The Origin of Emotions
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The Origin of Emotions
Devon, M. (2005). the origin of emotions,
Title: The origin of emotions
Author: Mark Devon
Comprising 61 chapters over 190 AQ-sized pages, this is a fascinating book that
takes a different viewpoint from many conventional texts, offering many ideas
and constructs that give the reader much to ponder.
Five types of emotions are identified: conceptions, sensations, reflexes,
involuntary expressions and voluntary expressions. Within each of these, a range
of emotions are identified. Curiously, some emotions identified in common
models, such as disgust and surprise are not directly included. Emotions are
further classified by the purpose of the individual, the group and genetic
Conceptions are 'positive or negative mental effects that are triggered by
conclusions' and include various forms of love, grief and guilt, plus emotions
such as pride and envy. Sensations-as-emotions (i.e. 'feelings') are an
interesting component of Devon's model, and are derived from applied pressure to
different parts of the body (unsurprisingly, these include various sexual
pleasures). Reflexes help avoid harm and include the startle response and fear.
Involuntary expressions direct how others behave and include horror, frowning
and blushing. Voluntary expressions are triggered by habit and include anger and
Each emotion identified within these categories is then broken down in
individual chapters, where a standard structure including conceptual triggers,
mental effects, key features, voluntary expression and synonyms is supplemented
by detail of the causes and effects of the emotion. These include numerous
insightful descriptions and models that can help a wider and deeper
understanding of the emotions.
Academics may be disappointed with the book as no references are given nor
empirical evidence shown, yet the extent of new models and thinking makes this a
useful resource, perhaps trigging further research and publication.
Emotions are at the core of what makes us human, and any work that explores them
from a new angle is a welcome addition to the literature. This book is an
individual exploration that certainly got me thinking and has extended my
perceptions and understanding and emotions. And that has made me very happy.
Mark Devon, The Origin of Emotions, 2006
A fascinating exploration of emotions, full of original insights and
assertions. no academic reference or evidence, yet a splendid source of
thought to challenge your understanding of this subject.