What are emotional mechanisms? – Seminar by Alessandro Salice, May 28th 2020

mercoledì, 27 Maggio, 2020

E-workshop de Alessandro Salice (University of Cork) dans le cadre du cycle « Conversations on values and value experience » organisé par Roberta de Monticelli, résidente chercheuse 2019-2020 de l’IEA de Paris

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What are emotional mechanisms?

In this talk, we offer an account of emotional mechanisms (EMs). EMs are claimed to be personal, often unconscious, distinctively patterned, mental processes whereby an emotion of a given kind is transmuted into an emotion of a different kind. After some preliminary considerations about emotions as felt evaluations, we identify three families of emotional mechanisms. These processes are set in motion when a given emotion (e.g., envy, shame, or anger) generates feelings of inferiority and/or impotence in the subject resulting in a negative self-image. These feelings prompt an evaluative reappraisal of the emotion’s intentional target. Based on the reappraisal, the subject comes to feel a second emotion of a different kind, which does not generate feelings of inferiority and/or impotence. Importantly, the second emotion entails a psychological disposition to be collectivized: the subject seeks for confirmation of the revised evaluation by sharing the outcome emotion of the process with others. It is argued that these features set EMs apart from other processes like, e.g., emotion regulation.

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