Science of Emotion, The: Research and Tradition in the Psychology of Emotion : 9780133001532

Science of Emotion, The: Research and Tradition in the Psychology of Emotion

Cornelius, Randolph R.
Published by
Pearson Higher Ed USA
Available on demand
Title type

A core text for sophomore to graduate-level courses on Emotion Theory, or a supplement for courses in the Psychology of Emotions, Principles of Social Psychology, Advanced Social Psychology, the History of Psychology.

This text provides a relatively brief description of classic and contemporary theory and research on emotions within each of the four major theoretical traditions that have shaped—and continue to shape —how psychologists think about the field. Written in an informal style, it explains how each perspective defines, constructs theories about, and conducts research on emotion — and presents four often very different pictures of what emotions are thought to be. An abundance of examples drawn from real life, literature, and popular culture, and “thought experiments” help students relate topics to the emotions they experience in their own lives.

Table of contents

1. Emotions in Science and Everyday Life.

2. Snarling Dogs, Cowering Cats, and Weeping Humans: The Darwinian Perspective.

3. Listening to the Cries and Whispers of the Articulate Body: The Jamesian Perspective.

4. Feeling Is Thinking: The Cognitive Perspective.

5. Emotions and the Politics of Everyday Life: The Social Constructivist Perspective.

6. Of Elephants and Blind Men: Comparing the Darwinian, Jamesian, Cognitive, and Social Constructivist Perspectives on Emotion.

7. Concluding Unscientific Postscript: Emotions and You.

Appendix: The Neurophysiology of Emotion: Briefer Course.


Features & benefits
  • focuses on research and theory inspired by four traditions:
    • Darwin's work on the evolution of emotional expression.

    • the James-Lange theory.

    • cognitive models of emotion.

    • the social constructivist framework.

  • traces the history and development of the four perspectives and explains in detail:
    • their major assumptions.

    • how they differ from each other.

    • major theoretical works and important empirical studies.

    • current research within the perspective.

  • relates the latest research on emotion to important theoretical and controversial issues in the field, and shows the connections between the latest research on emotion and its historical antecedents — highlighting how and why various modern approaches to the study of emotion differ.
  • emphasizes the need for the scientific study of emotions and considers throughout the role of explanatory paradigms in science and the ways in which scientists (including psychologists) studying emotion, are influenced by such paradigms.
  • illustrates research findings with many examples drawn from real life, literature, and popular culture, and with “thought experiments” that help students relate topics to their own lives.
  • features a chapter-length comparison of the four perspectives and how each would explain four different emotions — fear, anger, love, and hope.
  • includes an evaluative summary of how adequately each of the perspectives accounts for emotions in everyday life.
  • provides an overview of the physiology and neurophysiology of emotion (in an appendix).