What are emotions? And how can they be measured?

  title={What are emotions? And how can they be measured?},
  author={Klaus R. Scherer},
  journal={Social Science Information},
  pages={695 - 729}
  • K. Scherer
  • Published 1 December 2005
  • Psychology
  • Social Science Information
Defining “emotion” is a notorious problem. Without consensual conceptualization and operationalization of exactly what phenomenon is to be studied, progress in theory and research is difficult to achieve and fruitless debates are likely to proliferate. A particularly unfortunate example is William James’s asking the question “What is an emotion?” when he really meant “feeling”, a misnomer that started a debate which is still ongoing, more than a century later. This contribution attempts to… Expand

Figures and Tables from this paper

What do we actually measure as music-induced emotions?
The paper presents the results of a systematic review of 61 empirical studies in which emotions in response to music were measured. The analysis of each study was focused on the measurement ofExpand
The Many Meanings/Aspects of Emotion: Definitions, Functions, Activation, and Regulation
Many psychological scientists and behavioral neuroscientists affirm that “emotion” influences thinking, decision-making, actions, social relationships, well-being, and physical and mental health. YetExpand
The World of Emotions is not Two-Dimensional
Adopting a theoretically based approach, it is shown for three languages that four dimensions are needed to satisfactorily represent similarities and differences in the meaning of emotion words. Expand
Moving Through the Literature: What Is the Emotion Often Denoted Being Moved?
When do people say that they are moved, and does this experience constitute a unique emotion? We review theory and empirical research on being moved across psychology and philosophy. We examineExpand
“Positive feelings about my work: I needed it!” Emotions and emotion self-regulation in language teachers
Recently it has been recognised that teaching is not only a cognitive matter, but that teachers’ emotions also play a significant role in their lives. Indeed, the link between teachers’ emotions,Expand
What is an Emotion in the Belief-Desire Theory of Emotion?
Let us assume that the basic claim of the belief-desire theory of emotion is true: What, then, is an emotion? According to Castelfranchi and Miceli (2009), emotions are mental compounds that emergeExpand
A systematic review of the studies measuring mood and emotion in response to music.
Definitional and conceptual problems are of continuing concern to researchers in the study of music and emotion (Eerola & Vuoskoski, 2013; Scherer, 2004). A prevailing issue is the conceptualExpand
What is an Emotion in the Belief-Desire Theory of Emotion ?
Let us assume that the basic claim of the belief-desire theory of emotion is true: What, then, is an emotion? According to Castelfranchi and Miceli (2009), emotions are mental compounds that emergeExpand
Emotions beyond brain and body
The emerging consensus in the philosophy of cognition is that cognition is situated, i.e., dependent upon or co-constituted by the body, the environment, and/or the embodied interaction with it. ButExpand
Toward a Working Definition of Emotion
A definition of emotion common to the affective sciences is an urgent desideratum. Lack of such a definition is a constant source of numerous misunderstandings and a series of mostly fruitlessExpand


ABSTRACT Traditionally, the emotions have been viewed from a biological perspective; that is, the emotions have been seen as genetically determined and relatively invariable responses. The presentExpand
Which Emotions Can be Induced by Music? What Are the Underlying Mechanisms? And How Can We Measure Them?
The study of emotional effects of music is handicapped by a lack of appropriate research paradigms and methods, due to a dearth of conceptual-theoretical analyses of the process underlying emotionExpand
The Relationship of Emotion to Cognition: A Functional Approach to a Semantic Controversy
Abstract We first review the main points in the dispute about whether emotion is primary and independent of cognition (Zajonc), or secondary and always dependent upon cognition (Lazarus), and suggestExpand
Criteria for emotion-antecedent appraisal: A review.
In reviewing classic theories of emotion and the disputes among adherents of competing traditions, one is struck by the remarkable lack of concern with the antecedent or eliciting conditions forExpand
It is an ancient, and very pervasive, idea that music expresses emotion. Apart from the copious literature to this effect contributed by composers, musicologists, and philosophers, there is alsoExpand
A categorized list of emotion definitions, with suggestions for a consensual definition
A major problem in the field of emotion has been the wide variety of definitions that have been proposed. In an attempt to resolve the resulting terminological confusion, 92 definitions and 9Expand
Basic emotions, relations among emotions, and emotion-cognition relations.
  • C. Izard
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Psychological review
  • 1992
In the biosocial theory tradition, researchers have identified multiple noncognitive activators of emotion and demonstrated the usefulness of defining the essential components of emotion as phenomena that do not require cognitive mediators or constituents. Expand
Studying the emotion-antecedent appraisal process: An expert system approach
Abstract The surprising convergence between independently developed appraisal theories of emotion elicitation and differentiation is briefly reviewed. It is argued that three problems are responsibleExpand
Culture and the categorization of emotions.
  • J. Russell
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Psychological bulletin
  • 1991
A review of ethnographic and cross-cultural studies on emotion lexicons, the emotions inferred from facial expressions, and dimensions implicit in comparative judgments of emotions indicated both similarities and differences in how the emotions are categorized in different languages and cultures. Expand
Everyday Conceptions of Emotion
Preface. 1: Emotion Econcepts and What Language Reveals about Them. Introduction: Language and Emotion Concepts Z. Kovecses. Everyday Conceptions of Emotion: A Semantic Perspective A. Wierzbicka.Expand