Recognizing Desirability: Is Goal Comparison Necessary?

Emotion Review 2 (2):159-160 (2010)
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Moors and colleagues’ clever studies demonstrate that goal-relevant stimuli can produce rapid, unintentional affective priming, but not necessarily that primes are compared with goal representations following onset. Instead, prior attunements based on changing concerns may prespecify reward value. Even if both these processes count as emotion-relevant appraisal, none of the evidence rules out appraisal-independent emotion under other, unsampled, circumstances, including those where emotions develop as cumulative responses to unfolding and responsive environments rather than as momentary reactions to briefly-presented simple stimuli. Although the functional relations between inputs and outputs may imply “constructive” processes at one level, these processes may be implemented by sequential lower-level mechanisms



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