What would happen if one day we lost all our emotions? No more fear, anger or depression, but never more happiness, in love or sympathy again. According to Ad Vingerhoets, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Tilburg, we will collapse completely as individuals and as a society.
In his new book emotional person It shows that emotions are very functional. They teach us to exhibit desirable behavior and contain basic social information. He argues that the assumption that an emotional person cannot think clearly and find solutions less quickly is incorrect. We need emotions and everyone benefits from more insight into his very diverse emotional world.
The definition that the book begins with teaches us that the previous sentence is indeed misleading. Emotions are not feelings, nor are they preferences, attitudes, or moods. Feelings only occur in situations that we consider important, when it comes to basics such as status, survival, reproduction, choice of leaders, etc.
Throughout the book, the author often refers to such distinctions and academic categories. Therefore, his systematic discussion of the origin, properties, and utility of our primary emotions reads somewhat awkwardly. Fortunately, the many interesting facts provide diversity. That you can alter the experience of regret by affecting your body temperature, for example. When we regret, our body automatically overheats. Or that laughing well when you’re angry doesn’t really help. It won’t make you calmer.