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Deeper than ReasonEmotion and its Role in Literature, Music, and Art$
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Jenefer Robinson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199263653

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199263655.001.0001

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Boiling of the Blood

Boiling of the Blood

(p.28) 2 Boiling of the Blood
Deeper than Reason

Jenefer Robinson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

William James argued that bodily changes are essential to an emotion; they are what put the ‘emotionality’ into emotion. There is good empirical evidence that some bodily responses are universal for particular emotions. Paul Ekman has demonstrated that there are universal spontaneous facial expressions for the ‘basic’ emotions of fear, anger, surprise, disgust, sadness, happiness, and contempt. There is also evidence that many emotional responses are inbuilt or very easily acquired, such as the human fear of snakes. Robert Zajonc's research shows that some emotional responses happen too fast for ‘higher’ cognitive processes to be involved.

Keywords:   William James, bodily responses, emotional responses, Paul Ekman, fear, anger, surprise, Robert Zajonc, cognitive processes

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