t.

~~

r
;

In L · A. Pervin (Ed.) .
New York~ Guilford.

Handb_?ok__.9_f_ _P_e_!_s_o_n_a_~i_t_y_: __ I_h_~o_r_y_a_nd Rese_a_r_c_~ (pp. 609· 63 7) .

Chapter 23

Emotion and Adaptation
Craig A. Smith
Vanderbilt University

Richard S. Lazarus
University of California- Berkeley

Subjectively, there are few psychological phe,
nomena that compare with emotion. Emotions
punctuate almost all the significant events in
our lives: We feel proud when we receive a
promotion; we become angry when we learn
that our homes have been burglarized, we are
joyful at the births of our children; and we
experience profound grief at the death of some,
one we love. Furthermore, the emotions we
experience seem to strongly influence how we
act in response to these events: The joy and
pride encourage renewed commitment to ad,
vance and protect career and family; the anger
motivates us to seek justice and retribution; and
the sadness pushes us to seek aid and comfort
while coming to terms with our loss.
The centrality of emotion in human exist,
ence is no secret in the arts. Good drama is
directed toward evoking emotion in the audi,
ence (Scheff, 1979), and thus serves as a study
of the affective power of various social cir,
cumstances. In a complementary fashion, au,
thors use emotional reactions as important
clues to their characters' true motivations and
personalities, revealing a pervasive assumption
that emotions and personality are inextricably

intertwined. Many of the trait words people use
to describe others' personalities (e. g., ':hostile,"
"ttmt
. 'd , " (( sptte
. ful , " "c hee rfu 1, " "aggressrve:,
. "
"cautious," etc.) refer directly to the persons'
tendencies to respond to diverse situations
with characteristic emotions (see Plutchik,
1980).
Given the central position that we cede to
emotions in our personal lives and the pro,
minence of emotion in literary studies of the
human condition, one might expect emotion
to serve as a central, organizing construct in
scientific psychology, and especially in a psy,
chology of personality. If to this we add the
widespread-and no doubt justified-belief
among professionals and laypersons that emo,
tions have a major impact on our subjective
well,being, our physical health, our social
functioning, and our problem,solving perform,
ance, then understanding the emotions ought
to be a major agenda for the social and biologi,
cal sciences. Historically, however, the study of
emotion in psychology has been severely neg,
leered. Emotion has been considered an irrele,
vantepiphenomenon (e.g., Skinner, 1953), or
has been used as a convenient chapter heading

(1990)

610

RESEARCH TOPICS

for a loosely organized collection of material
not easily covered elsewhere (see Bolles, 1974;
Lazarus, 1966; Tomkins, 1962).
This neglect, however, is currently showing
healthy signs of dissipating. Psychologists from
all subfields profess interest in emotional pro,
cesses, and research on emotion,related topics
is burgeoning. A number of volumes (e.g.,
Izard, Kagan, & Zajonc, 1984; Plutchik &
Kellerman, 1980; Scherer & Ekman, 1984;
Shaver, 1984), and even new journals (e.g.,
Cognition and Emotion), devoted to the study of
emotion have recently appeared. The same can
be found in sociology, anthropology, and the
neurosciences.
What we think has happened is this: First,
there was a loosening of the restrictive
epistemology of behaviorism, which allowed
investigators once again to examine thoughts
about one's plight as factors in adaptation and
emotion. Second, the cognitive revolution
allowed researchers to center attention onemo,
tion in common,sense or folk psychology
terms, to recognize the dependence of our emotional lives on motivation, and to focus atten,
tion on the individual differences in what is
important to the person. Although heartened
by these developments, we maintain an uneasy
sense that, with a few exceptions (e.g., Thoits,
1984), much of this work still fails to appreciate
emotion's rightful place as a central and
organizing construct within psychology. Instead, there is a tendency to treat it as yet
another interesting, isolated subtopic.
We begin by addressing the question of what
an emotion is. Next, we describe our own re,
cent work directed at illuminating what we see
as one of the important issues in emotion
theory-the role of cognitive appraisal. We
embed this work in a general model of emotion,
which identifies the key variables and processes
within a systems framework emphasizing per,
son-environment relationships and cognitive
mediation. In presenting our model, we illustrate how emotion theory makes firm contact
with a variety of topics currently being pursued
across diverse psychological disciplines, es,
pe.cially personality and social psychology.

DEFINITIONAL ISSUES: THE
NATURE OF EMOTION
Unfortunately, although there is considerable
agreement that certain psychophysiological
states (e.g., anger, fear, and sadness) should be

regarded as emotions, and that certain others
(e.g., hunger and thirst) should not, there are
many other states (e. g., startle, interest, guilt)
about which there is little consensus (cf. Ek,
man, 1984; Ekman, Friesen, & Simons, 1985;
Izard, 1977; Ortony, 1987; Plutchik, 1980;
Tomkins, 1980). The lack of consensus occurs
because there is no absolute agreement on the
criteria that should be used to distinguish emo,
tion from nonemotion. The "defining" criteria
have been based on specific behaviors believed
to be produced by the emotions (e.g., Watson,
1919), linguistic properties of the English
words used to denote various states (e.g.,
Ortony, 1987; Ortony, Clore, & Foss, 1987),
and distinctive patterns of physiological activ,
ity, such as characteristic facial expressions
(e.g., Ekman, 1984; Izard, 1977; Tomkins,
1980). An examination of previous definitional
attempts might lead to this conclusion: "Every,
one knows what an emotion is, until asked to
give a definition. Then, it seems, no one
knows" (Fehr & Russell, 1984, p. 464).
In any definition we need to distinguish be,
tween what can be said about emotion in
general, and what can be said about specific
emotions such as anger, fear, guilt, shame,
pride, love, and so forth. The most common
solution, historically, has been to base the defi,
nition on descriptive characteristics of the
general reaction, which, Hillman ( 1960) has
suggested, provides substantial agreement in
the abstract. Hillman quotes the following from
Drever's (1952, pp. 80-81) Dictionary of Psychology:
Emotion: differently described and explained by
different psychologists, but all agree that it is a
complex state of the organism, involving bodily
changes of a widespread character-in breathing,
pulse, gland secretion, etc.-and, on the mental
side, a state of excitement or perturbation,
marked by strong feeling, and usually an impulse
toward a definitive form of behavior. If the emotion is intense there is some disturbance of the
intellectual functions, a measure of dissociation,
and a tendency towards action . . . .

Although this definition expresses some consensus at the descriptive level, it does not go far
toward settling disputes over distinctions be,
tween emotion and nonemotion, or th~ specific
reaction states that should be considered true
emotions. Is surprise an emotion? Excitement?
Relief? Love? How should we treat the so,
called "aesthetic" emotions? Nbr does it reveal
much about the properties of specific emotions,

and we are not totally confident about our own solutions. 1980. kins. Ekman. Emotion and Adaptation or help us specify the processes and variables involved in the generation of emotion. Scherer. Like many contemporary and recent theo. Epstein. rists (e. mands. adequate nourishment. tions.. Tomkins. As more complicated species evolved. promoting survival). Scherer. search. 1960. and different 611 species achieve solutions determined by both the environmental pressures they face and their biological potential. 1965. 1965. 1984. in principle. Plutchik. Wisdom suggests that in this chapter we should not try to resolve the question of which states are borderline states or genuine emo. & O'Connor. 1984.g. as is . ing these specifics and their interrelationships in each kind of emotion represents the most pressing agenda for emotion theory and re." In. 1978. pressed in a particular physiological pattern. Along with this increasing variability and loss of be.g. they became less dependent on hard. 1984. that emotion may not be readily amen. 1980). havioral rigidity. 1980. This gap was filled increasingly by thought and judgment. tics prototypical of a nonemotion. Leeper. chophysiological phenomena in order to iden.being. Tom. 1962. subsystem. Each emotion expresses a per. Lazarus. 1984. ference that emotions evolved from simpler and more rigid adaptational systems such as reflexes and physiological drives (see Ellsworth & Smith. we believe that emotions represent one class of solutions to these adapta. 1984b. dicates the possible existence of borderline phenomena that have some characteristics pro. each is a different "adaptational . flexes. sify with assurance. 1984. constraints.. startle) and physiological drives (e. fronted-tendencies that are embodied and ex. Leeper.. Kirson.. 1948. ferences among various definitions suggest to us. 1968. "2 Although serving similar general functions (i. fine and many borderline states difficult to clas. Lazarus. tional problems that it must adequately address in order to survive.wired re... son's appraisal of a person-environment rela. 1948. and pro. We draw upon these char. Arnold.in responses elicited by specific environ. emotions are not the only entities that serve adaptive functions. Reflexes. Shaver et al. Ellsworth & Smith. Rosch. Leventhal. 1988b. there simultaneously evolved an increasing dependence on intelligence and learning. Epstein. stead. among others. each species faces a number of fundamental adapta. Roseman. making the full category of "emotion" very difficult to de. tional problems. 1988. 1987). The survival issues faced by most animal species include. 1987). 1 Through natural selection. acteristics to describe the specific variables and processes involved in emotion. 1980. and resources.Chapter 23. totypical of an emotion and other characteris. 1984b. the three adaptational subsystems are. It is a reasonable in. mental stimuli toward increasing variability and complexity that decoupled the behavioral response from the environmental input. 1984. tionship involving a particular kind of harm or benefit. 1965. However. 1988a. ficient conditions with defining features that tend to be shared by most emotions and absent from most nonemotions (Fehr & Russell. Leep. THE ADAPTATIONAL PROBLEM AND THE EVOLUTION OF EMOTION As Plutchik (1980) has cogently argued. since delineat. as they have to others {e. hunger and thirst). and perhaps to replace traditionally strict necessary and suf. reproduction. and a gap developed between environ. Kanner. able to classical definition. The appraisal is based on antecedent motivational and belief variables that confront (interact with) a set of environmental de. Fehr & Russell. since the arguments are complicated and would require much space.g. & Folkman. The very notion of a "fuzzy" set in. er. In seeking to distinguish emotion from nonemotion. it may be better to think of a set of prototype definitions that explicitly acknowledges that "emotion" may be an inherently fuzzy set. mental demand and action. similar functions are also served by reflexes (e. In other words. tection from external and internal threats to well. sue. we compare emotions to related psy.g. and emotions all stimulate (motivate) the organism to behave in ways that enhance its potential to survive and flourish. cessful species develop mechanisms that enable them to meet these problems. iological drives. tify the most important distinguishing charac. Undoubtedly. phys. 1988a. the most important evolutionary change was the movement away from specific built. distinguishable in an evolutionary sense.e. teristics of emotion. both within and across species. Izard. Shaver. Instead. Lazarus & Smith. 1962). and it generates action tendencies relevant to the specific conditions of harm or benefit con. 1977. Schwartz. the seemingly irreconcilable dif.

tions (Tomkins. As the survival issues themselves become more complex. flexes were once the simplest solutions to the adaptational problem of getting along in the world. mark of the reflex is its stimulus specificity and response rigidity (Ekman. ing how to deal with their environments and mobilizing accordingly. judgment took over from innate reflexes. thirst Anger. and Emotions Reflex Physiological drive Stimulus source Internal or external event (real) Internal tissue deficit (real) Internal or external event (real or im. plicity-the rigid pairing of a specific stimulus with a specific response--has high costs. second. 1962). physiological drives. each new mode of interaction with the environment requires the development of a new reflex. Scherer. the organism must meet two fundamental conditions: First. 1965. it needs to reliably detect when environmental circumstances are relevant to one or another of its survival needs. 1962). 1948). For an organism dependent on reflex. 1985).1. damental adaptational task is to mobilize the most efficacious behavior in the face of the biological and social requirements of living. vival. but in more complex creatures these evolved into emotional patterns.. 1984b. Reflexes The task of pairing adaptive behaviors with survival. and emotionsdrawing upon both motives and thought-have become the key adaptational process interven. In considering the role of the emotions in adaptation. Instead of surviving and flourishing because of a built. cularly as organisms and their environmental interactions become more complicated. tions for every specific environmental condi. more advanced species survived by learn. more. and.emotions all represent mechanisms connecting the detection of sur. flexes are summarized in the first column of Table 23. 1984. 1952. In our view. with increasing com. it becomes increasingly unlikely that specific survival issues will be reliably signaled by single stimuli. and at some relatively modest level of complexity this requirement becomes highly disadvantageous.relevant conditions with the production of survival. guilt Property Examples Emotion . ing between environmental challenges and ac. context. It is this very specific linkage that innate reflexes accomplish. eye blink Hunger. that in order to effectively produce contingent behavior. 1984. However. havioral sequences. sensitive responses become necessary. Wer. and more flexible. one must remember that the fun.in program of adaptive reac. Tomkins. parti. sadness. reflexes. but they achieve this connection in different ways. Very specific patterns of stimulation ("releasing stimuli") elicit very specific patterns of behavior ("fixed action patterns") that en. their sim. they become increasingly difficult to address through the performance of rigid be. ner.enhancing behavior. Reflexes (at one time. In short. tion. too. There TABLE 23.relevant conditions is easiest when a need is reliably signaled by a very specific cue or set of cues. Thus. sure the need signalled by the releasing stimulus is met. Leeper. and the hall. Comparison of Reflexes. innate re. this detection must result in behavior that increases the likelihood of satisfying the need. Further. plexity there is increasing selective pressure to surmount the behavioral rigidity inherent in reflexes and to decouple specific stimuli from specific responses {see Epstein. Ekman et al. These characteristic properties of re. agined) Periodicity Stimulus specificity Response flexibility Reactive High Cyclical Reactive Moderate-high Moderate Low Low High Startle.612 RESEARCH TOPICS most evident in humans (Piaget. Remember. and can be met by performing a specific behavior. Increasingly. the term "instincts" might have been used) constitute an effective adaptational system for organisms that can afford to interact with their environments in highly stereotyped ways.1. Physiological Drives.

after an extended period without nourishment (or fluid) an organism will become hungry (or thirsty) etc.relevant circumstances and compel it to respond adap. In contrast. and/or to re. ably because the homeostatic needs they serve can be reliably anticipated on the basis of specific internal cues. The major cost is that this flexibility makes the drive in some sense incomplete: It must be supplemented with 613 something that guides the organism toward specific appropriate behaviors. For example. for example. and hence the drives that serve them. are "reactive. or the identity of appropriate foodstuffs. The apparent evolutionary solution to this tradeoff has been to make the degree of be. dictable manner. Unless anti. with hun. the homeostatic needs. 1984. if a favorite food becomes scarce. umn of Table 23. many reflexes. including humans-are not the only motivational forces to which complicated species respond.1. in many animal species (including humans). and gain mastery over the environment.. but also entails considerable cost. perienced. there appear to be strong needs to explore. For instance. For instance." the development of adaptational systems to satisfy them has depended on a powerful and abstract intelligence. site for response flexibility (cf. physiological drives display periodicity. evolved in the service of particular internal. Drives display an additional characteristic.) in a very pre. how able to equate distinct stimuli that signal functionally similar conditions. Physiological drives-which are innate in all animal species. "periodicity. In humans. and moderate response flexibility. achieve. The major advantage is that the behavioral flexibility enables the organism to adjust its behaviors sensitively to its specific environ. hunger motivates the organism to eat something. resulting in little selec.Chapter 23. organisms that demonstrate the most highly developed learning capabilities tend to be the ones that have acquired the greatest behavioral latitude in responding to specific physiological drives. Physiological Drives Physiological drives. pendent upon the species' capacity for learning. Whether one refers to these needs as learned or acquired drives. 197 4. Advanced intelligence also made possible the complex patterns of so. and thirst ensures that the organism maintains an adequate fluid balance. the organism is able to seek an alternative. Thompson & Campbell." They arise in response to appropriate signals whenever those signals occur. the organism is relatively free to try another. 1977). but the specific behavioral sequences within these classes are not determined by the drive itself. Across species. such as hunger and thirst. However. in hunger. and if the signal never arises then the reflex or emotion may never be ex. This response flexibility provides considerable adaptational advantages. or "social mo." that further distinguishes them from reflexes (and emotions).specific even in the most complicated species. mental contingencies. if one strategy for obtaining food fails. For instance. and all emotions. as well as to maintain contact and form social bonds with others. Thus. The ability to draw upon past experience to guide present behavior seems to be a prerequi. rive pressure to abandon the specificity. cial organization that dominate the behavior of advanced species. Scherer. Bolles. ger. and the organism must have some means of identifying suitable foods. and so on. ity. and these cues elicit hunger (e. Thus. such as the level of sugar in the bloodstream. spond to those conditions with a degree of behavioral flexibility. stimulus specificity. As summarized in the second col. Physiological drives are distinguished from reflexes by a moderate degree of response flexibility. Ellsworth & Smith. hunger serves to ensure that the organism's nutritional needs are met. pendent on culture and the individual's life experience (Rozin & Fallon. and that are as important to . 1984b).g. These drives have tended to remain stimulus. homeostatic needs. Emotion and Adaptation is still a need for mechanisms that both alert the organism when it faces survival. rives. human food preferences are de. tively to those circumstances. arise with great regular. In most higher animals drives tend to motivate specific classes of behavior. havioral flexibility associated with drives de. 1987). and they serve homeostatic needs. presum. For example. Epstein. appropriate strategies for obtaining food must come from somewhere. cipated. 1988a. there is much to be gained if the organism is some. the hunger itself does not determine either the specific behaviors to be performed to obtain and prepare the food. but for many species (including humans). an impending need for nourishment can be predicted quite reliably from specific internal cues.

each of which can take a variety of forms and be sig. ing statements that barely reveal a true attitude and require considerable social experience and intelligence to interpret. corresponding to the various kinds of harm or benefit it may face. cance of any given signal may vary considerably across divergent contexts. 1982. In humans it is easy to demonstrate that. richness. As a further complication. tween performance demands (e~g. In modem human existence. etc. whose presence may be sig. A cognitiverelational theory of emotions. tion. the signifi. In place of the unwieldy adaptational solu. An understanding of human emotions would be impossible without reference to a motivational principle that identifies what is regarded by the individual as important or un. because there is no sim. Above all. faction.1. Ius context and the organism's pattern of motivation.being. patroniz. the danger from others may consist of subtle and concealed disapproval. which are in. ing activity. They developed in ways that differentiate them from both reflexes and drives in flexibility. For instance. 1988)-that motivates cop. at work) and the abilities and knowledge possessed by a person for meeting those demands. tives. The suggestion that emotions lack stimulus specificity does not imply that they are random response states. and to accomplish it the organism must be able to somehow classify what is being confronted into a relatively small number of categories.614 RESEARCH TOPICS survival and prosperity as meeting physiological needs. Ius. They need to be responsive to a wide variety of cues signaling a particular kind of significant event. 1968. tion of developing a different reflex in response to every signal of every potentially significant event in all contexts. but to an organism (person)-environment relationship. Lazarus & Smith. Human functioning and adaptation are heavily dependent upon the fate of social mo. or poor matches be. and in our view. All threats share the property of having the potential of resulting in harm if they are not avoided or neutralized. one class of events with which the organism must be pre. threats represent only one of several classes of significant events. plex and subtle conditions of life that could generate harms and benefits. On the contrary. the task of detecting significant events becomes quite formidable. plicated species to meet the need for high de. more complicated species have to stake their security on the capacity to evaluate the significance of what is happening. The danger may be any one of several predators. pared to cope in order to survive is that of threats to its well. these dangers can take a variety of forms. and dependence on intelligence. emotions not only expanded the response flexibility that distinguishes drives from re. ple mapping between objective stimulus prop. but also lost the stimulus specificity that characterizes both reflexes and drives. naled by diverse stimuli (an odor.being. 1986). we see each distinct emotion as a response to a particular kind of significant event-a particular kind of harm or benefit (see Lazarus. just about any stimulus event can produce just about any emo. Unlike physiological needs. tional patterns-patterns that set the stage for defining harm and benefit for each individual. Given the properties of the stimu. grees of response flexibility to the often com. emotions emerged in com. and they need to be sensitive to the context in which these cues are encountered. variability. under the appropriate circumstances. and no single stimulus will always elicit a given emotion under all conditions (Ekman. important to personal well. As indicated in the last column of Table 23. the emotional response is not a reaction to a stimu. and each can be signaled by a wide array of conditions. ·The recognition of threat is further complicated by the fact that a predator is often not dangerous unless aggravated or hungry. erties and adaptive significance. the sudden movement of a shadow. naled in a multitude of ways. 1984.). However.. such as the one we propose below. Thus. a sound. cannot depend on the fate of innate physiological needs alone. Emotions As we have said. flexes. emotions are part of an evolutionary solution for ensuring their satis. Frijda. temal and reliably signaled by specific stimulus conditions. However. This is not the place to argue about the extent to which social motives are innate or acquired or developmentally dependent on conditioning in the presence of the subsidence of physiological drives such as hunger and thirst. but rests on the premise of individual differences in motiva. adaptationally significant external events present themselves to complex species in a variety of guises. what must be detected is that the convergence of these two sets of characteristics .

if the anxious person's attempts to avoid the threat prove successful. more variable.·. It is a very complex reaction that simultaneously encompasses mo~ tives and cognitive evaluations of the adapta~ tional requirements of the encounter. and there is recognition of an irremedial harm. 1968). the effective stimulus for emotion has shifted from a concrete event to an abstract meaning. 1982. Averill. Schwartz. Thus. the critical event-be it internal. & Lazarus. variable. anger) can evoke fear. Smith. hunger. or even emo~ tional. and more dependent upon the species' cognitive capabilities. Folkins. Smith. emo~ tions have achieved a flexibility and adapta~ tional power that is simply not possible for stimulus~centered adaptational systems such as drives and reflexes. Salt. remaining in the situation but increasing vigi~ lance. Chapter 23. if the encounter is evaluated as having important consequences for personal well~being. For example. 1986). Opton. 1976. Mandel. with the adaptational responses having become less innate. anything that implies harm or benefit to the person can produce an emotion. By centering on the person's interpretation or evaluation of what an encounter signifies for its well~being. and. anxiety arises when we perceive our~ selves to be in a potentially dangerous situa~ tion. and the perceived dan~ ger is eliminated. Just as signifi~ candy. Emotion and Adaptation I I I I results in harm or benefit. as a long tradition of im~ agery~based research will attest (e. the person's anxiety will be transformed into relief.. & Lan~ zetta. emotions are not only reactions to ongoing relationships with the en~ vironment but are also cognitive.:. or some other emo~ tion-even a positive one such as happiness or love-if they are interpreted as somehow being a harm or threat. That emotions are reactions to abstract meanings conveyed by just about any set of circumstances implies an emotion process that is extraordinarily complex. it results in organismic involvement.g.g. Fair. the dependence on meaning lends emotion a dynamic fluidity that allows the re~ sponse to sensitively track the changing adapta~ tional significance of the person-environment relationship as an encounter unfolds..reactions themselves (e. the adaptive solution has not been merely to produce a purely cold cognitive proc~ ess of detection and evaluation. Lang. Therefore. Moreover. Anticipated circum~ stances can be as emotionally arousing as the actual occurrence. Even purely imaginary experiences.j. Carroll. if not more so (e. pain. and we become motivated to avoid or escape the threat. perhaps because the diverse range of circumstances that can elicit a given emotion cannot be effectively addressed by any single class of behavior. to avoid the perceived threat-but it does not greatly constrain the specific behaviors pro~ duced.. ex~ ternal.' and vigilance abates. drinking something in thirst). The idea that the adaptational power and flexibility of emotion depend upon the organ~ ism's cognitive capabilities provides the basis for Plutchik's (1984) assertion that cognition evolved in the service of emotion. But a wide variety of be~ haviors that eliminate or reduce the threat can satisfy this motivation-fleeing the situation. and flex~ ible. or a benefit.g. Nomikos. 615 1970. eating something in hunger. shame. guilt. and physiological changes that signify to both the actor and observer that something of significance for well~being is at stake in the encounter with the environment. ·~ . this does not appear to be the case for emotions. the anxiety wilL be transformed into sadness or despair.'' The divorce of emotional response from specific stimuli and its replacement with a cognitive evaluation of the significance of the organism-environment relationship is the cen~ terpiece of the emotion process in humans. or even mounting a pre~emptory attack to eliminate the source of threat. action impulses. and has also . Whereas any given drive can only be satis~ fied by performing a particular class of be~ haviors (e. in place of "emotion" we often use the expression "cognitive-motivational-emotive configura~ tion. & Merian.. 1979.g. Marzillier. We call this psychobiological reaction an "emotion. From this point of view. McHugo. Instead. or a combination of both-need not have actually occurred. Thus. which the person in no way expects to take place.. and the psychophysiological and behavioral pattern will look quite different. If the threat materializes. Thus. an emotion provides the motivation to react to the situation in an ill~defined way-in this case. 1989. are quite effective at evoking low~level emotional reactions. However. & Klerman. This is what it means to speak of a "relational" approach to emotion.. more flexible. In becoming meaning~centered. Finally. it comprises a complex psychobiological reaction that fuses intelligence with motivational pat~ terns.

ess for each emotion. the most cognitive of creatures. Scherer. g. 1984b.being. Shaver. fluenced by personality variables. 1987. tion-that directly determines the emotional state (see Lazarus & Folkman. and yet react with very different emotions. 1987. it is important to specify the causally relevant aspects of the appraisal proc. Lazar. 1984b). figuration and personality traits is required to have a particular bearing on subjective well. which we spell out later. we hoped that by specifying the appraisals that produce individual emotions.. ment of cues to determine what. & Novacek. 1970. the relationship to the environment implies for personal well. Lazarns. which is what "appraisal" means in our usage. or "situational construals. In order to develop this position into a full. and coping de. which reflect knowledge or beliefs about what is happening.. 1966. 1977. The distinction between knowledge and appraisal can be understood as the difference between distal cognitive variables that in. First. it is not surprising that recent efforts to understand emotion have focused on the role of cognition. 1986. there must be a well. Lazarus & Smith. The task of interpreting the adaptational signifi~ cance of our circumstances draws upon a highly complicated and only partially reliable arrange. Given the analysis above. 1985) with the more general theory of appraisal. 1977). These representations. Two in. 1957. 1980. Appraisal and Knowledge Although emotions are evoked as a result of cognitive activity. being in the eyes of each individual. because they have appraised the adaptational significance of those facts differently. do not directly produce emotions. Roseman. That is.g.g. & Opton. dance with a set of psychobiological laws. in eliciting emotion. dividuals can construe their situations quite similarly (agree on all the facts). and even relevant cogni. 1984. Weiner. Smith & Ellsworth.g. Averill. the resulting theory would clarify how emotions motivate the organism to cope effectively with the adaptational demands confronting it.. 1949. Lewin. tive activities are not all equally relevant. Nisbett & Ross. Instead. 1936. 1971.. Frijda. if we know how a person evaluates the relationship with the environment. Appraisals are strongly in." however. Finally. Lazarus & Smith.developed repre~ sentation of one's circumstances. There appear to be at least two distinct types of cognition involved in this process. it is how these representations are appraised with respect to their significance for personal well. This derives from the relational nature of emotions. tion causes the emotional response in accor.being-the second type of cogni. in which the confluence of both an environmental con.scale theory.. Jones et al. APPRAISAL THEORY •' . 1958. Lazarus. we can predict that person's emotional reaction.. Smith. Ross. veloped by Lazarus and colleagues (e. Hebb.616 RESEARCH TOPICS been invoked to explain why human beings. Ellsworth & Smith. 1988. A large portion of our own recent collaboration (e. How a given individual reacts emotionally to an encounter depends on an evaluation of what the encounter implies for personal well. 1990) has been directed at developing a system of thought that specifies what a person must want and think in order to experience each kind of emotional response. and to make clear its utility.g. Heider. edge. A fundamental proposition is that the evalua. 1984. tional and inferential strategies that people use to go beyond the often paltry data directly available and construct rich representations of what is happening (e. Scherer. 1968. and proximal ones that have direct causal influences (see . 1988a. Lazarus & Folkman. 1984). not all cognitive activity is relevant to emotion. and in particular cognitive appraisal. Bruner. 1988). also appear to be the most emotional (e. 1985.. psychological and personality research has been devoted to describing a vast array of attribu. We also wanted to clarify and refine the construct of "appraisal" so that it would refer only to the cognitive activities directly related to emotion. grate recent theoretical and empirical work relating specific types of cognitive activity to specific emotions (e. In developing the theory we wanted to inte.being. Much social. if anything. These know!. are relevant to emotion because they are the data that the person evaluates with respect to their adaptational significance. 1988b. fluence emotions only indirectly.centered representations. us. stress.

Given a causal ascription. .occur in the same situation. chobiological law. 1985) or the subjective proper~ ties of the emotional response itself (e. ly. This molar level of description provides an economical summary of the appraised meaning leading to each distinct emotion.g. Weiner.--we have drawn on a number of recent proposals at." and that ·each distinct theme results in a distinct emotion (Lazarus & Smith. 1985). rather than being evaluative appraisals (see Lazarus & Smith. For example. tions that flow from them. it is incomplete because it does not reveal the specific evaluations leading to the core re~ lational theme. 1986. is needed. 1984). each with different implica. 1987. or what we call a "core relational theme. certain threat and irretrievable loss. We have made an effort to identify the major dimensional components of appraisal-that is. has himself acknowledged that knowledge or beliefs about how things work are more or less in~ determinate with respect to their emotional consequences: "A word of caution . offense to oneself or those one identifies with produces anger-much as Aristotle suggested in his Rhetoric-and so on for each emotion (see Abramson. However. by itself. ety indicates very little about the specific cognitive decisions made in evaluating the situation as dangerous. 1988). 1985). 1981.. Weiner. 564). why anxiety and sadness often co. tween the core relational themes and the erno. To do this. For example. cause upon close inspection they reflect either the more distal. the specific questions evaluated in appraisal. rive-relational theory of emotion is that the appraisal process results in the identification of a molar person-environment relationship. we think of this as a psy.. 1985. 1988a). al questions and answers that result in each core relational theme. for a fuller account of this distinction). & Teasdale. the molar level of analysis must be supplemented by a more molecular one. Smith & Ellsorth. Lazarus & Folkman. For each different emotion.being . be. tions for coping. but are quite prevalent in our culture. For example. Core Relational Themes and Appraisal Components The appraisal task for the person is to evaluate perceived circumstances in terms of a relatively small number of categories of adaptational sig. an ambiguous danger or threat produces anxiety. knowledge~based cognitive ac~ tivities discussed above (e. corresponding to different types of benefit or harm. Seligman. which attempts to describe the specific apprais. Smith & Ellsworth. bined to produce the molar personal meanings that directly result in specific emotions (see Lazarus & Smith. and perhaps in many others as well.. 1966. . Knowledge of the details of appraisal would make it possible to describe and understand the details of the linkage be. Smith & Ellswoth. Roseman.g.Chapter 23. tempting to identify the specific cognitions associ. ness produce sadness. The answers to these questions are then corn. Scherer." What is needed to make the analysis more determinate is to add appraisal of the personal significance of what is happening for well~ being. and in formulating our specific appraisal model. 617 vironment in terms of a particular type of harm or benefit. g. 1984. 1988. As in. 1985. 1985). viously found to be relevant to emotion. We have not included a number of cognitive variables pre. Scherer. [Attributional] dimension-affect relations are not invariant. Plutchik. we think. as well as the sim. 1981). Weiner (1985. Frijda. 1980). dicated earlier. p. the foremost advo~ cate of an attributional analysis of emotion. to view each appraisal component as addressing one of the two global appraisal issues originally proposed by Lazarus and his colleagues as relevant to well. loss and helpless. the linked emotion does not necessarily follow . . might suggest why subjective experiences of anxiety and sadness seem in many respects quite similar. and yet why they are so different as well (Ellsworth & Smith. 1984. ponent evaluations that combine to define un. . 1978. sub. jective pleasantness. 1988). respective. locus of causality/ control. ilarities and differences among the various themes and emotions (see Smith & Ellsworth. Emotion and Adaptation House. 1984b. nificance. we have been quite restrictive about what we include as appraisal. ated with particular emotions (e. Roseman. one should be able to identify the core relational theme that summarizes the person's relationship to the en.. knowing about the corn. The appraisal con~ struct encompasses the most proximal cognitive variables (Lazarus. Therefore. Jesser. . A key proposition of a cogni.. It is useful. knowing that an appraisal of "ambiguous danger" produces anxi. 1984b.

people who are considered the locus of causality will be held less accountable to the extent that their harmful actions are perceived as unintentional. This corre~ sponds closely to Roseman's (1984) concept of "motive consistency. 1984). The remaining three components of secon~ dary appraisal all have to do with evaluation of the potential for improving an undesirable situation or maintaining a desirable one.iJ ! . under con~ ditions of harm.- ·J I i I ·~· fj. "Primary appraisal" concerns whether and how the encounter is relevant to the person's well~being. The two subvarieties of coping potential correspond to one's evaluations of tbe ability to engage in the two major types of coping identified by Folkman and Lazarus (1980. 3 Both of these issues can be further subdivided. 1987). Wein~ er. In this case. Lazarus. Weiner.. there will be accountability. 1982). Graham. whereas a de~ termination of blame or credit is "hot" because it not only implies personal involvement but also implies that one's subsequent emotion and coping efforts should be directed toward the target of that judgment.. and even while acknowledging being the locus of causality they try to deflect the accountability and blame to their social role in the hope that the other person's anger will be similarly deflected (e. Lazarus et al. which is an attributional or knowledge factor. Shaver." with no neces~ sary motivational consequences. "Accountability" pro~ vides direction and focus to the emotional re~ sponse and the coping efforts motivated by it.g. DeLangis. if the other person who has caused the harm could have done other~ wise. & Gru~ en. Shaver. emotion~focused coping potential. as when he or she has acted maliciously or has treated us too lightly and hence demeaned us. This evalua~ ! ! I i f t i t I . then there will be an attribution of causal locus without accountability or blame. and hence blame. Scherer (1984b). The differ~ ent motivational dynamics of locus of causality and accountability can often be observed when in the course of their jobs people must inflict harm on others. It determines who (oneself or someone else) is to receive the credit (if the encounter is motiva~ tionally congruent) or the blame (if it is moti~ vationally incongruent) for the harm or bene~ fit. "I'm sorry. This appraisal component is also included in the theoretical systems of Frijda (1986). Consistent with the doctrine that emotion depends on antecedent motivations that are part of personality. Amirkhan. Folkman. 1988a. "Pro~ blem~focused coping potential" reflects evalua~ tions of one's ability to act directly upon the situation to manage the demands of the encounter and actualize the personal com~ mitments that are brought to it. and controllability. just. and four for secondary appraisal. 1966. In other words. which are often combined in evaluating accountability-that is. 618 RESEARCH TOPICS (e. Folkes. or it will be directed at other sources of blame on the basis of complex social judg~ ments about the accountability. the extent to which there are issues in the encounter about which the person cares or in which he or she has a stake. For example.. Lazarus & Folkman. "Motivational relevance" is an evaluation of the extent to which an encounter touches upon personal goals and concerns-in other words. 1986." Scherer's (1984b) "goal conduciveness. & Chandler." and Smith and Ellsworth's (1985) "perceived obstacle. 1970. the extent to which it either thwarts or facilitates personal goals." The four components of secondary appraisal are accountability. I really hate to do this. 1987. the other person could not have controlled what was done. "Motivational congruence or incongruence" refers to the extent to which a transaction is consistent or inconsistent with what one wants-that is. The attribution of causality is "cold. and Smith and Ellsworth (1987). 1985). intentionality. 1952. say. Dunkel~Schetter. 1984). & Verette. of the au~ thorities. If. Lazarus & Folkman. 1985. however. Accountability is a more proximal construct than locus of causality.I -. who gets the credit or blame (McGraw. or the like. problem~focused coping potential. but I have to--it's my job"). Lazarus. and "secon~ dary appraisal" concerns the person's resources and options for coping with the encounter. but differs from it in ways that highlight the earlier stated difference be~ tween knowledge and appraisal.g. It is also closely related to locus of causality (Ellsworth & Smith. the two components of pri~ mary appraisal are motivational relevance (or importance) and motivational congruence or incongruence. and/or un~ avoidable (Pastore. Often what makes the difference between an attribution of mere locus of causality and an appraisal of accountability. or the system. 1985. and anger. legiti~ macy. and at present we have identified a total of six appraisal components-two for primary ap~ praisal. anger will not occur. blame. and future expectancy. is a judgment of imputed control by the other person.

"Emo.accountability 1. Functional Analysis of Some Illustrative Emotions Emotion Anger Core relational theme Proposed adaptive function Remove source of harm from environment and undo harm Other. 1987. 1984a. liorationlsuccess and 1. The evaluation of motiva. Motivationally relevant 2.' f. or the like on the negative side. "Future expectancy" refers to the per.focused) coping potential 1. Ellsworth & Smith.. Other.. Frijda. provide the conceptual machinery needed to generate hypotheses about the specific apprais. Motivationally incongruent Guilt commitment Important appraisal components 3. 1988b. and control and power as discussed by Scherer (1984b). and de~ picts the specific appraisals for illustrative emotions. 619 Primary appraisal is involved in every emo~ tional encounter. Self... Motivationally relevant 2. 1988b). Motivationally incongruent 3. Motivationally relevant 2.. the person's state of mind is likely to be one of indifference or passive tranquility (cf. Table 23. or the like on the positive side. p. ceived prospects of adjusting psychologically to the encounter-in other words. Chapter 23. The components of secondary appraisal are also needed to determine whether one will experience happiness.. relief. Motivationally incongruent 3. Motivationally incongruent 3. tional relevance is necessary for emotion. 2 combines the appraisal com~ ponents with core relational themes. Wallbott. envy. als responsible for every emotion. guilt. Low future expectancy I. since it defines the most elemental aspect of a per~ son's level of affective involvement by indicat. vance to define the encounter as beneficial or harmful. 39). which combine into core relational themes. Emotion and Adaptation tion is closely related to the concept of power as discussed by Roseman ( 1984). for any reason (i. Roseman. Motivationally incongruent 3. for changes in the psychological situation that could make the encounter more or less motivationally congruent. anxiety. Low/uncertain ( emotion. 1988a.blame Make reparation for harm to otherslmoti vate socially re. ing whether there is any personal stake in the encounter. Motivational relevance and motivational congruence or incongruence are not sufficient to shape the kind of emotion that will be ex~ perienced. shame. Appraisals for Each Emotion The six appraisal components noted above. This evaluation is closely related to Scherer's concept of "the potential for adjustment to the final outcome via internal restructuring" (Scherer. These hypotheses are generally consistent with the findings of a number of studies that have examined the relationships between cognitive activities and emotions (e. tion. Motivational con~ gruence or incongruence combines with rele. ceived possibilities. Ellsworth & Smith. sadness. sponsible behavior Self-blame Anxiety Avoid potential harm Ambiguous danger/ threat Sadness Get help and support in the face of harm/disengage from a lost commitment Irrevocable loss Hope Sustain coping Possibility of arne. Motivationally relevant 2. which is necessary and sufficient to produce each emotion.focused coping potential" refers to the per. or anger. A second task is to describe this theme in terms of a particular combination of the six appraisal components. actually or potentially (Lazarus et al. High future expectancy . in~ dependent of whether the individual plays a role). In the absence of motivational rele.e.. pride. 1984. Motivationally relevant 2. 1980).accountability 1. vance. gratitude. & TABLE 23. hope. Low (problem-focused) coping potential 4. of regulating the emotional state that harmful or threatening consequences generate.2. One task is to identify the core relational theme and its specific harm or benefit. Scherer.g.

which reduces the probability ·that the person will continue to engage in the harmful behavior in the future. For each emotion in the table. trast. Whereas accountability or blame is of central importance in differentiating anger from guilt. even though these studies have not always examined the relevant appraisals directly (see Lazarus & Smith. and hence anxiety. we have listed the major appraisal components that combine to define that core relational theme. This blaming process does not necessarily implicate one's self. Like anger. & Bless.. portant in anxiety. ." That is. Izard. Guilt motivates the individual to make repa. ated emotionally if it occurs (or has occurred). 1963). tinct functions. it takes the form of a desire to make reparations for any harm the person has caused · (e. neu. the person observes himself or herself behaving undesir. thing to remove the source of harm. ly to be appropriate.g. The blame in self. Tomkins.'f. pens to be the self) accountable. the core relational theme producing guilt is "self. lational theme that defines the relevant cir.blame in guilt calls into question one's self. plicitly designed to test them (Smith. In addition. tralize. cumstances for this function is "other.blame directed at the self. The hypotheses have recently received further direct support in an initial study ex." The component of secon. the assign. ties may explain why these emotions are often evoked in conjunction with each other. Tomkins. Plutchik. 1929. directed anger is quite literally "other. 1988a.punishing (Wa}. theless.blame associated with guilt. reflect these dis. anger arises when someone else is being blamed for a harmful situation. and these similari. since one cannot know what to do about danger of this kind. Lazarus.concept or feelings of self.. will be particularly acute when. focused coping potential may be especially im. other appraisal components are more important in differentiating anxiety from sadness. Both anxiety and sadness are associated with harmful situations in which the prospects for ameliora. Never. anger motivates the person to eliminate. we hold that feeling guilty and feeling angry at oneself are different emotional states with distinct motiva. "You idiot. ferences can lead to large differences in the nature of the emotional reaction. the self. Plutchik. 1980. 1986. We consider the blame in sel£. the core re. blame. 1987.worth. Then we have listed the core relational theme that corresponds to the particular relationship with the environment in which that function is like. 1980. "What have I done?"). there are distinct motivational func. ous. dary appraisal is poor coping potential. this translates into a condition of poor coping potential. what did you do that for?" vs. The distinction is expressed in the internal dialogue that often accompanies these two forms of blame. as well as the appraisal components that define them. 1985. although if the "other person" being blamed is the self one could speak of anger at the self. 1988). guilt moti. ety about what will happen and when. and generally to engage in socially responsible behavior (Ellsworth & Smith. 1969.620 '. 1972)-the danger to self is obviously vague _and ambigu. 1982). but because the focus is on oneself. get for these coping efforts. or undo a source of harm (Cannon. guilt is painful and therefore se}f. Wallington. beyond seeing potential or actual harm in the situation. Smith & Ellsworth. In con. Carlsmith & Gross. Finally. accordingly. The sense of danger. 1967).blame. Izard.directed anger to be qualitatively distinct from the se}f. 1977). 1973). the blame associated with self. Consistent with these functions.. lington. tiona! consequences. motivationally incongruent situation.g. a loss of self or meaningfulness--cannot be toler. 1990).worth. Since anger motivates the person to do some. ment of accountability or blame provides a tar. which derives from the inevitable uncertainty in anxi. 1929. 1988a. & Novacek. 1963). their hypothesized core relational themes. rations for harm he or she has caused to others. Emotion. Freedman. Weiner et al. which is crucial for its subjective and behavioral characteristics. tions for these emotions.directed anger expressed in the second person and that associated with guilt in the first person (e. Anxiety motivates the person to avoid potential harm (Cannon. lational theme being an appraisal of uncertain "danger" or "threat. countable for an important. we have listed the adaptive function for that emotion. For example. This example highlights how seemingly small cognitive dif. ably and holds the observed person (who hap. one believes that this harm-say." In other words. Ellsworth & Smith. The core re. 1977. '-~ RESEARCH TOPICS Summerfield. tion are uncertain or poor. 1977. If it arises from symbolic and existential threatswhich is one of the major conceptualizations of anxiety (see Lazarus & Averill. vates the person to do something to remove the source of harm. . Izard." which means holding oneself ac.

The theory of appraisal indicates how at any given moment the person's specific appraisals will produce a particular emotional state. stance. ditions of appraised benefit (Ellsworth & Smith. 1980). Thus hope springs from the conviction. 621 toire. First. 1975.. the components of secondary appraisal that distinguish this theme from anxiety are a combination of negative future expectancy and poor coping potential. Hope can be maintained as long as there is some (however slight) potential for improvement in an other. Stake. feelings of abandonment appear to involve a particular type of loss involving one's relationships with others. nonemotions. Lazarus. Moreover. tween appraisal and emotion. pride. al theme for hope combines an appraisal that existing conditions are not yet the way the person wants them to be (importance. tions by begging the question of whether hope should be regarded as an emotion or a border. 1980).Chapter 23. a crucial first step to unde~standing the . 1978).. an exclusive focus on harm. while in shame it is an ego ideal. many forms of anger specifically in. but are illustrative of some of the most important. fications. in discussing the primary appraisal of motivational relevance that gives rise to emotion.. whereas in anxiety there is main. sideration of particular stakes is likely to be especially important when attempting to differ. entiate among affective states within the broad emotion categories we have outlined here. 1987) suggests that there are many more emotional states. 2. and decisions must be made about which states should be considered bona fide emotions. each produced by distinctive appraisals. a factor in survival. Klinger. For in. Ortony et al. engagement from commitments that have been lost and motivates the person to get help (Izard. Ortony et al. while others. 1977. nothing that can be done seems capable of restoring the prior status. It seems wise here to again recognize the difficulty of deciding what are genuine emo. because there is also motivational incongruence when a person perceives the absence of potential benefits and gains. Plutchik. 1987). tains positive striving toward mastery and gain (Ellsworth & Smith.related emotions does a disservice to the role of emotion in adaptation. problem. 1980). In sadness. A full theoretical statement must address positive or benefit. which may well be a characteristic of some personalities. which sus. The core relational theme producing this emotion is "irrevocable loss" or "helplessness" (Abramson et al. They help us demonstrate how a more complete cognitive-relational theory of emotion might look... Thus far. line state. cumstances there is still a chance that things could get better (Lazarus et al. Similarly. The richness of our En. the emotions examined do not include all the emotions in the human reper. one is totally pessimistic about amelioration. and gratitude. focused coping potential is particularly: salient in sadness. the core relation. while the broader category of sadness is · not specific with regard to the particular stake that has been lost or irreparably harmed (cf. And whereas emotion. · or marginal instances. lieve. However. volve some sort of insult to one's personal identity. we do not mini. 1988b. Lazarus et al. we have not analyzed a number of positive emotions. such as annoyance. Accordingly. including happiness. wise bleak set of conditions. we be. although we have given a relatively static description of the structural relations be. However. that arise under various con. than the few we have considered.. ly uncertainty. human ada pta. Second. For instance.focused coping potential is salient for anxiety. motiva. glish vocabulary of emotions (see Averill. tional incongruence) with a future expectation that these conditions could become or be made motivationally more congruent. we have considered only "negative" emotions--those arising under conditions of harm or threat. sadness promotes dis. 1980). Knowing these structural relations is. that even under dire cir. Emotion and Adaptation f i I I I i i ~ On the other hand. 1988b. tional subsystems also include hope. Accordingly. in guilt the stake is a moral value.. con.specific.related emotions as well as those flow. The analyses above require several quali. mize the importance of thinking about and studying emotion as a dynamic process (see Folkman & Lazarus. 1989b). 1988b. A voiding or ameliorating harm is.. Lazarus et al. For example. Third. As depicted in Table 23. relief. of course. Shaver et al. as when we "hope against all hope.specific differentiation can sometimes occur between broad emotional categories such as guilt and shame. 1987. 1975. we have not considered the potential role of particular goals or stakes in providing emotional differentiation beyond what we have depicted. in a condition of irrevocable loss. ing from conditions of harm.. striving for gain enables the person (and the species) to grow and flourish. may be less stake.

Fourth and last. g. 1977. dence for this position typically includes observations of considerable cross. They determine the emotional state. Izard. Evi. modestly en. The emotional response is at the innate biological center of the cognitive-motivation. 1968.. 1974). We assume that human beings (and. culture. strumental coping behaviors accompanying emotions that have been evoked. which we have identified above. which prepares and motivates one . shame. Hochschild. we have left much room for the influence of per. 1962. al-emotive system. Many proponents of the biological position ical changes._ RESEARCH TOPICS emotion process in cognitive-relational terms. Ekman. Yet by emphasizing the loosening of reflexive ties between stimulus and reaction. tionships are evaluated in terms of a relatively small set of specific. 1969. which includes preprogrammed action tendencies. 1971. guilt. The Biological Core of Human Emotion Figure 23. sonality.. and the personality of the individual. Appraisals promote the detection and evaluation of adaptationally relevant conditions requiring action. Most theories take one of two extreme positions. In contrast. in press. fun.culturally universal associations be. 1984. AND BIOLOGY IN EMOTION A general theory of emotion must take into account the respective contributions of per. In support of this view. and should supersede stress in the study of coping and adaptation (see Lazarus. larges the scope of stress beyond its traditional unidimensional character. Lazarus & Folkman. physiolog.g. 1963). When the appropriate eliciting conditions for a particular affect program are present the program fires reflexively and runs its course. 1987. speak of an innate "affect program" for each tionships with the environment. nomic nervous system and hormonal response patterns for each emotion (e. Averill. Ekman & Friesen. ronment reacts to those coping efforts-the adaptive significance of the encounter is likely to shift. However. as an encounter unfolds-as the per. 1971. tionally significant and motivationally in. and as the appraisal shifts so will the emotional state. Shweder & LeVine. and subjective experiences. which in turn is partially a product of developmental experience with the sociocultural environment (see Ryff. emotion is a multi. Emotion theory must go beyond the banal assertion that there is merit to both perspectives by offering specific proposals about the respective contributions of biology and the society. and so on tells us much more than merely knowing that a person is undergoing stress. Thus. structed biologically to be constantly engaged in appraisals of ongoing and changing rela. or between eu. proponents cite evidence for cross. 1978).622 J' t 'J . considering emo. or scripts. sonality in emotion. & Friesen. innately determined appraisal issues. and the importance of both cognitive activity and sociocultural learning factors. the observation of anger in contrast with anxiety. tions to be either largely innate--that is. Ekman.1 depicts our overall theoretical mod. - . that vary widely across cultures (e. Tomkins. lowing conventional rules. el. Although the dis. Izard. animals too) are con. 1980. we believe. the reaction to it. Levenson. 1984). plictions of the circumstances and the envi. 1968.. Sorenson. 1979. and expresses little beyond the idea that the person-environment relationship is adapta.g. and challenge (Lazarus & Folkman. Lazarus & Launier. 1975. 1988). By tracing its evolution to the sensorimotor reflex we have assumed a substantial biological influence on the emotion process. 1985). PERSONALITY. These rela. 1984). which organizes the emotion process (e. stress and distress (Selye. dimensional construct that reveals a wealth of information about the adaptational encounter. Sarbin. and biology to the emotional process. even this usage pales in richness and clinical significance compared with emotion. son attempts to cope with the adaptive im. SOCIETY. congruent. emotion. tween particular facial expressions and auto. threat. versity in both the conditions giving rise to particular emotions and the expressive and in. Ekman & Friesen. damentally fixed products of our biological heritage and subject to only modest cultural influences--or largely socioculturally defined. social structure. Proponents of the cultural position regard emotions as socially defined phenomena fol. Our view of emotion occupies a middle ground between these extremes. tinction among harm. 1984.cultural di. emotion is a much richer and broader construct than stress. The concept of stress is largely unidimensional.

1984b). The motor-physiolog. muscle tone. sponse. praisal and possible actions (Scherer. 1986.g.1. Although the appraisal is itself a continuing component of the emotional re. A model of the cognitive-motivational-emotive system. 1982. \. 1984a. Scherer.. T .. hormonal activity.. Scherer.... Scherer. 1989).1.... see Frijda... vocal tone. which itself directly reflects the to cope with the adaptational implications of what is happening.. Emotion-Focused Coping - ~ t ¥"' Physiological Response . man.. in part. tectable by observation (e. . it is by no means the entire response.. posture. the urge to respond behaviorally to the situation in a particular manner (e.. and neurohumor. and autonomic activity prepare the person physiQlogically to engage in and sustain the coping activities motivated by the action tendency."1 t-.g. 1989). al activity associated with the action tendency and coping process... Translation of Action Tendencies to Coping Activity Coping Activities Problem-Focused Coping FIGURE 23.. If a person appraises the conditions being confronted in a manner that corresponds to a particular core relational theme of harm or benefit. Riskind. ponents include a distinctive subjective feeling state. 1984a. Construal ~ Objective Conditions Knowledge/ Attitudes/Beliefs A~ ~4 / (\ .· ~~~ ·~--. ical changes in posture..... Needs/Commitments/Goals r . de.. 1984. 1968. and they communicate important information to others in the social environment about ap. Situational Factors Intra-Individual Factors Personality . changes in facial expression.. action tendency.- ·. etc. the preprogrammed emotion is auto. Situational . and appear to have evolved to serve the two general functions of social communication and coping (Lazarus. postural.. Emotion and Adaptation 623 These response components are systematical.. ly organized around the adaptive implications evaluated in the appraisal. cal heritage. matically generated as a feature of our biologi.-- . Smith.. As indicated in Figure 23.. Appraisal Process Emotional Response Appraisal Outcome Action Tendencies Subjective Experience or "Affect" . and a patterned physiological response consist. . see Ek. ing of facial muscle.':'' Chapter 23. The motor-physiological changes are. Smith.. 1984.. additional com.1 \.. 1986)..

in effect. it is important to consider what we have not included. The biologically fixed portion of the emotion system starts with the appraisal pattern arid ends with the action tendency. 1986. It is precisely at these two points--the process of appraisal and the translation of emotion into coping- that personality and culture intersect with biol~ ogy and play fundamental roles in the function~ ing of the cognitive-motivational-emotive system. some of the innately determined motor-physiological consequences in emotion may be tied to molecular appraisal components. as in relief or contentment after a threat has been removed. Personality and environmental variables are the antecedents in this model. as we have said. in our view. It is possible that secondary appraisals having direct implications for subsequent cop~ ing (e.. These points of intersection give emo~ tion the flexibility that differentiates it from reflexes and physiological drives and provides it with much of its adaptational power. The correlations between the appraisal and these response components appear to have two distinct levels of organization corresponding to the distinction we have drawn between core relational themes and appraisal components. . i ! . The molar level of organization consists. leaving considerable flexibility and biological indeter~ minacy as to which stimulus configurations will result in which appraisals. Each core relational theme has its own universal biological emotional out~ come. Change the "if' and the response configuration is also changed. g. Personality factors arising in the course of psychological development. once a given appraisal pattern with its core relational theme has taken place.. or (4) when personality changes. and is parallel to the concept of affect programs. as when goals or beliefs are abandoned as unserviceable . change (1) as the·person-environment relationship changes. 1 ' . then a specific emotion that is tied to the appraisal always results. action tendency..624 It r. For example. RESEARCH TOPICS · adaptational demands implied by the continu~ ing appraisal (Frijda. if two individuals make the same appraisals they will experience the same emotion. is generated as a biological principle. For example. Smith (1989) has provided evi~ dence that activity of the corrugator supercilii muscles to pull the eyebrows together and down into a frown is associated with appraisals of motivational incongruence. and motiva~ tional consequences initiated by these evalua~ tions-are. physiological. In considering this innate organization. "If' means. 1989). their emotional consequences . and which actions (as opposed to action tendencies) will follow any given cognitive-motivational-emotive configuration.' . I . Lazarus. evaluations of coping potential) may have direct autonomic and postural effects con~ sistent with the coping requirements. the immediate social structure). the "if' in the formula above provides for the flexibility and complexity made possible by intelligence and culture. Stated in a slightly different way. of course. and this associa~ tion may extend over a broad range of emo~ tions. ~ ~. g. These influences shape the "if' of the formal state~ ment above.. the "then" provides the biological universal linking cognition to the emotional response. that different individuals can appraise their relationships with the environment differently. the specific meanings-that result in each core relational theme. "other~blame" generates anger and the impulse to attack the blamewor~ thy agent. a particular emotion. universal in our spe~ cies. emotion~ focused coping). regardless of the actual circum~ stances.g. ': ·'' . However. One way in which the sociocultural and biological points of intersection can be clarified is to make a statement with the following for~ mal character: If a person appraises his or her relationship to the environment in a particular way. which has yet to be detailed and demonstrated.. In addition. (3) in consequence ofchang~ ing social structures and culturally based values and meanings. or that the same individual can do so at different times or occasions. . as well as environ~ mental variables (e. whereas an ambiguous threat gener~ ates anxiety and the impulse to avoid or escape the threat. The aspects of the emotional response de~ scribed so far-the appraisals that define adap~ rationally significant core relational themes. They also reflect changes in the organismic state resulting from a changed adap~ rational condition.I . Furthermore. The appraisal can. of core relational themes.. Smith. Par~ ticular action tendencies are probably emotion~ specific and linked to specific relational themes. . 1968. and motorphysiological response pattern. which is invariant as long as the in~ dividual continues to appraise what is happen~ ing in a given way. with its subjective feeling state.1 I? . and the subjective. combine to influence the molecular appraisals-in effect. (2) in consequence of self~protective coping activity (e.

cally determined consequences constitute the emotional response. 1987. and commitments that a person brings into every encounter. in the social. how they work. 1983). 1935.. and Personality r . ing the possible causes. the nature of the world. Similarly. and biology.Arab and pro. 1983.. Thus. 1986). Bower. 1971. 1946). al response at two levels. often referred to as "attributional biases" (e. goals. The second factor consists of the person's knowl.. and intuitive theories about the self (including self. 1983. and emphasizep. & Black. 1983. First. 1985). which is identified as a situa. Nasby. 197 5).psychological and personality literatures. one is likely to look for and notice things that are motiva. & Lepper. fluences on both the way a person construes what is happening and the appraisal of that construal. Peterson et al.Israeli viewers watching the very same news coverage of the 1982 Beirut massacre came away convinced that the other side received a greater number of favorable re. 1988. Palys & Little. they make contributions to the appraisal process it. Dodge & Coie. sonality factors that contribute to the emotton.g. tional construal in the figure. r ( . which includes generalized beliefs. intentions.Chapter 23. Hayden. e. tion research movement of the 1940s and 1950s. 1977). Even when strong motivations are not in. & McGinnies. and any number of inferences are made regard. termining the aspects of the situation that are noticed. & Turner. ferences and a smaller number of negative ones than their side did. missing information is filled in. second. Lewis & Michalson. culture. Postman. al characteristics. prior knowledge and expectations in. knowledge. Lewis. Appraisal. & dePaulo. Peterson & Barrett. The figure identifies two distinct types of personality factors. and to be incorrectly remembered subsequently as having been directly observed (e. expectations. and motiva. tween personality. Emotion and Adaptation being mediated by appraisals (influenced recur. rent concerns" (Klinger. We suggest that the two personality factors have distinctive but interactive in. g. and the person's place in it. 1936. One consists of motivation. 1979). jects" (Little.concept) and the world (see Epstein. thereby strengthening their view of the other team as consisting of undeserving cheaters (Hastorf & Cantril. The upper portion of Figure 23.f y It will now be useful to examine more closely some of the intersections implied above be. 1954). 1977). tematically influenced by the motivations. sequent information. inferential processes are sys. These differences have been reliably . sively by coping and its effects) whose biologi. 1979) or "attributional" or "explanatory styles" (e. partisans on both sides of a rough football game will tend disproportion. Culture. Shaver. in support of their view of the media as biased against them (Ross. posing team. fluence the interpretation and encoding-of sub. 1982). and expectations the person brings into an encounter. pro. g. Although they have seldom outlined the specific beliefs and motivations underlying them. encoded. volved. they influence the cognitive representation. initial information about a person can produce a "halo effect" that influences how subsequent information about that person is interpreted (Asch. It also includes attitudes. tionally relevant (cf. Black. ·Certain aspects of the encounter are ignored. both concrete and abstract. 1977. clinical and personality researchers have documented the existence of relatively stable individual differences in characteristic ways of construing certain types of encounters.. edge base. These characteristics have parallels in other concepts. others are emphasized. the "New Look" percep. there is ample documentation that these constructive. and "personal strivings" (Emmons. Owens. 1948). Bruner.. ately to notice penalties committed by the op. Bower. which include the values. Ross. Nisbett & Ross. 1980. Goals often have an important role in de. For example. self. Ross.g. Lazarus & Smith. such· as "cur. or knowledge about the person-environment relationship being appraised. j y t! l l l s Personality Contributions to Knowledge about the Encounter Cognitive representations of our relationships with the environment often go far beyond the perceptual data directly available.1 depicts some ?er. Ross. 1979.·. "personal pro. 625 tions underlying observed events (see Jones et al. and facts and events consistent with one's "schema" or mental model of an episode are likely to be assumed to be present in the encounter. Knowledge. Vallone.. 1987. about the way things are. 198 7. With. 1987.

especially children whose aggression usually takes the form of angry reactions to perceived provocations. & Abramson. chronically aggressive chil~ dren. 1984 ). in adults the tendency to attribute negative events to in. presumably through the construal's influences on appraisal and emotional re~ sponse. Vogel. rated by their teachers as extremely ambitious. Murphy. A number of studies. the central hassles were more strongly associated with . If nothing the person cares about is at stake. global. 1989a) that emotion can be studied both as a personality trait (which is the domi. constraints. illustrate the promise of motivational measures in the prediction of emotional reactions. desires. which is hy~ pothesized to promote appraisals of helplessness and hence sadness and depression (Abramson et al. & Buchsbaum. RESEARCH TOPICS associated with individual differences in coping and mood. . and deMayo (1985) have also reported evi~ dence that students for whom interpersonal issues were especially important were more like~ ly to experience depression in relation to stress~ ful events involving interpersonal relationships than they were to stressful events involving achievement concerns. A study centered on health~related variables by Kasl. Without an analysis of what is (potentially) at stake in an encounter for that person. both old and new. 1987. A full approach to emotion requires both of these perspectives. For example.626 . 1978). Personality Contributions to Appraisal In addition to affecting emotion indirectly by systematically influencing the contents of knowledge a person draws upon in appraisal. Marks. Finally. Bergman and Magnusson ( 1979) demonstrated that Swedish male high school overachievers. 1984. The contents of these "cen. and Lazarus (1989) found that some day~to~day "hassles" and upsets were identified by respondents as being more important and central to their con~ cerns than others.. Similarly. tral hassles" varied considerably from individual to individual. Moreover. secreted more adrenaline in an achievement demanding encounter than other boys in the same class. Lazarus & Folkman. 198 7).. and make it possible to identify who will react to a particular situation with strong emotion and the specific encounters to which a particular individual is especially responsive emotionally (see Pervin. Lazarus & Smith. the reverse pattern was found for subjects with strong affiliation goals and weak achievement goals.. Similarly. Halberstadt. the goal hierarchy characteristic of a person as it in~ tersects with the demands. 1989b. Dodge. Recently it has been pointed out (Lazarus.. presumably reflecting different patterns of commitment. ternal. 1988). Gruen. Primary appraisal makes sense only when one's relationship to the environ~ ment is considered in relation to needs. have been shown to have stronger tendencies than less aggressive children to attribute hostile intentions to the ambiguous actions of others (e.g. nant interest of clinical workers treating chron~ ically dysfunctional emotional patterns). and success and productivity of life insurance sales agents (Seligman & Schulman. Evans. vance and congruence or incongruence. and stable causes. and as a state that is generated by particular encount~ ers with the environment but that does not necessarily represent recurrent adaptational problems. Mayol. relatively poor academic performance during the first year of college (Peterson & Barrett. then little or no emotion will result (see Lazarus. it is impossible to evaluate the appraisal components of motivational rele. Raymond. and Lazarus (1959) showed that subjects having strong achieve~ ment goals and weak affiliation goals reacted to experimentally produced achievement~center~ ed threats with more psychophysiological stress than to affiliation~centered threats. 1986). and Niederman (1979) showed that a combination of high academic achieve~ ment motivation and poor performance pre~ dieted risk of infectious mononucleosis among West Point cadets. 1980. The theoretical relationship between goal commitments and primary appraisal suggests that motivational measures-such as those de~ veloped by Little (1983) and Emmons (1986). and re~ sources of the encounter. or what one cares about-in effect.. 1987). while the reverse tended to be true for students with strong achievement concerns. Dodge & Coie. Dodge. personality contributes directly to the appraisal process itself. Folkman. 1983). as well as our own recent efforts-become necessary tools for predicting and understand~ ing individual differences in emotional re~ sponse. For example. has been prospectively associated with enduring depression following poor per~ formance on an exam (Metalsky. Hammen.

Individuals. Cultural Contributions to Appraisal We have emphasized the contributions of per. and in consequence contribute to anxiety. significantly shapes an individual's beliefs and motivations over the course of per. Solomon. 1987). tempting to develop measures that reflect stable individual differences in "appraisal style. dividual's characteristic appraisal style for each appraisal component. tion. which contribute to judgments of self. tions-is crucial for emotional differentiation and acts as an antecedent of secondary apprais. cusable in a given situation should strongly influence whether and to what extent an appraisal of accountability for a noxious event will be made and result in anger. The "social structure" produces a set of immediate demands. 1990). al. It is common to contrast two broad forms of social influence: the living culture into which a person is born. 1982. or potential gain. Beliefs also affect expectations about the probable effectiveness of various courses of action and one's ability to perform those actions. 1987. 1977. premises. feasible. legitimate.. Evaluations of efficacy partially de.. however.sentence descriptions of hypothetical situations. we ask about their appraisals along each of our six appraisal components. Respondents are asked to report their probable reactions to an 627 assortment of one. termine whether an encounter will be appraised as a harm. Hochschild.efficacy beliefs in the development of competence and incompe. Lazarus. state. For example. whereas culture constitutes a body of definitions.g. 1987. However. tence." We have used the measurement strategy employed by Peterson et al. and the emotional reaction. though they can also be internalized and become part of an individual's personality. 1987. Novacek. straints. Moreover. 202-203): Culture contrasts with norms in that norms are oriented to patterns of action. gree to which an encounter is appraised as motivationally incongruent. and therefore to evalua. (1982) in the Attributional Style Questionnaire. "Cul. Emotion and Adaptation symptoms of psychological dysfunction than the peripheral hassles. from which we hope to derive stable measures of an in.known studies of selfefficacy as a factor in performance.efficacy (Bandura. & Hobfoll. we have been at. Research by others (e. g. and they should enable predictions about the con. be. what various circumstances imply for personal well. threat. persis. perceive. Re. textual appraisals that directly produce the emotional state. Bandura (in press) has also recently provided a rich over. and resources that operate contempo. and the social structure. petti. & Stoltenberg. how much pain it is normal to experience during a particular dental procedure and the gains that result from un. tively appropriate. sadness. Knowledge and beliefs can also contribute to primary appraisal by helping us define what is relevant to our goal commitments and what constitutes harm or benefit. ture" provides a set of meanings and symbols. beliefs about what is norma. a second type of personality factor-beliefs and expecta. and Scheier & Carver. pectancy. sponses of an individual person. In addition to motivation. pp.: Shweder & LeVine. and therefore which emotions are appropriate under those circumstances (see. instead of asking about causal attributions in each situa. 1979). 1987). sonality development (see Ryff.Chapter 23. Expanding on his well. e. sonality to appraisal because emotions are re. say. Maddux. als and their consequent emotions. which is most closely tied to primary appraisal. & Pope. many of which are internalized and carried with the person into transactions with the social and physical environment. Mikulincer. not cultures. and also influence appraisal~ of coping potential and future ex. or ex. We conceive of these measures as reflecting the individual differences most proximal to the appraisal process. 1987) has demonstrated that proximal mea. This contrast is well drawn by Schneider (1976. tions of coping potential and future ex. In· our own recent work (Smith. pectancy.g. sures involving subjective appraisals are better predictors of emotional reactions than are (dis. con. view of the role of self. raneously in adaptive transactions. or hope (see also the research and analyses of Antonovsky.being. instead of sadness. construe. Culture. . tence. 1984) by providing culturally shared meanings about what is socially important. an individual's personal goals and beliefs should be important in shaping apprais. liefs and expectations about a necessary but aversive encounter (e.. tal) objective measures. dergoing it) can significantly influence the de. and appraise. For example. Norton.

but the most extreme levels of emo. 1968. verhaos because the concept of coping has been used traditionally in stress theory and research and not in emotion (see Folkman & Lazarus.focused coping consists of managing distressing emotions that arise in any given encounter when the circumstances are refractory to change. and so on. propositions. cularly beliefs about the coping options avail. 1984). 1984)..). tional arousal. Neverthe. ticular way: to attack in anger. Averill ( 1983) has even argued from his data on college students that attack is relatively un. 1984). fluence subsequent appraisal as well. cess have received little research attention. tempts are effective. Although specific action tendencies are almost universally assumed to flow from certain emotions such as anger and fear. gods. Explicit research on coping in the context of emotion theory is a neglected area of research. this illustrates the flexibility of the emotion process. Some forms of emotion. ings are and what they are all about.focused coping strategies that attempt to regulate the emotional response itself (cf. with con.. producing corresponding emotional changes from hope to sadness or res. Where norms tell the actor how to behave in the pres. Folkman & Lazarus. the change is likely to be reflected in subsequent appraisals. focused coping consists of active attempts to alter the existing problematic relationship (Lazarus & Folkman.'tf 628 RESEARCH TOPICS . parti. 1989a). culture tells the actor what ghosts. and under stressful circumstances it appears that people most often engage in a ·combination of many problem. ignation. 1980. cry in sadness. and perceptions about the nature of the universe and man's place in it. We are not con. and human be. If the coping at. gruence.focused coping activities that reflect active attempts to influence the person-environment relationship and to main.. ence of ghosts. Second. at all. etc. Beliefs about the social appropriateness of the actions.1 does not stop at coping. biolog. Other forms alter the appraised meaning of the encounter (e. g. culture tells the actor how the scene is set and what it all means. ically based action tendencies in coping and the consequences of beliefs for the coping pro. For example.focused strat. 1989b). tain or increase its degree of motivational con. ample. postulates. 1988b). by affecting autonomic arousal through relaxation or exercise. an urge to respond to the encounter in a par. press the action tendency and select from a wide array of coping options. sion (Ekman.focused and emotion. but is continuous (see Lazarus. despite the usual expectation that it is a biologically generated action tendency. 1980. common in anger encounters. The emotional re. people have the ability to sup. . and depicts coping as influenc. Lazarus & Folkman. sponse includes an action tendency-that is. by denial or distancing). which are often culturally defined-for ex. g. we suspect that beliefs are especially influential in affecting the actual coping activities to be engaged in. the bottom portion depicts them as determinants of coping. Lazarus & Folkman. The model portrayed in Figure 23. Ineffective attempts can in. Studies of the role of this pattern in stress. ing subsequent appraisal and emotion by at least two types of mechanisms: First. A basic unanswered question is this: What happens when the person copes in ways that run directly counter to the specific thrust of the action tendency itself? This would be the case when the impulse is to attack. and harm or threat is alleviated or removed. but it is inhibited and perhaps even responded· to by denial or suppression.. sequent changes in emotion away from distress and toward positive states (see Folkman & Lazarus. emotion. Encounters originally appraised as sub. ject to beneficial change can be reappraised as irremedial harms. flee or avoid in anxiety. We are also free to engage in any of a number of emotion.related disorders such as hypertension have been common but inconclu. gods. egies (Folkman & Lazarus.. we are free to engage in any of a number of problem. as when a nonresponsive environment alters the person's beliefs and expectations about both the nature or type of an encounter and the future sense of efficacy. and human beings. the display rules about when and how it is appropriate to express an emotional state openly or to mask it behind some other expres. _ ments. focused coping alter the emotional response directly without changing the meaning of what is happening (e. 1985. or avoiding thinking about the appraisal. Coping and Emotion ]ust as the top part of the model in Figure 23. strained to a single coping strategy. problem. sive. 1984)-undoubtedly play a role too. Where norms tell the actor how to play the scene. able and their probable effectiveness.1 depicts personality factors as influencing appraisal. presumptions. less. Of the personality factors identified and discussed above..

can be arrived at quickly and auto~ matically. and. 1984). which has also been discussed by others. both forms of coping have an important place in human adaptation. 1957. Scherer. in. Festinger. volition. Or one can alter personal beliefs about the meaning of the encounter. we think) that changing things by action is more adaptive than merely changing the way things are construed. emotion~focused coping is not inherently less adaptive than problem~focused coping (cf. eluding Lazarus (1982. 1982. 1976). and yet to draw fully upon the power and flexibility of human cognitive capacities. Wick~ lund & Brehm. Baron & Boudreau. One way in which the operation of schema. Personal meanings strongly associated with those previous encounters are likely to be activated and available as contributors to the person's current emotional state. 1987). vated. 1984. we have focused primarily on the contents of appraisal. the maladaptive aspects of emotion. Strentz & Auerbach. 1968. In this connection. we have been consistent in maintaining that appraisal can be automatic (even primi. one can reconstrue the nature of the situation. 1988). adaptive functioning requires maintaining a delicate balance between the two. al. Anderson & Bower. and it no longer has the power to evoke strong emotion (see Klinger. or that an in~ ferred event did not actually occur. In this way. verbally accessible process that requires de. Although emotion~focused coping alters the person instead of the environment. The two functions of coping (problem~ and emotion~ focused) are major strategies for achieving a better fit between persons and their environ~ mental circumstances. Baum.. in the long term. 1983. complicated and involved appraisals. and although Western psy~ chologists tend to assume (incorrectly. In the face of a seemingly intractable unpleasant person-environment relationship. On the con~ trary. 1973). Lazarus & Smith. Unless we are clear about this. with the adaptational implications of the environment leaping automatically and without deliberation into the person's mind. In combina~ tion these two qualitatively distinct forms of cognition give the emotion system the ability to react nearly instantaneously to adaptational~ ly significant events. often by distorting reality. limited type of motivational incongruence. the appraisal can act much like the "social affordances" described by Baron (1988. 1983. That is. For example." the per~ sonal significance of an encounter is appraised automatically and nearly instantaneously on the basis of past experiences with similar encounters. drawing heavily on the person's knowledge and past experiences. 1984. liberation and considerable time. the characteris~ tics of the appraisal process. Collins. and emotional develop~ ment. there is a danger that we will be interpreted as implying that appraisal is a conscious. but have been relatively silent about the formal cognitive processes that underlie 629 this content. 1966. such as by deciding that a perceived offense was really unintentional or unavoidable. Each of these also has relevance to per~ sonality and social psychology. tic processing can be understood is by using the concepts of activation and associative networks commonly invoked in the study of memory (e. and hence its implications for well~ being. does in his concept of "evaluation checks"). it is not necessary to think of the appraisal process as following a fixed or pre~ defined sequence (as. In considering this type of mech~ anism. one can also give up cherished personal goals and values so that the encounter is no longer appraised as relevant to well~being. although we need not commit ourselves to this idea and use it only to illustrate the point about rapid pro~ cessing of complicated material. tive) and instantaneous. many of the changes produced by emotion~focused coping overlap those iden~ tified in a long tradition of research into cogni~ tive dissonance (e.. The Character of the Appraisal Process In discussing appraisal and its role in emotion. OTHER ISSUES In this section we address briefly three topics of importance to emotion theory that have not yet been considered-namely. When a per~ son becomes involved in an encounter similar to some in the past. in discussions of cognition-emotion relationships. 1988). memories of these past encounters are likely to become quickly acti. Lazarus. & Singer.g. and can occur outside of consciousness (see Lazarus. Leventhal & Scherer. On the contrary. so to speak. Emotion and Adapcation Even though cogntttve dissonance encom~ passes a particular. 1984b.Chapcer 23.g.. it is useful to maintain a distinction advanced by Leventhal (1980. 1975). . Through "schematic processing.g. e. 1987) between "schematic" and "conceptual" processing.

from an examination of a person's emo. social motives. Emotional Development Emotion and Dysfunction Our focus has been on the functional. skills. plex process that can occur on more than one level of cognitive processing.empt attention at any given moment. nants. Conceptual processing is very important in much appraisal. al development. per. guilt. lenges that arise throughout the life course. the guiding thesis being that emotions evolved to ensure that the person responds effectively to the adaptational chal. since whatever issues and aspects of the encounter seem especially salient may well pre. schematic process. and culture (as values and meanings) in the emotion process. For example. the appraisal dimensions we have proposed (e. ing is accompanied by what Leventhal ( 1984) has termed "conceptual processing"-a set of more abstract. 1982. Why does the client react with anger as opposed to anxiety. Yet by emphasizing intelligence. and deliberate cogni. and hence the anger. as well as the client's motivational patterns and beliefs. the analysis is also intended to apply to human infants and other complex mammalian species (see Lazarus. Anger indicates that important personal goals are being threatened. personality. the results of conceptual processing become available for subsequent schematic pro.. ence. as Scherer ( 1984b) has suggested. 1984). and their personality determi. rive processes-through which the person is able to evaluate the adaptational significance of the encounter more actively. and also that this person tends to blame someone else for this. emotions are often dysfunctional or maladaptive in individual cases. lationship with the environment. appraisal is a com. Many programs of cognitive therapy are predicated on this latter type of analysis of dysfunctional emotions. or envy? And what is it about the client that leads to aggression rather than to a more productive coping process? The answers to these questions may suggest the most appropriate points for intervention. perhaps because of a vulnerable self. as we have described it.solving beings who actively seek to understand the world and their reactions to it. Automatic or schematic processing. It can also draw on highly complex. quently reacts with high levels of anger and aggression reveals much about a troubled re':' The theory of emotion we have been describing has been cast in terms of adult human experi. the client may be correctly appraising what is happening-there may in.630 RESEARCH TOPICS since the full appraised meaning associated with the past experience(s) can be activated in a single step. problem. However. cessing and are an important aspect of emotion. lence or insulting attitudes on the part of oth. we imply that emotion in the newborn infant will not be exactly the same as in the adult. quirements of the encounter as it unfolds. deed be malevolence in those toward whom anger is experienced-but the coping response to this. as it permits the evaluation of the adaptational significance (hence the emo. Alternatively. Although con.g. adaptive nature of emotion. accountability) require cognitive capacities. As such we can learn much about faulty appraisal and cop. esteem that leads to assumptions of malevo. Thus. conscious. which we believe often underlie our garden. we are wary of a stage theory. and instead to evolve more effective coping options. tional patterns. ceptual processing of appraisal components could perhaps follow predefined sequences.blame. symbolic meanings. may be counterproductive. variety emotions. is inappropriate to the social conditions. 1985). haps this is the result of incorrect or "irrational" assumptions or beliefs that should be changed (see Ellis & Bernard. As we see it. For example. and it is important not to lose sight of the fact that humans are sentient. ing processes. is quite passive. and understandings that the newborn simply does not yet possess. ers. future expectancy. tervention. tional response) and the availability of coping options to be finely tuned to the specific re. After all. The clinician will be prompted to explore the circumstances giving rise to the anger. analysis of the problem may suggest that the appraisal of other. the emotion system develops in I I . The best intervention may be to try to inhibit or suppress the aggressive reactions. ing interpersonally. To the extent that they become associated with the encounter in memory. However. In any case. in order to understand whether and why the client is misconstruing what is happen. and suggests a number of specific points for possible in. knowing that a person fre.

consistent with the observations of numerous developmental. tional-emotive system the full flexibility and power of which it is capable. Emde. g. say. tinctions among emotion. the relatively fine.focused coping potential. Anger. perhaps involving little more than the most primitive notion of causality. velopmental research task is to delineate the unfolding of the appraisal process and the appreciation by the child of its environmental and motivational components in the case of each emotion as it emerges. involving. Bridges. 1980. The developing child should not experience a par. By adulthood. we should see a similar development in the complexity and flexibility of the rela. In a similar man. and the other reflecting socioculturally based learning. and guilt. should not appear until the infant is capable of some form of rudimentary account. ists (e. low to moderate sensations of physical discomfort should no longer be reliable indicators of motivational incongruence. we would expect the infant to demonstrate increasing emotional differentiation as it matures. the ability to anticipate and form expectations about" future events and perhaps even about one's own competence to influence outcomes. tentionality. In the largely biological maturational process the components of appraisal become in. the earliest appraisals of accountability may consist of little more than the primitive identification of a causal agent (e.being. Emotion and Adaptation I II J ! two distinct ways--one primarily reflecting a biologically determined maturational process. tress. Finally. marily (and almost reflexively) upon perceptual data. Therefore. Throughout the lifespan both the person's knowledge base and motivational hierarchy continue to change. Stein & Levine.g. Piaget. identify. 1987). and so on. such as pride. and perhaps the ability to make a more sophisticated accountability judgment (involving notions of responsibility as well as causality) than might be required for. 1980. straint). In the newborn. the evaluation of motivational congruence or incongruence is far more complex. Sroufe. by adulthood. 1932. For example. 1983. and strategies of self. ability judgment.grained dis. 1979. . 1977. to make the appraisals that together comprise the core relational theme for that emotion (see Scherer. Early on we would expect the emotionally pro. congruence. Sroufe. ble of rudimentary appraisals along the two components of primary appraisal. Emde. as distinguished from undifferentiated contentment and distress. physical discomfort. justifiability. 1979). with pleasant sensations indicating moti. as differentiated from generalized distress. which must eventually influence the personality variables shaping appraisal and emotion in adaptational encounters. tionship between emotion and coping. concept. 1984. we should expect to see increasing sophistication and flexibility in both coping activities and the evidence used to make evaluations along the various appraisal dimensions. whereas by adulthood accountability is a highly complicated social judgment that com. bines causal information with beliefs about in. The differentiation between fear and sadness should not appear until the infant is capable of assessing coping potentiaVfuture expectancy. vational congruence.. 1981. 1980. Izard. ness. pain) indicating motivational incongruence (cf. ner.. ing the direct source of undesired physical re. an. appraisal of motivational congruence or incongruence may be based pri. Or perhaps a rudimentary self is a sine qua non of true emotions..subtle im. generalized pleasure. 1981. logically determined unfolding of cognitive abilities to give the cogmttve-motiva. ger.control. and future expectancy emerge even later. Lewis & Michalson. The de. 1988). as when discomfort signals to the athlete that training is progressing as desired (see Lazarus & Smith. from a more general evaluation of coping potential. the newborn may only be capa. sonal well.Chapter 23. 1984b). Learning and culture interact with this bio. problem. at least in rudimentary form. and under the right circumstances may actively be sought. would seem to require 631 the ability to maintain a rudimentary self. and unpleasant ones (e. ticular emotion until it is able. plications about the person's relationship with the environment with respect to personal needs and desires. at minimum. motivational relevance and motivational congruence or in. Emotions implicating the self. shame.focused coping potential. creasingly differentiated as the infant acquires the formal cognitive capacities (d la Piaget) necessary to make the various evaluations of the significance of what is happening for per. as the person's cognitive capacities and knowledge base increase. In all likelihood. and generalized dis. Piaget. foreseeability. Therefore. which would seem to require.g. Leventhal. This will restrict the newborn's emotional range to states of interested aware. However.

Although largely limited to Western culture. 1983. ·'· t t lt . 1978. and flourishing over the life course. opportunities. 1979. Since the emotion process serves adaptation. as the child matures the capacity for behavioral control is much in~ creased. We have been saying that emotions are the product of transactions or relationships between the person and the environment {Lazarus & Folkman. must find solutions to a number of fundamental issues surrounding the coordination of cooperative and competitive behavior among conspecifics--issues that need not be addressed by species whose members tend to lead their lives in isolation. that there are eight survival issues universal to all animal species.g. 1- l .. Gnepp. Mischel & Peake. Stein & Levine. They are likely to find the personality variables most relevant to emotion to be a rich starting point for this synthetic {rather than analytic) per~ spective on persons. by imposing a con~ stant set of survival issues across species. those that we have identified as being most relevant to emotion-the persons' goals and commitments. distress reliably produces crying. Although we find Plutchik's ( 1980) analysis to be important and thought~provoking. we view emotion as being one of ij t . indeed. Epstein. if one wants to understand whole per~ sons and· how they function in nature. 1987). in the infant. coherent being who responds to the environ~ ment in ways that are intended to realize valued goals and to promote survival and personal growth in the face of potential harms. theorists and researchers who would like to put the· "person" back into personality research (e. NOTES 1. in addition. As species and their interactions with the environment become more complex.1). fundamental to their survival but irrele~ vant to simpler species (see Frijda. For example. getting along. through direct and vicarious experience.. 1982) and provides some statements about how per~ sonaliry and situational variables interact {see Figure 23.. However. Klayman. what better place to begin than with a consideration of how the persons are equipped to handle the challenges. and that the "basic" emotions for any species reflect that species' solutions to these specific issues. we disagree with one of his basic assumptions--namely. 1983 )-ought to concentrate on the emotional life. In other words. 1978). Mischel. to move from the study of a disparate. At the same time. and problems of liv~ ing? This is. g. we have intimated that emotions are instructive about persons because both emotions and the personality are organized around the problem of surviving. children acquire and can use complex knowledge of what is effective and normatively appropriate under various cir~ cumstances in choosing the coping activities that are acted on in an encounter. In our discussion of emotion and dysfunction. Bern & Funder. 1987. 86). 1982. 1968. threats. what emotions are all about. CONCLUDING THOUGHTS We have begun this chapter with an expression of regret that emotion has not served-as we think it should-as an integrating concept in psychology. and knowledge and beliefs about self and the world relevant to avoiding harm and achieving those goals and commitmentsare the very variables most likely to give rise to a coherent picture of personality. social beings. and in young children anger is very likely to produce overt aggression. impulsive. t. Our con~ elusion returns to this theme. By contrast..632 RESEARCH TOPICS duced action tendencies arising in an encoun~ ter to be acted on in a rather direct. and challenges {see Pervin. Endler & Magnusson. the assumption is too broad be~ cause it equates emotion with any solution a spec~ ies has evolved to contend with a survival issue. Of all the personality char~ acteristics one could use to measure individual differences and to describe functioning persons. This suggests one resolution to the personsituation debate {e. research on the development of children's knowledge of emotions provides an important step in the direction of studying the development of the emotion process (e. & Trabasso. seemingly random col~ lection of "traits" to the study of an organized. We see this assumption as simulta~ neously being too constraining and too broad. like humans. emergent pro~ blems.. p. 1984)-that is. Harris. Thus. 1986.· I'' i ~ . It is too constraining because. Lazarus & Launier. they often face new. 1985. almost reflexive manner.g. it over~ estimates the number of distinct issues facing very simple organisms and underestimates the number facing more complex species. 1976. Carlson.

ing goals or needs those urges serve. An ecological framework for es. An ecological perspective on integrating personality and social psychology. and the processes that give rise to the urges in response to the needs. Competence considered: Perceptions of competence and incompetence across the lifespan. (1979). 1968). Averill.20). Anderson. drives. Carlsmith. Kellerman (Eds. I. 0. (1977). Studies on anger and aggression: Implications for theories of emotion. Bolles.. J. and this rele. Averill. Predicting more of the people more of the time: Assessing the personality of situations. S. (1982). M. 11. B. Jr. L. and drives as "adaptational subsystems" rather than as "motivations" or "motives" in order to maintain a clear distinction between the urges (or tenden. 721-748. New York: Academic Press.. 4974. 1222-1228. Instead. Forming impressions of personality. & Turner. Baron. In H. and rage (2nd ed. reflexes. R. R. Emotion and Adzzptation several types of solution (including physiological drives and reflexes) that species have evolved to foster adaptation. A.. & Funder. M. 1304-1309. then secondary appraisal plays a vital role in differentiating the emotional experi. 1.. K. That is. Y. American Psychologist. San Francisco: Jossey. 'Psychosomatic Medicine. Cognition and motivation: Some histo. & R. 41. Self. CT: Yale University Press. D. We believe that a clear understanding of emotions and their role in adaptation depends upon the ability to distinguish among these aspects of "motivation. DC: Hemisphere. R. P. No. M. B. Cognitive views of human motivation (pp. havioral urges. R. J. Gruber. 41 ' 181 . Washington. 177-220. Bruner. W. Cannon. Psychological Review. we consider primary appraisal "primary" because it establishes the per. A.. Arnold. cedes secondary appraisal in time. A. J. 11. Child Development. (1957). if primary appraisal indicates that the situation is relevant to well. A. fear. 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