, when someone becomes emotional you can’t just snap out of it instantly, it hangs around in your system. That is why they are probably made up of more parts than feelings are.

The reason feelings are both more intense yet shallower than emotions is probably because your system can only handle so much intensity at a time, so you can only experience shallow things intensely. If you compare it to a river, emotions would have a lot of water and be going slowly, and feelings would have less water, but be going faster. The feeling is therefore going to touch more things in your mind shallowly, and the emotion is going to touch more things in your mind deeply.

Why then do some simple things cause us to become more emotional if emotion is a deeper experience? That is because the feeling must trigger emotions, the simple thing is actually a feeling itself, but it triggers emotions. Like how color can be more emotional than black and white. It is actually that color causes more feeling, and we become emotional then about that feeling. But while you are looking at the color it is a feeling which you are feeling, not an emotion. The feeling made you feel good, however, and that good feeling infects the rest of your feelings and emotions, and then you become emotional.

In fact, all feelings make someone more emotional. The only difference between feeling and emotion is that feeling is the immediate feeling you get from something. It is the thing which you are experiencing currently. Feeling is another word for current stimulation. You can only feel something that you are either thinking about or experiencing. Otherwise you aren’t really feeling it, and it is an emotion. That is why the word feeling is the word feeling, because you can feel it intimately, closely.

How is it then that emotions are generally considered to be deeper? That is because with emotions you are actually feeling more, you just aren’t as in touch with what it is that you are feeling. So you would experience the effects of having a lot of feeling, such as heavy breathing, crying, laughing, they would be things that make all your other feelings and emotions feel the same way. However your mind isn’t intensifying that experience because it would be too much for you to handle. Therefore emotion is just many feelings (or one strong feeling) that is dulled down, and it would actually be a stronger feeling(s), you just can only experience it fully as an emotion. You can also probably experience parts of that emotion as feelings since parts of it are going to be less intense than the whole, and you can “feel” them then.

So people can basically only “feel” or focus on small amounts of feeling. If it is a feeling that is very large it becomes an emotion with more parts. It isn’t that this emotion isn’t as deep as the feeling, it is actually deeper, but you simply cannot comprehend the entire emotion at once to “feel” it like you feel feelings. You can bring up feelings from memory (by thinking about sensory stimulation) but those types of feelings are going to be less direct and therefore more like emotions (less intense) than current, direct sensory stimulation that you are feeling in the real world.

Just as feelings can generate emotions, emotions can also generate feelings. For example, something like a fly buzzing might generate the feeling of annoyance, and this feeling might generate the emotion sad. You respond to the feeling first because feelings are faster and more immediate than emotions. An example of an emotion generating a feeling would be being sad that you are depressed. The depression is more of an emotion than the sadness because it is deeper and "slower" but the sadness is more like a feeling because it can be more immediate (it can also be an emotion, but in this example it is a feeling).

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • If emotions are dulled feelings then your mind is capable of taking feelings and making them into emotions, and vice versa. That means that a part of intelligence is your ability to control your own feelings and emotions and thoughts.

Emotions and Feelings are Broad Thoughts

Any emotion or feeling can be broken down into the sensations and real events that caused it. And you can think about any of those things (with thoughts).

A thought is thinking about something in specific. You can have a thought about an entire paragraph, but it is going to be just a thought, it is going to be about one thing, and that one thing might be a summary of the paragraph - but it is still a thought. So what we think of as thought is really just a short period of thinking - one unit of thinking that lasts for a short period of time. An essay is composed of many thoughts, but just one thought would be “I went to the store”.

Then again, “I went to the store, and Jason followed me” might be considered one thought as well. So how long exactly is a thought? If it is longer than “I went to the store, and Jason followed me” then it is probably going to be considered multiple thoughts. Thus humans use the word thought as just a short period of time in thinking.

Thoughts are in general talked about as being verbal, people rarely think of emotions and feelings as thoughts. But emotions and feelings are thoughts if you think about that emotion and feeling. The short period of time in which you think about the emotion or feeling is a thought. So thoughts can be about emotions and feelings. They are just harder to identify because they aren’t verbal.

The reason that verbal things are easier to identify is because they are distinct sounds (that we have definitions for). Distinct sounds, different sounds, are easy to separate. It is easy to identify one sound from another sound, and that is all words are, different sounds. So it could be that someone is talking and you don’t have any thoughts about them talking, or you are not thinking about them talking. In that case you just aren’t listening to them, or you are not paying attention to the sounds they are making.

So thought then is really just any short period of high attention. And thinking is long or short periods of high attention. So if you are thinking for more than a few seconds, then you are probably going to be thinking about several thoughts. Since you can think about emotions and feelings too, however, you can think about your emotions or feelings for long periods of time.

Just as thinking is made up of individual components of thought, feeling, or emotion, each of those components is made up of their own further components. In fact, when you think about an emotion or feeling you intensify that feeling or emotion a lot. Each emotion, however, is made up of experiences in the real world. The real world can include thoughts and feelings in your head as well.

So emotions, feelings and thoughts are made up of real experiences. A thought isn’t just a thing in your head, but it is something that has components that are real in the world. Those things might be sounds (when you think about someone speaking, you make that sound in your head). A sound in your head is just like a sound in reality, you are mimicking the emotion that the sound in reality is causing in your head by yourself, without having the real sound be there. Just try it and think about any sound, it produces the same emotions as when the sound itself occurred outside your head.

So a thought in the end boils down to you thinking about sensations, any sensation, taste, touch, sound, smell, feeling, or emotion. How can a thought be of emotion? Aren’t thoughts supposed to be specific and quantifiable? Well a thought about an emotion is basically a summary of that emotion. If you played Frisbee and you get an emotion from playing Frisbee, then that emotion is a summary of the things in which you remember about playing Frisbee. The same goes with feelings. The feeling you have about something is really all the feelings that that thing causes in you, and when you focus on different aspects of that feeling, you are focusing on different aspects of the real experience which caused the feeling.

So when you think about an emotion you are intensifying the feeling of those real experiences. You have no conscious idea of which parts of the feeling you are thinking about, however. Maybe if you think about directly different parts of the real experience you can link it up to different parts of its emotion.

Thus any emotion or feeling can be broken down into the sensations and real events that caused it. And you can think about any of those things (with thoughts). You can also think about those things as individual thoughts. A thought isn’t just a short period of your attention, but it is a short period of your attention during which you are trying to think about something (at least it feels like you are trying, you could not be trying and have a thought). Your natural attention span varies, but if you think about something you can boost that attention, you are trying to boost that attention on something specific or something broad (like an emotion).

Emotions and feelings are so intense, however, that it is like you are trying to focus your attention on them. So emotions, feelings, and thoughts are all periods of focused attention. A thought is just more focused attention than a feeling or emotion (unless it is a thought about a feeling or an emotion, in which case it is going to be even more attention than the feeling or thought or emotion by itself since it is a combination).

So emotions, feelings, and thoughts are all related, they are all things that you pay more attention to. And since emotion and feelings are made up of stuff which occurs in the real world, you could label each one of those things which occurs in the real world a thought, and say that emotions are made up of thoughts, or are broad thoughts. That is, you pay attention to your thoughts, and you pay attention to your emotions, so you could say that emotions are just a bunch of individual thoughts squished into one thing.

What then is the difference between a thought and an emotion? Emotions are usually more intense and therefore last longer in your brain when you think about them, or “bring them up”. You usually can only bring them up by thinking about them, however. Other things might bring up an emotion, like other emotions or other feelings, consciously or unconsciously. The same with feelings and thoughts.

People "bring up" emotions, feelings and thoughts in various ways. One way to bring up an emotion would be using thought, such as thinking "I like my dog" would bring up the emotion of the dog. You could also think directly about the emotion of the dog without using the verbal discourse, however. This could also be described as just "feeling", "feeling out" or "being emotional about" your dog. A feeling could also bring up a thought (and all the other combinations of "bringing up" between thoughts, feelings and emotions). They might also be concurrent, that is, when you have one emotion there is an associated feeling with it (and the other combinations of that with feelings, thoughts and emotions). Don't forget that one of those combinations is that thoughts can also bring up or be concurrent with other thoughts (as with feelings and emotions).

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Since emotions are made up of many parts which are real, then intelligence is ultimately just your ability to manipulate real things, and therefore your emotions are going to determine what it is is in your mind, and give a larger pool of things for your intellect to explore.

Emotion vs. Logic

What is the difference between logic and emotion? When someone says that they are “emotional” which emotions do they mean? I guess they mean that they experience all emotions more. They could specify further, however, and say which emotions they experience more, which emotions they are more prone to.

If someone is emotional does that mean that they enjoy life more? What if someone was emotional, but only experienced positive emotions more than most people, and didn’t experience negative emotions. Then that person would be happier I guess. Unless they separated out the emotions joy and sadness and just talked about those. Can you be an emotional person and just have excess amounts of the emotion happy? So anyone just “happy” is therefore being emotional. You’d probably be a lot more emotional if you were happy and sad at the same time however (the mix of the two would drive someone mad most likely, however).

Happy and sad seem to be the two strongest emotions. They are stronger than fear, anger, surprise, disgust, acceptance, and curiosity. That would make anyone bipolar (experiencing swings from happy to sad) very emotional. Does the swing mean that someone is more emotional than just experiencing one at a time? The emotional change is hard I think and that is more of an experience than just being very happy all the time, so the change from happy to sad is what adds the emotion in. That is, your body goes through changes as it experiences major emotional changes.

There are two degrees of change in emotion however; one is a major change from depression to mania (which is what bipolar is). Another is just your ordinary change from sad to happy, which can occur many times in a day. So if someone is manic or depressed are they being more emotional than someone who is just happy or just sad?

Symptoms of mania ("The highs"):

  • Excessive happiness, hopefulness, and excitement

  • Sudden changes from being joyful to being irritable, angry, and hostile

  • Restlessness

  • Rapid speech and poor concentration

  • Increased energy and less need for sleep

  • High sex drive

  • Tendency to make grand and unattainable plans

  • Tendency to show poor judgment, such as deciding to quit a job

  • Drug and alcohol abuse

  • Increased impulsivity

The symptoms of bipolar depression are the same as those of major depression and include:

  • Sadness

  • Loss of energy

  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness

  • Loss of enjoyment from things that were once pleasurable

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Uncontrollable crying

  • Difficulty making decisions

  • Irritability

  • Increased need for sleep

  • Insomnia or excessive sleep

  • A change in appetite causing weight loss or gain

  • Thoughts of death or suicide

  • Attempting suicide

I don’t think that people with the two extremes of mania and depression are any more emotional than people who are just happy or sad. That is because being too happy or too sad shuts off the other emotions people would experience like anger, fear, disgust, surprise, acceptance, and curiosity. Why does it? Because with all the other symptoms of mania and depression, there isn’t really any room left for emotions other than happy and sad, a person’s system can only handle so much emotion. If you are crying all the time (like you would if you were severely depressed) there isn’t any more room for you to experience other emotions. Or if you are as happy as you can be, you’re probably too out of it (in your happy land) to think about anything else.

A person could be happy or sad and be less emotional than someone with mania or depression, however. But a person (if they were experiencing the other emotions other than happy and sad) could be just as emotional as someone with mania or depression. Although those people may be crying or have expressions of extreme glee on their faces, happy and sad are not the only emotions someone can experience and therefore they may not be as emotional.

Emotion means that you are feeling something; if you are feeling emotions other than happy and sad, then wouldn’t the other emotions (if they were positive) increase the happy emotion and you then have a happy emotion that is larger than the other positive emotions you are experiencing? I guess that would be happy, but it would probably lead to overload. That is why it makes sense that people who are emotional experience a range of emotions from happy to sad ones, so that if they just experienced happy ones it would lead to too much happiness causing overload.

Why would emotions be balanced, why not just have only positive emotions? Because if you are curious, your curiosity is going to backfire when there is a failure (you’d be curious in a failure). Or if you are overly surprised, you would be just as surprised at a bad thing happening as you would as a good thing happening, leading to being happy and sad. Or if you got angry at something, you are then likely to become pleased by the opposite thing happening, so the emotions tend to balance out.

So is it really that the positive and negative emotions balance out? It is probably too hard for your mind to wait to become emotional at things that are only going to lead it to become happy. That is, you would have to consciously say to each thing, ah that is a positive emotion, I can have that emotion now. It seems more natural that when something bad happens, you get more upset, and when something good happens, you get happier. So you don’t have to calculate and spend time to assess if you should “feel” in those instances.

That is a good way to size people up, assess how happy they get from what things, and how sad they get from other things. Why is it that happy and sad are the two strongest emotions? It seems that way because all the other emotions follow suit with them. When someone is happier they are likely to be more curious, or more accepting. When someone is sad it also makes him or her less reactive to things (the surprise emotion).

The other emotions don’t occur as much as well. You can easily be happy or sad all the time, no matter what you are doing, but the other emotions need to fit into what you are doing. Like the emotion curiosity needs something to be curious in, and the emotion disgust needs something to be disgusted by. When you are doing nothing the emotion you are going to feel most of the time is just plain happy or sad, thus those two emotions are also our “idling” emotions (when we are idle we have them).

If the other emotions don’t occur as much, then why would someone be happy or sad in the first place? Are the emotions happy and sad simply the result of other emotions in your body? If that is the case, how is it possible for someone to become manic or depressed? Mania and depression are such extremes of happy and sad that other emotions can’t be experienced as well. What then is the source of that extreme happiness or sadness?

Either it seems like life has enough in it to justify being manic or depressed or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t then the mania and depression would arise from people just being unstable and fragile creatures, easily upset and disturbed. If it does then by a logic process one should be able to figure out the cause of their mania or depression is and solve it.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • It could be viewed that emotion is entirely driven by intellect, that everything that you feel you feel because you are who you are, and who you are is determined by your thoughts and your own intelligence. Or it could be rephrased the opposite way, that intelligence is entirely driven by emotion for the same reasons, those viewpoints are obvious when you take emotional highs where it seems like you are acting out of control - because then you realize why it is you are having those emotions, and you are having them because of something you did (which was driven by your intellect) or something you were feeling (which is driven by your emotions). Your intellect determined how you felt the emotion, because you are your intellect, and that (you) would then determine how you feel about something that happens. Someone’s emotional template (who they are, how they respond to the world) could be viewed as being an intellectual template because intellect is understanding real things, and your emotions determine what it is that you process and how you process them.

Emotion and Attention

How does emotion influence attention? If you think about it, humans probably have a complicated mix of emotions occurring all of the time, and this emotional make-up is somehow going to impact their attention. If someone is in a state of pure pleasure, then they probably aren't going to be paying as much attention to their environment then if they are in a normal or negative state. That I think is because there is no reason for the person to pay attention to their environment because they are satisfied within their own minds.

The sensory input that a person is receiving is going to be related to their emotional state as well. People can be in touch with their senses, with their thoughts, or be focused on their external environment. People often look to sensory stimulation in order to relax themselves - such as taking a bath or eating food. My guess would be that this changes their focus from their own internal thinking to their environment or their senses. There is a complicated mix of emotions, senses, and thoughts occurring all of the time.

So an important question is if someone can pay more attention to sensations if they wanted to. There is going to be some sort of complicated sequence of attention occurring, a person might naturally focus on one thing more and then switch to something else without awareness of themselves doing that.

Also, which emotions are triggered by which sensations? Some people buy scented candles in order to induce an emotional response, but are they aware that a much more complicated psychological response could be being created that they aren't aware of? If you think about it, someones entire network of sensations, thoughts and feelings could be manipulated by sensory feelings.

Someones thoughts are going to impact how much attention they are paying, and what they are paying more attention to. If you think about it, if you spend your time thinking about one thing, then your attention is going to be changed significantly. You might pay more attention to the thing you were just thinking about (obviously), but there might be other ways your attention could change.

People know that they can go into different moods for different things (such as being in the 'mood' to go shopping or the 'mood' to have a romantic encounter), but the question is, what triggers these moods? It isn't as if people randomly start to want to experience different things in life and therefore go into a different mood (or you could call it a mode). Your thoughts and thinking probably plays a large role in what you are feelings and therefore the moods you might go into.

Think about it this way - in each mood or mode you go into, your attention is probably focused more on whatever the mood is for - i.e. the mood you are in is a happy one, so you want to go out and have a picnic, or the mood you are in is a sad one, so you want to chill out. You want those things, so you begin to focus on them more, your attention changes. When people pay attention, there isn't just one thing they are focused on, their is everything in life they can focus on. All of the things that person who is paying attention can pay attention to, or usually pays attention to, are going to be things which are going to be factors in how their attention is functioning.

For instance, if a person cares about such and such things, and spends a lot of time thinking about those things, then those things are probably going to be a permanent part of their attention. When that person is in a mood for one thing, the other things they care about are also going to impact how their attention is behaving. For instance when a person is relaxing, the high-stress elements in their life are going to play a role in how their attention is even during the time when they are relaxed. You aren't ever completely in one state - so when someone is in a relaxed state, how they are when they are in a high stress state, and things they pay attention when they are in that other state, is going to have an impact on what they are like when they are in the relaxed state. You might pay attention to some things that you think you only care about when you are stressed when you are relaxed, and this is probably because all of your emotional states are mixed. You might also experience emotions and have a similar or associated experience during the time when you are relaxed as when you are stressed, because these two different states are related and connected to each other.

Humans have many different emotional states, or you could call them moods, ways of behaving, ways of thinking, ways of feeling, etc. All the different ways that people can feel and think are obviously going to be connected to one another. A simple way to think about it would just be to say that if you are stressed then you might want to relax later on, however that is missing the complicated emotional subtlety involved. There are emotional states, ways and levels of feeling, ways and levels of thinking, and these different things are going to play a role when you are relaxing or whatever it is you are doing. Your feelings, behavior and thoughts are going to be under the influence of more subtle tones of feeling and thought that are related to the previous things you have done and your other emotional states when you are doing other things.

I am just using the different things people do so I can describe what a different emotional state is like. Different emotional states are obvious if you consider the two most extreme examples - a high stress state and a relaxed state. However there must be many many more ways of feeling that people can experience. For instance people probably experience many feelings, sets of feelings, modes, moods, etc during an activity. I am suggesting that people have different ways of 'being' whereby their feelings and thoughts are influenced by their mood, their emotional state, whatever you want to call it.

My theory is that for a certain period of time people are influenced by certain ways of being. So say someone is doing any activity - during this activity they might change modes and for a few seconds or a few minutes feel more like the activity is like another activity that they have done. Or maybe they just adopt a different way of feeling for that activity that they are doing (feel differently about it in some way).

So there are many different layers of feeling, ways of feeling, modes people can go into where they feel differently for a certain period of time, or ways in which their thinking and feeling interact to help them have a unique experience that is dynamic, shifting, deep and complex.

Emotion is influenced by thoughts, moods, experience, previous activities, your environment, your physical condition - and there a levels of emotion and thought that make this experience much more complex. When one can adopt a set of feelings for one activity for a few seconds or minutes during a not related activity, it makes you wonder just how complex emotional and intellectual experience is.

Life Occurs In Sharp Spikes

Life occurs during the brief periods of time when people are actually paying attention, in spikes.

People need to pay attention to things in order to keep their minds alive and active. They need to pay attention to little things all the time. That is why spikes occur, when people refocus their attention on little things over and over it occurs as a spike, because the new object needs to be processed as a whole and this processing takes energy in the form of a “spike”.

Humans cannot pay attention to everything, and the things they do pay attention to they need to “spike” their attention initially to get that object into their attention and focus. It is possible to not use spikes of attention, but if you did that then life would be boring. In order for life to be interesting people naturally spike their attention on certain things every so often (once a minute or so) to make life more exciting. Life would be boring if you never paid sharp attention to anything. Spikes of attention keep life “crisp”.

If life occurs in sharp spikes, why then doesn’t it feel like life occurs in sharp spikes? It seems pretty smooth to me. If it seems this way, then you aren’t realizing or paying attention to the complicated emotional and cognitive processes that are going on in your mind, life is not “all smooth” but there are changes in attention going on all the time. Each little thing you pay attention to (actually pay attention to that is, not just “absorb”) actually occurs as a spike in attention. This is because most of the time your attention isn’t extremely directed, but you need to make it extremely directed sometimes (once a minute or so) in order to properly stay awake. It is also because you don’t absorb every little thing, you only absorb a few things once in a while, and these things that you do absorb are the spikes. They are spikes because they are relative to most of your activity which isn’t absorbing things intently or deeply. Every minute or so you need to absorb something. That thing is the spike.

When you pay attention to your attention (or what you are paying attention to) how does life feel to you? Does it feel smooth or rough? Life seems rough if you pay attention to it like that, with occasional spikes of interest in things. It is rough because there are many little fluctuations of interest in various things, but intensity is needed somewhere. This intensity comes from the spikes, otherwise life would just be rough and there wouldn’t be anything smooth. The top of the spike is smooth, however because it is clear and it lasts a little while (a few seconds or a few dozen seconds). Paying sharp attention to things allows you to have a clear mind for the time you are giving that sharper attention. It separates out all the other things and you focus more on what it is you processed. This clears your mind because you just received a lot of stimulation. In this way spikes can make life be smooth. Without spikes life would always be rough because of all the little things. But if you use a spike then life is smooth afterwards because you are satisfied.

Life is many small variations in attention over time. There are periods of focused attention and periods of non-focused attention. The periods of focused attention are the spikes. This is very complicated if you try to follow your own spikes because there are so many things you are “spiking” and paying sharp attention to all the time. There are three groups of things, things you pay sharp attention to, things you pay attention to, and things you don’t pay attention to. You pay sharp attention to things much less often than the other two categories, and that is why the sharp attention is a spike, because it is uncommon and doesn’t last as long as the other things, so it looks more like a spike when compared with the other two categories than a leveled plain.

Also, people’s emotions change all the time. The change probably occurs both gradually and like a series of steps. There are so many emotions in a person’s head that some of them are going to interact with each other suddenly, causing a sudden sharp change in emotion, and others are going to interact more slowly, causing gradual changes in emotion.

It might be that the changes are just sharp, however. You could look at the mind as a system that only changes when it gets a trigger, and that would probably mean that it only has sharp changes of emotion. However those changes wouldn’t just be sharp changes. Large, sharp changes of emotion don’t just happen by themselves, but deep emotional experiences are often followed by similar emotions that are less intense. That is, if you experience emotion A, emotion A is going to linger in your system.

That excludes the staircase model, but there still could be something like a staircase, only instead of steps at a 90 degree angle they would be something like an 100 degree angle. With 10/360 percent being the emotions that hang around after an initiating event. That would be just emotion changes resulting from large events, however. Either a large event within your own system (something like a thought or a feeling, or a mix of thoughts and feelings), or a large external event (like something happening outside your body). That’s because your mind needs to understand, “ok now I am sad”. As intellectual, thinking beings all major emotional events that occur in the mind need to processed intellectually (unless you’re sleeping). So in other words if you just get sadder and sadder and are not aware of it you are not going to get nearly as sad as when you realize that you are getting sadder. The points when you realize (at some level) that you are getting sadder are going to be when you start feeling a lot sadder (the steps on the downward staircase of sadness and depression).

There must be other stuff going on in the mind, however. While a clash or mix of two feelings or emotions or thoughts could be figured out, and that would probably result in a noticeable emotional change (the staircase or spike model). There are probably other things going on in your conscious or unconscious mind. That is, some things that happen to people take a long time to recover from. But the main point is, everything, whether or not is a slow, gradual change or a sudden, quick change, resulted from some mix of emotions and feelings and thoughts and external events happening.

Furthermore, any mix of those things, when they interact, is going to be a large change. That is because it is a large change relative to your normal state, which is most of the time feeling nothing, because nothing is going on most of the time. People experience events in life and things in life and they occur in individual units.

Thoughts, emotions, and feelings are the three main components of the brain. “Everything” isn’t stimulating enough to cause sharp spikes. There is vision, that is, you see things all the time, but your emotion doesn’t go up or down a lot when you close or open your eyes. Unless you are looking at something that is causing a feeling, of course. But even then that feeling is only going to last a few seconds before it dies off. Therefore vision clearly functions with the sharp spikes pattern.

The same with hearing, if you hear something interesting, there is a sharp spike of initial interest, and then it dies down to almost normal. That must mean that feelings and emotions are probably a combination of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. That you almost think about the event that is occurring, and that when you think about it there is a large spike upwards. That the combination of feeling and emotion with thought results in large spikes, which form our best and common regular life experiences.

That is, you can’t really tell you are thinking about it because it isn’t verbal. But it feels like you are thinking about it during that brief time. That means that your attention is going to be focused on it, basically. Sometimes when someone is in a depression these spikes can be very large because that person is very upset. A large spike would result in emotional damage, furthering the depression, thereby causing the depression to go down like a staircase. It is easy to do emotional damage, but it can’t be repaired in a series of spikes, as it would go up gradually (still small compared to the spikes however).

Just think of it as fabric; damage needs to be mended, and mending takes time. It is easy to do damage to the fabric, you can only mend it slowly. No one just “snaps out” of a depression. Furthermore it is easy to stimulate the fabric, just poke it. That poke would be similar to a life experience, the poke has ripples, but the main event was the poking.

The sharp spike occurrences show just how short of attention span humans have. That for brief periods we are capable of almost perfect attention, and during those periods is the height of the spikes. These spikes actually look more like lumps since they go up gradually and cause a stay in attention for a few seconds, but they are so fast that they are best called spikes. Say looking at an attractive girl/guy causes a feeling. The first few seconds you look at her/him, you are going to have perfect attention, but then it is going to die off. Everything else in life is somewhat like that, whether you are looking at your pencil, or your computer, or whatever. The item you are looking at needs to be initially processed, and your attention needs to be directed to it first off.

Everything in life needs to be processed before it enters your system, and that process is going to be a sharp spike of emotion, feeling, and thought. After you process looking at the computer you can move along to just wandering your eyes throughout the room. If you pause at any one of the things you are wandering your eyes around, you will experience a sharp spike of emotion/thought/feeling. That is, looking at things also causes emotion as well as the thought needed to direct your attention to it, if you are paying more attention to something which causes emotion, then logically you are going to feel more emotion from it.

This doesn’t mean that you aren’t thinking/feeling when you don’t pause or stop. You could say that people are thinking, feeling, and are having emotion all of the time just in amounts so small it is hard for them to detect. That these amounts only go up in sharp spikes when they actually pay attention to something either in their mind or outside it. This “paying attention” doesn’t have to be conscious or deliberate. If two feelings interact within your mind it could cause you to pay conscious or unconscious attention to them.

Something like, your girlfriend meeting your ex girlfriend would cause a clash of feelings for your new girlfriend, with feelings for your old girlfriend (possibly). But that clash of feelings wouldn’t occur in a thought spike, it would occur in an emotional spike. It would also be a slight rise of tension in the feeling between which one you like more. Also, the rise in that feeling wouldn’t be significant compared to if you thought about that feeling at the same time. When you think about the feeling it would result in a sharp spike, and that spike would last a few seconds, then die away. That is because that feeling was a potential explosive one, one that exploded when you thought about it, resulting in a spike. Also, thought about anything else, a feeling, a vision, whatever, results in lesser spikes of thoughts/feelings/emotions. That anything and everything, when thought about, is interesting for the first few seconds, but then that interest dies off. It is the same principal when you pinch yourself. When you pinch yourself the first time, it hurts the most. That is because the first time you are thinking about it a lot more, after that your interest in it dies off. Amazing how much our attention can fluctuate to cause life to occur in short, sharp spikes. The girlfriend example is different than spikes that occur more frequently all the time, when you pay attention to little things. The girlfriend example was an example of when a spike can happen, but that is a spike that you are going to notice a lot more then something like, you just refocusing on what you are typing. It is spikes like that which happen all the time so you stay focused.

Although there are spikes of emotion and feeling, spikes of thought are needed to direct attention. Not thought in the verbal sense, but thought in the sense that it is under your control and feels more similar to thoughts. Thought occurs as basically a bunch of spikes, and since people think all the time and about everything, life occurs in those spikes. They don’t feel intense because it is just thought. But basically whenever something new comes into your vision or your attention there is an initial sharp spike of interest. And if you are going to be doing the same thing for a long period of time, then it is going to take additional sharp spikes every couple of seconds or every minute to keep your attention. It is easy to test that, try and read something with the same bland expression as when you start reading it (but after your initial interest at the beginning when you notice the piece) and you just can’t do it. To maintain attention your mind needs to snap back to what it is paying attention to. Feelings and emotions are going to follow the thought, however (that is emotions and feelings are imbedded in thoughts). That is why people need to think all the time, to maintain a healthy level of mental activity, it is a part of life. Emotions and feelings can also be described as thoughts, however, so those spikes continue even after you stop thinking, just in the form of emotion-feeling-thoughts (they are still more similar to thoughts however since they are short and spiky).

Basically your attention needs to be initially “grabbed” for anything that you are going to pay attention to. That grabbing is the initial period of paying attention to it. During that first period of paying attention to something is where the spike is because you are processing the item/object. You need a spike to grab your mind and attention, otherwise you wouldn’t be paying attention to anything. You can still process most of life without the spikes, but that is only because spikes had brought you back to reality in the first place in order for that attention to be grabbed. Furthermore it is going to be easier to process new things based on what the spike was about, that is, it is going to be easier to process similar things more related to the spike then to other things in the area. If you focus on a school bus, then you are going to be more attentive to the other school buses you see for the next few seconds or minutes because you were just paying attention to one school bus, and your mind is wired to notice school buses.

Furthermore there is a similar way in which your mind processes each spike. For spikes that are under your control, first the spike would be a period of thought about something, say a school bus or a coffee machine. Then what you just saw or thought about becomes an emotion, or an unconscious series of thoughts. That is you are less focused consciously on what it is you are seeing or whatever but your mind is still processing it. Next, after your mind processes the unconscious thoughts it becomes a feeling, you then feel something about what it is you were focusing on. So it isn’t when you look at something you immediately get a feeling, that doesn’t make any sense. First you think about it, then you feel it in a general way (an emotion) then after you understand what that feeling is, you feel it (but that basically happens instantaneously so in a way you do feel it right away - also, that same process can happen over a longer period of time). That is because you know what it is, you know where it is, and you know what to focus your attention on. An example of unconsciously processing something you see is when you look at match you then think about fire. Then after you think about the fire you can almost “feel” the fire, following the pattern of thought to emotion to feeling (you think about the match, then something happens unconsciously (this unconscious thought process is emotion (remember emotion is unconscious thought) which then causes you to feel the fire – a feeling).

It could be that a few minutes passes before a conscious spike occurs (that is a spike that is under your control). A spike is basically just anything that you are going to start paying attention to. During those first few seconds of when you are going to pay attention to something there is a sharp spike upwards. Without these periods of attention humans/animals would never pay attention to anything. Basically once every few minutes or so you need to pay attention to something or your brain is going to be too inactive. After you pay attention to one thing, however, your general attention is grabbed and you don’t need to have another spike for at least a few minutes.

Everything that is processed, not just spikes, follows the sequence of thought to emotion to feeling. That is because thoughts are clearer than emotions and feelings, and emotions are more similar to thoughts than feelings are (discussed previously) so when you see something or hear something or whatnot for the first time, it is clearer in your mind. Then it becomes less clear and you think about it unconsciously. You think about it unconsciously because it takes further processing in order to isolate the feeling that that things gives you. Some things are just too complicated to feel them right away. Other things, however, can be felt right away, say if you are touching something the feeling arises right away. That is because the physical stimulus is more immediate than emotional stimulus.

Emotional things, however, are simply to complicated to “feel” them right away, they need to be processed first. That is logical, just take looking at anything, say a book. In order to feel the feelings that the book causes in you, you are going to have to at least unconsciously think about it first (that is, after you start paying attention to it, which you do by starting to think about it or just see it and notice it more than you usually notice things in the area). Since you don’t need to think about physical stimulus since it is just a physical stimulus, (not something like vision) you don’t really unconsciously process it.

Spikes are dramatic rises in attention. They can be assisted by load noises or something dramatic visually, but they don’t need to be. In other words they can be internal or external. You can pay sharp attention to something in the real world or something in your own head. If there is a load sound in the environment, it is most likely that your spike in attention is going to occur during that period. It doesn’t have to, you could pay attention to something else in spike form, but the main point is that you have to have about one sharp spike in attention a minute at least. That is, you have to pay attention to something in your environment or something in your head, sharp attention in the form of a spike (lasting a second or a few seconds) every minute or so.

Otherwise the world would just go by you and you’d be completely out of it. You don’t just need to pay attention to things, you occasionally need to pay sharp attention to things. Furthermore this attention in the form of a spike can’t be dissipated and spread out, it is always going to occur in a spike. If, in between the spikes, you are trying to get the highest attention you can in an attempt to spread the spike out, (that is, if you are trying to spread out your attention instead of having spikes) the normal spike would still be a spike relative to even the extra attention you gave to the non spike period, because that attention would still be too low, so you couldn’t give it that high of an attention level, as it would be very low compared to the spike still. Spikes of emotion and feeling also need to occur every few minutes or so. The human system needs to be “shocked” into reality because you need to pay attention to life.

Say it is time for another sharp increase in attention (that is you waited too long without focusing on anything) and something occurs like a dog barking. Then you are going to focus on that dog barking intently in the form of a spike. So if the dog continues to bark for the next few seconds or minutes, your attention will be on that more because you paid attention to it initially more so than other things in your environment. This is very important because if someone doesn’t use their spikes say to someone they are talking to, they could be talking to that person and not be paying attention at all. You could hear what they are saying but not really be interested in it nearly as much as you would in a normal conversation (if you choose not to think about the person talking to you – remember if you do think about the person talking to you then naturally you are going have a thought spike because that is how thought initiates when thinking about new objects, the new object needs to be grabbed and processed first).

If you direct your attention spikes away from the things you don’t want to hear (say if there is a loud noise in the background, just don’t pay sharp attention to it) then most of your attention will follow along suit. If attention was uniform then people wouldn’t be able to direct their attention easily. In order to ignore the other things in your environment and just focus on one thing, the only way to get just that one thing into your focus would be to use a spike in attention. After that spike the thing you “spiked” would be in your attention at a low level, but the other things around you would be at an even lower level. The spike is necessary to differentiate what you are paying attention to, to differentiate the new thing which you are paying attention to from everything else. You can’t just go to a slightly higher rise in attention for one thing (you can pay attention to something new, but you wouldn’t be paying more attention to it than other things in the environment already, you’d just be isolating that thing, it wouldn’t be a rise in attention, or an insignificant one), because people can only focus on one thing at a time for this reason. Because of the spikes in attention, people can isolate (focus intently on) one or a few things.

That limitation (of only being able to focus intently on a few things) happens because each spike eliminates the other things which they were paying attention to previously. You can spread out one spike to different things, however (if you do it at the same time), that is how your attention can be spread. You can’t do a series of smaller spikes because that confuses your mind, it is like saying, pay attention to this, then pay attention to that, and then pay attention to that. It is too confusing. It is easier to say at once, pay attention to this that and that, and then you can do it.

That explanation also explains why spikes occur at all – because it is much easier to pay a lot of attention in a short period of time then to keep jolting yourself over and over at each thing that you want to pay attention to. That way is too jarring and much less smooth. You don’t notice the spike when it occurs because it is more like a refocusing than a spike. People basically need to be focused on little things continuously, and this focus is directed by short periods of refocusing labeled here as spikes. One way in which these spikes occur is that when something is first presented it takes more energy and brain power to process it at first because it is new. It is easier to try and comprehend the entire thing at once than to comprehend it in pieces, as the latter just doesn’t make any sense. People comprehend things as wholes not as parts added up over time. The other reason these spikes occur is to initially catch your attention and hold it at a high level on something. That is, in order to go from a state of inactivity to a state of activity, you cannot just go up to the level of activity, but you need to motivate yourself to get there by having a spike (this spike is also the initial processing of the new object/event and occurs because of that as well).

In order to get someone’s attention they can’t just lazily look at you like they are looking at everything else, but they need pay sharp attention to you for the first instant (this is the initial “grabbing” talked about). Otherwise people would be paying attention to anything and everything at the same time. There has to be a way of separating out what it is that is in someone’s attention field. That method of separating is by the use of the spikes.

Spikes work for emotional things and feeling as well as for thought. That is things that are emotional occur in the same spike pattern, as well as things you feel (feelings). Another way to note this would be that your attention is only focused on things that change (things that change, the change usually occurring in spike form). It might be that something grabs your attention a little, and you only put a spike in after it initially grabs your attention a little to then pay full attention to it. Lots of time something happens, like a loud noise, that you only process after it occurred, or slightly after it occurred. So there might be a delay in when you process it, or spike it, or you might not spike it at all. You might also not need to spike something if a similar spike occurred with a similar thing previously.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Someone’s attention determines what they see and figure out about the world, if someone is paying more attention then they are probably going to realize more things, or notice more things visually and intellectually. Since attention varies based on emotion, your intellect is going to vary based on your emotions. If you are emotionally interested in things then it might make you pay more attention to them and then you might realize more about those things. If something causes more of an emotional impact (or more of a spike) you might retain understanding it longer (memory is also a part of intellect) or it could increase your emotional intelligence about that thing.

  • Everything that is processed follows the sequence of thought to emotion to feeling – that shows how everything in the world is real, and these real things all cause feelings, you recognize what it is (a thought) and then you feel that thought, your emotional processing of your thoughts is part of your thoughts themselves – this is obvious with emotional spikes because when you feel something strongly that strong feeling clearly aids in you understanding things about what it is you are feeling.

  • People also only comprehend things in their entirety, because if it isn’t completely understood then you cannot verbalize it and make a thought process of it, therefore things that aren’t completely understood or verbal are going to be emotional and you are going to “feel” them, not think them.

Angry, Upset, and Depressed?

Angry and upset feelings often accompany sad feelings, as it is natural to be upset and angry that you are sad (or became sad).

If someone is sad or depressed, it is natural that they are going to be upset that they are that way. Therefore it is probable that all depression or sadness has feelings of anger and agitation mixed in. In fact it is easy to see a combination of those three feelings as when something bad happens to someone their reaction is an intense feeling of sadness/anger/agitation. Like if you punch someone in the face, or shoot him or her, they aren’t going to be just sad, they are going to sad, angry, and upset.

After the event occurs (such as getting punched in the face) the sad/angry/upset feeling only lasts a few seconds on that persons face, to various degrees of visibility to other people. What happens after that is more interesting however. After the first few seconds of sad/upset/angry their mind loses focus on what happened and it no longer is a single emotion. They are focused on the event and that is why it shows up on their face, after they lose focus, however, the emotions become unconscious.

In their unconscious form the emotions are like a depression. A depression is something that affects someone’s mood, his or her entire system. When the angry/sad/upset emotions go into the unconscious, they start affecting the other emotions around them, and your entire system becomes sad, angry, and upset. This might not be visible on your face because it isn’t as intense, you didn’t just get punched, or something bad didn’t just happen to you, but it has left a mark.

It seems like the angry and upset emotions are more temporary, and the sad feeling is retained longer. That is because you forget why you are sad, you forget the event that caused the sadness, but your emotions remember the impact of the upset and anger, and that impact was to make you sadder. The emotion sad is simply easier to remember. It is marked in your mind for vengeance, you associate the sad emotion with being bad for you, but the anger and the agitation are more hormonal, temporary emotions.

That is, it is hard to be angry if you don’t know why you should be angry. You need to be able to logically justify your own feelings. It is more common that sadness occurs for a long period of time than anger. There are still elements of anger and agitation remaining mixed in however, just less so than the sadness. So after an initiating event there are the three emotions equally present for a few seconds, and after that mostly the sadness remains, still with elements of the other two emotions.

It is hard to be angry or upset when you don’t remember what it is you are angry at. It is easy to be sad because you don’t need to remember anything to be sad at something, the sad feeling simply stays in your system because you are used to sad feelings and you don’t need to justify them like you would an angry feeling. Or it could be that being angry and upset takes up more energy than being sad does, being sad lowers how energetic you are because it brings you down. When you are angry and upset you are much more energetic and agitated.

So it is like, ok that really pissed me off, but I am too tired to be pissed, I can be sad though. The sadness in your system isn’t even an individual emotion after the first few seconds from the initiating event, however. It becomes mixed in with the other emotions and feelings in your body because you no longer remember what caused the sadness. So it is like a depression because it affects your entire system and mood like a depression does.

So there is really a difference between being sad, and being upset. You might even call that period after the few seconds for that person “the person being upset” instead of them being sad. That is how much the upset and agitation emotions are mixed in, that after someone is punched you could say either they are upset, or they are sad, or they are agitated, it depends on the person and the circumstance. That is a lot of proof to show that all three are often mixed in together.

You might say that they are upset, but they are probably going to be more sad, however, because if you are upset and angry then you are going to be sad about that, just like you are going to be upset and angry that you are sad. But I think the sad is going to dominate because no one has enough energy to be upset and angry for very long. When you are upset and angry your tone is louder, you are moving faster and more agitated like, you are more aggressive and looking for retribution. Anger and agitation almost need something to take vengeance on, while sadness you don’t attribute to someone else causing it. You do attribute anger and agitation to something external, however.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • If it is hard to have emotions if you don’t remember something, then that shows how your emotions are based off of your intellect as well. What your memory (which is a function of intellect) remembers is going to bring up emotions, which are then in turn going to determine (to some extent) your emotional intelligence.

Emotion is a Combination of Feeling and Thought

Emotion is such a strong feeling that it must be the combination of thoughts and feelings. If you think about it, if you combine positive thoughts and positive feelings, you’re going to have a general overall greater experience, (if the thoughts and feelings are on the same idea or the same thing, you are going to have a greater positive single emotion about that thing). Just take the strongest emotion you can experience, it would have to be a combination of all the positive things in your mind, and people can control their thoughts to a large extent.

By a combination of feeling and thought I mean a combination of what it feels like to have a thought, with the feeling of what it feels like to have a feeling – I don’t mean the combination of actual verbal thoughts with feelings, but non-verbal thoughts which are like verbal thoughts in that they are about something, you just can’t identify what it is all the time because it is non-verbal.

Since thoughts are conscious and unconscious, emotion could be redefined as the combination of feeling and thought - that you only have emotion when you are thinking about something, and feeling something at the same time, and the combination of the two results in individual emotions. There is evidence for this from the facts that you can only experience one strong emotion at a time, and you can also only think about one strong emotion at a time. That shows how emotions are pulled up by thoughts, or controlled and generated by them. It might be that this only applies to strong emotions, but it depends on each individuals definition of emotion (it might vary), but I don’t think anyone can experience two strong emotions simultaneously. You can feel it for yourself, try and feel any combination of the following emotions (strongly) at the same time - anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, curiosity, acceptance, or joy. You just can’t do it. A slight feeling of curiosity is exactly that, a feeling and not an emotion. Emotions are stronger than feelings, and stronger than thoughts, but what are they made of? The only logical conclusion is that they are made up of thoughts and feelings.

The type of thought that makes up emotions isn’t just words or sentences or verbal ideas in your head, but basically any period of thinking. It doesn’t have to be intense thinking, in fact, if you are intensely thinking there probably isn’t enough room left to process a strong emotion, but rather emotion arises from periods of very low intense thinking, and less intense feelings (you still have to be trying to be thinking, that is why negative emotions don’t exist, because people just don’t try to think about them). During those periods of low intense thinking (from which part of emotion arises) you don’t have to even understand what you are thinking about, just understand that to some degree you are more thoughtful than usual. Feelings are generally considered to be shallower than emotions, and thought is considered a deep experience, so in order to have the strong, deep feeling of emotion, it must be made up of the part of your brain that experiences deep things, (the thought part) (remember feelings feel like feelings from sensory stimulation, which isn’t “deep” at all).

Furthermore, emotion isn’t just a strong feeling, a strong feeling can give rise to an emotion, just like a strong idea can give rise to an emotion, but an emotion is the combination of a lesser feeling and a lesser idea or thought process (this thought process might be unconscious, leading the person having it to just know that they are thoughtful during the experience). You can’t have a strong feeling and a strong emotion at the same time because there just isn’t enough room or processing power in your mind to do that (it’s easy to feel that in your mind just by testing it).

Is a thought sensory input? No it isn’t, you can think about sensory input, and that would give rise to a feeling of the sensation itself, but a thought is much faster in the brain. A thought is like a fast firing of neurons while a feeling or a sensation is an experience that actually takes some amount of time longer than it takes for a neuron to fire, which (it feels like anyway) is the length of a short thought. So basically, emotions must be the result of feelings and thoughts in your brain because there isn’t anything else left that they could be made up of. All that is in your brain is feelings and thoughts. It is obvious how you can turn off a thought automatically, but you can also do that to some feelings. This is so because feelings are in large part triggered by thoughts. That’s because feelings are experiences of sensory stimulation. If you are feeling something that you don’t want to feel, however, because that sensory stimulation is present in your environment, there is nothing you can do. But if it results from a memory or something in your mind, you are going to shut it off automatically. This way feelings and thoughts work together; you have your present experience of the sensation, and your mental direction of thinking about that sensation. The latter part you can turn on if you want to make that natural, environmental feeling a strong one. It is hard to experience a strong feeling just by bringing the feeling up in your head, to have a strong feeling you need to have some type of direct sensory input and be thinking about that sensory input at the same time.

So a strong feeling is just like a strong emotion, only you need direct sensory input and thoughts to feel it, while with emotions you just need a feeling (which can result from the memory of a sensation) and some thoughts. So, very simply, everything in the brain is either a feeling or a thought. And emotions are combinations of feelings and thoughts.

Thinking about things generates feeling because you are simulating the emotions of that thing in your head. Although you are not experiencing the stimulation in real life, you still understand what it feels like to be in that situation, and this memory of that stimulation you can feel almost like being in the real situation itself.

If you have emotion about something then you are feeling that thing. Thus you are directing thought about that object, and directing thought is what thought is. Thought is just directed to something specific, while feeling is more generalized, you have only a few feelings for many many things, and thought is only a way of categorizing those feelings. For example, you can simulate many feelings by thinking, “I am going to go to the store then I am going to come home”. Instead of feeling “store” which you feel in the store, you are adding the feeling of traveling to the store and being home. Those feelings are less intense than actually traveling to the store and actually being home, but they are still there and present in the thoughts. So when you have a thought about the store, you feel the store because you are simulating the idea of being in the store in your head.

Emotion always precedes thought; thought is always just going to be an explanation of emotion. Everything in the end turns out to be an emotion in your system, so therefore everything is really an emotion. When you say “I want to leave” the feeling of you wanting to leave is always going to precede the thought. Actually first you quickly understand what it is that you are feeling when you realize what it is you are feeling as an unconscious thought process, then you have a more regular feeling about it, and then you are able to verbalize that feeling into a thought. Unless something is said to you instead of you thinking it, in which case the process is reversed. First it is a thought because it is expressed that way, then it is a feeling, and then it is a quick unconscious thought process to think about what was said.

When the thing is said or thought of verbally it is most clear what the meaning is. In this way words assist understanding. This is probably because the combination of adding the stimulation of sound to the stimulation of the visual (or other sense) of the object/idea enhances understanding and forces you to think deeper about it because sound is an enhancing mechanism for thought.

Feelings are fast, you don’t pause and think about them. Emotion you could say, since it is deeper, that you almost “think” about it.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Thoughts also contribute to what it is you are going to feel, and what you feel and how you feel it is then going to determine your emotional intelligence, and over the long run would help determine other aspects of your intelligence as well.

Self-Regulation: A Definition and Introduction

What is self-regulation? Which mental processes compose it, and how do those processes work together? Self-regulation is the conscious and nonconscious processes by which people regulate their thoughts, emotions, attention, behavior, and impulses. People generate thoughts, feelings and actions and adapt those to the attainment of personal goals. Behavioral self-regulation invovles self- observing and strategically adjusting performance processes, such as one's method of learning, whereas environmental self-regulation refers to observing and adjecting environmental conditions or outcomes. Covert self regulation involves monitoring and adjusting cognitive and affective states, such as imagery for remembering or relaxing. Someones performance and regulation is going to be changed by their goals, motivations, and decisions, People self-regulate their own functioning in order to achieve goals or change how they are thinking.

Someones actions and mental processes depend on one's beliefs and motives. Self -regulation is cyclical - that is, feedback (information, responses) from prior actions and performances changes the adjustments made during current efforts. Adjustments are necessary because personal, behavioral, and environmental factors are constantly changing during the course of learning and performance. Someones performances are constantly being changed by their attention and actions. Forethought is the phase that precedes efforts to act and sets the stage for a performance. A person self-reflects on performances afterwards, and this reflection influences their responses.

Forethought Phase

In the forethought phase people engage in a) task analysis and b) self-motivational beliefs. Task analysis involves the setting of goals and strategic planning. Self motivational beliefs involves self- efficacy, outcome expectations, intrinsic interest/value, and goal orientation.

Performance Phase

In the performance phase people perform self-control processes and self- observation strategies. Self-control involves self-instruction (various verbalizations), imagery (forming mental pictures), attention focusing and task strategies (which assist learning and performance by reducing a task to its essential parts and organizing the parts meaningfully. For example, when students listen to a history lecture, they might identify a limited number of key points and record them chronologically in brief sentences. People do those things while learning (say in education), and in non- educational settings.

Also as part of someone's performance they do self-observation. This refers to a person's tracking of specific aspects of their own performance, the conditions that surround it, and the effects that it produces. You can set goals in forethought about how you are going to do self- observation.

Self-Reflection Phase

Bandura (1986)[99] has identified two self-reflected processes that are closely associated with self-observation: self- judgment and self-reactions. Self-judgment involves self-evaluating one's performance and attributing casual significance to the results. Self-evaluation refers to comparing self-monitored information with a standard or goal, such as a sprinter judging practice runs according to his or her best previous effort. Previous performance or self-criteria involves comparisons of current performance with earlier levels of one's behavior, such as a baseline or the previous performance.

People also make casual attributions about the results of their evaluations - such as whether poor performance is due to one's limited ability or to insufficient effort. Self-satisfaction involves perceptions of satisfaction or dissatisfaction and associated affect regarding one's performance, which is important because people pursue courses of action that result in satisfaction and positive affect, and avoid those courses that produce dissatisfaction and negative affect, such as anxiety.

Adaptive or defensive inferences are conclusions about how one needs to alter his or her self-regulatory approach during subsequent efforts to learn or perform. Adaptive inferences are important because they direct people to new and potentially better forms of performance self-regulation, such as by shifting the goals hierarchically or choosing a more effective strategy (Zimmerman + Martinez-Pons, 1992)[100] In contrast, defensive inferences serve primarily to protect the person from future dissatisfaction and aversive affect, but unfortunately they also undermine successful adaptation. These defensive self-reactions include helplessness, procrastination, task avoidance, cognitive disengagement, and apathy. Garcia and Pintrich (1994)[101] have referred to such defensive reactions as self-handicapping strategies, because, despite their intended protectiveness, they ultimately limit personal growth.

An Introduction

I said in the beginning of this chapter that "Self- regulation is the conscious and nonconscious processes by which people regulate their thoughts, emotions, attention, behavior, and impulses. People generate thoughts, feelings and actions and adapt those to the attainment of personal goals." But what is meant by terms such as self-regulation, self-control, self- awareness, and self-monitoring? The difficult thing to figure out I would think would be how much of self- regulation or what is going on mentally is conscious or not conscious. When someone is doing any action, how much of the control they are employing is conscious and how much of it is unconscious? That is a very complicated question. To a certain extent it is like you are unconsciously saying to yourself various things while you are doing something, but you also might be saying things to yourself consciously at the same time that also helps direct your behavior.

Other important questions are - how does a persons goals and motivations influence their feelings, behavior, self-control and actions? How much of feeling, impulses and impulse control, motivation and goal creating is conscious or unconscious? If you think about it, your goals, motivations, and the natural impulses that result from your emotions (which are to a large extent determined by your goals and motivations) are going to be fluctuating and changing all of the time.

People can alter the goals they have, however there is going to be an incredibly complex set of unconscious goals that one is not aware of. These goals create multiple motivations as well as multiple concerns. Also, doing well at approaching an incentive is not quite the same experience as doing well at avoiding a threat. If you think about it, your emotions are going to be different if you achieve something you are striving for then if you are threatened and respond because you are under pressure. It makes sense that approach is going to have such positive affects as elation, eagerness and excitement, and such negative affects as frusturation, anger and sadness. (Carver, 2004[102]; Carver + Harmon-Jones, 2009[103]). Avoidance involves such positive affects as relief and contentment (when someone avoids a threat, they are relieved and content) and such negative affects as fear, guilt and anxiety.

Goals can be changed by how motivated someone is to have that goal. Some goals can be brought into conscious awareness at various times for various reasons. Simon (1967)[104] reasoned that emotions are calls for reprioritization: that emotion regarding a goal that is out of awareness eventually induces people to give that goal a higher priority. The stronger the emotion, the stronger the claim for higher priority. Affect pulls the out-of-awareness into awareness.

Simon's analysis applies readily to negative feelings, such as anxiety and frustration. If you promised your spouse you would go to the post office today and you've been too busy, the creeping of the clock toward closing time can cause an increase in frustration or anxiety (or both). The stronger the affect, the more likely the goal it concerns will rise in priority until it comes into awareness and becomes the reference for behavior.

Therefore, it makes sense that the main goal you have and you know you have can reliquish its place. You are constantly shifting the goals you have, you simply might not be aware that you are doing this. If you think about it, people unconsciously might create many goals that they don't think about because they don't understand that they are motivated to do those things. They simply don't know that they are trying to reach certain objectives clearly. Take for instance sexual goals - people probably do many things to enhance sexual feelings without being aware that that is the motivation behind other goals they are consciously striving to achieve.

Emotionally people have many desires - all of these emotions are going to create and alter the various goals that people have (conscious and unconscious). If you think about that further, on a moment-by-moment basis your emotions are going to be altered continuously by various goals - your emotions are going to be creating goals, objectives and whatnot. For instance, even with simple activities you may have an emotional goal that you aren't aware of. Say you are opening a door - maybe a previous event caused you to slow down when opening the door and going into the next area because your motivation was decreased so you weren't as excited about moving onto the next activity in your life.

A Review

So before someone does anything, their previous thoughts and emotions are going to determine how they perform during the action/activity. They have many goals that they created unconsciously and consciously that determined to some extent the emotions they are feeling, and they thought many things which (in combination with their emotions) helps determine how they are thinking. During the action conscious verbalizations and mental imagery help assist performance, and reflection of the performance afterwards helps to determine a persons response.

Further Thoughts

The process of self-regulation is not completely understood, nor do I think it ever will be, because it is basically asking the question of how exactly does the mental processes behind thinking and feeling work. When 'mental imagery' is used, how exactly does that work? Which associated images come up with each image you bring up for a specific purpose? When people monitor their affective state, how much does that enhance what they are feeling or change what they are feeling? When someone uses a strategy such as a verbalization to help learning, why does that work exactly the way it does?

There seems to be a large unconscious factor that is too complicated to be understood. The unconscious is so complicated, as it has many factors that are interacting with each other all of the time. When those factors mentioned in the previous paragraph are brought up (mental images, monitoring, cognitive strategies), along with the natural unconscious emotion and motivation that occurs always with humans, it becomes obvious that there is no telling what could be influencing your thinking and feeling (on a detailed, moment to moment basis and even just considering the obvious factors).

How are Arousal and Stimulation Processed in Emotional Processing?

If you think about it, emotion is going to be related to everything in life. Things that inspire us generate emotion, things that arouse us generate emotion, and ordinary stimuli generates emotion as well.

But what is arousal? What is inspiration? If everything in life has some combination of arousal and stimulation, and this combination generates an 'emotional response', then are there other factors present that are also significant?

Arousal is a physiological and psychological state of being awake or reactive to stimuli. Arousal is important in regulating consciousness, attention, and information processing. It is crucial for motivating certain behaviours, such as mobility, the pursuit of nutrition, the fight-or-flight response and sexual activity. So in order to understand what arousal is, it helps to recall what sexual arousal is, since the two are related. Arousal is basically being stimulated, when someone is stimulated in a powerful way, they are aroused. This doesn't need to be sexual arousal, although sexual arousal is one type of arousal. You could say that there is 'intellectual' arousal or arousal from other types of stimulation.

When a person is aroused, he or she may find a wider range of events appealing [105] The state of arousal might lead a person to view a decision more positively than he or she would have in a less aroused state. So therefore arousal relates to inspiration, if one is inspired then they might also be more aroused.

How can inspiration relate to emotional processing? Arousal clearly relates, when someone is aroused, it influences their perception and determines if they are feeling strongly or weakly. If someone is aroused, then it is likely that they are feeling stronger emotions because they are more stimulated. But what if someone is inspired? Is someone going to be feeling stronger emotions if they are inspired? Can someone be inspired when they are feeling poorly?

Could someone be 'stimulated' or 'aroused' and not be experiencing strong emotions? Why would it matter if those emotions are 'inspiring' or not? Inspiration is related to imagination more than to stimulation. It could take only a little stimulation to get someone inspired because inspiration is something you make up or create in your mind. It takes a lot of stimulation to get someone aroused because arousal is more of a physical response and is less intellectual. It is as if the most obvious form of arousal is sexual arousal, because that is clearly biological and powerful.

Is arousal just 'stimulation'? If someone is stimulated, then they are likely to be aroused. Arousal implies a response so strong that it generates a physical response. Arousal involves the activation of the reticular activating system in the brain stem, the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system, leading to increased heart rate and blood pressure and a condition of sensory alertness, mobility and readiness to respond. It should be obvious that a stronger emotional response will lead to a stronger physical response. The mind and body are linked, when someone has a reaction, they also move in a certain way to reflect the nature of that reaction (such as a facial expression, or a body expression or gesture), and this physical reaction is not always controlled. That example is one way of demonstrating the link between mind, body and arousal.

Arousal is a difficult concept to understand. It becomes more simple when someone thinks of sexual arousal. Sexual arousal is obvious - someone feels strongly in a sexual way. This makes the person more alerted and possibly results in a faster reaction time because they are stimulated and 'aroused'. Non-sexual arousal works the same way only it is not sexual. It is non-sexual things or stimulation generating a physical response in the body. Imagination also can generate a physical response, which is interesting because it is as if imagination is something you are just making up.

This makes it more clear how emotion is processed - an emotional reaction causes various factors in your mind and body to interact with each other, producing a more complex reaction. Arousal, stimulation, imagination and various thoughts and ideas (which are in the same category as 'imagination' because they are made up by the mind) all interact.


When someone has an intention, or does anything such as thinking something or doing something without thought, what is the exact mental process that lies behind that action? What combination of emotions, feelings and thoughts makes that happen? Here is what is at the bottom of the "Emotion is a Combination of Feeling and Thought" chapter:

"Emotion always precedes thought; thought is always just going to be an explanation of emotion. Everything in the end turns out to be an emotion in your system, so therefore everything is really an emotion. When you say "I want to leave" the feeling of you wanting to leave is always going to precede the thought. Actually first you quickly understand what it is that you are feeling when you realize what it is you are feeling as an unconscious thought process, then you have a more regular feeling about it, and then you are able to verbalize that feeling into a thought. Unless something is said to you instead of you thinking it, in which case the process is reversed. First it is a thought because it is expressed that way, then it is a feeling, and then it is a quick unconscious thought process to think about what was said."

So there is an unconscious thought process before everything you think/do, however there are also patterns of feelings which are also there. The feelings described are an important part of it, when you do something there isn't an unconscious thought right before you do it. You first have the unconscious thought when you have the original feeling that caused you to want to do that thing - you first have a feeling that you want to do something, then you understand what that feeling means as an unconscious thought, and then that is translated back into a feeling which remains there until you do the action. So the unconscious thought is not right before you do the thing, the feeling is there before you do it because feelings are faster than thoughts, so your mind has the feeling ready at hand to act on the unconscious thought process. That is because once you realize what it is you are going to do as a thought process, you don’t need to spend the time to think the entire thing through again, but it is stored in the instinctual part of your brain where your feelings are. Remember from the instinctual frog example that feelings are faster than thoughts, and feelings are also unconscious thoughts so they can also store information to do. This is the frog example in the chapter “Thoughts”:

"The definition of intellect and thoughts is almost understanding (those concrete things). Emotion is feeling, completely separate from facts or information. All facts and information are going to be about things that cause feeling, however, since all things that happen cause feelings and all facts and information are about things that happen. So facts and information are just feelings organized in a logical manner. Intellect and thought also generates feelings when those thoughts are processed in your mind. Since thought is really only about feelings, it is logical that thought actually has root in feelings. For example, all events are really feelings in the mind, so thoughts are actually just comparing feelings. You take two feelings and can arrive at one thought. Take the feeling of a frog moving and the feeling of a threat of danger. The two feelings combined equal the idea or thought that the frog needs to move when there is danger - the thought is actually just understanding how feelings interact. All thought is is the understanding of how feelings and real events interact with themselves. Feeling is what provides the motivation to arrive at the answer (the thought). If you just had the facts, there is a threat, and the frog can jump, you aren't going to arrive at the conclusion that the frog should jump away. You need to take the feeling that there is a threat and the feeling that the frog can jump and then combine the two sensory images in your head to arrive at the answer.

That shows how all intellect is powered and motivated by emotion. It also shows that frogs have thoughts; the frog has to have the thought to jump away when it sees a threat, as a thought is just the combination of two feelings resulting in the resulting feeling of wanting to move away. That process of feelings is like a thought process. Thoughts are a little different for humans, however, because humans have such a large memory that they are able to compare this experience to all the other experiences in their life while the frog only remembers the current situation and is programmed (brain wiring) to jump away. The frog doesn't have a large enough memory to learn from new information and change its behavior. That shows how humans are very similar to frogs in how they process data (in one way at least), and that one thing that separates a human from a frog is a larger memory which can store lots of useful information and potential behavioral patterns."

It would be too slow for you to just do something based on an unconscious thought process, you would have to wait to have this unconscious thought right before you do the thing, instead of having the thought at one point in time and storing it, and then doing the thing later on.  If it is just an instinctual reaction, however, it is just a feeling that you are responding to because it is too fast to have an unconscious thought process. It is just a manner of the definition of what an unconscious thought is - that it is going to be more like a thought than a feeling - which is also an unconscious thought, so it depends how you view it.

If it is an instinctual, immediate reaction, say if you slam a door on your hand then you are going to say "ouch" - that is a thought that resulted from two feelings, the feeling of pain and the feeling that you need to express that pain. The thought is so fast you might consider it unconscious, that is also like in the frog example.

It gets even more complicated than that - this is in the "Life Occurs in Sharp Spikes" chapter of the book:

"Everything that is processed, not just spikes, follows the sequence of thought to emotion to feeling. That is because thoughts are clearer than emotions and feelings, and emotions are more similar to thoughts than feelings are (discussed previously) so when you see something or hear something or whatnot for the first time, it is clearer in your mind. Then it becomes less clear and you think about it unconsciously. You think about it unconsciously because it takes further processing in order to isolate the feeling that that things gives you. Some things are just too complicated to feel them right away. Other things, however, can be felt right away, say if you are touching something the feeling arises right away. That is because the physical stimulus is more immediate than emotional stimulus.

Emotional things, however, are simply to complicated to "feel" them right away, they need to be processed first. That is logical, just take looking at anything, say a book. In order to feel the feelings that the book causes in you, you are going to have to at least unconsciously think about it first (that is, after you start paying attention to it, which you do by starting to think about it or just see it and notice it more than you usually notice things in the area). Since you don't need to think about physical stimulus since it is just a physical stimulus, (not something like vision) you don't really unconsciously process it."

That shows that it is really all mixed in - thoughts, emotions and feelings - that there isn't just an unconscious thought process but you could also just say that feelings or thoughts are first - this is because when you process something you might think about it first, and it certainly feels this way because when you are processing something it is a very intellectual experience, it is clear in your mind and it feels like you are thinking about the thing so clearly that you must be using thoughts instead of emotions. I say that things are first clear in your mind when you first see it or whatnot, - that would be the "thought" but then it is an emotion, and you do that (make it into an emotion) to isolate the feeling the thing causes in you, so then you feel it (after you isolate the feeling) - thought to emotion to feeling. 

So when you have an intention to do something could it be that first it is an unconscious thought and then you just do it? First you are going to have an unconscious thought about it, then you are going to have a conscious thought about it (because it is an intention) and then you are going to do it. Your conscious thought about it may or may not be verbal, you don’t have to think about everything verbally in order to do it. You do have a conscious thought about it because that is almost the definition of intention, your intent. If you don’t have a conscious thought about it then it is more instinctual, or it could be a mix of the two. Everything someone does is going to be on the spectrum somewhere between complete intention and completely instinctual.

Intentions and instincts (or things you do) aren’t just thoughts, but feelings and emotions are often involved as well, where do they fit in? First an emotion could start an intention, and then it would be an unconscious thought process, and then it might become another emotion because you can feel everything (you are going to feel the thought, or have a feeling about it) and feelings are very fast so this feeling can fit into the time after you think about it and before you do the action, or after the initiating event and before the unconscious or conscious thought process. When you do think it is very fast, in fact your thinking might be slow, but there is one point in time where your thinking leads to a conclusion and that is culmination is considered to be when you had the “thought” because it is a conscious thought that your mind understands, but leading up to that conscious thought (which could be verbal or not verbal) was unconscious thoughts (or thinking) because it is hard to reach difficult conclusions instantly. This thought is then held in your mind until you do the action, it prepares your mind for the action, and during that time that thought might generate a certain feeling – maybe fear or a lack of confidence. This feeling is then used when you do the intention, because when you do something you do it so fast that you don't "think" about it right before you do it, but you use the feeling that is “storing” the thought. You might not have feelings about it and your action might not be swayed by feeling, but if it is then your thoughts might be under the influence of your feelings. Your feelings might cause you to stop doing the thing if you are too afraid, for example.

So there is an unconscious thought before every intention, that is what thought is, it is figuring out what you are going to do, and you are going to have to figure out what it is that you are going to do first before you do it. Unless it is like the frog example where you just feel it at the same time that you do it, but in that case the feelings are mixed in with the thoughts, so then it is a matter of how you define "thought". Thought is really a conclusion (not a partial thought, which could be an emotion), so you take two feelings and come at a conclusion, which is the thought, then you do the thing, and that means that you do have an unconscious thought right before the intention, the feeling really is a thought, it is just so fast that it is a feeling and a thought. So right before you do something there can be a feeling - which is also a thought, that causes you to do it finally. So is it a thought or is it a feeling? The feeling is the drive behind the thought (or thinking), which builds up along with the feeling. The feeling is powering the thought (or thinking) because it is so instinctual. So things that are more instinctual are going to be faster and involve more feelings, feelings can speed up thoughts (this is obvious with the instinctual example, where instinct then is really just powerful feelings causing you to think very fast).

So if you do anything there is going to be unconscious thoughts before you do it, because thoughts are just understanding real things. That includes if you have intentions, only intentions (since they are more conscious) are going to involve conscious thoughts as well as unconscious ones, unless it is an intention you intended to do unconsciously. The reason intentions involve unconscious thoughts as well is because you need to think to arrive at the conclusion, and most thinking isn’t completely consciously understood. How many people can think without using words, yet understand what it is that they are thinking? You can understand that you are going to do a certain thing without using words, but you can’t think for a long period of time without using words and still follow your thought process. Complicated non-verbal thought processes are unconscious. And almost all thoughts and everything you do is going to be complicated - and therefore they are going to involve long unconscious thinking about them (by long I just mean longer than instantaneous, which would be what you would do if it was instinctual).

So right before you do something there is going to be something in your mind that understands what it is you are going to do, this is a thought because it is real (versus feelings which are things which you just feel).  You might even "feel" the thought really.  That is what happens right before you do something.  However, leading up to that final thought/feeling it is going to be like described before; first you might have a feeling. If humans were computers I would say that first it starts with its programming and then it has the thought, but for humans feelings are their programming – so humans first have feelings and then we have thoughts.  Feelings can originate from thoughts however, so it is then a which came first, the chicken or the egg debate.  But if the original feeling started because of a thought, the thought was more further away in time from the feeling -by a few seconds at least – that is because conscious thoughts (verbal ones) have space of time around them, if you think, “I am going to shoot” you don’t shoot as quickly as you would if you just understood that you were going to shoot, the conscious verbal thought slows you down.  So when you have an intention or when you are going to think something (which is what thoughts are - they cam be verbal because you can express anything verbally almost, including all intentions) then that follows the process of feeling to unconscious thought to feeling again to store it.  I said before “a feeling, then an unconscious thought process, then a more general feeling”. 

I said that because the first feeling is just the real feeling of the intention you are going to have - which you could say is an unconscious thought because as discussed previously all feelings are unconscious thoughts - and it is clear they are when you realize it is an intention, which is going to be doing something real, and intellect is understanding things that are real.  So the first feelings/thoughts are when you first feel that you want to do something, then you need to unconsciously think about it to realize what it is you want to do exactly (this is not a conscious non-verbal thought, but an unconscious one), and then you have a more specific or general feeling about it (by general there I really mean larger or more clear) to store that clear thought, the general feeling then is going to be more clear because you now unconsciously understand what it is that you are going to do, and then it is a real conscious thought and then you could translate that conscious thought to a verbal thought or an action.

So to explain the statement, "first it is a feeling, then it is an unconscous thought process, and then it is a more general feeling and then you are able to make that feeling into a conscious thought (or do an action which would stem from that clear thought)" - that was originally said in the book at the end of the "Emotion is a Combination of Feeling and Thought" chapter in this form - "actually first you quickly understand what it is that you are feeling when you realize what it is you are feeling as an unconscious thought process, then you have a more regular feeling about it, and then you are able to verbalize that feeling into a thought".  Whether someone’s state before they have that thought is one that started with an emotion or without an emotion, that state must have originated from a previous state, or from some other previous stimulus. In terms of someone’s first feelings, their first feelings probably came from physical feelings before the brain was developed in the womb.  First people would have just physical feelings, not deep emotional ones because all there is in the beginning is sensory stimulation - mostly feeling your own body and your surroundings. 

So the first thoughts/feelings originated from physical stimulus, like, "ouch that hurts".  Or "that looks cool".  After the human develops they can have thoughts and feelings that can originate from sensory stimulation, physical stimulation, or other thoughts and feelings.  But that doesn't explain what happens right before someone thinks something or does something. It explains that originally there are those things which would cause the intention, but not how the intention is formed.  Since humans have strong emotions, many intentions are going to be formed from emotion.  Intentions are also going to be formed from conscious / unconscious thinking.  Feelings are also going to have elements of thoughts, however (so it isn’t either feeling or thought that originated the intention, it might be both at the same time).  Say if you want to switch a switch - it is going to be a progression of feeling/thought.  That is, it is going to take time for you to realize what it is you want to do, so it could be feeling and thinking all along, and at some point in that feeling/thinking you are going to realize fully what you want to do, and then you could call it a thought because it is completely formed (this thought might be conscious or it might remain unconscious and only later become conscious).  When you realize you want to switch a switch it isn't instantaneous, but it takes time.  But when you do switch the switch instantaneously, are you acting off of the thought or the feeling? You are probably acting off of the feeling, the thought was a period in time a while ago, but that thought started the feeling of you wanting to do it, which lead to you switching the switch off of the feeling instead of the thought. Unless you happen to do the thing right after you finally figure out what it is you want to do, then you could say that the thought made you do it.

That reveals that you are always going to have some feeling about what it is you are going to do right before you do it, because then you “think” or “feel” what it is you are going to do. It isn’t going to be as strong in terms of thought as when you first thought of what it was you were going to do, because you don’t need to think as much to realize what it is you are going to do. You are probably going to be feeling more than thinking right before you do it because you are going to be excited about doing something, you already realized what you were going to do which was the thought part, now it is time for the feeling part. The thought is still there of course otherwise you wouldn’t know what to do, however right before you do it feeling is probably going to dominate.

Right before you do something your mind needs to get ready to do it, and you need to remind yourself what it is you need to do and that you need to do it. So that means your mind probably feels something based on what it is you are going to do. This feeling can be simulated if you read a book and then later reflect on how you feel about the book. Reading the book in this instance would be the original thought process, and reflecting on it later would be simulating the feeling right before you do something. You don’t need to think about everything in the book to understand the feeling that the book causes you. You don’t need to think as hard to understand the same things because it was already understood at one point. The second time it is easier. That is like when you first have an unconscious thought process to understand what you are going to, when you are going to do it later you already understand what you are going to do, you simply then “feel” what it is you are going to do because it is more clearly understood, it is understood emotionally now (more instinctual) so you don’t need to “think” as much as you did before. Emotion replaces thought because emotion is easier than thought. Someone isn’t going to think unless they have to, you basically have already done the hard part, so the second time you bring it up the thought would be reduced and the emotion would remain. The further excitement of being about to do the thing would raise the emotion even more. But here learned is another thing, if you think about something once the next times you bring it up (especially if you bring it up right after you figure it out) it is going to be much easier to understand so thought is going to be reduced and feeling raised relatively.

So in other words, before the thought or your understanding of what it is you are going to do is complete, you are going or are not going to be having emotions that are encouraging this thought process or affecting this thought process.  Emotion and intelligence are intertwined.  That is why first comes the emotion, then the complete thought, and then you might have an emotion about that thought itself as well, - in other words the state of the emotion you are feeling is probably going to evolve as the thought does.  This reveals that while emotion is unconscious thought, not all unconscious thought is emotion. 

Humans don't just say things without thinking about them first, so everything is going to be unconscious first.  Speech is much much slower than your thoughts are, and unless you start saying something and don't know the complete sentence before you say it, you are going to have the entire thing thought out first.  So technically everything starts with an unconscious thought.  However this thought has levels of understanding, there are levels to which you understand the thought, that is why you can't just say everything all at once, you usually have to think about it for a bit first. When people think, it takes time to think, and they don't think unconsciously in sentences.  They think unconsciously with emotions, thoughts, visualizations, anything your mind can simulate. When they think unconsciously with emotions you could be taking large emotional experiences and trying to analyze them, or little ones, you could be combining different experiences, or combining emotion with thought or emotion with visualization (etc.). Your mind doesn't just use sentences to figure out what it wants to do, that would take too long.  Sentences are actually just sounds that represent things, you don't need to simulate a sound in your head in order to think.  It might be that you simulate tiny sounds, or however it is your neurons fire to organize the thoughts, the point is the thoughts are not fully formed instantly.  It isn't the firing of one neuron once that makes a complete sentence.  There is a progression of thought.  This is obvious because when you are doing a problem, say a math problem, you often can reach the answer without having to say anything.  What is happening is that you are thinking about things unconsciously, maybe you are visualizing the number of things you need to visualize to find the answer (say adding 1 to 1 you have to visualize the separate objects, and then visualize the two objects together).

An Overly Optimistic Attitude towards Life Leads to a Dulling of Emotion

When you go into a situation or an event the attitude you have is going to impact your emotional experience. If you think something is going to be fun, when in reality it isn’t, and you continue to think that that thing was fun afterwards, it is going to make you feel worse than if you had the right understanding of how much fun the event was. This is because an overly optimistic attitude causes you to consciously focus on things which you enjoy more, but your conscious mind can only recognize a tiny amount of things which you enjoy. So you are amplifying a disproportionate amount of emotion in your own mind. That throws things off balance in your head and you start to wonder (consciously and unconsciously) why you are enjoying some things more than others, and it throws off your responses to natural, ordinary events. In other words, your mind compares the positive things which you are amplifying to the things you aren’t amplifying (like how it compares how you work during the day to how you rest at night – that is your mind compares the work during the day to resting at night and therefore you feel more rested because your mind is comparing those things to if you didn’t work during the day). Furthermore ordinary events start to become duller because you are amplifying a few events you just think are fun, when in reality all of life is fun if you give it an equal chance.

What those people fail to realize is that basically everything can be viewed as fun, they don’t need to grab onto a few things with their overly optimistic attitude. Emotions are fun, and life is so full of emotions that any scene or event in life can be broken down into its many emotional parts. Emotion just means how something makes you feel, and that in turn means what kind of reaction things make you have. In fact, each individual object in life gives an emotion, and makes you react in a certain way.

If you have an optimistic attitude towards life, or an overly optimistic attitude, then most of the emotion that you get is going to be undercut (undermined, etc, because it is going to be outweighed by the few things which you are praising, or have an optimistic attitude for) and therefore overall be leading to a dulling of emotion. That is because this overly optimistic attitude is a conscious thing that only enhances a few of the events in life and doesn’t understand that everything in life can be viewed as being fun (if you take the same attitude and just twist it that is).

You’re not still being optimistic because you’re dismissing the verbal discourse whereby you rate some things in life as higher than other things. You are still being optimistic in a way but now you understand that you shouldn’t be over inflating some things more than others. It is like saying, wow that duck tape is really really cool. But then you are missing all the other things in the room which are also cool, maybe a lot less cool than the duck tape but they can still be viewed as being cool. So instead you’d say, hey that duck tape is cool, to keep it more in line with how cool the other things are. This doesn’t mean that you are less optimistic towards life, it just means you are more aware and considering of the whole.

Similarly, an overly negative attitude can bring down how cool an object is. You can basically manufacture false emotions about things. While you might feel a temporary sensation of elation (if you’re being optimistic) or a temporary down feeling (if you’re being pessimistic) afterwards you are going to feel bad because you basically insulted all the other feelings in your mind as being weak compared to it. Either that or you feel bad because you inserted an emotion that was too hard to deal with in your mind because it was so strong, and you feel bad afterwards because that strong emotion lingers in your mind and takes up room that it shouldn’t, in addition to throwing your system off balance.

That is what an overly optimistic attitude does, it takes all the things in your mind that you might verbally over inflate, and inflates them. That creates a tension in your brain because then most of the ordinary things which you should also be enjoying seem dull. The reverse is true with an overly negative attitude, which is also bad.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Your attitude is determined by your thoughts, and your thoughts are going to be determined by your intellect because your intellect is who you are, and you decide what it is that you are going to think. Your attitude is going to lead you to have different emotions, and these emotions are then also going to change how it is you understand the world emotionally, or your emotional intelligence.

Smaller Emotions Follow Brief, Intense Emotions

Extremely deep feelings and emotions, like sadness or anger, usually only last a few seconds. However, those deep feelings often trigger lesser feelings of sadness and anger for the period afterwards. This intense, brief period of emotion can trigger a long array of smaller, similar emotions afterwards. Say if the deep emotion was you being sad, the following emotions that person is going to experience would be lesser sad emotions. These emotions aren’t just by themselves, but are often accompanied by thoughts, behaviors, or environmental stimulus.

If you have a brief period of being extremely happy it is more likely to be followed by extremely optimistic thinking, like thinking, I am great, I am amazing, and wow I really did a good job. A brief period of extreme sadness is likely to be followed by pessimistic thinking because that is how your brain is wired. Your brain is programmed to associate sad with failure, and success (or happy) with optimism.

Why do intense emotions only last a few seconds? They do because emotions work in accordance with thoughts. Thoughts only last a few seconds, and therefore it is logical that the most intense emotions you experience are going to be periods of intense thought and intense emotion at the same time. These periods are so intense that they are probably capable of being noticed by the person experiencing them.

Such an intense emotional experience is going to leave a mark, however. That is why those brief periods of intense emotion are going to be followed by lesser, similar emotions. Say if you were extremely happy for a few seconds, then you’d be slightly happy for a while afterwards.

Why does the brief period only last a few seconds? Can’t it be longer? If life were great, I guess the positive intense emotional experiences would last longer, and the short negative emotional experiences not even exist. But the attention span of the average human/animal is actually very short, and they can only handle so much intense emotion in a certain period of time.

That leads to another phenomenon called overload. A person or animal can only experience so many intense periods of emotion in a certain amount of time. Say you made someone laugh really hard, and then would tell an equally funny joke right after, that person wouldn’t laugh as hard because the laugh brain circuitry is already exhausted. It is like being jaded, only in the short term. This theory is easy to test, just pinch yourself, then pinch yourself again, and you’ll realize that it hurts a lot more the first time. That is because pain is an emotional experience as well, and that first pinch is exactly similar to the brief periods of intense emotion mentioned before. Furthermore, the pinch is followed by lesser amounts of pain. When all that residual pain is gone you can pinch yourself again and it will hurt just as much as the first time.

In other words, the brief, intense emotion was so intense that it leaves an aftereffect of lesser amounts of that same emotion. I could also just change the word emotion with thought. If you think something strongly, then similar thoughts are likely to follow, only less intense. The intensity of the emotion/thought goes downhill after the main event solely because your mind is exhausted by the intensity of the intense experience of emotion or thought. Humans/animals simply don’t have the capacity for a more intense experience then an intense emotional or intellectual experience.

People just don’t have very, very, very intense emotional or intellectual experiences. The mind just can’t handle it. People can have very, very, very intense physical experiences, however. That is only because evolutionarily humans and animals evolved going through very intense physical experiences, but there just isn’t any need or purpose to go through intense intellectual/emotional experiences. It would even be boring after the first few seconds. That’s because most emotion and intellect is originally from sensory stimulation, which is found in the real world and not in your head.

There are many examples of the intensity of intellectual and emotional experiences dying off. It is simply because something repeated over and over in your head becomes less and less interesting as its newness dies off. You could take any idea and repeat it to yourself over and over and you’ll notice how doing that becomes less and less interesting.

In fact, sometimes it is better to not initiate thinking about something that would lead to you to continue to repeat it (or similar ideas or emotions) because it is unhealthy to repeat things (or experience emotions that last too long) because the intensity of the experience dies off and you are stuck in a pattern of thinking about something, or feeling something, that you don’t want to be thinking or feeling because it isn’t providing enough stimulation. But you are still stuck feeling/thinking it because for whatever reason your mind doesn’t let go of it easily.

It is healthier to not be so interested in the thing in the first place so your mind doesn’t over inflate it and you wind up going through a period of over-excitement, which you don’t really enjoy, followed by a period of under-excitement, which you don’t really enjoy. It is like an addiction to emotion that would lead to this behavior. Or an overly optimistic attitude towards life. Someone that is overly aggressively approaching life, trying to grab onto whatever positive emotions or thoughts they can. Or someone overly upset about something and, just being persistent, doesn’t realize that it becomes less and less interesting to be upset about that thing, but continues to persist in thinking about it. They just need to move on.

In fact, you could view this two different ways, one is to not experience the more intense thoughts/emotions and try to spread it out over time. The other way to view it is the sharp emotional spike is a good thing. It is probably only a good thing if you like hurting yourself, however. It is a bad thing because it is so out of character with your everyday emotions/thoughts, which are much less intense. Such a drastic change from the ordinary would cause a violent mood swing. Your mind is going to be upset that things around it are changing so fast, and it would lead you to continuously try and figure out what is going on (consciously or unconsciously). Your mind has in it an automatic thing which tries to figure out what is happening to it, and that device is going to short circuit if you put in short, brief periods of intensity. It is like the brief period of intensity jolts your entire system. Like a hot wire.

If you are going to go for the brief period of intensity then that is a way of looking at life, it is a philosophy that you need to grab on to anything that throws its way to you. Or if you are looking for the brief period of negative intensity then that philosophy would be looking to grab onto (really anything, not just anything positive) that comes your way. Someone with those attitudes would think something like, “ok there is a positive experience, lets do it, I mean lets really go and do it that would be really really really fun”. They are so upset about life that when they see a positive thing, they cling onto it desperately. What they don’t realize is that clinging onto something positive (or negative) or any clinging, causes your mind to stop liking it due to repetition and overload.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • When you have a strong emotion it just doesn’t disappear, but it disappears gradually. This shows how your emotions are going to determine your thoughts and therefore your intellect. It shows that emotions cannot be completely controlled and therefore are going to change your thoughts and therefore possibly the reliability of your intelligence.

Visual learning

Things that are easier to picture are easier to understand.

Things that are easier to picture are easier to understand. Take the difference between understanding, we are going to play with the Frisbee, and if you throw the Frisbee twice as fast, it will arrive at its destination in half the time. It is clearly easier to understand what playing with the Frisbee is then it is to calculate how soon it will get to the other person. That is because the emotional event of playing with the Frisbee is large and distinct, and involves many things.

One thing was an emotional event; the other thing was a precise calculation. You could also view that backwards, that the calculation is actually an emotional event, and the emotional event is actually a calculation. The emotional event of playing Frisbee is in fact a calculation; you are calculating everything that there is involved with playing Frisbee. When someone says, “let’s play Frisbee” you imagine and picture in your head everything that playing Frisbee involves.

Thus for anything that is said you bring up a picture of it in your head. Even if it is a sound or a smell, you always try to picture what is causing it. That is because the vision enhances the experience and makes it more enjoyable to think about and therefore it is also going to be easier to remember. It is like vision is tied in with everything, and that if something can’t be visualized, it simply doesn’t exist.

Empty space is the absence of vision. But when you think hard about just an empty space, you’d like to imagine something there because you know that you would enjoy looking at that space more that way, that it just isn’t right for something to be empty like that. Even blind people visualize things because they can feel in three dimensions with their bodies and hands.

That is also why harder mathematical problems are harder to do, because they are harder to visualize. You have to memorize what 12 times 12 equals, but you can easily visualize what 1 times 2 is. Just one group of 2, that equals 2, you can picture that object in your head easily but when you picture adding up 12 groups of 12 the image gets too large.

Even if you think about a smell that is an invisible gas, you are going to picture something in your head like a gas outlet or a gas tank, or the air being filled with an invisible substance. Vision is in all of our thoughts and emotions, the other senses aren’t. Only some things smell, only some objects make noise, but everything can be seen. Everything exists somewhere physically, that is, and if it exists somewhere physically, then even if it is invisible you are going to be trying to imagine the space in which it is in.

In that manner blind people can see. They have an image of the world similar to what we do (even if they have never seen) solely from feeling objects and imagining where everything is. If someone asked you what the properties of an invisible gas were, you’d be thinking about the empty space in which the gas was in. How is it that people can visualize empty space? If there wasn’t empty space there, then there wouldn’t be anything, just empty space. So when most people visualize empty space they probably think of something like an empty room, or the corner of an empty room and just not focus on the walls, trying to look into the empty space by having an unfocused look to their eye.

It also seems that the easier it is to picture something, the easier it is to understand and remember. That is because things that have a stronger visual presence cause more emotion to be invoked in a person, and it is has a larger presence in that persons mind, and therefore is easier to remember. So the easier the vision is to comprehend, the easier it is also going to be to remember.

Also, the more emotional the event, the easier it is to remember. (and all events and such things in life are visual, as well). That is why dogs remember the words they care the most about like walk, Frisbee, food, and their name. It isn’t just easier to remember these larger things, but it is easier to understand them. The smaller and more complicated it gets, the harder it is to understand. So easier physics problems would be something like ball A hitting ball B, but harder ones would involve something like friction, which you can’t see as well. For example what is easier to understand, what is the force of friction on the ball, or what is the force of my hand on the ball? Mathematically they would seem to take just as much physical work to write down the mathematical solution, but emotionally it takes more work to do the friction part of the problem. (because it is harder to visualize) That means, however, that it is going to be harder for you to do the mathematical problem, or the friction part of the mathematical problem.

The easier something is to visualize, the less the strain on your mind processing that thing is going to have. Things that are easier to picture are easier to understand as well.

There are also degrees to which you visualize something. Say you are doing a math problem that involves distances. You can focus on those distances when you think about them to varying degrees. That is, when you think of the word distance you have unconscious thoughts about something like, “oh was that a very long trip?” Or you think more or less clearly about how straight the line of the distance is because you are thinking about trips now. Or thinking about the force of friction on an object, you have to try and visualize the tiny particles rubbing against each other. There are degrees of effort you can put into thinking about each visualization. Fields like engineering and physics require a lot of visual intelligence. People who can focus more and visualize things better would probably do better in those fields. Since vision relates to everything, better visual ability could help in countless situations to varying degrees.

Is emotional intelligence visual? How does the statement, “boys are aggressive so they would be more likely to buy a book about aggresivity to encourage their own aggressiveness than if they weren’t aggressive” relate to visual intelligence? You have to be able to imagine boys being aggressive and then you have to think about the response (which is visual) to boys when they are encouraged to be aggressive. Emotional intelligence is then just observing slight visual changes in affect. However to notice these slight changes in affect it is important to point out or lead one to notice better certain visual things by more intellectual observations, which are actually just visual observations themselves.

They are visual observations themselves because almost everything is a visual observation, the only things that aren’t visual observations are observations related to the other senses, but those other senses might play a lesser role than visual since visual is the sense people are most in tune with since it occurs all the time.

Emotional intelligence, however, might also relate to understanding physical senses because you need to understand how people physically feel in order to understand their emotional state, as the physical contributes to emotion. You feel your own body all the time and the senses from your skin and muscles changes all the time as well. Those feelings play an important part in how you feel, and serve as a baseline for emotions. That is you can close your eyes and stop thinking, but you are still going to feel something. That thing you are feeling then must be mostly physical since you aren’t getting any other inputs (other than unconscious emotional ones, but you can do things like focusing on your heart beat or breathing to eliminate more of that focus and focus more on your body).

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Emotional intelligence is sensory (or comes originally from sensory data), and your senses are directed by your thoughts and emotions (or you – and you are your intellect). So it becomes clear then that someone is their intellect, and their intellect then must comprise their emotions and their thoughts (since someone is only emotions and thoughts just behaving in a certain pattern).


Understanding the psychology of your feelings, emotions and thoughts is important because it leads to increased consciousness.

Consciousness occurs when feeling and understanding meet, this is because consciousness is shown in the ability to reflect on your feelings. In other words, when you understand what it is that you are feeling you are the most conscious. That is because during that time you are most aware of what is going on. This awareness could be described as an understanding of life, not just general understanding. That is you could be doing a math problem, but that math problem isn’t going to increase how conscious you are, because doing it isn’t going to increase your understanding of how it is that you are feeling. It could be that doing the problem makes you more awake, and as a side effect of that you understand how it is that you are feeling better, but that is just a side effect. Understanding how you are feeling makes you more aware of yourself because that increases how much you are thinking about yourself (or your feelings).

Since thoughts and emotions lead to feelings, the more you understand them as well the more conscious you are going to be. So if you are doing a math problem, the more you understand that you are doing a math problem, and the place the math problem has in your life, then the more conscious you are. That is, it isn’t doing the math problem that is making you more conscious, but it is understanding the place of what it is you are doing and feeling (in this case a math problem) and where that fits into your life that determines how conscious you are. It is your inner reflection of how the math problem makes you feel as a whole that separates humans being conscious from other animals. Consciousness basically means aware. This means that the math problem actually does lead to increased consciousness, because you are becoming more aware of the place of that math problem in your entire life as you do the math problem.

So consciousness basically means how aware someone is of themselves (it means other things as well). The more aware of yourself you are the more conscious you are. In order to be aware of yourself you need to understand where everything in your life fits in. It is this awareness, or commonsense, that is more important to understanding who you are. In order to be aware of yourself, or have a concept of self, you have to have a concept of how yourself interacts in the world as a whole, not just as individual parts.

Even though you might be sleeping, you are conscious because you still understand who you are. Then again, during dreams you don’t act in as rational a manner as when awake, as dreams tend to not make as much sense as real life. Therefore you wouldn’t be as conscious during a dream as you would when you are awake. You are still conscious to some degree, however, since you are functioning in a somewhat reasonable manner. But you still aren’t clearly perfectly aware of yourself or your place in the world since in dreams sometimes you do things and see things that don’t make sense, but you apparently don’t notice them. This indicates further that consciousness is more a matter of commonsense and how well you know yourself than just standard intellect like would be present say when doing a math problem. Your ability to reflect on yourself might not be related to normal IQ, but might more likely be more highly related to emotional IQ.

In other words commonsense can be measured just as standard intellect can be. But what leads to commonsense is emotional intelligence not intelligence that is more related to memory or something built up over time, like skill. The more commonsense someone has the more conscious they are because they know what it is that they are doing. This is a different type of consciousness then the type that makes humans human, this is the practical type of consciousness that makes someone aware of their environment and their ability to function, versus a deeper human consciousness. In dreams people have very little commonsense, for example, in a dream you might try to do the same thing over and over again even though it might be failing, and you just randomly appear in scenes or scenarios with no background knowledge of how you got there or where in the world you are. That suggests that during dreams you are solely emotional. So commonsense isn’t just emotional intelligence, but it is a general awareness that would result from understanding your emotions, thoughts, and feelings all at the same time (and their place in the world). In order to understand the proper place of emotions, thoughts and feelings just a large assortment of knowledge isn’t going to increase your understanding of who you are. What is going to increase your understanding of who you are however is understanding how your emotions, thoughts and feelings fit into the general assortment of facts and information which makes up the world.

In review, commonsense and a general knowledge of where you are leads to consciousness. Those things both are clear facts separated from a bunch of haziness (the real world). So something like a bee might act like it understands its place in the world, but it doesn’t consciously understand it because if you put it in a glass cage it might just bat against the wall trying to get out over and over, not aware that it is ever going to get anywhere. The bee has no commonsense or knowledge. Knowledge in that case would mean understanding that it is in a glass cage, and commonsense would mean understanding that it is never going to get out. So to have commonsense you do need knowledge, but you need to take knowledge and appropriately configure it in order to gain common sense, or consciousness.

You need some knowledge and standard intellect (like memory) to attain commonsense (or consciousness). The more memory you have (random assortment of facts and information) the more information you have to put together in an organized way. It could be that it is easier to put together small amounts of information since it is less to process, leading to more commonsense than just being confused with a lot of memory. However, if you have a lot of data (or memory) and are also capable of putting it together effectively (like you wouldn’t be doing in say a dream) then you would have more commonsense then if you had less data and put it together just as effectively, because overall you’d have more data that is properly processed. So commonsense (or consciousness) is your ability to organize the data in your head. This data is organized relative to yourself, therefore giving you a greater understanding of where you are relative to the data. Disorganized data doesn’t count at all. A greater memory might increase your commonsense, but only if you can put that extra data together effectively. The bee didn’t understand the data that it was in a glass cage, and it didn’t understand that it wasn’t getting anywhere by hitting against it over and over. If bees had some commonsense they would fly around a room trying to get out instead of trying to get out in the same place over and over. They just have no idea what they are doing. But that is because it probably doesn’t remember what it just did. It might remember to some extent, but that memory might not be clear. So it isn’t the bees fault that it has no commonsense, because it didn’t have a large enough memory to collect enough facts to potentially use commonsense. A person with no commonsense in that example would be someone constantly running into the door without using the handle. You know the person has a large enough memory to remember that it just did that and it shouldn’t do it again, but it is still doing it over and over. That human is not conscious at all.

That human is showing no understanding of its actions. Understanding actions leads to commonsense because it shows that you know your place in the world. That human apparently isn’t aware of its current place in the world, which is that it is never going to get out of the room with that strategy. So the more sense someone has, the more likely they are going to understand their place in the world and what they are doing, therefore being more conscious.

The better one understands the statement “I am happy” the more that person understands how they are then relative to their condition at previous times. That would lead to them understanding themself better. The better someone understands themself, the more aware of themself they are, leading to increased consciousness. That is an example of how understanding feelings leads to increased consciousness. That is also different from what makes humans truly conscious, however. It is someone’s own deep understanding of who they are and how they are happy at that specific time relative to their life, and the meaning of that which makes someone really aware.

So life is a bunch of data that needs to be sorted in some ways in order for a sense of self to be identified. One way to sort the data would be to identify things similar to yourself. A data point in the center would be you, the points closest to that would be the points most similar to you, and the points further out would be more different. That type of sorting would lead to a long term understanding of sense of self. The other type of sorting where the closest points are what is most relevant to you at the time would be a temporary sense of self. Take the bee example, the bee doesn’t understand that hitting the wall over and over isn’t getting it anywhere, so for it a temporary data point that it is missing that would increase its sense of self awareness is that it isn’t getting anywhere by doing that.

The other type of sense of self is a more long term one. Things like what you like and dislike, and what emotions different things cause in you repeatedly would help you identify “who you are”. So consciousness isn’t just awareness of your environment, it is an understanding of yourself and who you are relative to your environment. That means a deep psychological understanding of your emotions, thoughts and feelings, an understanding of how you perform both in individual and general instances, and what your ability is to perform in those instances.

Putting together some data points doesn’t increase self consciousness as much as if you put together data points that relate to yourself. It is when you relate data point(s) to yourself that even more increased consciousness occurs, because you are relating yourself to more information, increasing your interaction with the world and therefore understanding yourself better relative to the world. So doing a math problem isn’t going to increase your understanding of yourself a lot, because those data points don’t really relate to you. It is going to increase your understanding of yourself a little because you understand what it is that you are doing, which increases your understanding of yourself, but it doesn’t increase how much you are thinking about yourself, which would increase your awareness of yourself even more. If you are trying to leave a room (the bee example) however, you linking your desire to leave the room and the fact that opening the door allows you to do that is linking a point about you and a point about the door together, strengthening your sense of self and how much you are thinking about yourself.

So basically any thought about oneself is going to increase ones sense of self. You have a permanent understanding of who you are that doesn’t change, and that is your long term understanding of self, but when you think about yourself, or you doing something (like trying to leave a room) your sense of self is temporarily increased because you are thinking about yourself more. So consciousness fluctuates greatly based on thought. It also increases greatly if you are having feelings or emotions about yourself as well. It increases when you are thinking, feeling, or being emotional about yourself because during those times you are more aware of yourself.

Commonsense increases someone’s ability to put data points (facts) together, but the more those facts (and resulting combinations of facts) relate to yourself the more that your consciousness is going to be increased. This leads to the conclusion that consciousness is just the awareness of the experience of oneself, and that experience includes ones actions, thoughts, feelings, and emotions (both long term and short term). It could be rephrased that consciousness is awareness of someone’s life experience, both short term and long term. The more commonsense someone has the more aware of their life they are going to be because they are going to be able to organize their life and their actions in an efficient, clear manner (both short term and long term) by connecting facts to themselves (the more distant the fact, the less consciousness it leads to because it is less related to yourself causing you to think about yourself less). The more someone is thinking about themself (or experiencing feelings and emotions about themself) the more they are going to be aware of that life experience because their life is going to be temporarily elevated in their minds.

It is impossible to have a perfect understanding of self, or consciousness because to do that you would have to be aware of the exact effect of each emotion, feeling and thought you have. To do that you’d have to be aware of everything in your environment, and everything that you can remember all at the same time. This means that your consciousness evolves based on your memory, that is if your memory changes, who you are changes because you can’t base yourself off the same things anymore. Who you are also changes based on your environment, and how aware you are of your environment.

You are going to be more aware of your environment if you are thinking more about your environment, or processing data about it (again this type of consciousness is more a functional one versus a deeper one). Processing data about your immediate environment leads to a greater sense of self because who you are is dependent on your immediate environment, because you automatically process what is going on in that environment. You get a lot of sensory stimulation from the environment you are in. That can be proved because when you think about your immediate environment your awareness of it increases much more than if you think about an environment you are not in. If you think about being in an environment you are not in your sense of self is going to decrease more than you would be if you weren’t thinking about anything, because your minds awareness is going to be divided between two places, so you’d have two senses of self. That links into the idea that processing data that is more relevant to yourself leads to greater consciousness, if the data is physically in your environment it is going to increase your self awareness because that is where you are (so you’d be thinking more about yourself).

While thinking about yourself being in another environment leads to less consciousness then just thinking about nothing, thinking about another environment without yourself in it leads to even less self consciousness then either of the two. That is because you just aren’t thinking about yourself at all. If you are processing data in your environment it is like you are thinking about that environment, only less so, so processing data in your environment would increase your sense of self more so than thinking about nothing in your environment, but less so than thinking about your environment directly. By “your environment” I mean the area directly around you, the closer it is to you the more related it is to you, so the more it is going to cause you to think about yourself. If you look at trees in the far distance you aren’t going to be as focused as if you were looking at someone right in front of you because your attention is on something less related to yourself.

In summary, when you think about your environment, or you being in an environment, your sense of self changes, (listed from most positive to least positive amounts of change) a) if you think about you being in your environment, b) if you are processing regular data in your environment c) if you are just in your environment not thinking, d) if you think about yourself in another environment, and e) if you just think about another environment (because you are removing you from yourself). This thinking about oneself leads to greater consciousness because that is what consciousness is, awareness of oneself which is going to increase a lot when you think about yourself (or have feelings and emotions about yourself).

Those rules apply unless the environment has data which is similar to yourself, say if there is a painting of yourself far away that you are looking at, it would cause you to think more about yourself then if you were just focusing on your immediate environment. So if the environment is just environmental, sensory stimulation those rules apply, but if there is something in the environments that causes you to think deeply about something then you are going to be either even more removed from yourself (if you are thinking deeply about something not related to yourself like a math problem or a person who is different from you) or even more related to yourself (greater consciousness) if you are thinking about something deeply which is similar to yourself (say a person similar to yourself, or an experience of yours was a personal experience about you).

That shows that if you think about consciousness as a short term thing, your consciousness changes all the time and drastically. For instance, one might have barely any consciousness at all if they are completely out of it (drunk, really unfocused, laughing really hard). During that time you simply have little or no short term consciousness. There are multiple different time spans of awareness, however, one is of your life in the long term (many years), the other is of your life in the short term (a few years), and another is of your life in its immediate, current phase (days or so) (or any combination of time). People about over 50 might have a consciousness for each 10 year or so span of their life, and they would constantly remember all 5. People are aware of themselves and their lives at different periods. The only thing that is very consistent that people have of themselves is their understanding of who they are, how they interact in the world, and how their emotions, feelings, and thoughts respond in similar instances. Those are things which don’t change a lot based on the environment they are in, and that sense of self, or consciousness, is a more long term one. So long term consciousness is based off of how well you understand the psychology of your emotions, feelings, and thoughts, and also how those three interact as a whole to produce your long term psychological state/condition.

So having a larger memory isn’t going to necessarily increase your consciousness a lot because it isn’t going to lead to a greater understanding of yourself. What you remember of yourself changes your consciousness, but it doesn’t increase or decrease it a lot unless it is a dramatic amount of difference in memory, like the difference in memory between a dog and a human. Unless the greater your memory the greater your emotional experience and you’d need to constantly remember all prior experiences in order to maintain the most advanced level of emotional experience you have. In that case a decrease in memory would decrease your emotional experience, and the more advanced ones emotional experience the more likely it is they are going to have a better understanding of themself.

That leads to the idea that certain emotional experiences lead to a greater sense of self more so than other emotional experiences. If someone was in a war they would have the emotional experience of understanding how they respond in combat, and their sense of self would then forever (or as long as they can remember) be a more action oriented one. So the deeper the emotional experience, the more it contributes to your self consciousness. The more individual the emotional experience, that is, the more related the experience is to yourself, the more the experience is going to increase your self consciousness. That means that there isn’t just self consciousness, but people can be conscious about the world around them and other people, and that there is an overlap between self consciousness and world consciousness.

That is, if you have an experience with another person, you then become more aware of that person as well as more aware of yourself. So you’d have more consciousness of that person, and more self consciousness. The same idea goes if you have an emotional experience with an object, or group of objects (in the case of a war it might be something like guns). Going to war might increase someone’s consciousness of weapons or danger. Consciousness therefore means awareness in general, not just self awareness. If you are aware of something, then you are conscious of it.

Most dictionary definitions of consciousness just list it as being the things people are most aware of. There are things to be aware of that aren’t major things, things which you aren’t “most” aware of. Awareness just happens to center around the self. That is a selfish view of the world. Someone could be only most aware of wrongdoing, more aware of wrongdoing than they are of themself, that is possible. If that were true for most people then consciousness would be defined as wrongdoing, not someone’s interest, or awareness in themself.

So the best definition of consciousness is therefore “everything that someone is aware of”. People are aware of things in both the short term and the long term. A fly is probably only aware of things in the short term, since it has almost no memory compared to a human. A human’s consciousness can change drastically, however (their consciousness, or what it is that they are aware of in total). Conscious just means, “Are you aware in general”, but consciousness means, “what are you aware of exactly”.

The next question is, what are people usually most aware of? Most dictionary definitions have as definitions for consciousness things like awareness of ones surroundings, ones feelings, ones identity, things that people are usually most aware of. Those definitions are people’s long term sense of consciousness. Over the long run, most of the things you are going to be aware of are going to be related to yourself somehow; therefore most of consciousness is based on the self. However, you can think about things that aren’t related to yourself, and your thought changes drastically, so during periods of thought about things that aren’t related to oneself that person is almost completely not focused on themself. It is impossible to be completely not focused on oneself because you are experiencing physical sensations from your body all the time (which are going to be about yourself), not just mental ones.

So someone can have consciousness about something, the question “what is consciousness” is like asking “what is awareness”. Awareness is when you focus on certain things and therefore think about them and/or have more feelings and emotions about them. In review, consciousness means “awareness”, “everything that someone is aware of”, “everything that someone is aware of currently”, or “everything that someone is aware of currently or during a certain period of time (say their life)”. So you could ask, “what was your consciousness over the last 5 years”. That would mean, over the last 5 years, what have you been aware of. The response could be “wrongdoing”, “myself”, or a large list of things. A more specific version of that would be to ask, “what are you aware of, and when are you aware of it”, or “over the last five years what were you aware of, and when were you aware of it”. If someone wants to know someone else’s life time consciousness they could ask, “what were you aware of throughout your life”. If someone wanted to know if someone was conscious about something (or what their consciousness was of something) they could ask, “what is your awareness of that thing”, or “what is your consciousness of that” (for example, “what is your consciousness of war”). You could also say, “what does it truly mean to be human” that could also mean what is consciousness.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Explaining the definition of consciousness shows how intelligence isn’t just random thoughts and emotions, but some parts of intelligence are directed thoughts and directed emotions, and that direction is what makes someone conscious.

Curing Depression

Depression arises from any negative emotion. Therefore, to eliminate depression, negative emotions need to be eliminated.

Depression arises from wanting things that you can’t have. You basically need to be satisfied with your current state/condition. Even thinking that although things are bad now, but there is hope for them to get better means you’re satisfied with your current condition. If someone wants something that they can’t have, they get depressed. Therefore that is the logical cause of depression.

That works on the small scale too in addition to the large, if you are unhappy with yourself in general, that is probably going to result in a larger depression than if you can’t go to the store right away. If you want to go to the store right now, but can’t, then it might make you sad, but that isn’t as large an issue as if you are dissatisfied with something like your personal life or who you are in general.

What if there is something that will make you happy but you don’t know about it? That is ok because thankfully there are only a few general causes of depression. The human condition can be studied and similar things that people want arise in each instance. Just go through everything that you might want but can’t have and say in each instance, it’s ok that I don’t have that, I don’t need everything.

Wouldn’t ignoring something that you want but can’t have be imposing blocks on yourself, that if you want something, you should let your emotions run free and let the desire go? Well if you do that, you’re going to be upset. You basically somehow need to justify that your current condition is the best thing.

The best way to do this is to realize that each person is an individual and unique, and that a difference should be viewed as an asset. That if you are different in some way, that that way is positive, not negative. That other people appreciate you for who you are. You need to have confidence in who you are and the state your life is in.

Is having too much confidence in yourself arrogant? Yes it is slightly arrogant, but it also means that you have what you want. If someone has what they want, they are going to be confident. That won’t be bad however, because people like people that are confident in themselves because they are easier to be around. Lower self confidence would cause someone to act differently. This is because they would be unsure that each thing they are going to do is going to be ok, so they are going to be hesitant and unsure, causing them to act different and more uncertain. Therefore confidence is the most important thing for someone to have in order to combat depression.

Confidence also eliminates fear. When you aren’t confident you are afraid that life is failing you, you are afraid that there is something out there that you want but can’t have. It is very important to not be afraid of anything. What if there is something you’re afraid of but you don’t know what it is? You need to go through everything that you might be afraid of, and eliminate that you are afraid of them.

What if you’re afraid of fighting a lion? Something like that would be a test of how fearful you are in general. Once you pull up the fear emotion by doing something fearful, if you are more afraid than you should be then something is wrong. That was just a test. You shouldn’t have a lot of fear in life for anything. You should have a lot of self confidence. So you shouldn’t be too afraid to do something like fight a lion, you should, however, realize that it is probably going to cause you to die.

How is it possible to not be afraid of death? Surely everyone is afraid to die. Well it is perfectly possible. Think about the situation if you were not afraid of death. What would you be, and how would you be acting, if you weren’t afraid to die. If you can imagine that, then you know that it is possible. If you can’t imagine that then go up step by step. Take something you are just a little afraid of, and imagine doing that without fear. Then keep going up. Eventually you won’t be too afraid of anything, including death.

Fear isn’t necessary. Part of logic is the understanding of facts. So if you logically understand that you are going to die, that is ok. If you get a weird feeling when you think about death (aka fear) then you should realize that you don’t really need that feeling. The feeling of fear is almost completely unnecessary. You don’t need strong feelings of fear to remind yourself that you are going to die if you fight a lion, or to motivate you to run away. Maybe the emotion fear can’t be eliminated completely, but the more that is eliminated, the more self-confidence you are going to have.

In fact, logically, eliminating any negative emotions is going to help eliminate depression. That is the definition of negative after all, bad and likely to cause sadness and therefore depression. Just go through the negative emotions of anger, fear, sadness, disgust and surprise. Try to go through anything that might cause those feelings and eliminate them. Also you can do the test like we did with the death test for fear. If you have a larger amount of that emotion than you should for an extreme example, (like death) then that is indicative that there is too much of that emotion in your system, that you are too afraid in general and need to reduce how much of the emotion fear is in your system.

Logically only positive emotions are good, and all negative emotions should be eliminated. They basically don’t do any good. The only reason to have minor amounts of them in your system would be to cause a small, healthy amount of anxiety to keep you on edge, but the key word there is still small.

Wanting things that you can’t have counts as a negative emotion which is called dissatisfaction. Also a lack of self confidence is a negative emotion because that is more likely to cause fear. If you have 100% confidence when fighting a lion you aren’t going to be afraid.

Basically psychology doesn’t need to be complicated. If psychology is complicated, then things like depressions can arise easily because there are complicated factors going on. Psychology, however, is actually simpler than it seems. Just imagine a person standing anywhere. This person is not doing anything; there are no inputs in and no outputs. If there are no inputs in and therefore no outputs, then there is no possibility for error (or a depression). Life doesn’t get much more complicated than just standing around and doing nothing, so where could a depression arise from?

It is logical then that something like a slight confidence boost (say imaging having enough confidence to fight a lion) should raise someone out of a depression and into feeling normal, like how they would in the situation where they were just standing around, getting no inputs in and therefore no outputs (output like a depression).

In fact, if you imagine yourself just standing around doing nothing, not only are there no outputs, but you probably feel good about yourself too. There is a simple pleasure in just absorbing the surroundings. That means that humans are like cars, when in idle they are set to go at a minimum speed. They don’t stop when you put them in drive but the engine keeps running at a slow pace. From where can a depression arise if our natural state is a happy one?

Unconscious Emotion Regulation and its Determinant in Humans: Cognition

The proper term for 'unconscious' emotion regulation is actually 'implicit' emotion regulation. Emotion regulation is typically considered to be more conscious and deliberative, however I think that the interesting and complex aspects of emotion regulation are the unconscious ones. If you think about it, people don't know all the complex ways in which their emotions change. All of the emotional changes that people experience occur at the unconscious level because emotion is so subtle and complex - people basically have no idea what is happening to them emotionally. Knowing you are experiencing one emotion is much different from understanding exactly what is going on.

Many different factors influence someones experience of emotion. The biggest factor in the experience of emotion is probably the strength of the emotions occurring. I was thinking that there would many more factors to discuss (since I am talking about emotion and is obviously a significant psychological phenomenon) but I guess there isn't. There should be a lot of factors that impact how emotion is felt and how it changes.

Since strength seems to be the only significant factor of emotional processing to discuss I will start there. It appears to me that emotion is triggered often and starts and stops frequently. Humans have a whole set of cognitive thoughts or unconscious mental decisions that start and stop emotion. For instance when they see something significant their mind has this stimulus categorized and responds to it in a way that has been programmed in - either from at birth or by previous emotional development.

So one thing a person might respond to is just seeing another person. That stimulus would trigger a complex emotional response, immediately upon seeing the other person the cognitive unit of 'compare myself with this person' or 'analyze this person' is engaged. The things the other person represents in your mind, the way the other person is emotionally significant, what the other persons current attitude and manner is, are all things that your mind tries to think about and picks up on initially as a pre-programmed response.

These 'pre-programmed' responses occur because there is a natural, fast, and complex way humans interpret emotional information. The significant emotional dispositions of other people (who they are), whatever it is they are emotionally communicating at the time (what they are projecting), and how your mind is prepared to accept, look at, and interpret that information are the factors that determine these pre-programmed emotional responses.

The automatic emotional response occurs instantly and continues to give feedback. People then start to think on their own after the initial response and their thoughts influence the emotions that are felt and (obviously) their thought process and the ideas that they have about the other person. I just used people meeting other people as an example of strong, instantaneous emotional decisions/responses, however whenever your mind processes any object it makes calculations about that object that come from pre-programmed cognitive structures.

Attention can lead to complex thought. When someone experiences an emotion their attention changes based off of that emotion. The emotion triggers a set of thoughts. The emotion triggers cognitive units of thought, and this is going to impact someones attention because the thoughts (or cognitive units, whatever you want to call them) are associated with certain emotions.

Unconscious (Implicit) Emotion Regulation, Mental Representation, Principles of Emotion and Cognitive Determinants of Emotion

How do emotions fluctuate and change? What principles, mental processes, and cognitive determinants govern feelings? The most obvious factor behind how emotion varies from individual to individual, from situation to situation, and from moment to moment; is appraisal theory. However, it is a more complicated question to ask how appraisals and mental processes affect changes in the nature of feeling and mind.

A process of appraisal can be considered the key to understanding that emotions differ for different individuals. Assuming a process of appraisal that mediates between events and emotions is the clue to understanding that a particular event evokes an emotion in one individual and not in another, or evokes an emotion at one moment, and no emotion, or a weaker or stronger one, at another moment. (This is because the evaluations (appraisals) (for example, someone steals your car and then you think 'that is bad that my got stolen, this is going to make me feel bad' and then you feel bad, the thought involved an appraisal of if the event was good or bad for you and if it was going to cause negative or positive feelings in you) that people make about events influence how they feel about those events). A process of appraisal also explains why an emotionally charged event elicits this particular emotion, and not another one, in this particular individual under these particular conditions.

The process of appraisal accounts for the fact that the arousal of an emotion depends upon the meaning of the event for the individual and explains why the emotion that is evoked often depends upon quite subtle aspects of that meaning. Arousal of emotions is determined by the interaction between events, the individual's conceptions or expectations as to what constitutes well-being for him or her and the individual's expectations that he or she will be able to deal or cope with the event and, if so, in what manner or how effectively.

However, all of someones thoughts are going to influence their feelings, not just their appraisals of events. People think things about the events that occur in their lives. They don't just ask if the event is good or bad, they form opinions of it, compare it to other events, analyze it, struggle with it, etc. Also, the sequence of events in someones life causes emotions to occur in a certain way as well, if one event follows another, it might influence the emotions felt for the previous or next event.

Also, a thought may have an emotion associated with it that you wouldn't expect or don't know about. If you think about it, with each thought, an emotion is going to be a result of the thought or would have helped bring up the thought. This is because thoughts are more complex that just the verbal thought - there is a lot of things the thought represents in your mind that also could be emotional triggers.

Why are appraisals such significant thoughts then? People must really care about how good or bad the events in their life are. Your assessment of how good or bad an event is is going to influence how good or bad the event actually is. That basically means that your attitude and thoughts about the event is going to influence feelings about the event. These thought processes are the most significant ones someone has about an event.

That makes sense - what else would someone think about something that just happened to them other than if it is good or bad for them anyway. They could think practical things about an event, but in the end it all really results if it is good or bad for them. People get emotional about if something is going to hurt them or help them, it seems.

All thoughts represent something larger in the mind and are more significant than they might appear by themselves. People have hopes, desires, and fears about each thought they think. Thoughts are also related. One thought might bring up similar hopes and fears as another thought, therefore helping to trigger or inhibit the other thought.

But surely thoughts are related more than just emotionally. Emotionally thoughts are related because they bring up similar or related emotions. But thoughts are also related because they represent similar physical things or other thoughts and ideas. Desires are ideas and thoughts, and these might be triggered by similar thoughts. When someone sees a piece of art, the art could represent desires that they have (and therefore trigger thoughts).

A child might be afraid of an animal. Since animals are similar to humans, the emotional response of the child to the animal it is afraid of might be similar to being afraid of a human. Physical the animal might look somewhat like a human. Animals and humans are certainly more related in how they look than humans and physical objects. Animals and humans both have emotions, and animals think to a certain extent. My point is that thoughts and emotional reactions have things in common with other thoughts and objects. They all represent similar and related things in the mind (such as emotions like hope, desire, fear, and beliefs).

This complex network of interacting ideas, emotions, and representations is going to determine how the emotions of humans fluctuate. Emotions and thoughts are related to each other because they each represent ideas, other thoughts (such as beliefs or facts) or other emotions. A simpler way to say that would just be that one emotion, event, or stimulus triggers a complex reaction in the mind. It triggers an intellectual reaction whereby the person goes through all the things that that event represents to them. This can be other physical things, complex thoughts and ideas (such as beliefs or facts), or hopes and other emotions.

Unconscious (Implicit) Emotion Regulation

Implicit emotion regulation is how someone moderates and changes their emotions automatically, beneath their awareness. Goals and intentions are going to play a large role in how this process occurs because they are a large source of emotions and feelings. People form many intentions which they aren't aware of, and these intentions are going to influence their emotions and the potential thoughts they might have.

When someone feels better but they don't know why, or when someone thinks something but they don't know what motivated them to think it, then it was clearly from the unconscious (such as unconscious feelings, thoughts, intentions and goals) which caused them to want to think the thought and generate the new emotion.

What is the difference between an unconscious goal and an unconscious intention? It is clear what the difference between those two terms when referring to there conscious function is - a goal is a large objective, an intention however is something that you want or intend where you are thinking that you are trying to do something right then. You are trying to accomplish something - that what an intention is. You have the intent to do something. You are striving to do that thing.

A goal, however, you aren't necessarily trying to achieve in the present time. You can put a goal aside or lower its priority. An intention you usually wouldn't do that with. When someone forms an intention, they try to do it right away. So a goal is basically a more important intention. If you intend to do something, and it is important for you, then it becomes a goal because goals are longer term or just more important.

This distinction is important because goals and intentions can be unconscious. People make goals and intentions about things in their lives all of the time, consciously and unconsciously. However, there are two types of unconscious goals/intentions - one type is very subtle, and the other type is a larger more obvious type of goal or intention.

A subtle unconscious goal or intention might be something very insignificant emotionally. For instance you might not want someone to come closer to you, so emotionally you might freeze up. This is so subtle you probably wouldn't notice that it is occurring consciously. However what happened unconsciously was that you recognized that you didn't want this person to come near you, and you unconsciously regulated your emotions so you would be feeling less. You could say that the other person made you afraid and that caused the emotional freezing, or it could be that it was an unconscious intention of yours to block out the other person because you didn't like them or want them coming near you.

That is just one example of a subtle, unconscious emotional event. There are constantly emotional things going on beneath one's notice. All of those emotional processes are regulated unconsciously. People are much more capable of manipulating their emotions unconsciously than the are consciously because there is much more going on unconsciously than consciously.

Some other examples of unconscious goals or intentions are seeking pleasure, trying to feel any single or set of emotions, trying to increase, decrease, or maintain any single or set of feelings, or trying to achieve some thought you had at some other point - such as a conscious goal of some sort of success in your life or something like that.

How the Mind Works, Principles of Emotion, and Mental States

The mind works primarily through various emotional principles - for instance striving for pleasure is a natural emotional process that people have little control over, and this process is going to be influenced by stimuli and cognition. Striving for stimuli or pleasure is one of the more important principles of emotion since clearly emotion is going to fluctuate and be influenced by stimulation, which often (and hopefully) takes the emotional form of 'pleasure'.

What exactly is a principle of emotion then, or, if emotion is so important to a mental state, what is a normal mental state? What happens differently to someones mind when they are under stress then when they aren't? What is the difference between a mental state and a mood? If someone is happy - that is a mood, if someone's mind is more or less competent, conscious or capable of performing then that is more of a mental state. Meditation is like a mental state - in that state the mind is doing certain specific things (such as being calm in a way that is induced by certain thoughts or feelings). A mood, however, is just your general way of feeling (which you can feel for a long period of time and doesn't necessarily impact your performance). Someone can be in a mental state to do work, or be in one of the two most obvious mental states - conscious or not conscious.

My saying that doing work is a mental state is theoretical. It depends on how someone defines the term 'mental state'. There could be a endless number of mental states, or someone could define mental states to be states just related to doing work. Maybe for one job they have their own defined mental states where they need to be in a certain mental zone or whatever in order to perform a certain task.

It looks like this is much more complicated than it seems. If you think about it, there are going to be a lot of factors that influence someones mental state. There are ways of going into a meditative mental state, people can prepare their minds to go to work, to go to sleep, etc. Everyone knows they are in different states at different times, however it would be interesting to know what exactly is going on. For instance, in each of these states what is the person focused on, what are they capable of doing, how are they feeling, what are they thinking about (consciously and unconsciously), how conscious are they and what are they paying attention to.

Concentration and Emotions are Important Factors in Intelligence

People can concentrate in various ways, and one of these ways is imbedded in how a person’s brain functions (their emotions, feelings and thoughts all contribute to a certain “brain structure” which would enable some people to concentrate more than others). All things which are harder to do and require a higher intelligence really require more concentration. Concentration is best understood when it is compared to a person’s emotional mind; that is, emotion and concentration are contrary to each other because as emotional development and temporary emotion increase, concentration decreases. As adults age their emotional development grows and how emotional they are increases as they learn to separate out the things they enjoy from the things they don’t, (as this is a sign of good emotional development) but their intelligence decreases. This must mean that something (probably emotion and emotional development) replaces the decline in intelligence that occurs as adults age. Emotion replaces it because that is the natural thing to happen. As animals use less and less of their conscious mind, they become more and more unconscious. For an animal with as large a brain as a human’s being more emotional would mean that they could be very emotional. The larger brain size increases emotional capacity. Since brain size doesn’t decrease over age the emotional capacity becomes used more as intellect goes down. When people are less intelligent, they tend to be more emotional because they have a more direct connection (they don’t have to “go through” or “think through” their intellect) to their emotions.

A good example of how concentration can have a large impact on intelligence is seen through the example of some people who cannot read and comprehend complicated sentences, but are capable of hearing and comprehending these sentences in real life (Durell, 1969). It may mean they just aren’t concentrating enough when they read as when they are listening. Listening leads to them being more interested in what is being said so they can focus on it deeper. The sound and/or social factors “wakes” them up and focuses their attention naturally. That means that solely because they were motivated their intelligence increased; that shows how emotion can influence intelligence.

Concentration is relative to emotion, which is unconscious thinking about something. Concentration is also another word for consciously or unconsciously thinking about something, usually when it is normally hard to think about that thing. That is, you need to concentrate more if you are being emotional or not focused in order to stay in focus, so concentration might then be better defined as thinking under pressure, or thinking in the absence of emotion. That is, someone very emotional would concentrate and that would be thinking under pressure, the pressure coming from the emotion, and someone non-emotional might just concentrate without having to battle wild emotions or distractions.

While concentration means thinking against the perils of disruptions and emotion, you can also concentrate when you’re not being disrupted. So any higher-level thinking can be viewed as concentration. This means that when you’re not concentrating, you’re doing more simple things, since those things wouldn’t be higher-level intellect. People can’t think about several emotions at once, so therefore emotional things are simpler than intellectual ones (so simple that you can’t think about them consciously easily – too simple). That is, as emotion increases, conscious thinking decreases, therefore the number of things you recognize yourself as “doing” also decreases. This happens because people can only think of a few things at a time, and if one of the things you are thinking about is emotion (which you would do just by being emotional) then you wouldn’t be capable of thinking as much consciously (remember emotion is unconscious thought) and that this lower thought capacity would be reflected in a lower intelligence. That is, unconscious emotional processes can replace the higher level functioning used in intelligence as your brain ages and physical factors in your mind decrease your intelligence you might accommodate that change by spending time and energy you’d otherwise spend remembering things and figuring things out by putting your mind into emotion. In the absence of thought you retreat into feelings because they are all your mind can physically handle. As people age their minds physically change to accommodate emotion more than intellect, which decreases. It could be that you understand how your brain is changing, and your emotional mind understands that as well, so you emotionally develop to accommodate your changing mental wiring. That is, as you get dumber (in certain ways) you learn to relax more because you don’t have to think as much. You retreat to become more embedded in your feelings and more sensitive to them because the intellect that was covering them up (partially blocking them) is gone. Younger adults might be wilder than older adults, but this does not make them more emotional because emotional means being affected by your emotions, so the younger adults might have a lot of emotion but their intellect isn’t affected by it, therefore they are less emotional.

That is, it could be that your emotional development happens to correspond with the physical changes in your brain. That is demonstrated by imagining an adult in a child’s mind (say around 3) it simply wouldn’t work because the mental wiring is so different. The child is simply too interested in the world and this greater interest is mirrored by faster learning connections in the brain. That is fitting because if you are interested in something, you want to learn about it. As you get older you want to learn less and your ability to learn mirrors your desire to learn. This coincidence is likely a product of good evolution. Learning uses higher level functioning because you need to draw conclusions based on data for the first time, and it is going to be harder to come to conclusions the first time you learn something then when you implement that learning later on. Using what you learned requires much less brain functioning because you aren’t getting used to new material which may require a different way to think about that material (it would probably require a new way since by definition you are learning).

Emotion is really any disturbance from concentration, which can be seen as higher-level intellect. So as emotion increases, your conscious concentration goes down, and therefore your conscious intellect goes down (that is when emotion increases a lot such that your willpower cannot overcome it, say during any highly emotional time like crying). But what then is unconscious intellect? It seems that unconscious intellect would be things like emotional intelligence, that is emotional intelligence would be processed unconsciously, since it is emotional. You can think about how “cool” something is but you don’t have a conscious thought process about it, you have an unconscious emotional one about it so therefore it is emotional intelligence and having more of that type of intellect might make you more emotional (because you are thinking and processing more things unconsciously, which means you are processing them with emotion). That means that emotional intellect is really just an understanding of things that make you feel, and therefore when you use this intellect you are having feelings so large you can usually identify that you are feeling something, like in the example where you identify how “cool” something is you probably are experiencing an emotion of enjoyment if the object is very cool. If the object is neutral (not cool or uncool) then you would still “feel” your emotions as your mind delves into the emotional part of your brain in order to figure out if you like it or not. You can test that for yourself; just think of a neutral object and ask, “How cool is that” – you become slightly more emotional when you ask the question because you have to think deeply in order to figure out the answer. If you ask the question of “how cool is that” to something cool then it makes you feel good because it is a cool object (this happens because it causes you to think deeply about how cool the object is, and think deeply means thinking more about how cool the object is, and since the object is cool you are going to enjoy thinking about it).

If you think about it emotion is really just things that distract you. Emotion and conscious concentration are completely contrary to each other; they are opposites. If something happens to you that is a disruption (like emotion) then you simply cannot concentrate as well, because you were disrupted. As in the cool example, when you think about how cool something is you start to have feelings about it, and this distracts you from other things that you might be thinking for that time period. That is, it feels like emotion “disrupts” you because it is unconscious, so it disrupts your consciousness because it causes you to feel which disrupts your conscious mind and you recognize your sense of self fundamentally as being a conscious being, not an unconscious one. In this way it is fitting that emotion would replace higher level intellect (as adults age), because it is clearly separated from it. That is, thinking about how cool the object is thought just like regular thinking is thought, you can feel that in your mind – this indicates that since emotion and thinking take up the same space they cannot exist concurrently.

Emotion feels like it is disruptions and unconscious thought (that is, because it is not logical so it disrupts your sense of logic and the rational continuity of life). When I say “rational continuity of life” I mean that you need to be logical in order to function in a way that would continue your life. You need to have a basic understanding of who you are and where you are and what you are doing (which having higher order brain processes as shown in a good learning ability helps). That understanding is often absent in dreams, where you are mostly emotional and you clearly don’t know what you are doing because if you did, you’d be aware that the dream you are in doesn’t make sense (as most dreams make little sense). Emotion doesn’t just disrupt people in that way (less logical continuity of life) but it would also cause someone’s mind to become more emotionally chaotic. In other words, emotion is unconscious because it cannot be understood. If emotion was understood, then it would be conscious and it wouldn't be emotion. That is why emotion disrupts consciousness and clear thinking, because it by nature is unclear and not understood. When something not understood such as emotion interacts with things that are understood (such as things in regular thinking and intellect) then the clearer thinking becomes disrupted, because something that is not clear and not understood in nature is only going to add components that don't make sense, instead of adding logical information which does make sense. That means that when emotion is on, thinking is off. Thinking and emotion cannot exist in the same space, because thinking by definition is something you understand, and emotion is something you don’t (you understand emotion to some degree, that is people can say, “I like that” which shows understanding of their emotions, but emotion is less understood than non-emotion related thoughts such as math, which is much more exact). To deal with this your mind must turn off emotion in order to think, and thinking off in order to feel; thus your brain separates periods of thinking from periods of emotion. The two components of intellect and emotion never exist together, they are by nature they are separate (in terms of time and separate in terms of nature).

If you are disrupted, you think about what happened unconsciously, so emotions and disruptions are the same (that is because disruptions cause people to become more emotional since they get so upset that they got disrupted, which in turn causes them to think about the disruption unconsciously, which is why emotion is unconscious thought - or an unconscious control process of conscious thought that is the mechanism by which the disruption causes you to stop; but what drew your attention to the disruption in the first place, however, was something unconscious because it was so fast - this quick attention to the disruption is emotion, and that is why emotion is thinking unconsciously). That further shows how emotion is different from higher level, conscious intellect.

If you are more emotionally developed does that mean that you think more unconsciously and therefore think less consciously? Emotion or unconscious thinking would replace your decreased intellect, and this is fitting because emotion also takes away from conscious thinking anyway because you only have so much space in your mind (you can only think about so many things at once, and it is harder to think about more things than less). That is, it is fitting that emotion would replace intellect because you are still capable of thinking of the same number of things, so you’d need to replace brain power used for intellect with something in order to maintain the same mental activity overall. That is, your brain still has the same power (which could be thought of as your number of neurons) but they are just used differently. That could also be thought of as when you age the number of activities you do remains the same, so you still need to use just as much brain power. When viewed that way humans can be compared highly with other animals, that is, most of life is really just doing simple, animal like actions. Someone could do something intellectual, but this isn’t going to result in a significant amount of more brain activity than non-human animals. Just because non-human animals don’t think in words doesn’t mean that they don’t feel similar emotions and feelings as humans. If one animal likes another they have a feeling about that. A human’s ability to put that feeling into words doesn’t necessarily add that much emotion or feeling. Most of the feelings people have come from external sensory stimulation, not internal (such as thinking) so therefore most emotions humans have are going to be similar to other animals (dogs, cats, etc). Therefore it becomes obvious that humans maintain a similar level of activity when they age as when they are younger. And a human’s intellect can be seen as just a mental blocking of their emotions; especially when compared with other animals in the world. Most emotions come from real sensory stimulation, not just sensory stimulation that you think of in your head say when reading a book. Doing the actions of the book in real life would generate more emotion than reading about them, for sure. So as people age they still get about the same stimulation, and this stimulation either needs to be felt or blocked out.

A good example of “blocking” emotional stimulation can be seen when certain behaviors of dogs are compared with that of humans. When a submissive (possibly younger) dog meets a more aggressive older dog (say the meeting between an American bull dog and a regular dog) the younger dog can show his/her submission by nipping the dominant dog’s snout. That is because the emotional interaction is so intense (due to the dominant dogs aggresivity and potential to harm the younger dog, who it views as annoying) that the submissive dog would be viewed as ignoring the dominant dog if it didn’t engage in a very friendly social interaction such as a nipping on the mouth. The nipping relieves the enormous tension between the two dogs, it is a way of saying, “it is ok we are friends”. The need for such a nipping comes from too much emotion between the two animals. If humans were in the dogs’ skins such an interaction wouldn’t occur because the emotional intensity wouldn’t occur in the first place. The humans’ intellect would block the emotional interaction, they simply wouldn’t be aware of it because they aren’t as aware of their emotions, the dog is more impulsive and responds directly to his/her emotions. The human might be intellectually aware that one dog is dominant and that this might be a problem, but they ignore it. Ignoring it would cause anxiety for the human in the dog’s body and the human wouldn’t know why. The human cannot give into their emotions and accept that there is a problem, and that it needs to be resolved.

This problem (the problem is there is a dominant dog and a submissive dog, and the submissive dog would be upset that there is a dog more dominant than it, and the dominant dog would be preoccupied by how annoying the non-dominant dog is, because it is so inferior to it that it is annoying, also there is a need to establish dominance) of dominance can be seen with other animals as well. If there are two roosters and too few hens the roosters are going to fight. If a human was in the rooster’s body (but had the rooster’s emotions such as a desire for the hens) then it would have to fight it out with the other rooster in order to relieve that anxiety of desire for dominance. The human is simply less in touch with its emotions than the rooster. That is, the rooster is capable of such desire for the hens that it is going to fight over the hens each time, humans on the other hand wouldn’t “have” to have a fight over anything that is emotional, they simply don’t experience emotions as well because they have too much intellect. Even though the rooster’s brain is much smaller than a humans, it is capable of much more emotion because of the lack of intellect. Emotional conflicts that aren’t solved then generate anxiety because they aren’t solved, so sometimes a lack of emotion leads to people being dumber instead of more intelligent. In fact more emotion means that animals would spend more time dealing with emotional issues, thereby causing less anxiety. It doesn’t appear that animals other than humans have the same level of anxiety or depression as a human. How often do you see a dog with a depression or long term anxiety? From those examples it is clear how intellect is a block of emotional stimulation, so if intellect (or memory, which is a part of intellect) is removed the result would be that the animal (including humans) would become more emotional.

Instead of intellect blocking emotions, it could be that intellect is simply changing the emotions to make them go away. That is like with the rooster example, a human might not be aware that there is a problem because he/she isn’t as in touch with its emotions (desire for the hens), or with the dog example he/she might not be aware that one dog is different from it and this causes a social issue consciously, but unconsciously he/she would be aware. So the tension still exists, only unconsciously, so the emotions related to the problem still exist. It is only that the human is blocking them out because of his/her conscious mind, which is capable of blocking the unconscious. He/she isn’t aware of these unconscious emotions because he/she is thinking too much (and thinking is a conscious process, so humans are conscious because they think, but this leads to a blocking of emotion). That could be viewed as that humans think in a way fundamental to their psychology and consciousness, so fundamental and important that it interferes with their emotions. That means that intellect is intricately tied in with emotions. If something is tied in with something else then as one increases ones awareness of the increase increases he/she is going to be aware directly proportionally of the larger portion (that is rather obvious). So as intellect decreases, the emotions that were always there from the large amounts of sensory stimulation and social factors become uncovered.

Just as emotion takes away from intellect, intellect also takes away from emotion. That is, if you are thinking about something you can’t be feeling as many things, because you can only think about so many things at the same time, and emotion is really just unconscious thought. If you have less conscious thinking then your memory is going to be less because you are thinking less about stuff. That is, emotion uses processes in the brain to think that relate to emotional things, like feelings, not intellectual, concrete things which you would be capable of remembering. Emotional things are complicated things which involve feelings and people have a very hard time thinking about them consciously (for this reason when people feel emotion it is almost all unconscious, that is, you do not associate emotion with a sense of self). Unconscious thinking isn’t as clear and defined as conscious thinking, so more unconscious thinking instead of conscious thinking would reflect less of an intellect (because it is less clear and defined, “cloudy”). What it might lead to is a greater emotional understanding, however. That is, it doesn’t help with concrete learning, like in school, since its nature is not concrete, but it might help with emotional learning, since its nature is emotional. That is, if you spend more time being emotional it might be that you have more insight into how it is that you are feeling, and have a more direct connection to your feelings.

The reason that less intellect would lead to greater emotion is because emotion is by definition feeling. And people don’t “feel” their thoughts. That is, thought doesn’t lead instantaneously to feelings. Thoughts can lead to feelings, that is you can direct which feelings you are going to have by thinking about certain things, but the thoughts themselves are not feelings. The thoughts are instantaneous; the feelings take time and linger in your mind. That is why there is an almost endless source of feeling, because you feel them and this feeling is more profound than something you don’t feel. It could almost be said that thoughts are just ideas, and feelings are real things. The ideas might generate feelings, but not directly. The reason that feelings are such a source of emotion and feeling is because feelings are more similar to direct feelings which you get from touching things, feeling things, smelling things, tasting things, hearing things and seeing things (the 5 senses). Stimulation of any of the 5 senses leads directly to feeling. It would seem like there would be an overabundance of such sensory stimulation if your intellect was taken away. That is why other animals’ minds are smaller than humans, because without the intellect if they had such a large mind to just process sensory information it would lead to an overload of sensory data. That is why most of the human’s mind is used for intellectual endeavors, and the feeling part of the brain is very small. In fact, how much people feel compared to how much they think is mirrored in the proportion of the size of the feeling part of the brain to the thinking part. That makes a lot of sense. People think much more than they feel. Animals other than humans tend to feel much more than they think. Just imagine you stopped thinking and just felt the world around you, like if you were a dog. That when you encountered a situation when you needed to think you instead just responded to feelings directly. If you did that then with the submissive/dominant dog example you would respond to the dominant dog (if you were the submissive dog) like the submissive dog does. You would feel the feeling “scared” when you encountered the dominant dog and feel that you would want to suck up, you’d do that by kindly nipping the dominant dog’s jaw. Instead people don’t respond directly to their feelings but they think about things. When they see the dominant dog they would think about the dog and not realize as well that they are scared. This would cause a tension in the relationship between dominant and submissive dog because it would appear that the submissive dog isn’t scared when it should be, and is therefore threatening the dominant dog’s dominance. That would cause both dogs anxiety and probably lead to the dominant dog growling at the submissive dog and the submissive dog running away.

In review, intellect disrupts emotion just as much as emotion disrupts intellect. This is because too much feeling or emotion can disturb an intellect because the intelligent mind is very powerful and can magnify the sensations and feelings it receives from the emotional/sensory part of its mind. Intellect also disrupts emotion because it blocks it out or minimizes it. It is capable of doing this because it is so much larger and more powerful than emotion. That is emotion is weak, but is capable of being large if allowed. It is like a river, emotion has a wide stream but it is moving slowly and has a weak current. Intellect has just as wide a stream but is moving much faster. Thus when intellect meets emotion, as it does in the mind, more “water” from the intellect comes in. If the water from the intellect is reduced, however, there is plenty of water from the emotion to take its place. The lake where the water from the emotion comes from is almost infinitely large, because people can feel anything, anytime. The lake behind the intellect however is more limited, so when you have nothing to think about you resort to feelings. This may make some people feel stagnant, (if they aren’t thinking) because they otherwise wouldn’t be moving around all the time. So for optimum enjoyment/health people either move around all the time, or think all the time, or do one or the other or both all the time. Before modern civilization people were hunter-gatherers and they moved around all the time, and probably thought less. In modern civilization it is more common for people to think all the time, and move around a lot less. That is a significant change. People might be more emotional and in touch with their feelings in pre-civilization time when they were exposed to more sensory and physical stimulation. Physical stimulation is a feeling, you get direct feelings from physical stimulation just as you get direct feelings from external sensory stimulation.

That is, either you are interacting with the world or you are thinking, and if you are interacting with the world you are receiving direct sensory stimulation, which leads directly to feelings. Sometimes intellectual topics lead to feelings, but they rarely lead to deep feelings (things like extremely intense arguments might generate deep feelings, and no one can handle those arguments all the time). Intellect leads to fewer feelings than real sensory input because intellect only leads to thought. How many thoughts can you think of that are more intense than doing the actual thought in real life? I cannot think of any. Real feelings in the brain mostly come from sensory stimulation and emotion, or unconscious thought. If a male sees an attractive female he might feel things and therefore get emotional, but he doesn’t have to think anything consciously to feel those things. So even though there are complicated thought processes (unconsciously) going on about the female, it was still sensory stimulation which triggered the emotion. That is, the sensory stimulation lead to no conscious thought that would be related to having a higher intellect. So that same person could feel all those things even if they had a lower intellect or consciousness (conscious mind) because the thoughts generated from seeing the female in that instance were unconscious. You can only think of a few conscious thoughts when the female is seen because you can only think so fast consciously, but you can think much faster unconsciously, and if it occurs unconsciously it is going to lead to emotion, because that is what emotion is, unconscious thought. Emotion is unconscious thought because if it occurs unconsciously it is something you are going to “feel” instead of “think”.

This emotional nature of emotion (separate from higher order thinking or learning ability) is best demonstrated during dreaming, where a person is entirely unconscious and therefore one can see how emotions (which are unconscious thoughts) function. Dreams are random, chaotic and rarely make sense – that is a reflection of the nature of emotion itself. During a dream you rarely know who you are and things occur which often reflect that you really don’t know where you are. There isn’t a strong sense of self in dreams because you can’t think clearly about yourself. “Thinking” is something which doesn’t really occur in dreams, because if you were thinking you’d realize that you were dreaming, and your mind would switch from its unconscious thinking which consists of making up an elaborate story for a dream to conscious thinking where you wouldn’t do that, or be capable of making up such a complex story and complex visual data that quickly. Emotion can really be defined then just as complicated confusion, such as exists in dreams, which are almost entirely emotional.

Dreams are so out of the ordinary in order to generate more feeling and emotion. The out of the ordinariness in dreams, however, also makes them less logical and make less sense. This means that in order for something to be emotional, it needs to not make sense; if it made sense, then it would be conscious thought not emotion, and that emotion therefore could be defined simply as stuff that doesn’t make sense that you think about, not just as unconscious thought. And “stuff that doesn’t make sense” isn’t going to be remembered because it isn’t stuff that you can think about consciously because it doesn’t make sense. Dreams still make sense to some degree, since there are events in them which are at least somewhat real. So while emotions make some sense, they still make less sense than conscious thought. That is, if you are feeling a lot then are you emotional, and if you are emotional then a lot of stuff is going on in your brain. It could be that emotional development causes people to focus more on things they enjoy as they get older and block out the things which they don’t like (this makes sense as it would be good emotional development) and that therefore they get to be more emotional and experience emotions better. That is, maybe people can separate themselves from the things they don’t enjoy and attach themselves to the things they do. Adults might even seem to be asking the question, “how does that relate to my emotions?” (Since they learn to separate out things they like from things they don’t like better, they’d have to relate everything to their emotions more.) This might mean that adults are capable of being both more distant and more “close” than teens/younger adults because of their emotional development, they simply don’t treat things as equal anymore and possibly as a result gain more feeling. The down side of getting older on the other hand is that the things you enjoyed before are now older and you potentially don’t enjoy them as much because of that (they are less “fresh”). More unconscious thinking (emotion) probably also helps to maintain a more emotionally developed mind, as emotionally developed minds would need to think more about their emotions since they have more of them. This means that as people get older they would get more unconscious, but more intelligent emotionally.

Evidence for the idea that adults learn to separate out emotional events from ordinary ones and emphasize the emotional more comes from studies in autobiographical memory retrieval. In a study done by Dijkstra and Kaup (2005) younger and older adults were tested for autobiographical memory retrieval. Older adults were more likely to selectively retain memories with distinctive characteristics, such as being self-relevant and emotionally intense, particularly when remote memories were involved.

In another study by Charles, Mather and Carstensen (2003) the forgettable nature of negative images for older adults was tested. Young, middle-aged and older adults were shown images on a computer screen and after given a distraction task, were asked first to recall as many as they could and then to identify previously shown images from a set of old and new ones. The relative number of negative images compared with positive and neutral images recalled decreased with each successively older age group. Since it is clear people don’t want to remember negative images as much, the study shows how age and emotional development cause people to select what they like more. This would cause people to “relax” more. That is, as adults get older and their intellect decreases, this lack of intellect enables them to be more in touch with their emotions and be more capable of selecting the more positive images.

Memory tests (R.t. Zacks, G Radvasky, and L. Hasher (1996)) show that young adults perform better than older adults when told to remember and forget data. The older adults remembered less than the younger adults when told to remember, and when told to forget data they remembered more than the younger adults.

The results show that younger adults have better control over their minds than older adults. A greater emotional makeup of the older adults is likely a consequence of this. Emotions would lead to less “mental willpower” which would enable younger adults to direct their thinking and to forget when told to forget, and remember when told to remember.

A paper by Einstein and Mcdaniel (1990) investigated the ability of old versus younger people to remember to carry out some action in a future time (known as prospective memory or PM). They suggested that different patterns might emerge between situations in which the PM target is triggered by some event (e.g. “when you meet John, please give him this message”), and those that are time based (e.g., “remember to phone your friend in half an hour”). Their work showed age-related decrements in time-based but not event-based tasks (Einstein, Mcdaniel, Richardson, Guyn & Cunfer, 1995). In my view that would indicate that the event based tasks were more emotional than the time based ones. That is, old people are programmed to work based off of emotional events that occur in real life, not based off something unemotional like time, which occurs all the time and isn’t associated with emotional events. Since they forgot more on the time based tasks but not on the event based ones, it suggests that older adults are cued into emotional events more than the younger adults because there wouldn’t be a discrepancy between the two. It is clear that the event based task is more emotional than the non-event based task because the non-event based task doesn’t occur along with an event. That is, the event is a trigger for the old adult to remember the task. Even if the older adult is more motivated to remember the event in the beginning, they still aren’t going to remember it later on unless this motivation is “triggered” again. That is, it is something unconscious (motivation, emotion) which helps them to remember the event. The motivation can be triggered better by the event based task because the motivation comes from the task itself, so they attribute a greater amount of emotion to the recipient(s) of the task. Events are simply more emotional than non-events.

You think of yourself as primarily conscious, therefore anything unconscious would take away from your consciousness because you can only think about so many things at the same time. If one of those things is unconscious that you are “thinking” about (and thinking about emotion is going to be difficult at best) then it would make you more confused because you would lose more of your conscious, clear, defined sense of self. That is, your sense of self is a clear and focused one (different from emotion, which is not clear). Your sense of self can’t be an emotional one, because emotion doesn’t really make any sense (already shown as in dreams) so you can’t really think about emotion consciously, because it defies conscious thinking or logic. So since your sense of self is what you think about consciously, you are not going to think of yourself as emotional, you are going to think of yourself as more logical than emotional and if you do call yourself emotional that just means emotional relative to other people. That shows that emotion is clearly different in nature from higher order logical processes. And that therefore as intellect goes down as people age as adults it is possible and easy for emotion to go up, because it is clearly separate from intellect. The idea you have of yourself is as a functional being, not an un-functional and chaotic emotional one (that is, if you were solely emotional, not logical, you wouldn’t be able to do anything, you’d just feel and not think – like a frog).

In review, as people age they learn to separate out what they like from what they don’t like, and this ability causes them to gain more emotion, and emotion, being chaotic and unclear in nature, clearly works differently in the brain than intellect does. Emotions are chaotic; they permeate all your thoughts and have an affect on them, like a cloud. When someone is emotional it certainly seems like your entire mind is affected. Some emotions even have physical effects. More evidence that emotion doesn’t use the same brain processes as memory and learning ability can be seen during very emotional times, like during sex or crying, where ones concentration is less. Concentration is needed to maintain intellect, and emotion is clearly different from concentration (as when you are very emotional during sex or crying you cannot concentrate). You can’t memorize multiplication tables (which to do you’d need to concentrate) during sex or crying.

If an adult is intelligent at the same time that he/she is emotional then he/she is relatively less emotional because the intellect balances the emotion. So older adults would be considered to be more emotional because their intellect (or learning ability) is less (if older adults have more emotional intelligence then that wouldn’t make them less emotional because to use emotional intelligence you don’t “think” to figure out the answer but you feel. Emotional intelligence is therefore a sophisticated way of being emotional that animals other than humans might or might not have). That is, younger adults are wild and they are smart. They would still be considered to be less emotional though since a greater portion of their brain is intellect. Animals (other than humans) would be considered to be even more emotional than humans because they have almost no intellect. Emotional is acting instead of thinking, and all animals do is act, not think. Younger adults could then be viewed as acting and thinking at the same time with a higher proportion of intellect than older adults, if you don’t think that older adults have a greater emotional intelligence than younger, that is.

The statement “people and their intellect are based on emotions” is a complicated one. They are based off of their higher emotions and their lower emotions. There is really no such thing as “no emotion” because people they are always thinking, consciously or unconsciously, and that is what emotion is. Sometimes it appears as if they have no emotion, but they are still thinking about things, they still have a memory and they are still using it, processing data and sensory inputs. Those things all cause thought and therefore emotion.

How then could someone be called non-emotional? It must be that they are feeling less, that is if they are concentrating deeply for a very long period of time then they might be a deep thinker that isn’t really wavering in their feelings, just simply thinking about things and not really doing anything interesting that would invoke a lot of emotion, or unconscious thought.

Many older adults complain about being too occupied, both emotionally and physically. That is better seen in very old people whose brains are decaying, for whom even tiny mental tasks can wear out their mind. It isn’t that their mind is being worn out; it is that they already lost most of their intellect but the pauses are filled with emotion. That is what animals are like, the experience you get from animals is an emotional one, not an intellectual one. Therefore animals spend more time being emotional. Emotional in that context means feeling, animals spend more time using unconscious thought and “feeling” the world around them. That is good evidence that as intellect, learning ability and memory decrease it is replaced with emotion. That is because emotion doesn’t need to increase, it simply needs the block of intellect to be removed. People were already thinking about enough things consciously and unconsciously. That is, someone’s unconscious mind is really being partly blocked at least as a younger adult, but when intellect is removed the unconscious becomes unveiled (like how animals are unconscious) and the person becomes more emotional as a result.

Evidence for the connection between higher amounts of emotion and a lower intellect can be found in test studies done on people with a depressed mood. In a meta-analysis done by Vreeswijk and De Wilde (2004) a confirmation of the connection between overgenerality and depression was done. The depressed patients were less specific in recalling their memory than the non-depressed.

Since being emotional is rated by how much proportionally larger the emotional part of your mind is than the intellectual part, older people do get more emotional since intelligence decreases over age. However they don’t necessarily get more emotion as they age, they simply get more of it relative to their intellect. The lowering of the intellect, however, would make them more in touch with their emotions and capable of greater emotional regulation (as evidenced by the study where successively older age groups remembered more and more of the positive images). They aren’t likely to get significantly more emotional, however because the amount of sensory stimulation they are receiving is going to be similar to what they received when they were younger. The only thing that would go down is internal stimulation or thinking which goes down from a lowering of intellect.

As adults age from 20-74 their IQ (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) declines steadily (Kaufman, Reynolds and Mclean (1989). The verbal IQ actually stays about the same but it is performance IQ that decreases. From the postulates in this paper the conclusion would therefore be that verbal IQ is somehow related to emotions. Performance IQ is clearly not related to emotions because it tests mostly visual abilities. Verbal isn’t likely to go down because the things it tests have to do with emotion and emotional control of attention. You cannot control how effective you are doing visual stuff, however because it requires concentration to visualize objects because there is less motivation to visualize then there is to just think. Thinking is easier than visualizing because people are used to thinking about anything, however they usually only visualize things they want to visualize, not things that are going to be tested on the IQ exam. That is, you can use emotion to control thought but you cannot use emotion to control your basic intelligence as would be reflected in visual ability tests (performance IQ).

The “willpower” of adults won’t decrease as adults age. The willpower can direct a mind for under 20 second periods, and under 20 seconds is the time that it takes to do most intellectual tasks. Like a math problem. They could repeat the focus they put in every 20 seconds, “spike” their mind every 20 seconds or so to maintain this intelligence. The things on the performance test don’t require that much focus, either you know them or you don’t. Note that three of the verbal tests test mention attention or concentration specifically (which relate to willpower which relates to emotion as already stated). And the other parts of the verbal test measure things which are also going to relate to emotion such as information acquired from culture (you are emotionally interested in your culture) and ability to deal with abstract social conventions, rules and expressions (you are emotionally interested in social events) and verbal reasoning (tests things that occur in everyday life which you are emotionally attached to). The performance test on the other hand doesn’t test things that are likely to go down because of increased emotion. The performance test tests things that are more intellect related than emotion related, that is visual things require a more intellectual, flexible mind to move objects around in your head. While the verbal subtests just require some motivation to perform (only one component of verbal tests working memory (which isn’t that emotional and wouldn’t be subject to changes in concentration) - one component wouldn’t have a significant impact on the result).

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

Verbal Subtests


Degree of general information acquired from culture (e.g. Who is the premier of Victoria?)


Ability to deal with abstract social conventions, rules and expressions (e.g. What does - Kill 2 birds with 1 stone metaphorically mean?)


Concentration while manipulating mental mathematical problems (e.g. How many 45c. stamps can you buy for a dollar?)


Abstract verbal reasoning (e.g. In what way are an apple and a pear alike?)


The degree to which one has learned, been able to comprehend and verbally express vocabulary (e.g. What is a guitar?)

Digit span

attention/concentration (e.g. Digits forward: 123, Digits backward 321.)

Letter-Number Sequencing

attention and working memory (e.g. Given Q1B3J2, place the numbers in numerical order and then the letters in alphabetical order)

Performance Subtests

Picture Completion

Ability to quickly perceive visual details

Digit Symbol - Coding

Visual-motor coordination, motor and mental speed

Block Design

Spatial perception, visual abstract processing & problem solving

Matrix Reasoning

Nonverbal abstract problem solving, inductive reasoning, spatial reasoning

Picture Arrangement

Logical/sequential reasoning, social insight

Symbol Search

Visual perception, speed

Object Assembly

Visual analysis, synthesis, and construction

Optional post-tests include Digit Symbol - Incidental Learning and Digit Symbol - Free Recall.

There is more evidence that emotion plays a role in intelligence. In a study done by Bartolic et al. (1999) the influence of negative and positive emotion on verbal working memory was tested. Their data showed significantly improved verbal working memory performance for positive emotions and a significant deterioration in verbal working memory during negative emotion. That shows how emotion can manipulate intelligence in the short term, as working memory is a short term ability. Therefore, however, long term intellect (like the rest of the verbal IQ test other than working memory) might be manipulated or under the control of long term emotions. It seems like your ability to learn all the rest of the verbal IQ tests would go up during the period of increased emotion as in this study, only it is hard to test for that. But that ability over the long run would be reflected in no decline in verbal IQ scores, and there isn’t. That is, it isn’t likely that just verbal working memory would increase due to increased emotion; that was just the only thing that they tested for. The subject probably became motivated overall and this motivation and good mood gave him/her greater mental powers, not just a better verbal working memory.

As adults age their explicit memory goes down Howard (1988) but their implicit memory stays about the same. Howard describes implicit memory as the ability to successfully complete memory tasks that do not require conscious recollection. Since emotion is unconscious, that lack of decline would provide further evidence that emotional process don’t decrease with age, but more intellectual ones do. That itself provides evidence that the emotional part of the brain is separated from the intellectual. The emotional part of the brain and the intellectual part still interact, however.

Emotion can enhance or detract from intellect, and intellect can enhance or detract from emotions. In the long run intellect does not disrupt emotion, but in the short term intellect and emotions intermingle and disrupt each other. It was shown how emotions are separate from intellect, and how therefore concentration (which can be defined as thinking under the pressure of emotion [since to give undivided attention you couldn’t be disturbed by emotional factors]) is an important part of intelligence (such as memory). When people’s intellect is removed they become more emotional, as this is what is left. The source of emotion (sensory stimulation) is so large that it can never be ignored. Intellect, however can be ignored and emotion would rise up in its place. In the case of adults aging this “ignoring” of intellect happens as the mind physically gets older and some of the intellect is removed. This reveals the idea that humans have the ability to hold off emotion and do intellectual endeavors, or to indulge and bask in emotion if they want to (and switch between the two) sometimes as fast as a split second, and they can switch from one to the other for years.


Bartolic et al., 1999 E.I. Bartolic, M.R. Basso, B.K. Schefft, T. Glauer and M. Titanic-Schefft, Effects of experimentally-induced emotional states on frontal lobe cognitive task performance, Neuropsychologia 37 (1999) pp. 677-683.

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