Appraisal Processes in Emotion: Theory, Methods, Research

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The scientific study of emotion has long been dominated by theories emphasizing the subjective experience of emotions and their accompanying expressive and physiological responses. The processes by which different emotions are elicited has received less attention, the implicit assumption being that certain emotions arise automatically in response to certain types of events or situations. Such an assumption is incompatible with data showing that similar situations can provoke a range of emotions in different individuals, or even the same individual at different times. Appraisal theory, first suggested by Magda Arnold and Richard Lazarus, was formulated to address this shortcoming in our understanding of emotion. The central tenet of appraisal theory is that emotions are elicited according to an individual's subjective interpretation or evaluation of important events or situations. Appraisal research focuses on identifying the evaluative dimensions or criteria that predict which emotion will be elicited in an individual, as well as linking the appraisal process with the production of emotional responses. This book represents the first full-scale summary of the current state of appraisal research. Separate sections cover the history of apraisal theory and its fundamental ideas, the views of some of the major theorists currently active in the field, theoretical and methodological problems with the appraisal approach including suggestions for their resolution, social, cultural and individual differences and the application of appraisal theory to understanding and treating emotional pathology, and the methodology used in appraisal research including measuring and analyzing self-report, physiological, facial, and vocal indicators of appraisal, and simulating appraisal processes via computational models. Intended for advanced students and researchers in emotion psychology, it provides an authoritative assessment and critique of the current state of the art in appraisal research.

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Editorial Reviews

Appraisal theories of emotion fill a lacuna in psychological theorizing and research on emotions by bypassing the imprecise implicit meaning of emotional terms in natural languages. Here researchers from Europe and the US summarize the current state of the major appraisal theories, critically assess their basic assumptions, and review research methods and representative results. The anthology serves as a compendium and source for advanced students and researchers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195130072
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Series: Series in Affective Science Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 496
  • Lexile: 1490L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Geneva

University of Siegen

University of Wisconsin

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Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction
1. Appraisal Theory: Overview, Assumptions, Varieties, Controversies, Ira J. Roseman and Craig A. Smith
2. Appraisal: The Evolution of an Idea
Part II: Current Appraisal Theories: The State of the Art
3. Relational meaning and Discrete Emotions, Richard S. Lazarus
4. A Model of Appraisal in the Emotion System: Integrating Theory, Research and Applications, Ira J. Roseman
5. Appraisal Considered as a Process of Multilevel Sequencial Checking, Klaus R. Scherer
6. Toward Delivering on the Promise of Appraisal Theory, Craig A. Smith and Leslie D. Kirby
Part III: Explanding the Paradigm: New and Critical Perspectives
7. Appraisal: What Is the Dependent?, Nico H. Frijda and Marcel Zeelenberg
8. Metaphor is a Metaphor is a Metaphor: Exorcising the Homunculus form Appraisal Theory, Arvid Kappas
9. Putting Appraisal in Context
10. Appraisal Processes Conceptualized from a Schema-Theoretic Perspective: Contributions to a Process Analysis of Emotions, Raner Reisenzein
Part IV: Variations in Appraisal: Socio-Cultural and Individual Factors
11. Personal Pathways in the Development of Appraisal: A Complex Systems/Stage Theory Perspective, Marc D. Lewis
12. Social Appraisal: The Social World as Object of and Influence on Appraisal Process, Antony S. R. Manstead and Agneta H. Fischer
13. The Role of Culture in Appraisal, Batja Mesquita and Phebe C. Ellsworth
14. Applications of Appraisal Theory to Understanding, Diagnosing, and Treating Emotional Pathology, Ira J. Roseman and Susanne Kaiser
Part V: Emotional Response Modalities: Indicators of Appraisal
15. Vocal Expression Correlates of Appraisal Processes, Tom Johnstone et al
16. Facial Expressions as Indicators of Appraisal Processes, Susanne Kaiser and Thomas Wehrle
17. The Psychophysiology of Appraisals, Anna Pecchinenda
Part VI: Methods of Research on Appraisal
18. Advacned Statistical Methods for the Study of Appraisal and Emotional Reaction, Michael Eid
19. Subjective Measurements in Appraisal Research: Present State and Future Perspectives, Angela Schorr
20. Toward Computational Modeling of Appraisal Theories, Thomas Wehrle and Klaus R. Scherer
Part VII: Perspectives for Theory and Research
21. The nature and Study of Appraisal: A Review of the Issues, Klaus S. Scherer
Subject Index
Author Index

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