The Sudden Devotion Emotion: Kama Muta and the Cultural Practices Whose Function Is to Evoke It

Emotion Review 11 (1):74-86 (2019)
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Abstract

When communal sharing relationships suddenly intensify, people experience an emotion that English speakers may label, depending on context, “moved,” “touched,” “heart-warming,” “nostalgia,” “patriotism,” or “rapture”. We call the emotion kama muta. Kama muta evokes adaptive motives to devote and commit to the CSRs that are fundamental to social life. It occurs in diverse contexts and appears to be pervasive across cultures and throughout history, while people experience it with reference to its cultural and contextual meanings. Cultures have evolved diverse practices, institutions, roles, narratives, arts, and artifacts whose core function is to evoke kama muta. Kama muta mediates much of human sociality.

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