Evolutionary explanations of emotions

  title={Evolutionary explanations of emotions},
  author={Randolph M. Nesse},
  journal={Human Nature},
  • R. Nesse
  • Published 1 September 1990
  • Psychology
  • Human Nature
Emotions can be explained as specialized states, shaped by natural selection, that increase fitness in specific situations. The physiological, psychological, and behavioral characteristics of a specific emotion can be analyzed as possible design features that increase the ability to cope with the threats and opportunities present in the corresponding situation. This approach to understanding the evolutionary functions of emotions is illustrated by the correspondence between (a) the subtypes of… 

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