Emotion theory and research


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Emotion theory and research

  1. 1. Annu. Rev. Psychol. 2009.60:1-25. Downloaded from arjournals.annualreviews.org by National Institutes of Health Library on 07/14/10. For personal use only.
  2. 2. Emotion Theory and Research: Highlights, Unanswered Questions, and Emerging IssuesAnnu. Rev. Psychol. 2009.60:1-25. Downloaded from arjournals.annualreviews.org by National Institutes of Health Library on 07/14/10. For personal use only. Carroll E. Izard Psychology Department, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716-2577; email: izard@psych.udel.edu Annu. Rev. Psychol. 2009. 60:1–25 Key Words The Annual Review of Psychology is online at emotion schemas, emotion-cognition interactions, emotion psych.annualreviews.org knowledge, emotion regulation, emotion utilization, meme, This article’s doi: development, consciousness, levels of awareness, emotion feelings 10.1146/annurev.psych.60.110707.163539 Copyright c 2009 by Annual Reviews. Abstract All rights reserved Emotion feeling is a phase of neurobiological activity, the key com- 0066-4308/09/0110-0001$20.00 ponent of emotions and emotion-cognition interactions. Emotion schemas, the most frequently occurring emotion experiences, are dy- namic emotion-cognition interactions that may consist of momentary/ situational responding or enduring traits of personality that emerge over developmental time. Emotions play a critical role in the evolution of consciousness and the operations of all mental processes. Types of emotion relate differentially to types or levels of consciousness. Unbri- dled imagination and the ability for sympathetic regulation of empathy may represent both potential gains and losses from the evolution and ontogeny of emotion processes and consciousness. Unresolved issues include psychology’s neglect of levels of consciousness that are distinct from access or reflective consciousness and use of the term “uncon- scious mind” as a dumpster for all mental processes that are considered unreportable. The relation of memes and the mirror neuron system to empathy, sympathy, and cultural influences on the development of socioemotional skills are unresolved issues destined to attract future research. 1
  3. 3. Contents INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Basic Emotions and Phenomenal THEORETICAL PRINCIPLES . . . . . . 2 Consciousness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 SEVEN PRINCIPLES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Emotion Feelings and Phenomenal ON THE ORIGINS AND NATURE Consciousness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 OF EMOTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Emotion Schemas and Access The Origins of Emotions . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Consciousness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Emotion Feeling as Neurobiological Gains and Losses in the Evolution Activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 of Emotions and Consciousness. . 13 Feeling is the Key Psychological Remarkable Gains from Linking Aspect of Emotion: Motivation Emotion Feelings and Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 and Language. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15Annu. Rev. Psychol. 2009.60:1-25. Downloaded from arjournals.annualreviews.org Agreement on Components and UNRESOLVED ISSUES AND by National Institutes of Health Library on 07/14/10. For personal use only. Characteristics of Emotion . . . . . . 7 TOPICS FOR FUTURE Emotions as Causal Processes . . . . . . 7 RESEARCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 TYPES OF EMOTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Psychologists’ Neglect of Basic Emotions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Phenomenal Consciousness . . . . . 16 Emotion Schemas: Dynamic The Psychological Unconscious: Emotion-Cognition A Default Explanatory Interactions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Construct? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Transitions from Basic Emotions Emerging Issues: Continuous to Emotion Schemas . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Emotion, Memes, and the Mirror EMOTIONS AND Neuron System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 CONSCIOUSNESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Continuous Emotion-Cognition Factors Affecting Emotion- Interaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Consciousness Relations. . . . . . . . . 11 Memes and Emotions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Emotion Feelings and Mirror Neuron Systems, Emotions, Consciousness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 and Empathy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 TYPES OF EMOTION AND TYPES CONCLUDING REMARKS . . . . . . . . . 20 OF CONSCIOUSNESS . . . . . . . . . . . 11 INTRODUCTION THEORETICAL PRINCIPLES This prefatory chapter, like every essay, review, The key principles of differential emotions the- or data-based article, is influenced by its au- ory (DET; Izard 2007a) have changed period- thor’s feelings about the topics and issues under ically. They change primarily because of ad- consideration as well as the author’s personal- vances in methodology and research. They may ity and social and cultural experiences. To help also change as a result of theoretical debates counterbalance the effects of such influences on that highlight the need for some clarifications this article and provide some perspective on its and distinctions among constructs. The cur- contents, I present below the major theses that rent set of principles highlight distinctly dif- DET: differential emotions theory have emerged in my theorizing and research on ferent types of emotions and their roles in the emotions. evolution and development of different levels 2 Izard
  4. 4. of consciousness/awareness and of mind, hu- thus normally precluding pure cognitive and man mentality, and behavior. The ongoing re- emotion states. formulations of DET principles are facilitated Mirror neuron by advances in emotion science, cognitive neu- system (MNS): is roscience, and developmental clinical science, SEVEN PRINCIPLES assumed to consist of as well as in social and personality psychology. 1. Emotion feeling (a) derives from evo- neurons that fire both For the present article, the seven principles be- lution and neurobiological development, when one acts and when one observes the low guided the choice of topics and the selec- (b) is the key psychological component same action performed tive review of the literature on emotions and of emotions and consciousness, and (c) is by another; neurons their relations to cognition, action, and con- more often inherently adaptive than mal- that “mirror” the sciousness. They led to a new perspective on adaptive. behavior of another emotion-related gains and losses from evolu- 2. Emotions play a central role in the evolu- Memes: behavioral tion and opened the door to theoretical devel- tion of consciousness, influence the emer- (cognitive, emotional, opment and research on emerging topics such gence of higher levels of awareness during action) units that canAnnu. Rev. Psychol. 2009.60:1-25. Downloaded from arjournals.annualreviews.org propagate (be readily as the role of the mirror neuron system in emo- ontogeny, and largely determine the con- by National Institutes of Health Library on 07/14/10. For personal use only. copied) and become tion experiences, empathy, and sympathy and tents and focus of consciousness through- subject to natural memes and their relations to emotion schemas. out the life span. selection An overarching aspect of the theoretical per- 3. Emotions are motivational and informa- Emotion schemas: spective represented in the following princi- tional, primarily by virtue of their expe- emotion-cognition ples and in this article is that emotion and riential or feeling component. Emotion interactions/structures cognition, though often treated correctly as feelings constitute the primary motiva- that generate feeling-thought having functionally separate features and in- tional component of mental operations experiences and fluences (e.g., Bechara et al. 2000, Talmi & and overt behavior. behavioral tendencies Frith 2007), are interactive and integrated or 4. Basic emotion feelings help organize and that range from mingled in the brain (cf. Lewis 2005, Pessoa motivate rapid (and often more-or-less momentary processes 2008, Phelps 2006). This thesis is consistent automatic though malleable) actions that to trait-like phenomena (e.g., with the long-standing recognition of the high are critical for adaptive responses to im- anger schemas, degree of connectivity among the brain’s neu- mediate challenges to survival or well- interest schemas) ral structures and systems. I hypothesize that being. In emotion schemas, the neural Emotion feeling: a emotion will have substantial and measurable systems and mental processes involved in phase of effects on cognition and action when the stim- emotion feelings, perception, and cogni- neurobiological ulus or situation is a personally or socially tion interact continually and dynamically activity that is significant one. The foregoing general the- in generating and monitoring thought experienced as motivational and sis and the more specific hypothesis seem to and action. These dynamic interactions informational and that run counter to extreme constructivist posi- (which range from momentary processes influences thought and tions. Such positions (e.g., Barrett 2006) de- to traits or trait-like phenomena) can gen- action, a felt cognition, fine or locate emotion at the level of percep- erate innumerable emotion-specific ex- or action tendency tion and apparently have no place for the idea periences (e.g., anger schemas) that have Levels of awareness: of interactions among distinct features of emo- the same core feeling state but different levels of consciousness, tion (e.g., motivation/feeling) and cognition perceptual tendencies (biases), thoughts, ranging from phenomenal (e.g., higher-order conceptual processes). The and action plans. consciousness to access present position may bear some similarity to 5. Emotion utilization, typically dependent (verbally reportable) componential–dynamic approaches, at least in on effective emotion-cognition interac- and reflective terms of continuously changing aspects or con- tions, is adaptive thought or action that consciousness, which figurations of mental processes (e.g., Ellsworth stems, in part, directly from the experi- support the processes in higher-order 1994, Scherer 2000). However, the present po- ence of emotion feeling/motivation and cognition-emotion sition may differ from the latter in viewing emo- in part from learned cognitive, social, and schemas tion and cognition as always interacting and behavioral skills. www.annualreviews.org • Emotion Theory and Research 3
  5. 5. 6. Emotion schemas become maladaptive cally, psychologists ignore the concepts of phe- and may lead to psychopathology when nomenal consciousness and levels of conscious- learning results in the development of ness and do not distinguish these constructs Emotion-cognition interactions: dynamic connections among emotion feelings and from the unconscious. I conclude by identifying neuropsychological maladaptive cognition and action. some unanswered questions and briefly com- processes that 7. The emotion of interest is continually ment on a few emerging topics—continuous determine the relative present in the normal mind under nor- emotion-cognition interactions, memes and significance of mal conditions, and it is the central mo- emotions, and the mirror neuron system and emotion and cognition in planning, decision tivation for engagement in creative and empathy—that seem destined to become more making, and actions constructive endeavors and for the sense prominent in psychological science in the com- Phenomenal of well-being. Interest and its interaction ing years. consciousness: a with other emotions account for selec- level of awareness in tive attention, which in turn influences all which objects, events, other mental processes. ON THE ORIGINS AND NATUREAnnu. Rev. Psychol. 2009.60:1-25. Downloaded from arjournals.annualreviews.org and emotion feelings Elaboration and empirical support for prin- OF EMOTIONS by National Institutes of Health Library on 07/14/10. For personal use only. can register and remain verbally ciples 1–6 can be found in the following sources None of the many efforts to make a widely ac- unreportable and their reference lists (Ackerman et al. 1998; ceptable definition of emotion has proved suc- experiences. Emotion Izard 2002, 2007a; Izard et al. 2008a,b,c; Silvia cessful (Izard 2006, Panksepp 2003a). Yet, I dare feelings in phenomenal 2006). Principles 1–3 apply to all emotions, and once again to raise the 124-year-old storied consciousness retain 4–6 primarily concern emotion schemas. Prin- question asked by James (1884): What is emo- their functionality ciple 7 consists of propositions about the most tion? It happens that the answer James gave to ubiquitous of all human emotions—interest- his own question has a rather popular reprieve excitement. Specific empirical support does not in the annals of contemporary neuroscience. exist for the hypothesis of continual interest in Like James, Damasio (1999) argued that brain the normal mind. responses constitute emotion or the body ex- In this article, I discuss the issues of defin- pression of emotion and that emotion feeling ing the term “emotion” and types of emotion, is a consequence of the neurobiological (body) emotion-cognition interactions, emotions and expression. In contrast, I propose that emotion consciousness, relations among types of emo- feeling should be viewed as a phase (not a conse- tions and types of consciousness, and note some quence) of the neurobiological activity or body remarkable gains and losses from the evolution expression of emotion (cf. Langer 1967/1982). of emotions and multiple levels consciousness. This article addresses a critical need for clear distinctions between basic positive and The Origins of Emotions basic negative emotions and particularly be- Russell (2003) proposed that core affect is con- tween brief basic emotion episodes and emo- tinuous in the brain and provides information tion schemas. Unlike basic negative emotions on the pleasure/displeasure and arousal value that occur in brief episodes and involve very lit- of stimuli. In contrast, I have maintained that tle cognition beyond minimal perceptual pro- a discrete emotion or pattern of interacting cesses, emotion schemas involve emotion and emotions are always present (though not nec- cognition (frequently higher-order cognition) essarily labeled or articulated) in the conscious in dynamic interactions (Izard 1977, 1984; cf. brain (Izard 1977, ch. 6; Izard 2007a,b). Barrett emotional interpretation, Lewis 2005). (2006) suggested that discrete emotions arise This article also contrasts phenomenal (pri- as a result of a conceptual act on core affect mary) and access (reflective) consciousness, or as a function of “conceptual structure that considers the construct of levels of conscious- is afforded by language” (Barrett et al. 2007, ness, and questions the integrity of current con- p. 304). In contrast, we have proposed that ceptualizations of the unconscious mind. Typi- discrete emotion feelings cannot be created, 4 Izard
  6. 6. taught, or learned via cognitive processes (Izard feeling is a phase of neurobiological activity that & Malatesta 1987; Izard 2007a,b). As Edelman is sensed by the organism. It is sensed and ex- & Tononi (2000) observed, “ . . . emotions are pressed even in children without a cerebral cor- Access fundamental both to the origins of and the ap- tex (Merker 2007). This component of emotion consciousness: a petite for conscious thought” (p. 218, cf. Izard is always experienced or felt, though not neces- level of awareness that 1977, ch. 6). So, perceptual and conceptual pro- sarily labeled or articulated or present in access includes verbally cesses and consciousness itself are more like ef- consciousness. reportable content fects of emotions than sources of their origin. Emotion feeling, like any other neurobio- Discrete emotion experiences emerge in on- logical activity, varies from low to high lev- togeny well before children acquire language els of intensity. The autonomic nervous system or the conceptual structures that adequately may modulate the emotion feeling but does not frame the qualia we know as discrete emotion change its quality or valence (cf. Tomkins 1962, feelings. Moreover, acquiring language does 1963). Neither a moderate nor a high level of not guarantee that emotion experiences can al- autonomic nervous system activity is necessaryAnnu. Rev. Psychol. 2009.60:1-25. Downloaded from arjournals.annualreviews.org ways be identified and communicated verbally. for the emergence of emotion feelings. The by National Institutes of Health Library on 07/14/10. For personal use only. Even adults have great difficulty articulating conscious mind is capable of detecting and dis- a precise description of their emotion feelings criminating among slight changes in neurobio- (cf. Langer 1967/1982). logical activity and among the resultant qualia Thus, emotion feelings can be activated and (Edelman 2006) that include emotion feelings. influenced by perceptual, appraisal, conceptual, [Contrary to earlier formulations (Izard 1971, and noncognitive processes (Izard 1993), but Tomkins 1962), neural processes in observable cannot be created by them. In describing the facial expressions may or may not be a part of origins of qualia—conscious experiences that the critical neurobiological activity involved in include emotion feelings—Edelman & Tononi emotion feeling.] (2000) wrote, “We can analyze them and give Emotion feelings arise from the integration prescription for how they emerge, but obvi- of concurrent activity in brain structures and ously we cannot give rise to them without first circuits that may involve the brain stem, amyg- giving rise to appropriate brain structures and dale, insula, anterior cingulate, and orbito- their dynamics within the body of an individual frontal cortices (cf. Damasio 2003; Lane et al. organism” (p. 15). They maintained that such 1997; Panksepp 2003a,b). Levels of emotion structures arise as a result of brain changes due feelings, like other neurobiological activities, to “developmental selection” (p. 79), an aspect range from low and subtle to high and extreme. of neural Darwinism. Eschewing the cognitive- Current theory and evidence suggest that the constructivist approach advocated by Barrett feeling component of emotions contributed to (2006), Edelman & Tononi (2000) concluded the evolution of consciousness and to the affec- that “the development of the earliest qualia oc- tive, cognitive, and action processes involved in curs largely on the basis of multimodal, body- goal-oriented behavior. centered discriminations carried out by propri- Defining emotion feeling as a phase of a neu- oceptive, kinesthetic, and autonomic systems robiological process circumvents the argument that are present in the embryo and infant’s that feeling is nonphysical and hence cannot be brain, particularly in the brainstem” (p. 157). causal. A counterargument, though, is that at best, feelings are only the qualia of neurobi- ological processes and not neurobiological ac- Emotion Feeling as tivity per se. However, even if this were true, Neurobiological Activity Edelman (2006) maintains that qualia could still Apparently consistent with the position of be described as causal because they are true rep- Edelman (2006), Langer (1967/1982), and resentations of core thalamo-cortical activity. Panksepp (2003a,b), I propose that emotion Thus, whether or not one accepts the present www.annualreviews.org • Emotion Theory and Research 5
  7. 7. proposal that feelings are a phase of neurobi- labeling, articulating, and acknowledging the ological activity, they can still be conceived as emotion experience. These capacities, critical causal processes. to personality and social development, depend Entrainment: harmonious The present formulation of the origins and on the neural activity and resultant processes synchronization of nature of emotion feelings differs from those involved in symbolization and language. neural processes that describe emotion feeling and emotion state Through development, the conceptual self Individuation: those (or emotion-related neurobiological activity) becomes important to the process of feeling and processes through as separate and independent (e.g., Lambie & expressing an emotion, but a higher-order con- which differentiated Marcel 2002). Moreover, the view of emotion ceptual “self ” is not essential for either. Infants components tend to feeling as a phase of the neurobiological activ- experience and express basic emotions long be- become a more unified whole ity or body expression of emotion differs from fore they can provide any evidence of a self- the idea that neurobiological or body expres- concept (Izard et al. 1995), and so do children Basic emotions: emotions that organize sion must precede emotion feeling (Damasio without a cerebral cortex (Merker 2007). 1999, p. 283). The current description of emo- Motivational and cue-producing emotion-Annu. Rev. Psychol. 2009.60:1-25. Downloaded from arjournals.annualreviews.org and motivate rapid virtually automatic yet tion feeling is tantamount to saying that it is feeling provides information relevant to cog- by National Institutes of Health Library on 07/14/10. For personal use only. malleable responses evolved and unlearned neurobiological activity. nition and action (Izard 1971, p. 185). Others that are critical in For those who think that the idea of emotion have conceptualized emotion as information, meeting immediate challenges to survival feelings as evolved neurobiological processes is and the topic has inspired a considerable body or well-being strange or unfounded, the tough questions are: of related research (Clore et al. 2001, Schwarz Where else could emotion feelings come from? & Clore 1983). Consistent with the idea that What else could they be? emotion feelings are cue-producing and infor- mational phenomena, they may also afford a kind of prescience. Feelings may predict the ef- Feeling is the Key Psychological fect of future stimulations by anticipating the Aspect of Emotion: Motivation link between future critical situations and sub- and Information sequent emotion experiences and needs, e.g., Feeling is the dynamic component in emotion danger→fear→safety or loss→sadness→social (cf. Panksepp 2003a,b) and in two related psy- support (cf. Langer 1967/1982, Vol. 1, p. 101). chobiological processes—entrainment and in- Such anticipatory activities can facilitate the so- dividuation (cf. Langer 1967/1982). The mo- cialization processes associated with the learn- tivational, cue-producing, and informational ing of emotion-related social skills in an imag- functions of feelings enable them to entrain, ined or “as if ’’ world. or simplify and organize, what might become Although an emotion feeling may begin to (particularly in challenging situations) an over- form reciprocal relations with perception or whelming number of impulses into focused cognition by the time that it is fully sensed, cognitive processes and a few adaptive actions there is no reason to assume that its quality (cf. Langer 1967/1982). Such feeling-mediated is altered by perceptual and conceptual pro- entrainment of impulses across situations and cesses (Panksepp 2003a,b). Actually, the par- developmental time facilitates the formation of ticular quality of each discrete emotion feel- feeling-cognition-action patterns that consti- ing evolved because its effects on other senses, tute individuation—the organization of traits cognition, and action are generally adaptive and their assembly into a unique personality. (cf. Edelman & Tononi 2000). For all basic However, feeling an emotion does not guaran- emotions, motivational and action processes oc- tee that it will be labeled, articulated, or sensed cur in similar fashion across situations. Among in reflective consciousness or at a high level of emotion schemas, however, there are wide dif- awareness. The level of awareness of an emo- ferences in motivational, cognitive, and action tion feeling depends in part on its intensity and processes across individuals. The determinants expression, and after language acquisition, on of which particular emotion feeling and what 6 Izard
  8. 8. cognitive content occurs in a specific emotion has little or no presence in basic emotion pro- schema include individual differences, learn- cesses. Feeling in emotion schemas may fre- ing, culture, and the conceptual processes influ- quently affect action and will surely affect cog- enced by them (Izard 2007a; cf. Shweder 1994). nition. Thinking is a key agent in regulating (sometimes suppressing; Gross 2002) and guid- ing behavior that stems from emotion schemas. Agreement on Components and Characteristics of Emotion Though there is no consensus on a general def- TYPES OF EMOTIONS inition of the term “emotion” (cf. Kleinginna & Emotions can be usefully divided into two Kleinginna 1981), many experts do agree that broad types or kinds—basic emotion episodes emotions have a limited set of components and and dynamic emotion-cognition interactions or characteristics (Izard 2006). Although they do emotion schemas. Failure to make and keep the not agree in all details, they agree that emo- distinction between these two kinds of emotionAnnu. Rev. Psychol. 2009.60:1-25. Downloaded from arjournals.annualreviews.org tions have an infrastructure that includes neural experiences may be the biggest source of mis- by National Institutes of Health Library on 07/14/10. For personal use only. systems dedicated, at least in part, to emotion understandings and misconceptions in current processes and that emotions motivate cognition emotion science (Izard 2007a, Gray et al. 2005). and action and recruit response systems. We I included an update on the distinction between may also be reaching a consensus that there are types of emotions here for two reasons. First, I different forms of emotions, e.g., basic emo- see the fundamental nature of emotions and the tions rooted and defined primarily in evolution closely connected issue of emotion-cognition- and biology and emotion schemas that include action processes as central to emotion science, cognitive components that differ across individ- now and for the foreseeable future. Second, I uals and cultures (Izard 2007a, Panksepp 2007). think researchers often look for the correlates and effects of basic emotions (labeled simply as emotions) when the variables in their experi- Emotions as Causal Processes ments are actually emotion-cognition interac- Although experts agree that emotions motivate tions or emotion schemas. or influence cognition and action, not all agree on precisely what mediates the effects of emo- tions. The answer may depend on whether it is Basic Emotions a basic emotion or an emotion schema. It may In the past, I have used the term “basic emotion” also depend on whether and how a distinction is in referring to any emotion that is assumed to made in the roles of emotion neurophysiology be fundamental to human mentality and adap- and emotion feelings (cf. Panksepp 2003a,b). tive behavior (Izard 1977). Recently, misunder- Arguably, no one thing (even emotion) is standings and debates about its meaning led me ever the sole mediator of personally or socially to draw a sharp distinction between basic emo- significant behavior. Other person and contex- tions and affective-cognitive structures or emo- tual variables typically contribute to the causal tion schemas (Izard 2007a). Here, consistent processes. Yet, I propose that emotion feeling is with that distinction, the term “basic emotion” virtually always one of the mediators of action refers to affective processes generated by evo- in response to basic emotion and a mediator lutionarily old brain systems upon the sensing of thought and action in response to emotion of an ecologically valid stimulus (Izard 2007a). schemas. Thus, the specific impact of emotion feeling in generating and altering behavior de- Basic positive emotions. The basic positive pends on the type of emotion involved in the emotions of interest and joy (e.g., an in- causal process. Feeling in basic emotion affects fant’s interest activated by the human face; action but not higher-order cognition, which Langsdorf et al. 1983) and joy activated by the www.annualreviews.org • Emotion Theory and Research 7
  9. 9. familiar face of her mother (Izard et al. 1995) are Basic or fundamental emotions? The dis- equally essential to survival, evolution, and de- crete emotions of shame, guilt, and contempt velopment. However, their structure and time (sometimes called the social or self-conscious course may differ significantly from each other. emotions) and the pattern of emotions in love The infant’s experiences of joy may be relatively and attachment may be considered basic in brief by comparison with experiences of inter- the sense that they are fundamental to hu- est. The basic positive emotion of interest mo- man evolution, normative development, hu- tivates play in early development and thus may man mentality, and effective adaptation. Af- have short or relatively long duration. ter language acquisition, the emotions related Basic positive emotions emerge in early on- to the self-concept or self-consciousness are togeny (Izard et al. 1995). Like the basic nega- typically emotion schemas that involve higher- tive emotions, they are subject to developmen- order cognition (e.g., about self and self-other tal changes. The most critical of these changes relationships) and have culture-related cogni- is mediated by the acquisition of language and tive components (Tangney et al. 2007).Annu. Rev. Psychol. 2009.60:1-25. Downloaded from arjournals.annualreviews.org emotion labels and the ability to communicate by National Institutes of Health Library on 07/14/10. For personal use only. (or share) emotion experiences through sym- bolic processes or language (Izard 1971, Izard Emotion Schemas: Dynamic et al. 2008). Emotion-Cognition Interactions The core idea of dynamic interaction be- tween emotion and cognition has a long and Basic negative emotions. Basic negative venerable history dating back at least to the emotions (sadness, anger, disgust, fear) typically earliest written records: “ . . . Peleus . . . lashed run their course automatically and stereotypi- out at him, letting his anger ride in execra- cally in a brief time span. The basic emotion tion . . . ” (Homer’s Iliad, c. 7000 BCE). The of fear (or a fear-action episode) was described idea was prominently displayed in seventeenth- rather precisely in the earliest human records: century philosophy (Bacon 1620/1968, Spinoza “A man who stumbles upon a viper will jump 1677/1957) and was most eloquently elaborated aside: as trembling takes his knees, pallor his by Langer (1967/1982). cheeks; he backs and backs away . . . ” (Homer’s In the vernacular, as well as in much of the Iliad, c. 7000 BCE, p. 68). literature of emotion science, the term “emo- Research has repeatedly demonstrated that tion” most frequently refers to what is de- in mammals, the experience and expression scribed here as an emotion schema. An emo- of basic fear is mediated by the amygdala tion schema is emotion interacting dynamically (LeDoux 1996, Mobbs et al. 2007). Typically, with perceptual and cognitive processes to in- basic negative emotions are activated by sub- fluence mind and behavior. Emotion schemas cortical sensory-discriminative processes in re- are often elicited by appraisal processes but also sponse to ecologically valid stimuli (Ekman by images, memories, and thoughts, and var- ¨ 2003, LeDoux 1996, Ohman 2005). Percep- ious noncognitive processes such as changes tual processes and action usually follow and in neurotransmitters and periodic changes in run their course rapidly and automatically to levels of hormones (Izard 1993). Any one or enhance the likelihood of gaining an adap- all of these phenomena, as well as goals and ¨ tive advantage (cf. LeDoux 1996, Ohman 2002, values, may constitute their cognitive compo- Tomkins 1962). Because of their nature, some nent. Appraisal processes, typically conceived as basic negative emotions (e.g., sadness, anger, mechanisms of emotion activation (for a review, fear) are difficult to study in the laboratory. see Ellsworth & Scherer 2003), help provide Thus, most extant research on what are usually the cognitive framework for the emotion com- called emotions (most often negative emotions) ponent of emotion schemas. Their principal actually concerns negative emotion schemas. motivational component of emotion schemas 8 Izard
  10. 10. consists of the processes involved in emotion pressive disorders: Davidson 1994, 1998; J.A. feelings. Emotion schemas, particularly their Gray 1990; J.R. Gray et al. 2005; Izard 1972; cognitive aspects, are influenced by individual Magai & McFadden 1995). differences, learning, and social and cultural contexts. Nevertheless, the feeling component Early-emerging emotion schemas. Aside of a given emotion schema (e.g., a sadness from the simple emotion-cognition connec- schema) is qualitatively identical to the feel- tions that a prelinguistic infant forms (e.g., be- ing in the basic emotion of sadness. Though tween her own feelings of interest and joy and there may be some differences in their underly- a perception/image of her mother’s face), the ing neural processes, the sadness feeling in each earliest emotion schemas probably consist of at- type of emotion shares a common set of brain taching labels to emotion expressions and feel- circuits or neurobiological activities that deter- ings. Development of emotion labeling and the mine its quality (cf. Edelman 2006, Edelman & process of putting feelings into words begin Tononi 2000). toward the end of the second year of life andAnnu. Rev. Psychol. 2009.60:1-25. Downloaded from arjournals.annualreviews.org Positive and negative emotion schemas may continue during the preschool and elementary by National Institutes of Health Library on 07/14/10. For personal use only. have a relatively brief duration or continue school years (Izard 1971) and throughout the over an indefinitely long time course. A prin- life span. Indeed, games and activities that pro- cipal reason why they can endure more or less mote the accurate labeling of emotion expres- indefinitely is because their continually inter- sions and experiences have been a component acting cognitive component provides a means of intervention processes for many years (see to regulate and utilize them. Evidence indi- Domitrovich & Greenberg 2004 and Denham cates that experimentally facilitated formation & Burton 2003 for reviews). of emotion schemas (simply learning to label and communicate about emotion feelings) gen- Emotion schemas or affective-cognitive erates adaptive advantages (Izard et al. 2008a; units? The concept of affective-cognitive cf. Lieberman et al. 2007). Although we have structure or emotion schema (Izard 1977, very little data relating to their normative devel- 2007a) seems quite similar to that of the opment, neuroscientists have begun to increase affective-cognitive unit as described in the our knowledge of the substrates of emotion- cognitive-affective personality system (CAPS) cognition interactions (Fox et al. 2005, Gross theory of personality (Mischel & Shoda 1995, 2002, Lewis 2005, Northoff et al. 2004, Phelps 1998). One significant difference may be that in 2006). the CAPS approach, an affective-cognitive unit is conceived mainly as a stable or characteristic Emotion schemas and traits of tempera- mediating process or part of the personality ment/personality. Frequently recurring emo- system. In DET, an emotion schema may be ei- tion schemas may stabilize as emotion traits ther a temporally stable trait-like phenomenon or as motivational components of tempera- (affective-cognitive structure) or a brief ment/personality traits (Diener et al. 1995, emotion-cognition interaction that may medi- Goldsmith & Campos 1982, Izard 1977, Magai ate behavior in a specific situation. Compared & Hunziker 1993, Magai & McFadden 1995; to the CAPS approach, DET gives emotion cf. Mischel & Shoda 1995, Tomkins 1987). In a greater role in motivation and assumes normal development, the cognitive content of that the emotion component of the emotion emotion schemas should enhance the regula- schema drives the behavior mapped or framed tory, motivational, and functional capacities of by perceptual-cognitive processes. DET also their feeling components. However, in some emphasizes that, as seen particularly clearly in gene X environment interactions, a cluster of early development and in emotion-based pre- interrelated emotion schemas may become a ventive interventions, connecting appropriate form of psychopathology (e.g., anxiety and de- cognition to emotion feelings increases the www.annualreviews.org • Emotion Theory and Research 9
  11. 11. individual’s capacity for emotion modulation dropped off at kindergarten, may involve sev- and self-regulation (Izard et al. 2008a). DET eral rather stressful times for many children. and CAPS agree in assigning a significant For adults, transitions from a basic emo- causal role to the dynamic interplay of emotion tion to an emotion schema may start abruptly and cognition in determining human behavior. but finish smoothly and quickly. Simply sens- Both approaches also conceptualize the in- ing that the object in your path and just a step terplay of emotion and cognitive processes as ahead of you is long, round, and moving may sources of data on ideographic or within-subject activate the basic emotion of fear and the ac- differences in emotion-cognition-behavior companying high-intensity neurobiological re- relations. actions. However, if language, learning, and an- In brief, emotion schemas are causal or other 50 ms enable you to recognize and label mediating processes that consist of emotion the object as a harmless garden snake (i.e., con- and cognition continually interacting dynam- struct an emotion schema), you might even take ically to influence mind and behavior. It is it gently into your hands rather than engage inAnnu. Rev. Psychol. 2009.60:1-25. Downloaded from arjournals.annualreviews.org the dynamic interaction of these distinct fea- extreme behavior. The concomitant change in by National Institutes of Health Library on 07/14/10. For personal use only. tures (emotion and cognition) that enables neural and neuromotor circuits would consti- an emotion schema, acting in the form of a tute a paradigmatic transition across types and situation-specific factor or a trait of tempera- valences of emotion and emotion-related phe- ment/personality, to have its special and power- nomena. In this case, one would make a transi- ful effects on self-regulation and on perception, tion from basic fear to interest-cognition-action thought, and action (Izard et al. 2008a). sequences in a positive emotion schema. Transitions from Basic Emotions EMOTIONS AND to Emotion Schemas CONSCIOUSNESS In early development, the first steps in the tran- Whatever else it may be, emotion feeling is sition from basic positive emotions to positive at bottom sensation. Thus emotion feelings, emotion schemas consists simply of the infant like other sensations, are by definition processes using her increasing cognitive and emotion pro- that are felt or at least accessible (in the broad cessing capacities to make connections between sense of that term) in some level of conscious- positive emotion feelings and positive thoughts, ness. Level of cognitive development as well memories, and anticipations of people, events, as top-down processes, such as attention shift- and situations. Through learning and experi- ing and focusing, may influence (or preclude) ence, the same stimuli that once elicited a basic the registration of feeling in reflective or cog- positive emotion may become stimuli for posi- nitively accessible consciousness (Buschman & tive emotion schemas and greater expectations Miller 2007). When that happens, emotion (cf. Fredrickson 1998, 2007). feelings/experiences occur in phenomenal con- Basic negative emotions occur relatively sciousness (or at a low level of awareness). Phe- more frequently in infancy than in later devel- nomenal consciousness of an emotion feeling, opment. Moreover, the transition from basic the experience itself, generally co-occurs with negative emotions to basic negative emotion some level of reflective/reportable conscious- schemas and the regulatory advantage provided ness (cf. Chalmers 1996). Thus, I propose that by their cognitive component may prove diffi- there are usually interactions among the neu- cult and challenging. The transition from ba- ral systems that support these two types of con- sic anger (protests) and sadness (withdrawal) of sciousness (cf. Pessoa 2008). These interactions a toddler being separated from mom, to the between the two sets of neural systems enable interest-joy response of a four-year-old being emotion feelings to retain their functionality in 10 Izard