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16 votes

Why do people commit suicide?

The truth is that very few people who haven't seriously contemplated suicide, or who haven't dealt extensively with many people who have, really understand it. They will, like you, not figure it out, ...
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13 votes
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What is the most comprehensive system of describing human emotions or states of mind?

There a are globally two perspectives the discrete perspective uses a categorization system. There are many different systems, with more or less core emotions and sub-emotions. As the one shown in ...
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11 votes
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Why does a person feel sad without knowing the reason?

Modern theories of emotion suggest that like many aspects of self-knowledge, emotion is "inferred" rather than "introspected". This is exemplified by a classic experiment in which men were surveyed ...
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10 votes

Is Decision-Making Emotionally Based, with Rationalization as the only Conscious Component?

This is a very broad topic. I'll attempt to quickly summarize the most relevant findings from a wide variety of research areas. Post-rationalization: There is a fair bit of evidence that ...
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10 votes

To what degree is emotional state visible in a person's eyes?

This question has mostly been asked in reverse in the research literature--not whether the eyes can show emotion (which is often called affect by psych researchers), but whether humans can accurately ...
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10 votes

Why do humans need emotions?

This question becomes more complicated if we think in terms of "emotions" (e.g., angry, happy, sad, afraid, etc.) than in terms of "affect" (positive and negative feelings, high and low arousal). I'...
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10 votes
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Why do humans need emotions?

It appears that there's been a lot of research done by USC professor Antonio Damasio on the importance of emotions. There's some fascinating case studies and interviews that are worth reading and ...
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  • 246
10 votes
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Paul Ekman suggests that in near-accidents, fear motivates people to hit their car brakes. Is the fear response fast enough to do this?

This was much longer than I expected! There's quite a bit of ground to cover, but I try to go over it quickly. So, there are two implicit theoretical assumptions in your question: We have an "affect ...
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  • 4,256
10 votes

Is there a biological limit for "amount" of happiness?

My knowledge of the neurobiology of pleasure (aka, hedonia, hedonic happiness, happiness, "liking", reward, etc.) is admittedly lacking, but I'd contend that this is mostly true because we actually ...
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  • 4,256
10 votes
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Is there any good evidence that sadness causes chest pain ("heart ache")?

There is a fairly recently recognized medical condition called stress-induced cardiomyopathy, associated with chest pain and physical damage to the left ventricle: Because this weakening can be ...
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9 votes

Is there any standardized test / questionnaire to measure frustration?

Frustration is measured in various ways. In psychology, frustration is seen as occurring when an anticipated reward or outcome is blocked (Berkowitz, 1989). The block can be either internal (the ...
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9 votes

Is there any good alternative to the International Affective Picture System (IAPS)?

I would recommend the 730 pictures Geneva affective picture database (GAPED). It has been validated worldwide, and the cultural bias is more limited than other image resources. There are general ...
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  • 451
9 votes
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Why do humans cry?

The two main folks in crying research (of whom I'm aware) are Ad Vingerhoets and Jonathan Rottenberg. They've (together and separately) published reviews of adult crying and crying across the lifespan,...
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  • 4,256
9 votes

Is fear in response to the sight of predators innate or acquired?

Alright, so my familiarity with this area primarily comes from Vanessa LoBue's work. And what I get from her research is that we don't really know if certain fears are innate or acquired. LoBue seems ...
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  • 4,256
9 votes
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Open-source software for analyzing Electrodermal activity

I have found a list of Python and Matlab packages. I'll summarize them over here. As soon as I have gone through the packages, I'll provide some additional details. Online edaExplorer: Also in Python....
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8 votes

Is there a term to describe an inability to express emotion or feelings?

Perhaps you are looking for blunted affect? Wikipedia's definition goes like this (article has been updated since): Blunted affect is a clinical term to define a lack of emotional reactivity (...
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  • 181
8 votes
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Are there any theories suggesting mindfulness is the opposite mental state to self-regulation?

I don't think there's any evidence suggesting that mindfulness or meditation are the opposite of self-regulation. In arguing why, it'll be useful to define terms. Meditation and mindfulness First off, ...
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8 votes
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Is there another word for 'affective control'?

There is a huge body of literature on emotion regulation. The main person to look up is James Gross. He's recently published a second edition of the Handbook of Emotion Regulation if you'd like a ...
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8 votes
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What is the difference between affect and feeling?

According to constructionists (e.g., Russell & Barrett, 1999), affect (or "core affect") is a composite of valence and arousal, which underlies all emotional experience. So when I feel good and ...
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  • 4,256
8 votes

Is a low Emotional Intelligence (EQ) pathological?

Shortly , a low EQ is not a sufficient condition to diagnose a mental psychiatric disorder. This is the DSM-V Proposal for the Definition of Mental/Psychiatric Disorder All these features have to be ...
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  • 1,514
8 votes
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Can you get sad by sniffing onions, just like you can get happy by forcing yourself to smile?

I assume you're referring to the experiment by Strack, Martin, and Stepper (1988) in which people rated a cartoon as funnier when they had to hold their face in a smile shape by gripping a pencil in ...
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  • 361
8 votes
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Is there a scientific explanation for dramatic body shaking and trembling in religious settings? (see videos for illustrative examples)

The exhibited behaviours are episodic glossolalia, collapsing, fainting, trembling, jerking, convulsing, contorting, and shaking. The individuals performing these episodic behaviours report ...
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  • 1,688
7 votes

Why is the sound of running water soothing?

There cannot be a single answer to this question which would be entirely correct. Different theoretical approaches to psychology will yield different explanations. This is evident from the other ...
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7 votes

To what degree is emotional state visible in a person's eyes?

Humans do commonly use the eyes, area around the eyes, and other eye-related information such as movement and orientation to deduce the emotional states of others. What isn't as clear from research ...
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7 votes

What are the main theories that account for why some people like X and others not?

In psychology, we call people's attitudes towards things "preferences", and the emotional experience associated with preference is referred to as "affect", or more specifically, "valence", which is ...
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7 votes
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What causes emotions?

Let's break this down into two terms: affect and emotion. Affect Affect corresponds to two dimensions that underlie emotional experience: valence and arousal. Valence - feelings of pleasantness ...
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7 votes

Are psychologists more immune to psychological problems?

Barriers to Psychologists Seeking Mental Health Care by Jennifer L. Bearse, Mark R. McMinn, Winston Seegobin, and Kurt Free of George Fox University asks a similar question. Professional ...
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