Emotion Experience, Rational Action, and Self-Knowledge

Emotion Review 1 (3):272-280 (2009)
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Abstract

This article examines the role of emotion experience in both rational action and self-knowledge. A key distinction is made between emotion experiences of which we are unaware, and those of which we are aware. The former motivate action and color our view of the world, but they do not do so in a rational way, and their nonreflective nature obscures self-understanding. The article provides arguments and evidence to support the view that emotion experiences contribute to rational action only if one is appropriately aware of them (because only then does one have the capacity to inhibit one's emotional reactions). Furthermore, it is argued that awareness of emotion increases self-knowledge because it is a source of information about our biases.

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