For questions regarding the concepts (e.g., happy, sad, angry) that we use to describe the changes in cognition, behavior, and experience that occur in response to physiological and environmental stimuli.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

22
votes
3answers
40k views

Is extreme empathy and compassion considered a disorder?

Can extreme empathy and compassion get to a point where it is considered a disorder? For example, if someone is so empathetic, when feeling someones pain it negatively affects their life to the same ...
20
votes
1answer
576 views

How long can a person stay happy, excited and motivated about something new?

I'm interested in learning more about studies or experiments that determine how long a typical person can stay excited about something new: ...
20
votes
1answer
320 views

How do emotions influence the language structures we use?

What are the verbal signs of subjectivity? I am doing research about the linguistic content of media (debates, talk-show, sport comments). It occurs that once the participant gets nervous or excited, ...
18
votes
2answers
517 views

How to classify and understand emotions of people using chat and text messaging lingo and emoticons?

I am looking for scholarly, peer-reviewed articles that discuss natural language processing (NLP) involving chat or text messaging lingo/acronyms and the affect of chat participants based on language ...
16
votes
5answers
48k views

Why do people laugh in serious situations?

I've seen people (including myself) that laugh for no apparent reason in really serious situations, such as in an argument or when receiving bad news. Although the other party is clearly very upset, ...
16
votes
1answer
994 views

What is a validated single-item measure of mood?

Has anyone validated, proposed or tested a single-item state-based positive affect or happiness measure? I am particularly interested in something for tracking mood every day.
16
votes
1answer
9k views

Does anxiety produce adrenaline or does adrenaline make the person anxious?

Its obvious that both are related(adrenaline and anxiety) but which causes which? What (I think) I know: Anxiety accelerates the hearth rhythm due to the feeling of fear. It makes the body believe ...
15
votes
1answer
308 views

Do cultures differ in the perception of emotions from body expression?

In their classic study, Ekman and Friesen (1971) identified seven facial expressions recognised by people universally across all cultures as depicting certain emotions: happiness, sadness, surprise, ...
14
votes
4answers
342 views

Does straightening your back increase confidence?

Background: I have always felt moderately socially insecure. Today I noticed that when I straighten my back from its normal crestfallen position, I feel a little more confident, and as if I were in ...
14
votes
1answer
685 views

What effect do random visitors have on children in orphanages and people in old age homes?

Leading a volunteering team, I've been to an orphanage where the sister (who did a psychology course) running the orphanage was strict that volunteers should spend a minimum of 3 months teaching the ...
13
votes
3answers
708 views

Longitudinal mobile mood tracking app with random reminders

The goal is to take simple measurements of mood using Likert scale over an extended period of time (e.g. two months). I know there is a large number of mobile apps for tracking mood on every ...
12
votes
2answers
547 views

What causes short-term dysphoria following intense pleasure?

I'm interested in the phenomenon of short term Dysphoria: Dysphoria is a state of feeling unwell or unhappy; a feeling of emotional and mental discomfort as a symptom of discontentment, ...
12
votes
1answer
477 views

Modern replacement for Panksepp's “Affective Neuroscience” book?

Jaak Panksepp's book (Amazon link here) is a phenomenal and highly readable systems-based introduction to not only affective neuroscience, but the neuroscience of motivation in general. The problem ...
12
votes
1answer
259 views

What causes laughter?

I was looking at this video from VSauce: "Why did the chicken cross the road?", where several facts about this old joke are exposed and explained. At some point, (6:59) Michael explains that there is ...
11
votes
1answer
258 views

What is a reliable physiological measure (e.g., serotonin levels) of positive affect?

Is there a reliable physiological measure or correlate to positive affect? What does research say on this? I thought that serotonin levels are correlated with self-reported happiness levels, but, ...
11
votes
4answers
324 views

Why do humans cry?

People cry when they experience intense emotions. Crying seems to occur most frequently in intense episodes of sadness and fear, but sometimes also happens when people are very happy or angry. What is ...
11
votes
1answer
104 views

How do our emotions toward a subject affect our brain activity within similar activities?

I'll bring an example: there are people who love to dance and could do it for hours. Yet, if you'd make them run a long distance they would get tired really soon just because they don't like running ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do humans need emotions?

If the emotions' only purpose is to stimulate certain behavior, why can't this task just as effectively, or even more effectively be done by the reasoning part of the brain? Are emotions really ...
10
votes
3answers
563 views

Why is an image of a face without features disturbing?

Below is a snapshot of an article linked from LinkedIn today. What I find more disturbing than the topic at hand is the featured image used to head up the article. Clearly it's important to provide ...
10
votes
2answers
309 views

What causes people to feel depressed without there being a problem?

I have noticed that some people have lives that appear perfectly fine, yet they feel depressed. In my specific case the feeling typically lasts for a few days and then magically disappears, only to ...
10
votes
1answer
548 views

Evidence-based best practices for writing a gratitude journal

I was intrigued to read (in the question "What positive writing exercises improve happiness?") the idea of a gratitude diary suggested as an intervention that "causes psychological well-being levels ...
9
votes
4answers
455 views

To what degree is emotional state visible in a person's eyes?

Is it true that a person's emotional state (such as arousal, fear, etc) can be determined by looking solely at the persons eyes? Here I am assuming that this may be the case only in limited ...
9
votes
4answers
252 views

Can the brain be trained into a state of persistent happiness?

Happiness is a state of mind. Can we retain this state even in the case of sadness, depression, or a dire situation through training? What methods could one use in order to train the brain to retain ...
9
votes
1answer
832 views

Are there emotions that only some people can feel?

Presumably, there are emotions that almost any person can feel, such as happiness, sadness, guilt, and embarrassment. But are there emotions that only a small fraction of the population can feel? ...
9
votes
1answer
247 views

What is the effect of high expectations on long-term happiness?

Are there any studies about the long term effects of having high expectations of oneself on one's happiness? Does crashing after failing to reach unrealistic goals significantly impact long-term ...
9
votes
1answer
82 views

Definition of or research on fun

What does research have to say about defining "fun"--what it is or when it happens? I've found some research on whether or not people rate specific things as fun, and lots of misleading titles with ...
9
votes
8answers
7k views

Why do people want what they don't have now?

There are many examples of people wanting what they don't have. For example, a single man may want to have a girlfriend, but after some time of having a girlfriend, he may want to be single again. Or ...
8
votes
2answers
408 views

Is it possible to become totally envy free?

Can we develop a particular mind set for being totally envy free; to stop envying others?
8
votes
2answers
272 views

How to prevent insults from unconsciously causing negative emotions?

When someone is insulted, they can feel anxiety and shame, even though his/her conscious mind knows the insult isn't true and tries to be as logical and unemotional about it as possible. Positive ...
8
votes
2answers
781 views

Skin conductance responses to emotional stimuli

The skin conductance response (SCR) is said that cannot be reduced to one specific stimulus (Boucsein, 2012). Does this mean that if the participant is presented with stimuli of different emotional ...
8
votes
1answer
114 views

Paul Ekman suggests that in near-accidents, fear motivates people to hit their car brakes. Is the fear response fast enough to do this?

Recall a time when you were driving your car and suddenly another car appeared, going very fast, seeming as if it were about to hit you. Your conscious mind was focused on an interesting ...
8
votes
1answer
903 views

Is there a database of emotional stimuli available?

For my research I need to use emotional stimuli to use for habituation to certain emotion. Are there any databases available (preferably free or not expensive) of non-linguistic stimuli I could use? ...
8
votes
2answers
592 views

Is Decision-Making Emotionally Based, with Rationalization as the only Conscious Component?

My interest is in how problem-solving decisions are made, and what, if any skills could be taught to increase people's ability to make effective decisions? Effective, in this case, means that an ...
8
votes
2answers
322 views

Is there a circadian component to mood variations in humans?

I'm looking at this question about an Experience Sampling Method (ESM) app: Longitudinal mobile mood tracking app with random reminders The studies linked in the question deal with sampling of user ...
8
votes
2answers
671 views

What are the appraisals tendencies for fear and anger?

I understand the actions tendencies for fear and anger. For example: We might verbally insult someone when we are angry. We might feel like running away when we are afraid. According to appraisal ...
8
votes
1answer
102 views

Are the physical sensations of an emotion due to neural activity strictly in the brain or also in the body?

Symptoms of anxiety and anger are often described as some sort of energetic sensation in my chest and sometimes face or arms. Are these sensations an 'illusion' from neural activity strictly in the ...
8
votes
1answer
70 views

Neural Mechanisms of Accumulation and Triggering

What is the mechanism by which the brain/mind 'accumulates' a felt-sense to a point of 'triggering' an action? For example, if unable to complete a task (e.g. opening packaging), a person can feel ...
8
votes
1answer
135 views

Method for evaluating how emotionally evocative a question is?

I would like to measure the change in emotional state in response to a question. For example, asking the question, "What is your favorite color?" would be fairly benign; I would not expect any change ...
8
votes
1answer
108 views

How is brain processing different for situation-less vs. situated emotional faces?

In traditional emotional face perception paradigms, participants are shown circle cut-outs of emotional faces. All context has been removed. Participants only see the face. However, it's well ...
7
votes
1answer
133 views

Are there any theories suggesting mindfulness is the opposite mental state to self-regulation?

Meditation practice focuses on emotional acceptance (Teper & Inzlicht, 2013), and self-regulation is related to emotional control (Braumeister, 2003). Could someone provide me with pointers to ...
7
votes
2answers
285 views

Why does a person get obsessive for those who don't take interest in him?

Why does a person get obsessive, Specially towards those who don't accept his love or attraction towards them? Self esteem has such an impact on human life that he wants to preserve his esteem in any ...
7
votes
2answers
230 views

Does taking a deep breath reduce reduce the experience of stress and negative emotions?

Sometimes when I have negative feelings, it seems that a deep breath resets these feelings. Does that really happen? Is there any research on the effect of taking a deep breath on reducing the ...
7
votes
2answers
534 views

To what extent does culture affect emotion perception?

In a globalized world, in spite of cultural differences, we share, at least at the symbolic level (language level), lots of things. Considering pictures that display emotions (affect), such as those ...
7
votes
1answer
153 views

What is the definition of affective cueing?

In contrast to affective priming, what is affective cueing? I'm not sure how to differentiate between the two. I found a good review on affective priming in Karl Christoph Klauer (1997) in the ...
7
votes
1answer
290 views

How does our brain consider something to be funny?

What makes something that we watch (a clown's antics, hidden camera pranks, etc.), hear (jokes), read (satire), or do (pranks) be perceived as funny? Even babies find certain actions and sounds ...
7
votes
1answer
73 views

Prevalence of mental health problems in medical professionals caused by exposure to death?

Some medical professionals work in areas where they are exposed to death often (say, E.R, O.R, Cancer Treatment, etc.), specifically in an area where they bond with the patient and the patients' ...
7
votes
2answers
606 views

Can scary movies trigger fight or flight and why can a person enjoy this while another does not?

Essentially, I understand the release of adrenaline can be addictive and that scary movies and events are a safe way of experiencing the drama without all the actual mess. but However, if we are ...
6
votes
3answers
12k views

Is there a term to describe an inability to express emotion or feelings?

I am writing a novel and was wondering if there was a specific term for someone unable to express his own emotions or feelings. The catch here is, this doesn't mean he doesn't know what anger or love ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there any good alternative to the International Affective Picture System (IAPS)?

I'm looking for (particularly negative) emotion inducing pictures or videos. After some research, I think the best known and widely used database is the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). ...
6
votes
1answer
254 views

Why are humans the only species to maintain relationships with other animals simply for pleasure?

In the wild, animals may share waterholes, and grazing areas. Some animals have symbiotic relationships one example being the hippopotamus and the oxpecker bird. The symbiotic relationships are based ...