The demanding world of emotion: A Gestalt approach to emotion experience

Lambie, John A. (2020) The demanding world of emotion: A Gestalt approach to emotion experience. New Ideas in Psychology, 56. p. 100751. ISSN 0732-118X

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Psychology is biased towards thinking of emotions as feelings rather than as an experiences of the world. But they are both. World-focused emotion experiences (WFEE) are how the world appears or is consciously perceived in one's emotion experience. For example, when happy the world may seem welcoming, or when sad the world may seem barren of possibilities. What explains these experiences? This article discusses explanations of WFEE from phenomenology and Gestalt psychology. Influenced by Lewin, I propose an “emotional demand model” of WFEE. The emotional demand character of objects (e.g. bear-to-be-run-from) is distinguished from their expressive character (e.g. angry bear). It is a mistake to think of emotion faces only as expressions—they are also demands. This distinction explains some anomalous findings in infancy and autism research. The model highlights another tool for recognizing our own emotions: noticing when we feel “demanded of” by the world, with implications for emotion regulation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Emotion, World-focused, Phenomenology, Gestalt, Demand character, Lewin, Autism, Theory of mind
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2019 14:01
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:53

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