Explaining your emotions

The computer is a useful model for how the mind works, but clearly we do not coldly process information like a machine. Much of our mental life is made up of the sensations we call the emotions – we’re all familiar with feeling highs and lows, such as the pleasurable anticipation of looking for a much-missed loved one in the crowd at the airport, and the pang of sadness when you discover they were not on the plane.

Do we even know what an ‘emotion’ is?

As yet there is no definition of ‘emotion’ to which everybody agrees. Most psychologists define an emotion as the experience of a subjective feeling, along with some physiological changes in ...

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