What practical examples distinguish emotions from mood


Emotions have a huge impact on people. They affect all of their actions and behavior. Feelings can affect the way of ▪ perception, ▪ attention, the assessment of risks, decisions and general problem-solving behavior, and behavior towards other people (e.g. the connection between pity and helpfulness).

Emotions are just as important for information storage and learning in general. In particular, the effect of positive feelings is more and more the focus of learning and social psychology today. Because: "Whether you are happy or unhappy influences everything in life. People who are happy feel safer in the world, make decisions more easily, evaluate applicants for a job more positively, are more cooperative and live their lives healthier, more energetic, and happier (Lyubomirsky et al. 2002; Myers 1993). If they are gloomy and worried about their problems, their overall life appears depressing. then they think about other things and their thoughts become playful and creative (Fredrickson 2002). Their relationships, their self-image and their future expectations change for the better. " (Myers 2005, p.556) (▪ Characteristics of creativity)

1. What are emotions?

Opinions on how to define the term emotion differ widely. However, one can refer to the following for disambiguationWorking definitions act:

Definition 1 (Schmidt-Atzert 1996, p.21):

"An emotion is a qualitatively more precisely describable state that is associated with changes on one or more of the following levels: feeling, physical state and expression."

Definition 2 (Meyer / Schützwohl / Reisenzein 1993, p.23f.):

"1. Emotions are occurrences of, for example, joy, sadness, anger, fear, pity, disappointment, relief, pride, shame, guilt, envy, and other types of conditions that are sufficiently similar to the above.
2. These phenomena have the following characteristics in common: (a) They are current states of people; (b) they differ in type or quality and intensity [...]; (c) they are usually object-oriented [...]; (d) People who are in one of the states mentioned usually have a characteristic experience (experience aspects of emotions), and certain physiological changes (physiological aspect of emotions) and behaviors (behavioral aspect of emotions) also frequently occur. "

2. The assessment of emotions through the ages

Emotions have preoccupied philosophers and scientists in various cultures for a long time. In European antiquity and the Middle Ages, however, most thinkers considered emotions to be something negative. They were either blamed for all suffering in the world, or they were portrayed as an adversary of reason to be fought with with all their might.

In the German ▪ Enlightenment wentImmanuel Kant (1724-1804) even so far as to compare feelings to insanity. No wonder that he despised the emotional (cf. Ulich / Mayring 1992, p.18f.) Then determined the classic Doctrine of affect into the 20th century, ideas about feelings. On their basis, morality should prevail over passions. That primarily men, and indeed those belonging to the upper class, should be able to control affects in this way corresponded to the ideas of a patriarchally organized bourgeois society. For a long time, well into the second half of the 20th century, the control and mastery of emotions represented a decisive cultural guideline, "which only became binding when switching to the» hedonistic society «in the second half of the 20th century and finally loses relevance. " (Schierl 2001, p.117)

For a long time, psychology paid little attention to emotions. Only at the beginning of the sixties of the 20th century did one gradually begin to take a scientific interest in it and, in the course of time, to establish a specialty, emotion psychology.

3. Emotion and cognition

In more recent emotion psychology, based on neurobiological findings, it is assumed that emotion and cognition cannot function independently of one another (see Ulich 1989, p. 27, Coleman 1997, p.48). Neurological studies have shown this unity of mind and feeling. It has been shown that people with a certain damage to the brain in the area of ​​the prefontal cortex have lost their emotionality. At the same time, although their minds otherwise remained intact, they were no longer able to make rationally justified decisions (Damasio 1995, Damasio 2000). Mind and feeling, rationality and emotion, stand in one complementary relationship to each other.

It is from this specific complementarity that the idea of ​​the so-called "emotional intelligence" ab: "Findings like this lead Damasio to the counterintuitive view that feelings normally represent rationalityessential are; they first point us in the right direction, where sober logic can then be of great use. While the world presents us with barely manageable choices, the emotional memory of experience that we have acquired in life sends out signals that simplify the decision by excluding certain options from the outset and emphasizing others. In this sense, says Damasio, the emotional brain is just as involved in rational thinking as the thinking brain.
The emotions therefore have an intelligence that is of weight in practical questions. In the interplay of feeling and rationality, the emotional faculty, working hand in hand with the rational soul, guides our current decisions. Conversely, the thinking brain plays a leading role in our emotions. "(Coleman 1997, p.48)

It is argued that thinking never happens without the involvement of feelings, because purely cognitive messages are not possible at all, since they neither create relevance nor arouse attention. As long as messages that are addressed to the mind, even if they are repeated hundreds of times, do not leave an emotional impression or an "affective imprint", they are ignored. Conversely, however, this also applies to emotions, which are always tied to cognition in some way, even if it is only space and time structures. (cf. Ciompi 1992, p.171, cf. Schierl 2001, p.119)

Gert Egle, last edited on: 01/29/2021