Introduction to Verbal Cues

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If you ask someone to describe what an emotion is, they might say it is a feeling, sentiment, reaction, passion, excitement, or sensation. Another definition of emotion is it is a spontaneous feeling arising from a person, thing, or experience. Emotions are unique to each individual, are perception based, and subjective experiences. Emotions exert and incredibly powerful force on human behavior. Strong emotions can cause you to take actions you might not normally perform, or avoid situations that you generally enjoy. So what exactly are emotions? What causes these feelings?

What Are Emotions?

Emotions, often called feelings, include experiences such as love, hate, anger, trust, joy, panic, fear, and grief. Emotions are related to, but different from, mood. Emotions are specific reactions to a particular event that are usually of fairly short duration. Mood is a more general feeling such as happiness, sadness, frustration, contentment, or anxiety that lasts for a longer time. Although everyone experiences emotions, scientists do not all agree on what emotions are or how they should be measured or studied. Emotions are complex and have both physical and mental components. Generally researchers agree that emotions have the following parts: subjective feelings, physiological (body) responses, and expressive behavior. The component of emotions that scientists call subjective feelings refers to the way each individual person experiences feelings, and this component is the most difficult to describe or measure. Subjective feelings cannot be observed; instead, the person experiencing the emotion must describe it to others, and each person's description and interpretation of a feeling may be slightly different. For example, two people falling in love will not experience or describe their feeling in exactly the same ways. Physiological responses are the easiest part of emotion to measure because scientists have developed special tools to measure them. A pounding...
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