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Cognitive Appraisal Theories of Emotion

 

Explanations > Theories > Cognitive Appraisal Theories of Emotion

Description | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

In the absence of physiological arousal, we decide what to feel after interpreting or explaining what has just happened. Two things are important in this: whether we interpret the event as good or bad for us, and what we believe is the cause of the event.

The sequence thus is as follows:

Event ==> thinking ==> Simultaneous arousal and emotion

This challenges the two-factor separation of arousal and emotion, supporting the Cannon and
Bard theory albeit with the addition of the thinking step.

In primary appraisal, we consider how the situation affects our personal well-being. In secondary appraisal we consider how we might cope with the situation.

This is sometimes also called Lazarus Theory or Appraisal Theory.

Example

When a colleague gets promoted, I might feel resentful if I think I deserve the promotion more than they do.

So what?

Using it

Demonstrate how what you want people to believe or do is good for them, and explain why.

See also

Cannon-Bard Theory of Emotion, Two-Factor Theory of Emotion

Social Comparison Theory, Two-Factor Theory of Emotion, Self-Perception Theory

 

References

Frijda (1986), Lazarus (1991)

 

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