Psychology of Emotion

Interpersonal, Experiential, and Cognitive Approaches

By Paula M. Niedenthal, Silvia Krauth-Gruber, Francois Ric

© 2006 – Psychology Press

432 pages | 53 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781841694023
pub: 2006-09-17
US Dollars$62.95
Hardback: 9781841694016
pub: 2006-09-17
US Dollars$145.00

Comp Exam Copy

About the Book

This textbook discusses fundamental issues in the definition and measurement of emotion, including: conscious and unconscious processes; the ways in which emotions arise in, and are constrained by, social situations and social processes; the regulation and sharing of emotion and their effects of mental health; and the manner in which culture (including subculture) shapes or moderates some of these processes.

The book also focuses on the component processes of emotion, their functions, and the ways in which these interact with the social environment. Rather than deny either that emotions are biologically determined or that they are culturally created or shaped, both biology and social situation are treated as important forces in the elicitation and the experience of emotion.

Each section of the book is structured around specific approaches or models, and the precise questions that they were constructed to address. The theories and models are also placed in their in historical context. Discussion of the different approaches is elaborated by summaries of the extant scientific evidence, as well as examples of specific experiments or studies that were designed to evaluate the question. Timely, engaging real-world examples are used from a variety of international contexts.

The pedagogic features, including concise introductions and summaries, discussion questions, and suggested readings, have been incorporated into the volume, making this an ideal text for a course of Emotion, which can be found as an option within many social psychology and cognitive psychology courses.


'Questions about emotion strike to the heart of what psychology is all about, and are as old as psychological science itself. A century-worth of disagreements continue over how an emotion is to be defined, and how it functions in the economy of the mind and behavior, making it a challenge to write a book covering the study of emotion in all of its forms. This book, however, really delivers. Niedenthal and her colleagues have produced an easy-to-read, well-written text that maps much of the scientific terrain of emotion research in a comprehensive and accessible manner. They provide an admirable degree of integration with a multitude of theoretical perspectives, and offer a balanced summary of even the most hotly debated questions, making this book an essential guide for anyone who wants to be educated in the science of emotion.' - Lisa Feldman Barrett, Professor of Psychology, Boston College

'This book is a very welcome addition to the already existing textbooks on emotions, because it provides an in-depth overview of the cognitive and social approaches to the study of emotions. The authors have done an excellent job in integrating empirical research and theories on emotions and I am confident that this book will become a standard textbook. Because it raises new questions, and provides original insights, the book will be a challenge for both students and teachers.' - Agneta Fischer, The University of Amsterdam

'With a style sufficiently lively for advanced undergraduates yet coverage that is thorough enough for a sophisticated seminar for graduate students, Psychology of Emotion is an outstanding text for a field of growing interest in psychology, neuroscience, and beyond. Drs. Niedenthal, Krauth-Gruber, and Ric synthesize research on the most important topics motivating investigators of emotion today, from the structure of emotional experiences to facial expression to gender and culture. Each chapter provides a compelling integration of classic research with cutting-edge studies and includes a special emphasis on the ways in which emotions can be studied systematically in the laboratory and in field settings. A fun "extra" is Dr. Niedenthal's own cartoons and drawings appearing throughout the volume. This is a fine book and one I would certainly like to use in my 'Psychology of Emotion' course at Yale.' - Peter Salovey, Dean of Yale College and Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology, Yale University

"I enjoyed reading this book… No stone is left unturned to make this a pleasurable experience for the student." – Luciano L’Abate, PsycCRITIQUES

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. What are Emotions and How are They Studied? The Scope of the Phenomenon. Definitions of Emotion. Emotions as Component Processes. Theories of Emotion. Can We Study Emotions? Or, How Can We Study Emotions? Naturally Occurring Emotions. Summary. Chapter 2. Structure and Function of Emotion. Structural Accounts of Emotion. Basic (and Discrete) Emotions. Dimensional Accounts of the Structure of Emotion. Functional Accounts of Emotion. Positive Emotions. Summary. Chapter 3. Self-conscious Emotions. Cognitive Achievements Underlying Self-conscious Emotions. Social Comparison Emotions. Self-evaluation Emotions. Summary. Chapter 4. Facial Expression of Emotion. What are Facial Expressions of Emotion? Measurement of Facial Expression. Origin of Facial Expressions: Nature vs. Culture. What Information is Provided by Facial Expressions? Emotions vs. Social Motives. What Information Determines the Recognition of Emotion? Face vs. Context. Facial Expressions and the Experience of Emotion. Facial Feedback Hypothesis. Summary. Chapter 5. Regulation of Emotions. Why do People Control their Emotions? Motivations Underlying Emotion Regulation. How do People Control their Emotions? Emotion Regulation Strategies. Suppression of Expressive Behavior: Trying Not to Show It. Cognitive Reappraisal: Thinking about It Differently. Emotional Thought Suppression: Trying Not to Think about It. Social Sharing of Emotions: Talking about It. Emotion Regulation and Health. Summary. Chapter 6. Emotion in Social Cognition. Affective State and the Content of Cognitive Processes. Influences on the Structure of Cognitive Processing. Summary. Chapter 7. Emotion and Group Processes. The Group as a Place for Emotions. Emotions in Intergroup Context. Summary. Chapter 8. Gender Differences in Emotion Processes. Stereotypical Beliefs about the Experience, Expression, and Judgment of Emotion. How do Men and Women Experience and Express their Emotions? Gender Stereotypes as Heuristic Devices. How Well do Men and Women Decode Others’ Emotions? Why Men and Women Differ in their Emotions: Origins of Gender Differences. Summary. Chapter 9. Emotion and Culture. The Cross-cultural Study of Emotion: A Brief History. General Culture Constructs. Cultural Models of Emotion. Do Emotions Occur in the Same Places? Do Emotions Look the Same? Expressing Emotions. Do Emotions Feel the Same? Summary. References. Author Index. Subject Index.

About the Authors

Paula Niedenthal, Silvia Krauth-Gruber and Francois Ric

About the Series

Principles of Social Psychology

Though the central aims of social psychology have remained the same since the inception of the field - the scientific study of the way individuals perceive, interact with and relate to others - our understandings of social psychological subject matter have changed enormously. The growth of the field during the past few decades has been remarkable.

Though the interest in traditional topics continues to thrive, social psychology has been transformed by its close partnerships with other domains of psychology, as well as its ties to outside disciplines such as law and the health sciences. Furthermore, whereas in the past decades European and American perspectives on social psychology had different emphases, there is now increasing integration of their perspectives as well as of additional ones originating from all parts of the globe (Australasia and Asia, for example). The internet and the ever-growing volume of international travel facilitate communication and foster the emergence of a "shared reality" among social psychologists worldwide.

Principles of Social Psychology is a new generation of social psychology textbooks, which aims to reflect these exciting developments. The basic commitment of the series is twofold: (1) to articulate the principles and explanatory mechanisms underlying the variety of social behavior; (2) to relate them to real-world phenomena and concerns. The emphasis of the series would be on broad, overarching principles and processes that unite and integrate large bodies of empirical research rather than on descriptive reviews of such research, whose exponential growth makes this an increasingly difficult enterprise.

While presenting fairly a variety of viewpoints, each textbook in the series will feature a coherent perspective of its own. This would be a broad, meta-perspective on the field in question, and not simply an individual theory. Though the author's conceptual vantage point may not coincide with each instructor's perspective, it will nonetheless afford the opportunity for a meaningful dialogue and encourage students to partake in the intellectual debate.

All books in the series will address relevant research conducted by researchers from around the world, and will incorporate the same set of organizational principles so that as a whole the series will provide a comprehensive and stimulating introduction to the diverse and fascinating field of social psychology.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology