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The Experience of Emotion

Posted: 21 Dec 2007  

Lisa Barrett

Boston College - Department of Psychology

Batja Mesquita

Wake Forest University - Department of Psychology

Kevin N. Ochsner

Columbia University - Department of Psychology

­James J. Gross

Stanford University - Psychology

Abstract

Experiences of emotion are content-rich events that emerge at the level of psychological description, but must be causally constituted by neurobiological processes. This chapter outlines an emerging scientific agenda for understanding what these experiences feel like and how they arise. We review the available answers to what is felt (i.e., the content that makes up an experience of emotion) and how neurobiological processes instantiate these properties of experience. These answers are then integrated into a broad framework that describes, in psychological terms, how the experience of emotion emerges from more basic processes. We then discuss the role of such experiences in the economy of the mind and behavior.

Keywords: emotion, affect, consciousness

Suggested Citation

Barrett, Lisa and Mesquita, Batja and Ochsner, Kevin N. and Gross, ­James J., The Experience of Emotion. Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 58, January 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1077373

Lisa Barrett (Contact Author)

Boston College - Department of Psychology ( email )

Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

Batja Mesquita

Wake Forest University - Department of Psychology ( email )

Winstom-Salem, NC 27109
United States

Kevin N. Ochsner

Columbia University - Department of Psychology ( email )

406 Schermerhorn Hall
1190 Amsterdam Avenue, Mail Code 5501
New York, NY 10027
United States

­James J. Gross

Stanford University - Psychology ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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