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What does emotion mean?

According to Richard Lazarus (1991) emotions may be defined according to ‘core relational themes’ which are intuitive summaries of the ‘moral appraisals’ (e.g. of relevance, goal conduciveness) involved in different emotions.

These themes help define both the function and eliciting conditions of the emotion. They include:

Anger – a demeaning offense against me and mine.
Fear – facing an immediate, concrete, and overwhelming physical danger.
Sadness – having experienced an irrevocable loss.
Disgust – taking in or being too close to an indigestible object or idea (metaphorically speaking).
Happiness – making reasonable progress toward the realization of a goal.



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