Feelings : The Perception of Self

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This book aims to pinpoint the connection feelings have with behaviour - a connection that, while clear, has never been fully explained. Following William James, Laird argues that feelings are not the cause of behaviour but rather its consequences; the same goes for behaviour and motives and behaviour and attitudes. He presents research into feelings across the spectrum, from anger to joy to fear to romantic love, that support this against-the-grain view. Laird discusses the problem of common sense, self-perception theory, the association between feelings and higher cognitive processes, and also the literature on facial expression, posture, and gaze.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 270 pages
  • 160 x 236 x 22mm | 539.78g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 13 halftones & line illustrations
  • 0195098897
  • 9780195098891
  • 1,445,370

Review quote

"This book should be read and seriously considered by all those interested in the scientific study of emotion. Laird, a long-time leader in the investigation of the effects of skeletal-muscular movements on the genesis of emotional states, here presents a comprehensive and compelling research survey from the self-perception perspective...This far-ranging discussion should draw wide attention, and not only from those psychologists concerned with so-called bodily feedback effects. Besides going into such matters as the specificity of the various emotional states, [Laird] notes what this self-perception analysis has to say about pride and self-esteem, the feelings of knowing and familiarity, and cognitive dissonance." --Leonard Berkowitz, Vilas Research Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin"This is a superbly crafted book that integrates social psychological research with philosophical insight. Laird persuasively argues that emotions, motivation, and other private feelings are inferred from our behaviors rather than being directly perceived. Feelings is a smart book for anyone interested in the mysteries of the mind and body."--James W. Pennebaker, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin"In this volume, the pioneer of the experimental study of feelings offers a guided tour of research that fits the Jamesian self-perception view of emotion. Many scholars know about William James' counterintuitive view that feelings result from the perception of action, but how many of them are aware of the abundant empirical evidence supporting it? James Laird provides this evidence in an exceptionally enjoyable scientific book. It is a pleasure to read, humorous in parts, intelligent and intelligible--a great volume for the training of students and all those interested in the world of feelings and emotion."--Bernard Rime, University of Louvain at Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium"'Know thyself'" is a popular demand that goes back to the Greek philosophers. However, to understand how this can be achieved requires psychological knowledge. In this volume, one of the world's leading researchers in the domain of affect and emotion explains how self-perception can generate knowledge about our internal states. In this endeavor, Jim Laird draws heavily on his ground-breaking work about the influence of facial expressions on one's own experiences. The book is clearly written and enables close access to basic experiments and procedures. Fun to read, it informs us about state-of-the-art research on emotion."--Fritz Strack, Professor of Psychology, University of Wurzburg, Germany"Laird has done an excellent job of integrating physiological, perpetual, and social psychological research."--Choice"Feelings sufficiently covers the objective, providing an up-to-date description of the psychological research on emotion. The book will be of interest to students as well as researchers in the area."--PsycCRITIQUES"show more

About James D. Laird

James D. Laird is Professor of Psychology in the Frances Hiatt School of Psychology, at Clark University in Worcester, MA. He is a Social Psychologist, and his research has focused most consistently on emotions, especially emotional feelings.show more

Table of contents

1. The Problem of Feelings ; 2. Emotional Expressions ; 3. Postures, Gaze, and Action ; 4. Autonomic Arousal and Emotional Feeling ; 5. Theoretical Summary on Emotion ; 6. Nonemotional Feelings: Confidence, Pride and Self-Esteem ; 7. Motivation and Hunger ; 8. Cognitive Feelings of Knowing, Familiarity, and Tip of the Tongue ; 9. Attitudes and Cognitive Dissonance ; 10. Self-Perception Theory in Full ; 11. Self-Perception, Levels of Organization, and the Mind-Body Relationshow more

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