Motivation and emotion/Textbook/Introduction/What is emotion?

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What is emotion?

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Emotion is not easily defined. It involves the complex psychophysiological experience of an individual's state of mind as interacting with biochemical and environmental influences. In humans, emotion fundamentally involves "physiological arousal, expressive behaviours, and conscious experience".[1]

More simply, it's how we feel about things. Many of the chapters will follow delve into conceptualising emotion and particular aspects of emotion - both what affects emotion and how emotion affects behaviour and thinking.


  1. Myers, David G. (2004) "Theories of Emotion." Psychology: Seventh Edition, New York, NY: Worth Publishers, p. 500.

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