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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book discusses various aspects of emotion and its relationship to behavior. This third edition updates the second edition of 2000.
Purpose: The editors note that the book "seeks to be both a compendium of what we have learned and an introduction to new areas that have caught our imagination."
Audience: It is intended for researchers, students, and practitioners in social, personality, developmental, clinical, and health psychology; neuropsychology; psychiatry; and related disciplines. Dr. Lewis is a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Jones, a professor of psychology at Rutgers has published extensively in this field and her recent research involves chemosensory aspects of emotion. Dr. Barrett is professor of psychology at Boston College and has published over 80 papers and book chapters. The numerous contributors provide an international perspective from Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.
Features: The book begins with a background in the study of emotions, including philosophy, history, and evolutionary perspectives. It goes on to discuss physiological, developmental, health, personality, and social aspects. Lastly, the authors target specific emotions. Each subtopic is thoroughly covered. The discussion of positive emotions (chapter 48) is well written and provides a nice discussion of the "broaden and build" theory. There are no obvious shortcomings, but I would have liked more tables and/or figures because it is easy to get lost in the minutiae of the text. It is an impressive work, with 848 pages devoted to the topic and research findings. It contains both an author and subject index.
Assessment: This wonderful reference presents 49 different subtopic areas in order to better explain the concept of emotion. Emotion has been a widely debated topic by philosophers for centuries. This book appears to be the gold standard in the field based on the distinguished editors and authors and the fact that it continues to be revised as new theories and research occur. All in all, this is a tremendous contribution to psychology and our understanding of human nature.