Emotions are responses to a specific object, or in context to the situation. Emotions are the creators of mood. It can be anything that gives rise to feeling.

Emotions are intense feelings that are directed at someone or something (Frijda, 1993). Etymologically the word emotion is derived from the Latin word "emovere" which means "to stir up" or "to exit."

According to Charles G. Morris, "Emotion as "a complex affective experience that involves diffuse physiological changes and can be expressed overtly in characteristics behavior patterns."

Natures and Characteristics of Emotion

  1. Emotions are universal - prevalent in every living organism at all stages of development from infancy to old age.
  2. Emotions are personal and thus differ from individual to individual.
  3. Emotions have the quality of displacement.
  4. The core of an emotion is feeling.
  5. Every emotional experience involves many physical and physiological changes in the organism.
  6. Emotion has motivational properties.
  7. Emotional states are normally regarded as acute.
  8. Emotions are regarded as intensely experienced states.
  9. Emotional states are often behaviorally disorganized.
  10. Emotion is accompanied by physiological correlates.
  11. Emotion has cognitive appraisal.

Types of Emotion (States of Emotion)

  1. Positive emotion (love, curiosity, joy, happiness, laughter etc.)
  2. Negative emotion (fear, anger, jealousy, guilt, anxiety, etc.)

Functions of Emotion

  1. Preparing us for action (a link between external events and behavioral responses).
  2. Shaping our future behavior (act reinforcement).
  3. Helping us to regulate social interaction (allow observers to better understand us).
  4. Emotions help coordinate interpersonal relationships.
  5. Emotions play an important role in the cultural functioning of keeping human societies together.
  6. Emotions help us act quickly with minimal conscious awareness.
  7. Emotions influence thoughts.
  8. Emotional expressions provide incentives for desired social behavior.