On the Elicitation, Differentiation, and Organization of Emotion: Structural and Procedural Considerations

Craig A. Smith and Leslie D. Kirby

The major assumptions of the appraisal approach to emotion, and progress in the development of two classes of models of emotion that embody this approach, are reviewed. The first class of model is structural and describes the relations between components of appraisal and components of the emotional response, such as subjective feeling state, facial actions, and autonomic activities. We present one prominent structural model, which describes the links between appraisal and the experience of distinct emotions. We also describe recent efforts to relate appraisal to specific facial actions and autonomic activities. The second class of model is procedural and describes the cognitive processes underlying emotion-eliciting appraisals. The major assumptions of one such model, currently under development, are described. Throughout this review, the functionality and coherence of the emotion system is emphasized.


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