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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Misunderstanding Positive Emotions

Misunderstanding Positive Emotion A Conversation With June Gruber

" ... This work we've been doing in positive emotion and psychopathology has the potential to change the way we think about all kinds of emotions. I'm focusing on positive emotions here, but you could bring in negative emotions to broaden our scope of what emotions are; they're not inherently good or bad. There's this idea we call emotional valence. That's why we call certain things positive emotions and certain things negative. That valence label is not its inherent value. What it has the possibility to do is suggest that whether or not an emotion is adaptive for you is all dependent—what we call context-sensitive. Emotions are fine-tuned to help us navigate particular situations, particular encounters, and no one emotion is necessarily always good or always bad for a situation.  ...                                
That's what this has the possibility to say, that we should throw out and abandon simplistic notions of valence is value: Negative emotions are bad, we should avoid those; positive emotions are good, we should embrace them. We should think more carefully about when, where, and how a given emotion will help us or hinder us. ..... " 

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