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Emotional ChoicesHow the Logic of Affect Shapes Coercive Diplomacy$
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Robin Markwica

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198794349

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198794349.001.0001

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Inferring Actors’ Emotions

Inferring Actors’ Emotions

(p.95) 3 Inferring Actors’ Emotions
Emotional Choices

Robin Markwica

Oxford University Press

The empirical study of phenomena as evanescent and elusive as emotions raises thorny methodological challenges. Chapter 3 proposes a methodological strategy for inferring emotions from their external representations and for gauging their influence on decision-making. Borrowing techniques from linguistics, psychology, and sociology, the chapter combines qualitative sentiment analysis with an interpretive approach to infer actors’ emotions and their intensity from textual sources. It delineates a number of methodological steps for recovering the cultural, strategic, and individual context of emotions. Moreover, the chapter uses process philosophy to develop a process form of explanation as an alternative to conventional causal and constitutive analysis, neither of which is suitable for theorizing the relationship between emotions and decision-making. This process account is not only able to grasp the dynamic nature of emotions; it is also better suited to trace the influence of emotions on choice behavior.

Keywords:   affect, emotion, methodology, sentiment analysis, interpretive method, process philosophy, process form of explanation

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