1st Edition

The Positive Side of Negative Emotions

Edited By

W. Gerrod Parrott

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ISBN 9781462513338
Published March 24, 2014 by Guilford Press
608 Pages

USD $49.00

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Book Description

This unique volume brings together state-of-the-art research showing the value of emotions that many believe to be undesirable. Leading investigators explore the functions and benefits of sadness, anxiety, anger, embarrassment, shame, guilt, jealousy, and envy. The role of these emotions in social interactions and relationships is examined, as are cultural differences in how they are valued and expressed. The volume considers how people seek out these feelings in everyday life to improve performance, gain insight, and express cares and commitments. Negative emotions are shown to have an important place in a rich and meaningful life.



W. Gerrod Parrott, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University. His central interest is the nature of human emotion. His published work has focused on three areas: philosophical and historical approaches to the concept of emotion; emotion's social foundations and functions, including such social emotions as embarrassment, shame, guilt, envy, and jealousy; and the influence of emotion and emotional self-regulation on thought. Dr. Parrott is the author of over 75 scholarly chapters, articles, and books. He is past editor of the journal Cognition and Emotion and past president of the International Society for Research on Emotion.


"Parrott is one of the most creative thinkers and gifted writers in the field of psychology. His beautifully rendered articles on jealousy and envy and his classic 'Beyond Hedonism,' still well cited after 20 years, have always left me wanting to read more on these topics. And now we can: Parrott has assembled some of the most intriguing thinkers studying human emotion and asked them to consider how unpleasant emotions from anger to embarrassment to jealousy might actually be adaptive for individuals and societies. The contributors address issues at the heart of basic research as well as clinical practice, and they challenge long-standing assumptions about negative emotions as feelings to 'manage' or even eliminate."--Peter Salovey, PhD, President and Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology, Yale University

"This book is a gem! In Parrott’s beautifully orchestrated volume, a select cast of authors share important insights about emotion. Both beginners and experts will be surprised to learn from this engrossing and memorable book how beneficial our negative emotions can be."--Gerald L. Clore, PhD, Commonwealth Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia

"An excellent volume that provides an up-to-date overview of a timely topic. This is the first book to integrate the range of existing research on the positive effects of anger, anxiety, shame, sadness, jealousy, and other negative emotions. While offering broad coverage of different emotions and theoretical perspectives, the book has a unifying focus on the counterintuitive notion that negative emotions can be good, even if they feel bad. Students and scholars will feel challenged by the abundance of research and depth of theorizing."--Agneta H. Fischer, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands