The Laws of Emotion is an accessible work that reviews much of the insightful new research on emotions conducted over the last ten years. It expands on the theory of emotions introduced in Nico Frijda’s earlier work and addresses a number of unanswered, basic problems on emotion theory. The author’s goal is to better understand the underlying psychological mechanisms of emotion. In this book, Professor Frijda also examines previously neglected topics of emotion such as determinants of emotional intensity, the duration of emotions, and sexual emotions. It touches on both evolutionary and neuroscientific explanations.
The book begins by reviewing a number of principles governing emotion, or “the laws of emotion”. The author then examines the passionate nature of emotions and the motivational processes underlying them, and the nature and causes of pleasure and pain. Professor Frijda then explores the processes that lead to emotional arousal, including cognitive influences and why people care more about certain things than others. Emotional intensity is then discussed, including the often-neglected topic of the course of emotions over time. The book concludes with the author's insights into complex emotional domains such as sex, revenge, and the need to commemorate past events.
The Laws of Emotion will appeal to social, cognitive, and developmental psychologists, social scientists, philosophers, and neuroscientists, as well as anyone interested in the workings of the mind. It also serves as a text for advanced courses in the psychology of emotions or the neuroscience of emotions.