Consciousness and the varieties of emotion experience: a theoretical framework

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Lambie, John A. ; Marcel, Anthony J. (2002)

This paper proposes an account of the content, form and nature of emotion experience. Data reviewed suggest that previous theories are too narrow in scope and that lack of consensus among them is due to the fact that emotion experience can take various forms. The content of emotion experience, the underlying nonconscious correspondences, and the processes contributing to conscious emotion experience are treated separately. We classify the nature and content of emotion experience and propose that it depends on three aspects of attention: mode (analytic or synthetic; detached or immersed), direction (self or world), and focus (evaluation or action). Our account is informed by a two-level view of consciousness, in which phenomenology (1st-order) is distinguished from awareness (2nd-order). These distinctions enable us to distinguish and account for cases of 'unconscious' emotion where there is an apparent lack of phenomenology or awareness.
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