Emotion display

Tom Koole
Table of contents

Emotion is a phenomenon that has attracted interest from Ancient Greece through philosophers such as Descartes and Spinoza to present times when it was picked up primarily in psychology as an element of cognition. Over the last 20 to 30 years however, the interest in emotion has increased dramatically not only in psychology, but also in the social sciences and the humanities (see for an overview Wetherell 2012). In ‘cultural studies,’ emotion – or ‘affect’ – has been treated as a concept that allows research to move beyond notions of discourse and cognition to the realm of the unconscious (e.g. Massumi 1996) in an interesting parallel to psychologists who have investigated emotion to move beyond a too rational and information-processing concept of cognition (e.g. Haidt 2012). At the same time we have witnessed a move in the empirical sciences, especially in the study of social interaction, from a focus on emotion as feeling to emotion as behaviour. This chapter on emotion display seeks to bring together and relate this work on emotion behaviour.

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