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Jon Elster defines what he labels as "core emotions" in his book "Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences". These emotions are inherently pleasurable, derive from powerfully emotional sources, and are the result of your own actual, current experiences. I would like to add an important point - it is important to consider what thoughts you have from these core emotions; or on the other hand, what thoughts arise from your smaller, less significant ones:

  • Certain emotional experiences are inherently pleasurable and desirable. They arise from the enjoyment of beautiful sights, tastes and sounds; from love and friendship; from the use and development of one's powers and abilities; from the recognition of one's achievements by competent others. These emotions have a specific person, temporal and modal structure. They derive from my experiences, not from those of other people. Moreover, they relate to my current experiences, not to my past or future ones. Finally, they derive from my actual experiences, not from those I may have or could have had. We may think of emotions with these qualities as core emotions . Although I have cited only the inherently positive core emotions, there are also inherently undesirable ones: disgust, fear, hate, shame, anguish. Anger also belongs to the core emotions, but is neither inherently pleasurable nor unpleasurable.

If you think about it, you are going to have thoughts that you think that arise from a non-emotional source. If you are just doing something practical or some sort of work, then you are just thinking normally and the thoughts weren't motivated or caused by some sort of powerfully emotional source. On the other hand, everything that happens is emotional in some way, so therefore all thought is going to be motivated by emotion. Even when you are just doing work or a complicated task, those thoughts are going to be influenced by the emotions you are experiencing from the task at hand. You probably wouldn't notice how your thoughts arise or are influenced from such minor amounts of emotion, but they are.

On the other hand, you probably notice somehow when you have a large emotion, you would speak out about this emotion or take note of it in your mind. For instance, if you went to go have a picnic, you must have realized at some point that the atmosphere there was pleasurable. You probably don't know exactly how pleasurable, but that is probably a "core" emotion. There could be other, smaller things occurring at the picnic that cause you to have other thoughts as well.

Elster also points out that when a core emotion that is positive emotion ends, grief or disappointment is felt, and when a negative emotion ends, relief is felt. I should point out that this response is noted or clear with core emotions, because core emotions are large and easy to observe:

  • ...of emotions is generated by loss rather than lack, with grief and disappointment being felt if the core emotion is positive and relief if it is negative. The cessation of an emotional state - be it positive or negative - does not simply bring us back to the earlier emotional plateau. Rather, it tends to generate another emotional state of opposite sign. Consider a person who has just discovered a lump in her breast and is extremely anxious. Upon hearing from her doctor that there is no possibility of cancer, her mood for a while turns euphoric before she returns to an affectively neutral state. Conversely, the interruption of a good sexual experience can create acute frustration before, once again, the person returns to a neutral state.

Something like this probably also occurs with more minor emotions in a way that you don't notice. Also, if you think about all of those emotion changes, it makes you wonder what then the impact on your thoughts is. Also, it isn't necessarily that each time something bad happens, you switch to a negative state, and then to a neutral state. You could also switch to a negative state and then stay in that state for a long period of time. You could also even switch to a negative state for no apparent reason.

Elster later describes that emotions make someones views and opinions more unrealistic and wishful. However, he also describes that people that aren't under the influence of their emotions don't want very much. The motivating power of emotions seems to come with a distortion of reality:

  • Emotions matter because they move and disturb us, and because, through their links with social norms, they stabilize social life. They also interfere with our thought processes, making them less rational than they would otherwise be. IN particular, they induce unrealistic expectations about what we can do and achieve, and unrealistic beliefs about other people's opinions about ourselves. In itself, this effect is deplorable. It would be good if we could somehow insulate our passions from our reasoning powers; and to some extent we can. Some people are quite good at compartmentalizing their emotions. Often, however, they don't have very strong emotions in the first place. They may get what they want, but they do not want very much. Granting supreme importance to cognitive rationality is achieved at the cost of not having much they want to be rational about. Conversely, lack of realism about our abilities and about the proper means for achieving our ends may be the price most of us pay for caring about life, knowledge or other people. When we are under the sway of strong emotions, we easily indulge in wishful thinking, such as the belief that all good things go together and that there is no need to make hard choices. The belief that one can have the motivating power of emotions without their distorting power is itself an instance of the same fallacy. Emotions provide a meaning and a sense of direction to life, but they also prevent us from going steadily in that direction.

Elster doesn't mention that these emotions have this influence on a moment to moment basis (at any one moment one of your thoughts might be distorted by an emotion). Not only do emotions distort, but they also motivate your thoughts consistently. Without emotion, you wouldn't have reason to think many of the thoughts that you do. People have complex goals and motivations. If there was a robot that was programmed with the goal "live life", then it might have motivations and emotions that surround that goal, however it wouldn't have all the other motivations that humans have (such as our dynamic range of emotions (fun, excitement, satisfaction, etc)).

Questions & Answers

What is stock market?
JOHN Reply
explain the various types of cost curve
Ruth Reply
Short-run average fixed cost (SRAFC) Short-run average total cost (SRAC or SRATC) Short-run average variable cost (AVC or SRAVC) Short-run fixed cost (FC or SRFC) Short-run marginal cost (SRMC) Short-run total cost (SRTC)
Romy
supply function Qs=0+20P price of bread 30
Maricar Reply
what's economic development and growth
Popoola Reply
what do you understand by Ceteris Paribus?
Gabriel Reply
explain the uses of microeconomics
Nikita Reply
uses of microeconomics
Nikita
Adam Smith's definition of economics
Sylvia Reply
what is economic deficit
Amjad
this is a situation whereby a nation's outcome or available resources are not enough to the people thereby causing scarcity
Ariel
prices of Quality demanded is equal to Quality supplied
NABUBOLO Reply
it's quantity demand and quantity supplied that's called equilibrium
Romy
no
NABUBOLO
they deal With prices
NABUBOLO
define the elasticity
NABUBOLO
explain different types of elasticity
NABUBOLO
oops 😬 you are right you talk about quality I tell about quantity
Romy
elasticity is the measurement of the percentage change of one economic variable in response to a change in another
Romy
Cross Elasticity of Demand (XED) Income Elasticity of Demand (YED) Price Elasticity of Supply (PES)
Romy
anything else?
Romy
I need to know everything about theory of consumer behavior
Grace
How does one analyze a market where both demand and supply shift?
Gabriel Reply
That's equilibrium market
Ramon
but an equlibrum can appear twice on the same market... both in Movement along the Demand/supply curve of shift in the Curve
Gabriel
I Mean on the same curve..
Gabriel
how can consumer surplus be calculated
Franklyn
How can we analyze the effect on demand or supply if multiple factors are changing at the same time—say price rises and income falls? 
Gabriel Reply
because of fall of income, less will be demanded and much will be supply as a result of price rises. Rise in price always motivate new supplier to enter into the system. But it only possible in the short run
Kweku
yeah.. I think Ceteris Paribus is applied in this case
Gabriel
that is the law of Demand is Inversely related to the law of Supply... so that mean a positive change in demand may produce a negative return to supply I think.
Gabriel
what are the difference between Wants and Needs
Gabriel Reply
When the price is above the equilibrium, explain how market forces move the market price to equilibrium. Do the same when the price is below the equilibrium.
Gabriel
economic problems
Manishankar
yeah please Explain
Gabriel
I don't know this is my question
Manishankar
no it was a mistake...😂😂 can you explain how Wants and needs differs 😌
Gabriel
wants is what human desire but might not need them, human want are mostly articles of ostentatious while need is what human must get to live e.g inferior goods
Ramon
what's equilibrium price
james
equilibrium prices is a situation whereby the price of goods supplied equates to the demand
Ariel
this whereby the prices of quality demanded is equivalent to quality demanded
NABUBOLO
wants are numerous desire man that man can do without if not purchased e.g. cosmetic while need are desires that you cannot do without e.g. food
Franklyn
equilibrium price is that level of output were quantity demanded is equal to quantity supplied
Arthur
what are the importance of studying economics
Bherla Reply
To know if the country is growing or not through the country's GDP
Ariel
to manage our resources
TOBI
compare base years GDP and the current years GDP
james
To tell whether a country is growing there are many factors to be considered not necessarily only the GDP due to weaknesses of GDP approach
james
What is the law of demand
Yaw Reply
price increase demand decrease...price decrease demand increase
Mujahid
ıf the price increase the demand decrease and if the demand increase the price decrease
MUBARAK
all other things being equal, an increase in demand causes a decrease in supply and vice versa
SETHUAH
yah
Johnson
how is the economy of usa now
Johnson
What is demand
jude Reply
Demand is the quantity of goods and services a consumer is willing and able to purchase at various prices over a given period of time.
Yaw
yea
SETHUAH
Okay congratulations I'll join you guys later .
Aj
yes
MUBARAK
demand is the quantity and quality of goods and services a consumer is willingly and able to purchase at a particular price over a given period of time.
TOBI
calculate elasticity of income exercises
HABANABAKIZE Reply
Difference between extinct and extici spicies
Amanpreet Reply
While the American heart association suggests that meditation might be used in conjunction with more traditional treatments as a way to manage hypertension
Beverly Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Truth and subjectivity. OpenStax CNX. Jul 25, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11945/1.2
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