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Positive EmotionIntegrating the Light Sides and Dark Sides$
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June Gruber and Judith Tedlie Moskowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199926725

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926725.001.0001

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The Psychological Construction of Positive Emotion as a Window into Well-Being

The Psychological Construction of Positive Emotion as a Window into Well-Being

Chapter:
(p.11) Chapter 2 The Psychological Construction of Positive Emotion as a Window into Well-Being
Source:
Positive Emotion
Author(s):

Paul Condon

Christine Wilson-Mendenhall

Lisa Feldman Barrett

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926725.003.0002

Positive emotions are theorized to influence behavior in a functional, adaptive manner and thereby contribute to well-being (e.g., gratitude promotes relationship-building behavior). In this chapter, we present a theoretical framework for discussing the functions of discrete emotion states (e.g., gratitude, pride, joy, hope) that develops from a psychological constructionist approach to emotion. We propose that physical changes in the body and brain take on new abilities (i.e., functions) when conceptualized as a discrete emotion. In particular, conceptualizing a physical state as an emotion allows one to create meaning, prescribe action, communicate, and aid in social influence. We discuss how this perspective helps illuminate when positive emotions enhance and deter well-being.

Keywords:   Conceptual Act Theory, situated conceptualization, functionalism, behavior, adaptation, happiness, flourishing

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