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The Psychology Of Emotions, Feelings and Thoughts

Module by: Mark Pettinelli. E-mail the author

Summary: This book makes the statement that thought, action and feeling can occur in any order, it also puts forth the idea that life is divided into three groups, emotion, thinking, and feeling. These three groups make humans feel in certain ways, thinking, physical stimulus, and emotion all contribute to feeling. But what is the difference between a thought, an emotion, and a feeling? Is there an overlap between the three? Probably, since any emotion can be broken down into the sensations and real events that caused it, and these events all lead to emotions, feelings and thoughts. So emotions, feelings and thoughts all might have the same source, they are just expressed differently in the mind. Where do your emotions, feelings and thoughts rate on a scale of clarity? Where do they rate on a scale of focus and attention? How does understanding the psychology of ones emotions, feelings and thoughts lead to a long term increased consciousness?

This book makes the statement that thought, action and feeling can occur in any order. "Action turned into feeling, which caused you to think and therefore turned into thought. Thought, action (your action or external action) and feeling can occur in any order."

A shorter emotion and cognition article of mine is also online in another module - How does Cognition Influence Emotion? [The Book]

My rationality article is online at m50415

Emotion and Logic

Some things in life cause people to feel, these are called emotional reactions. Some things in life cause people to think, these are sometimes called logical or intellectual reactions. Thus life is divided between things that make you feel and things that make you think. The question is, if someone is feeling, does that mean that they are thinking less? It probably does. If part of your brain is being occupied by feeling, then it makes sense that you have less capacity for thought. That is obvious if you take emotional extremes, such as crying, where people can barely think at all. This does not mean that emotional people are not intelligent; it just means that they might be dumber during the times in which they are emotional. Emotion goes on and off for everyone, sometimes people cry, and sometimes they are completely serious.

Some things in life can identifiably cause more emotion than other things.

1. Color causes more emotion than black and white. So anything with more color in it is going to be more emotional to look at, whether it is the difference between a gold or silver sword, or a gold or silver computer. In both cases the gold is going to be more emotional.

2. Things that are personal are emotional, personal things that people like and that they feel are “close” to them. Things like home or anything someone likes actually. That is a definition of emotion after all, something that causes feeling. So if you like it, it is probably going to cause more feeling. Other things aside from liking something could cause emotions from it, such as curiosity, but usually like is one of the stronger emotions. You could say that the two are directly proportional, the more you like something, the more it is going to cause feeling.

But there are things that people like that cause thought. You could like something and it causes you to think, and we previously defined emotion as feeling, not thought. That thoughts are separate from emotions because thought is a period of thinking. What exactly is thinking then? You can think about emotions, “how did I feel then?” etc. So is thought just a period of increased attention? Or is it a sharp spike in attention focused on one particular thing that is clear? It is hard to focus that much if you are feeling a lot, however. This makes me conclude that there is an overlap of feeling and thought, like a Venn diagram. But there are still parts of thought that don’t have feeling or emotion in them, and parts of emotion that don’t have thought in them. That means that thought requires more concentration than feeling does, since we defined thought as a period of increased attention. You can be emotional and have more attention, but usually if you are emotional you are going to be less attentive than you would be if you were thinking more. Then again, if you are emotional you are being attentive to your emotions, whatever they may be, and if your emotions are on something like the sun, then when you see the sun you are going to be attentive to it, but not be thinking about it. So you can pay attention to something and not be thinking about it at the same time. But you aren’t going to be paying attention to anything else. It seems that thought is more attention than emotion, however. If you try to “feel” your computer you still don’t give it as much attention as if you were thinking about your computer. Then again, it depends what you are thinking about your computer, if you are thinking that your computer sucks, you are going to give it less attention than thinking that it is great. It also depends what your feelings are about that computer. If you feel that the computer is good, then you are going to give it more attention than if you feel that it is bad (possibly). The thoughts and the feelings correspond, however. That is, if you are thinking it is bad, then you are going to feel that it is bad. Thus thought and feeling are really one and the same. But thoughts are really clearer than feelings. Thought and feeling may result in the same amount of attention to something, but thought is more precise. It is more precise for you to think that the computer is good, then to feel that the computer is good. Who knows why you feel the computer is good, but if you were thinking the computer is good then you would know why you thought that. Emotions and feelings are more obscure.

So, the more you like something (or hate something, or have any strong emotional reaction to anything), the more emotional it is, but that doesn’t mean that it might not also cause you to think about it. One can’t label everything in life as either emotion or thought however. Life isn’t a scale with emotion on one end and thought on the other. There are other factors involved, things like adrenaline and physical action, which might also cause increased attention that isn’t either emotional or thoughtful. When you’re running you have a lot of attention on the fact that you are running, and you’re not thinking about it or being emotional about it. This means that just because you like something, doesn’t mean that it is emotional. You might like running, but it doesn’t cause emotions in you. What does emotion mean then? Emotions must be thoughts that you can’t identify, when you feel something, it must be that you are thinking about something unconsciously. You just have no idea what it is, usually. Emotions and feelings are thoughts then. By that I mean that they can be broken down into parts and figured out what those parts are. And thoughts are just really parts that you can identify. So the difference between emotions, feelings and thoughts is that you know what thoughts are about, but you don’t have as good an idea of what emotions and feelings are, as they are more obscure and harder to identify.

Thus once you find out what is causing the emotion, it is no longer an emotion, but it is a thought (that is, you now call the emotion a thought, so the thought is still probably generating emotion. In your mind then there is still an emotion, but this emotion is now “part” of a thought, it becomes part of the thought associated with it because you created this link, and hence you would call the emotion/thought just a thought because while thoughts can generate emotions, emotions cannot generate thoughts (by themselves), unless you realize what the emotion is (then you are generating the thought, not the emotion generating it), but you are realizing it is a thought, not an emotion: so this realization takes over and now the emotion is part of that realization (because you consider the emotion a part of you, and you generated the realization), instead of the realization being a part of the emotion (and since it seems like the emotion belongs to the realization (you), instead of vice versa, you call it a thought instead of an emotion, because you generated the thought (and hence it also seems that you are now consciously also generating the emotion (the emotion coming from the thought))). So that would mean that all emotions have route in real things, and these real things can be explained with thoughts, so all emotions then are really thoughts that you haven’t realized; an emotion would just be a thought that you haven’t identified yet, so the term “emotion” goes away when you realize it is a thought (because that is what it really was all along, a thought) (though this thought might still be generating a feeling). So, since you perceive the emotion as belonging to you, and you generate thoughts consciously, you consider the emotion to be part of a thought, not vice versa (and hence call identified emotions “thoughts”). So when you identify an emotion, it is a thought because thoughts can generate emotions, so if the emotion is still there after you identified it you would say it falls under the category “thought”, because the thought is making it. You might be lazy however and not want to spend time thinking, which are what emotions are for. “Ah that gold sword is pretty” might be the emotion, but to your conscious mind you would have no idea that you like the sword because it is pretty, you might just know that you like the sword and it is making you emotional about it. Therefore, emotional things are really any feelings that cause unconscious or conscious thought. Feeling is also another word for unconscious thought. That then leads to the conclusion that thought can be emotional (because thoughts are going to be about things that can cause emotion). I think that emotions can be more emotional than thought, however, because emotions can contain more than one thought (while thoughts are very slow consciously), therefore causing it to cause more feeling, or be more emotional. While you can only express a few thoughts a minute, your emotions can contain endless numbers of thoughts per minute – they are not as exact and hence don’t make as much sense as thoughts do.

So thought is just a lot of attention on one little thing. And emotion is attention on lots of individual things, or possibly one thing. So things that are emotional are things that cause you to think, consciously or unconsciously. And therefore they would cause you to feel, consciously or unconsciously. So the more you like something you can’t consciously identify as to why you like it, the more emotional it is, and the more you like something where you can consciously identify what it is, the more conscious thought it is going to cause, and the more logical that thing is going to be. Emotion is just unconscious thought.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • “Emotion goes on and off for everyone” – this statement shows how there are degrees to which someone can be focused on and feel thought, and degrees to which someone can be focused on and feel feeling. That then also explains the next statement in the chapter “some things in life can identifiably more emotion than other things”.
  • Since there are parts of emotion that don’t have thought (assuming that emotion and thought overlap – but that is a logical assumption because thoughts generate feelings and are therefore less independent) then emotion (especially emotion without any thought) is going to need less focus or concentration, because emotion is a more pleasurable experience, but thought is one where concentration is usually used.
  • Emotions can direct and control thoughts – if you are feeling that your computer is bad, then you might then give it less or more attention, and conscious attention is a function of thought because you need to think to start to focus on something. Or when you notice something you noticing it is a conscious experience because you “notice” it and thoughts are things which you are aware of which would then contribute to consciousness.
  • Next mentioned is how emotions and feelings are just harder to identify then thoughts, and that therefore emotions and feelings are really thoughts themselves, or vice versa. If all thought is really emotion, and all emotion really thought, then all intelligence could vary and be dependent on emotions. This is further evidenced by the statement “thus once you find out what is causing the emotion it is no longer an emotion, but it is a thought”. That shows how an emotion is a thought that you just aren’t identifying. It is just a matter of definition of the terms. Thought is concrete things which are real in the world, and emotion is something that you feel but can’t visualize. So therefore intelligence is just the ability to do things which are real, versus feeling something, which isn’t as “real” as thoughts are.

An explanation for this chapter:

This chapter basically described the difference between thoughts and feeling (or emotion). Thoughts are things that you are conscious of, when you have a thought, you know you have it because it is your thought. Unless you aren't aware of the thought you are having (which would make it an unconscious thought), then the thought is something that is clear to you, it is usually a sentence, though you might not be thinking of it as a sentence. You might know you want to do something, but you might not express it very clearly to yourself. When someone has a clear thought, they know what it is. You can want to do things and be thinking things all the time, some of the thoughts are going to be more clear than others.

Emotion, on the other hand, isn't clear like clear thoughts. When you experience an emotion, you might not know you are experiencing it at all, and it is certainly a lot more complicated than a sentence, which could be your typical thought. Emotion could be described with a lot of thoughts, and this probably occurs in humans all the time. People have complicated emotions, and these emotions would give rise to thoughts that people are aware of (a conscious, clear thought such as a sentence in your head), and thoughts that people are less aware of, (for instance you are doing something but you didn't fully realize that you were going to or are doing it.

Some Points on Emotion Theory

  • There are two types of observations in emotion theory, one type is general common observations (such as sex is good for someones emotional health) and the other type is functional observations (when an emotion stops at one second and another one takes its place, what is happening there, what are the emotions, why do they stop and start, etc (for example, if someone thinks a happy thought it might stop the negative thought completely) also, what are the degrees to which the emotion or thought is felt, is it completely gone etc.
  • Emotions stop and start all the time, this stopping and starting might occur as sudden transitions or slow transitions, one emotion gradually fading into the other. That is not a complete explanation for how emotion functions, however. Humans would probably have several emotions occurring at one time, each emotion interacting with one or more other emotions and potentially causing them to stop, start, fade or increase.
  • For instance, the emotions hate, love, painful emotions, sexual emotions, hopeful emotions, and humorous emotions are probably all constantly interacting with each other and being felt to some degree all the time. Those are only a few of the emotions/feelings that are probably felt a lot everyday.
  • There are going to be observable patterns that occur with those emotions, for instance pleasure might relieve pain and make painful feeling go away.
  • Life is intense and ongoing, so therefore intense emotion is probably maintained in humans all the time. These emotions might stop and start, someone could go from brief periods of intensity to periods of low intensity, but the point is there is that intensity that is felt and the continuous flow of emotional processing is ongoing.
  • There are different emotional states that can change your outlook on life or how you might respond to a situation. Fear, anger, kindness and admiration are all emotional states that change how you might respond to events. You can also be in a state of readiness for certain emotions, you could be prepared to experience pain or pleasure or be in one of those states.
  • Emotions are experienced consciously and unconsciously, the extent to which someone clearly feels an emotion is the extent to which it is conscious. If an emotion is being experienced but isn't under the awareness of the person experiencing it, by definition it is mostly an unconscious emotion because they are not conscious of it. Someone can experience a large emotion but that doesn't necessarily mean that the emotion is going to be completely under the awareness of the person experiencing it. They might describe the emotion as feeling like it is very large, but they might not be in touch with it (making it mostly unconscious). It is in this world of "seemingly larger emotions" that emotional processing takes place. Unconsciously there are many more emotions experienced than you are completely aware of that are being experienced. Therefor it is there, in the unconscious mind, that emotions interact in great depth and complexity, barely being felt consciously at times and with the person possibly only slightly aware that something emotional might be going on (unconsciously).
  • Emotion is experienced differently for each person. An emotion evokes a certain emotional response in a person because that person is who they are, however we all share the same world and there are going to be significant psychological things in it that are generally considered to be significant by most people, such as death or love. Any individual has peculiarities and specifics about what might trigger a large emotional response, it wouldn't necessarily just be something that they "like a lot" but mostly things they consciously or unconsciously find to be significant.
  • When emotion can stop and start, and there can be periods of intensity and low-intensity, it makes one wonder just how many different emotional states there are. For every mood in a social situation you could say is an emotional state. If there is a certain mood present, then the people are going to be feeling certain things and responding in a way that is correspondent to that mood. But that is just social moods, there are many other ways people's emotional state can change, if you are working on something you enjoy working on you could be in a certain emotional state for that.
  • An emotional state implies a certain set of feelings that come up with a certain activity or under certain circumstances.
  • An important observation to note in emotion theory is that pain can stop the current flow of emotion or feeling and alert the person. Pain and anxiety are different from the other emotions because they are unpleasant. How often is an emotion like hope or fun tainted by the emotion of pain? Is fun even an emotion or is it an emotional state? Fun would imply that you are experiencing a set of emotions that makes that circumstance fun, joy is an emotion, "fun" is more of an emotional state.
  • The flow of someone's feelings can stop suddenly, for instance, say you are relaxing in bed after waking up, then your alarm clock goes off - you went from feeling happy, relaxed emotions to those suddenly ending. Emotions and feelings stop and start like this all the time. In a conversation, for example, someone could be happy and the other person could show or adopt a negative expression and that could suddenly end the other persons happiness. There are many emotions someone could adopt in a conversation such as shyness, or an emotion expressing a thought or an idea, and these emotions could influence (or start and stop) emotions that the other person is experiencing. It should be clear that the many emotions someone experiences throughout the day changes all the time, stops, starts, transitions, and changes in complicated ways all the time. These changes may or may not be observed, however if you pay attention to these feelings and their behavior you could certainly notice a lot more.
  • Emotion can motivate thought. People go into different states or 'modes' where they are driven to think a certain type of thought or do a certain type of behavior. When someone enters a different mode, such as a pleasure seeking mode, that mode in particular is motivated by emotion. It is clear that with pleasure someone is feeling more, so you would say that it is motivated by emotion. However, every state someone is in, every different subtle social emotional state or emotional state when someone is doing work is going to have some emotion or set of feelings behind it. But it isn't just a set of feelings, the feeling is unique each time, and this uniqueness communicates certain information that is also unique. The feeling tells you what you like and what you don't like, that would probably be the primary emotions (pleasure and pain). But each other emotion communicates something - if you feel guilty you know what that feeling means, maybe that feeling in combination with other feelings is communicating something different or unique based upon the set of feelings it is and what it means in that context.
  • Therefore someone could enter into a mode such as an abusive mode, where, emotionally, they are being abusive. It makes sense that since this is a mode, it takes a reasonable period of time to experience. It isn't an expression or a gesture, which takes a couple of seconds, but a mode like this my guess would be at least a few minutes long. Another mode could be a humorous mode. Maybe that is clear by the person being observed as being amused - but maybe emotionally they are amused for a certain period of time before and after your observation of them being that way.
  • That isn't to say that someone couldn't experience amused feelings for a few seconds. Clearly when someone laughs the feelings mostly only last for the period of the laughter. But they would probably still be amused for a period afterwards. You just laughed - and you become happy or amused for a short period after that. My point about the modes is that there are certain powerful sets of feelings that last for a while - like a pleasure seeking set of feelings. That is different from laughter or amusement, this is a strong specific mode that brings up a set of feelings for someone. Maybe someone else has a different sort of mode - maybe they have a strong mode where they feel guilty, and they have a unique set of feelings and thoughts that are with this mode.
  • Some of these modes might be a reflective mode, where you are in period that is reminiscent of the activity you were just doing. Other modes might be powerful ones, abusive ones, submissive or dominant ones, calm ones. It is as if someone gets in a 'mood' for these modes. Moods are more quiet however, and there are only a few moods that people recognize. However, there could be many different unique moods as well. What then is the difference between a mood and a mode? In a mood you have different emotions, maybe someone gets in an abusive mood. That would be like getting in an abusive mode. I think it is just a matter of how strong the mood or mode is. Moods are probably less strong than modes, and modes are also ways of acting, not just ways of feeling. In a mode the emotions are so strong that they influence your behavior - the emotion motivates thought.
  • One emotion can lead or transition into another emotion. For instance, someone can rage, then become angry instead of being in a rage over a certain thing, and then the emotion could die to down to the person just being hateful at whatever the cause is. That is similar to if someone is punched, they might be at first angry, then upset, and then depressed or sad. Anger can lead to hate, or 'being upset' - and then after that the emotion might transition into sadness or whatever might follow someone being hateful. Maybe the lesser emotion of hate is bitterness. So they would go from being hateful to being bitter. Or maybe if someone is talking to them positively, they could go from being hateful to being happy or optimistic.

An explanation for this chapter:

An emotional state is a very complicated thing. If someone knew completely their emotional state, they would know everything they were feeling right then. Then they wouldn't really have any "unconscious" emotions, because they would be perfectly conscious of what they were feeling. But then again, it is impossible to feel the full force of all your feelings at once, so it is not possible to be completely conscious of all your feelings. Your unconscious feelings must be dimmed down, or only large in a way that isn't completely conscious. Like you know you have a large emotion, but aren't in touch with it.

Emotional states are complicated, it would be easy to say, "my emotional state right now is really messed up" because that is what emotional states are like, people have several emotions they are experiencing all the time, it is just hard to identify that this is occurring because I would say that people can only identify when they have a large, clear emotion that they can understand.

Thoughts

Anything that is said or done is possibly followed by a long series of unconscious thoughts and thought processes.

What is the difference between emotion, feeling, thought, logic, and intelligence? Use of any of them requires a lot of attention. Even when you are feeling something emotional your attention is directed toward that thing. The answer is that everything in life eventually results in a feeling. Even emotion results in a feeling. Emotion is unconscious thoughts about things, and thoughts are conscious thoughts about things. Thought results in feelings, so unconscious thought (emotion) is also going to result in feelings.

If you think about it that way, thought and emotion are both in part feelings, that is, to some extent you feel them right away, in addition to them resulting in feelings later on. But that still means that feelings are always the end result. Then again, thoughts might be the result of current thoughts. That is like emotion, unconscious emotional thoughts are going to result in unconscious emotional thoughts later on. Even feelings could be called unconscious thoughts, because thought is just focusing on one thing for a brief period of time.

Therefore emotion, thought and feeling are really just periods of focus on certain things. With thought you just recognize what it is that you are focusing on. With emotions you feel deeply about what you are focusing on, and with feelings you are focusing on it less. Physical stimulus also results in feelings, and then you focus on those feelings, you aren’t necessarily focused on what caused the feelings (the physical stimulus itself) however.

Thus life is really just different types of feelings; you could categorize all of life as feeling. Even when you think you are in a period when you’re not feeling anything, you really are feeling something; you just don’t recognize what it is that you are feeling. Remember that feelings are thoughts you can’t identify. And since a thought is going to be about something, another way to think about life is just stuff happening. Stuff happening results in feelings in your brain, where more stuff happens. It is all-concrete.

The definition of intellect and thoughts is almost understanding (those concrete things). Emotion is feeling, completely separate from facts or information. All facts and information are going to be about things that cause feeling, however, since all things that happen cause feelings and all facts and information are about things that happen. So facts and information are just feelings organized in a logical manner. Intellect and thought also generates feelings when those thoughts are processed in your mind. Since thought is really only about feelings, it is logical that thought actually has root in feelings. For example, all events are really feelings in the mind, so thoughts are actually just comparing feelings. You take two feelings and can arrive at one thought. Take the feeling of a frog moving and the feeling of a threat of danger. The two feelings combined equal the idea or thought that the frog needs to move when there is danger – the thought is actually just understanding how feelings interact. All thought is is the understanding of how feelings and real events interact with themselves. Feeling is what provides the motivation to arrive at the answer (the thought). If you just had the facts, there is a threat, and the frog can jump, you aren’t going to arrive at the conclusion that the frog should jump away. You need to take the feeling that there is a threat and the feeling that the frog can jump and then combine the two sensory images in your head to arrive at the answer.

That shows how all intellect is powered and motivated by emotion. It also shows that frogs have thoughts; the frog has to have the thought to jump away when it sees a threat, as a thought is just the combination of two feelings resulting in the resulting feeling of wanting to move away. That process of feelings is like a thought process. Thoughts are a little different for humans, however, because humans have such a large memory that they are able to compare this experience to all the other experiences in their life while the frog only remembers the current situation and is programmed (brain wiring) to jump away. The frog doesn’t have a large enough memory to learn from new information and change its behavior. That shows how humans are very similar to frogs in how they process data (in one way at least), and that one thing that separates a human from a frog is a larger memory which can store lots of useful information and potential behavioral patterns.

Thoughts, especially in humans, are not that independent – they can be much more complicated and it can appear to be that nothing is as it seems. If someone says to you, “I know x”. He isn’t just saying that he knows x, but there is a chain of other thoughts that also occur in your mind. You analyze the statement he made and it causes you to think automatically, “Do I know x too?” “Why does he think I care that he knows x?” “Is there anything else about x that is significant that I am missing?” “What if this other person is smarter than me?” that doesn’t lead to a feeling of being dumb (it might), instead it leads to another concrete thing “maybe I am stupid” or the thought “maybe that person is stupid” interacting with the thought “because that thing he said was wrong”. So one simple thought for a human can mean much much more than that one thought. That example shows another way in which humans are different from frogs – they are capable of more simultaneous thoughts. It is also the memory working hand in hand with that capacity of simultaneous thought as well, if you had no memory then you wouldn’t have information to compare and bring up those simultaneous thoughts.

They can all be moving at the same time as well, not only does one thought follow another; but it occurs instantaneously. If the thing the person said was something you didn’t know, it might make you feel stupid, thus the thought results in a feeling. But that feeling can be translated to a thought. So it isn’t the feeling, “I am stupid” it is the thought “I am stupid”. Feeling stupid might make you feel bad, but it isn’t just that you are feeling bad, you are also thinking over and over “I am stupid” unconsciously, and that is what is making you feel bad. Or you are paying attention to the fact that you are stupid. Thus thought, feeling, and emotion is just paying attention to different things in your head. Concrete things.

It is a little more complicated than that, however. It is going to be a mix of a lot of concrete thoughts interacting with each other, not just the thought “I am stupid” repeated over and over but maybe also a less intense idea of “well I know x and y that that person doesn’t, maybe this was just one event”. So anything that is said or done is possibly followed by a long series of unconscious thoughts and thought processes.

There were two examples of thoughts, one was with the frog and the danger of a threat, and the other was a questioning of ones intellect relative to someone else. The example with the frog was an example of a thought process that was simple, while the example with the person showed how some thought processes can be much more complicated than they appear.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • It is stated first that use of emotion and thought requires attention, and therefore they both cause feelings, and if they both cause feelings then they are going to be similar in nature. Your intellect (or ability to do things which are real) is going to generate feelings just like emotions do.
  • Feelings can result in thoughts – this was shown with the frog example, the frog has the thought “jump” which comes from the feeling of a threat of danger, and the feeling of it’s understanding that it can jump. That shows how thoughts can be encouraged by feelings and mixed in with them.
  • Thought is also powered by feeling in other ways, as when you are nervous that you didn’t understand something, your feelings then cause you to think nervous things like “do I know that too?, does he think I care that he knows that?” Those thoughts are a function of intelligence, because they are causing you to think about real things, which is what intelligence is.

An explanation for this chapter:

This chapter basically outlined that thoughts can cause feelings and real things to happen, and these three things (thought, action, and feeling) can occur in any order. Feelings can cause you to jump, or some other action, and so can thoughts. Thoughts can cause feelings which could cause you to do an action. This means that any feeling, a physical one, a certain emotion, anything, could result in any thought which could cause you to do anything. For frogs, this process seems simple, if it has feelings, they are easy to label such as fear of a person coming near them. For a human, these feelings might be much more complex, involving many more unconscious thoughts and worries or whatnot. A frog isn't going to be worried if its intelligence is insulted, or any number of other possible unconscious thoughts that a person might have. You could still say the frog has thoughts though, since it reaches the conclusion at some point to jump away, and it moves in very complicated patterns. Those patterns of movement for a frog, however, are easy to understand and the same pattern occurs each time you see the frog pretty much. Humans can adapt their behavior with thoughts and make their behavior and thinking much more complex.

I say in this chapter that thought, feeling and emotion is just paying attention to concrete things in your head. If you talk to someone and they make you feel bad, it might be because you are unconsciously thinking they think you are stupid. Or you could say that you are just feeling like they think you are stupid. I guess it doesn't really matter if you say you are thinking they think you are stupid or you are feeling like they think you are stupid. If you are thinking that they are thinking you are stupid it is conscious, you are aware that they might be thinking you are stupid, and this might be making you feel bad. You pay attention to the thought you have of awareness of their thinking about this. You could also pay attention to the emotion of you feeling bad because you are thinking this. Or maybe you could describe what is going on as the other person is thinking you are stupid, and because they are thinking this you feel bad, no matter what you think or want to feel. They could be influencing your emotions by treating you as stupid. Maybe you're thinking unconsciously back to them, no actually i'm really smart. Maybe that is what you are thinking, but you could still feel bad about it. The point is, the difference between saying you have an unconscious thought and you have an emotion is just how much attention you are paying to each one. You are probably going to be paying more attention to it if it is an unconscious thought because that is what thoughts are, something you think and are aware of. You think you are smart, so unconsciously you are thinking that they shouldn't be thinking you are stupid. Maybe you thinking that unconsciously determines how you feel, so you don't feel bad because they think you're stupid because you know and are thinking that you're actually smart. So when someone treats you as stupid, you could in response a) feel that they are wrong, or b) be thinking that they are wrong. Those are two types of responses to things, you could respond with thoughts, or respond with feelings. If someone is mean to you, and you feel good in response, maybe it is because you are just a happy person, or maybe it is because you are "really" thinking they are stupid and ignoring them. However you want to label what is going on by saying you are feeling something or you are thinking something, you are ultimately just paying attention to your emotions or their emotions or what ever it is you are paying attention to, you don't have to think about it with words necessarily. If you are paying attention to your emotions or what you are thinking or what they are thinking or feeling, you could notice a lot. There could also be a lot going on that you don't know about because you can feel emotions for a lot of reasons you aren't aware of. Emotion is unconscious thought.

So what is the difference between someone thinking something and someone feeling something? You can feel bad, or you could think negative things about yourself that make you feel bad. When someone thinks, they are aware of what they are doing and what they are thinking about. When someone feels an emotion, they might not be aware of it or know how it was generated. What is an unconscious thought then? If thoughts are something you know you are thinking and are paying attention to, then how could you not be aware of them? A thought is something you are thinking, you know you are thinking it. You don't always (or maybe even never) know if you are experiencing an emotion, on the other hand. Emotion is unconscious thought because emotion is just you feeling something about something, so you could express it as a thought. "I feel bad because they treated me like I was stupid", could be the unconscious thought, and the emotion would be, "I feel bad because they treated me like I was stupid". They are exactly the same. If you are aware of what an emotion is, then it is a thought because you think about what the emotion is. It is also an emotion, because you are feeling it, but when you realize what caused the emotion or think about the emotion in your head, it is a thought because you are thinking about it (its still an emotion obviously though).

So if someone makes you feel bad, you might think, "this person made me feel bad". Then you would be experiencing the emotion sadness from them making you feel bad, and you would have verbalized that emotion into a thought, "this person made me feel bad". The emotion sadness turned into the thought in your head, "this person made me feel bad". So someone made you feel bad, this made you sad, then you realized you were sad and thought to yourself, "this person made me feel bad". Action turned into feeling, which caused you to think and therefore turned into thought. Thought, action (your action or external action) and feeling can occur in any order.

Emotions and Feelings and the Difference Between Them

Emotion is more similar to conscious thought than feelings are to conscious thought. Although emotion and feeling can be described as unconscious thought, one of them is going to be more similar to conscious thought. Feelings are more like sensations, when you touch something you get a feeling. Therefore feelings are faster than emotions and thought, because when you touch something there is a slight delay before you can think of something about it (thought), or feel something deeply about it (emotion). Emotion is therefore just unconscious thought. Actually it would better be described as unconscious feeling (so a feeling is like a conscious emotion because you can "feel" it better and easier but emotion is a deeper, more unconscious experience similar to unconscious thought, but emotions are also more similar to conscious thought because thought is a deep experience while feelings are intense or shallow, but not deep).

One definition of emotion can be "any strong feeling". From that description many conclusions can be drawn. Basic (or primary) emotions can be made up of secondary emotions like love can contain feelings or emotions of lust, love and longing. Feelings can be described in more detail than emotions because you can have a specific feeling for anything, each feeling is unique and might not have a name. For instance, if you are upset by one person that might have its own feeling because that person upsets you in a certain way. That feeling doesn't have a defined name because it is your personal feeling. The feeling may also be an emotion, say anger. "Upset" is probably too weak to be an emotion, but that doesn't mean that it isn't strong like emotions are strong in certain ways. Cold is also just a feeling. There is a large overlap between how feelings feel and how emotions feel, they are similar in nature. So there are only a few defined emotions, but there are an infinite number ways of feeling things. You can have a "small" emotion of hate and you could say that you have the feeling hate then, if it is large you could say you are being emotional about hate, or are experiencing the emotion hate. You can have the same emotion of hate in different situations, but each time the feeling is going to be at least slightly different.

You can recognize any feeling, that is what makes it a feeling. If you are sad that is a feeling, but if you are depressed that isn’t a feeling it is more like an emotion. You can’t identify why you are depressed but you can usually identify why you are sad. Feelings are more immediate, if something happens or is happening, it is going to result in a feeling. However, if something happened a long time ago, you are going to think about it unconsciously and that is going to bring up unconscious feelings (the reason the things that happened previously are going to be more similar to emotion than things that are happening currently is that sensory stimulation (or things happening currently) is a lot closer to feelings than things that are less linked to direct sensory stimulation (such as emotions which are therefore usually going to be about things which require memory to figure out, things like thoughts that are less like feelings and more like emotion)). So emotions are unconscious feelings that are the result of mostly unconscious thoughts (instead of feelings – a feeling can trigger an emotion, but it isn’t a part of it). Feeling defined there as something you can identify. Also, you can’t identify the unconscious thought that caused the unconscious feeling, but you can identify the unconscious feeling itself (aka emotion).

Another aspect of unconscious thought, emotion, or unconscious feeling (all three are the same) is that it tends to be mixed into the rest of your system because it is unconscious. If it was conscious then it remains as an individual feeling, but in its unconscious form you confuse it with the other emotions and feelings and it affects your entire system. So therefore most of what people are feeling is just a mix of feelings that your mind cannot separate out individually. That is the difference between sadness and a depression, a depression lowers your mood and affects all your feelings and emotions, but sadness is just that individual feeling. So the reason that the depression affects all your other feelings is because you can no longer recognize the individual sad emotions that caused it. The feelings become mixed. If someone can identify the reason they are sad then they become no longer depressed, just sad. Once they forget that that was the reason they are depressed however, they will become depressed again.

That is why an initial event might make someone sad, and then that sadness would later lead into a depression, is because you forget why you originally got sad. You might not consciously forget, but unconsciously you do. That is, it feels like you forget, the desire to get revenge on whatever caused the sadness fades away. When that happens it is like you “forgetting” what caused it. You may also consciously forget but what matters is how much you care about that sadness. It might be that consciously understanding why you are depressed or sad changes how much you care about your sadness, however. That would therefore change the emotion/feeling of sadness. The more you care about the sadness/depression, the more like a feeling it becomes and less like an emotion. That is because the difference between feelings and emotions is that feelings are easier to identify (because you can “feel” them easier).

The following is a good example of the transition from caring about a feeling to not caring about a feeling. Anger as an emotion takes more energy to maintain, so if someone is punched or something, they are only likely to be mad for a brief period of time, but the sadness that it incurred might last for a much longer time. That sadness is only going to be recognizable to the person punched for a brief period of time as attributable to the person who did the punching, after that the sadness would sink into their system like a miniature depression. Affecting the other parts of their system like a depression.

In review, both feelings and emotions are composed of unconscious thoughts, but feelings are easier to identify than emotions. Feelings are faster than emotions in terms of response (the response time of the feeling, how fast it responds to real world stimulation) and it takes someone less time to recognize feelings because they are faster. Feelings are closer to sensory stimulation, if you touch something, you feel it and that is a fast reaction. You care about the feeling so you can separate it out in your head from the other feelings. “You care” in that sentence could be translated into, the feeling is intense, so you feel it and can identify it easily. That is different from consciously understanding why you are depressed or sad. You can consciously understand why you are depressed or sad, but that might or might not affect the intensity of that sadness.

If the intensity of the sadness is brought up enough, then you can feel that sadness and it isn’t like a depression anymore, it is more like an individual feeling than something that affects your mood and brings your system down (aka a depression). Also, if you clearly enough understand what the sadness is then it is going to remain a sadness and not affect the rest of your system. That is because the feeling would get mixed in with the other feelings and start affecting them. The period of this more clear understanding of the sadness mostly occurs right after the event that caused the sadness. That is because it is clear to you what it is. Afterwards the sadness might emerge (or translate from a depression, to sadness) occasionally if you think about what caused it or just think about it in general.

The difference between emotion and feeling is that feelings are easier to identify because they are faster, a feeling is something you are feeling right then. An emotion might be a deeper experience because it might affect more of you, but that is only because it is mixed into the rest of your system. That is, a depression affects more of you than just an isolated feeling of sadness. In other words, people can only have a few feelings at a time, but they can have many emotions at the same time. Emotions are mixed in, but to feel something you have to be able to identify what it is, or it is going to be so intense that you would be able to identify what it is. Emotions just feel deeper because it is all your feelings being affected at once.

Since emotion is all your feelings being affected at once, emotions are stronger than feelings. Feelings however are a more directed focus. When you feel something you can always identify what that one thing is. When you have an emotion, the emotion is more distant, but stronger. All your feelings must feel a certain way about whatever is causing the emotion. So that one thing is affecting your entire system. Feelings can then be defined as immediate unconscious thought, and emotions as unconscious thought.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • When you care about an emotion, you could say that you have a higher attention for emotion or that emotional event during that time. You are probably going to be in a higher state of action readiness, that is, you are probably more alert and going to be able to respond faster to whatever it is you are focusing on, or just respond faster in general. You also are going to have a better understanding of the emotion if you care about it more - you make an assessment of the emotions strength and its nature when you think about the emotion (or the event that generated the emotion).
  • Feelings are more direct than emotions and thought because they are more sensory – when you touch something you get a feeling. That shows further how emotions are really about things in the real world, only it more like you are thinking about them instead of feeling them in real time. Things that come from memory are going to be emotions and/or thoughts, not feelings because feelings are things which are more tangible, those memories might result in new feelings, but the memories themselves are not feelings because they are just thoughts. That shows how you can feel some things more than others, that thought and feeling are indeed separate and intelligence is sometimes driven by feelings and emotions, and sometimes it isn’t. You can think about things and not have feelings guiding those thoughts Or your feelings could be assisting your thoughts.
  • If you care about a feeling then it becomes easier to identify it – that shows how your feelings can help you to identify other feelings, so your emotions contribute to your emotional intelligence.
  • If a certain emotion is larger than others then to your intellect it is going to be easier to recognize, and easier to think about (that is why a depression feels like it does, because you don’t know the individual emotions contributing to it so you cannot feel a specific emotion of sadness from it.

An explanation for this chapter:

So feelings are easier to "feel" than emotions, that is probably why they are called feelings, because you "feel" them better. Maybe someone else thinks you can feel emotions easier, I don't know, the point is you can feel emotions and feelings with different levels of intensity and in more than one way, a feeling could be not intense but clear to you. So how conscious you are of the feeling or emotion influences the intensity of it and your conscious experience of it. A feeling could be more intense than en emotion if it is the only thing you are feeling as well. That makes sense, if an emotion is very complicated, then you probably couldn't feel the entire thing as clearly in a brief period of time. So my theory is that feelings are more simple, and therefore there are more shallow but possibly more intense than emotion because you can focus on a simple thing easier.

If you are having a deep emotional experience (experiencing an emotion) then it makes sense that you aren't as in touch with all of those feelings that are occurring. When you touch something you get the feeling "cold" - that is simple to understand. When you are in a depression you don't understand all the complicated emotions that you are experiencing. You could experience sadness all day. When you can say "oh, I really "felt" that", then you know you feel it and it is a feeling. When you feel something, it is a feeling. When you are emotional about something, those are feelings too, but it is more powerful and deeper, you aren't as in touch will all of it because it is more complex. You could be in touch with something complex and feel that too, I guess. Though I would argue that a feeling is easier to focus on if it is simple and clear to understand and feel to your conscious mind.

The significance of this chapter:

If someone is emotional, then they are feeling a lot. I could say that the emotions someone is experiencing could be brought up at different times and felt more - translated from somewhere in your strong emotions to something you feel more closely. So you can feel some things but that doesn't mean that the feeling is intense or clear - those things might become clear however at some point.

When those emotions become clear and you 'bring them up' - either by caring about the emotion or the thought that represents it or it just emerges by some other method (such as by doing an evaluation of your emotional state) - then they become feelings because you can feel them easier. These feelings are more clear, similar to when you touch something you get a feeling that is simple and tactile. That is why feelings are called the result of emotions, because emotions are like the basis for feelings (at least non-tactile ones). You might have a feeling that has a shallow source however as well I would say. It doesn't have to be that a feeling is first felt deeply, and then you feel it more clearly later on (the feeling being the result of an emotion). Maybe the feeling is simple at first and then it becomes more complex later.

What role does attention have to play? Being emotional or feeling something can make you pay more or less attention to things, including other feelings. Your attention can naturally rise just because of your emotional state.

People feel emotions, and they can feel feelings. Emotions are strong and the powerful source of human behavior, and while feelings are also powerful they are also diverse, curious, and unique - 'old feelings returning'.

How to Change Emotions and Feelings

An appraisal is when you assess something. People make appraisals or assessments of emotion all of the time, however they aren't aware most of the time that they are doing this. How much someone cares about an emotional stimulus is something that is probably thought about frequently during the experience. If you think about it people frequently are going to naturally analyze what is going on in every situation they are in and think about what the emotions occurring are.

I said in the previous paragraph that people make appraisals of emotional things but they aren't aware of themselves doing that. How is that possible or what does that mean exactly? If people care about emotion, which they clearly do, then they are going to want to know what is going on in the situations they encounter in life. So clearly people make assessments of how much emotion the things around them are generating, the only question is can they do this in a a way that is beneath their awareness.

People surely must make assessments since they often work on inducing or inhibiting feelings in order to make them "appropriate" to a situation. If you are going to be changing feeling, then obviously you are going to need to measure and assess it first. Sometimes people think this process through consciously, and sometimes they don't.

It makes sense to me that people are going to "know" how valuable certain things in their environment are. This is clear when you realize that people focus on some things very quickly - such a thing would clearly be something of interest to that person or something that generates emotion - which would make it interesting.

So you could say that a person whose attention gets alerted to something around them made an assessment about the stimulus or responded to it, the stimulus (the thing in their environment they paid sharp attention to) was clearly emotional for them. It could have generated any feeling - disgust, surprise, happiness, - or maybe an intellectual reaction such as 'that person has a bright coat'.

Does that mean that the person assessed if the bright coat generated emotion for them? What would it mean if it generated emotion? Could they respond in a fast way without being interested? Someone could respond quickly to something and not be in a mood that is very caring at that time, in which case maybe little emotion was involved. However if someone was interested in something then it makes sense that it is going to cause them to have feelings.

Is something someone is interested in going to cause them to have deep emotions or shallow feelings? What types of stimuli result in deep or shallow feelings? Just because something generates more emotion for you doesn't necessarily mean that it is going to cause you to respond to it faster or you would be more interested in it. Maybe your interest is more intellectual or maybe you are interested or responding to it quickly because you have to.

Under what circumstances do people care more about feelings? This relates to appraisals - if you care about something then you are going to make more assessments during the experience about how much emotion is being generated probably. People can care more about feelings but that doesn't mean that they are aware that they care more during that time. This is similar to people going into modes where they are seeking pleasure. My theory here is that people have levels of desire and need that fluctuate constantly.

This means that there are many different levels someone can experience an emotion or feeling. It is more complicated than simply saying that the feeling has a certain strength - each feeling or emotion is going to have a unique nature, represent unique ideas and objects, and have a unique significance on your psyche.

Maybe you can say that there are shallow feelings and deep emotions, and that there are certain properties that shallow feelings have and certain properties that deep feelings have. For instance you probably care more about deep feelings (unless the feeling is negative) and therefore they probably cause you to have a faster reaction time. However if the feeling is deep, sappy, and emotional then maybe your reaction time is slower because the emotion is weighing you down.

This relates to the 'emotions and feelings and the difference between them' section above because I am outlining further that deep feelings/emotions or shallow feelings/emotions are different and things happen to humans differently with each one. It shows that clearly emotion can make someone be different physically, as when you are motivated by emotion you often move faster.

This is just bringing up ideas of depth - some feelings are simple and some are complex - that is obvious, however I think people could notice a lot more if they grouped their emotions into a categories of strength and shallowness or depth and how they responded differently to each different category. - Also the person should note what the interest was, the reaction time, the negative or positive valence of the emotion.

Goffman suggests that we spend a good deal of effort on managing impressions - that is, acting. Your impression of other people makes you feel in different ways, and you try to manage this in a social situation. So therefore all of your strong feelings you try to influence by thinking about what caused those feelings - such as your impressions - and how you can change them.

So people are basically "emotion-managers", constantly thinking about their feelings and what caused them and how they can change them. Whenever you change an impression of someone, you are also changing your feelings. When you think about your own feelings you are changing them because you are changing how much you care about them. You set goals for yourself about your own feelings - 'if I do this I am going to become happy'.

When you think about your feelings you can make insignificant feelings large or large feelings small. When a feeling is small, you could say that it is more unconscious or beneath your awareness. Something (including yourself) could trigger this small feeling and it could emerge into something you feel more closely and more consciously.

So the question is, what circumstances and what type of thinking warrant that feeling of 'that sort'.

We assess the 'appropriateness' of a feeling by making a comparison between the feeling and the situation. We also have goals for how we want to feel that we don't know we are thinking, and we have goals for how we want to act as well. Is there a 'natural attitude' or a natural way of behaving and thinking? Not really - especially when you consider that you are unconsciously constantly creating goals, drives, thoughts and behaviors that are not fully under your control.

  • In secondary reactive emotions, the person reacts against his or her initial primary adaptive emotion, so that it is replaced with a secondary emotion. This "reaction to the reaction" obscures or transforms the original emotion and leads to actions that are not entirely appropriate to the current situation. For example, a man that encounters danger and begins to feel fear may feel that fear is not "manly." He may then either become angry at the danger (externally focused reaction) or angry with himself for being afraid (self-focused reaction), even when the angry behavior actually increases the danger. Listening to this reaction, someone is likely to have the sense that "something else is going on here" or "there's more to this than just anger." The experience is something like hearing two different melodies being played at the same time in a piece of music, one the main melody and the other the background or counterpart.
  • Secondary emotions often arise from attempts to judge and control primary responses.
  • Thus, anxiety may come from trying to avoid feeling angry or sexually excited, or it may arise from guilt about having felt these emotions.

When someone rejects what they are truly feeling, they are likely to feel bad about themselves. Feeling or expressing one emotion to mask the primary emotion is a metaemotional process. Feelings about emotions need to be acknowledged and then explored to get at the underlying primary emotion.

Experiential therapists see clients emotional processing as occurring on a continuum with five phases (Kennedy-Moore + Watson, 19991):

  1. prereflective reaction to an emotion-eliciting stimulus entailing perception of the stimulus, preconscious cognitive and emotional processing, and accompanying physiological changes
  2. conscious awareness and perception of the reaction
  3. labeling and interpretation of the affective response; people typically draw upon internal as well as situational cues to label their responses
  4. evaluation of whether the response is acceptable or not
  5. evaluation of the current context in terms of whether it is possible or desirable to reveal one's feelings.

What role does the emotion 'interest' play in emotional responses? It is a baseline emotion of great importance - the action tendency of interest involves intending, orienting, and exploring. Interest is felt very frequently, probably without being noticed. If you think about it, to some degree interest is going to be present with each reaction to stimuli. With every response someone has, they are interested to some degree. You can look at interest further when you consider secondary emotional responses - what was the interest that came from the response that had some other type of interest?

Through each stage of evaluation of a response, or simple evaluations that aren't a response to things, there is interest involved as well. This 'interest' induces caring, and the interest and caring is going to change your emotions - emotions are going to be brought up, intensified, changed based off of your interest or caring or evaluations. When you think and make evaluations, you change the nature and intensity of the emotions that are related to what you are doing or processing.

Are people going to be more interested in clear, primary emotions or feelings that they aren't in touch with? When someone is interested in a feeling, how is that different from being interested in the source of the feeling? If someone is feeling sad, they might not care about the sadness if the feeling is unclear to them or they don't know they are sad. If someone is going to try to change a feeling of sadness, it clearly would be beneficial if they knew when the feeling is occurring.

Is it possible to experience deep emotions without being aware at all that these emotions are occurring? Yes it is, but there are times when people are conscious of those emotions - say when they are recalling them - that the deep emotions are more clear. There could be a deep emotion that occurs over a long period of time - say anger at someone, this anger could be in your body for a long time, during being the person, or while away from the person; the point is the anger is reflected upon or it occurs more deeply at certain points - and then you are going to be aware of the emotion.

That anger is a significant, primary feeling. The feeling is significant because it shows how large the emotion is that is behind it. People can feel feelings that are shallow or intense at the time, but these feelings don't necessarily mean more than that or are deeper than that because they aren't deep or primary - they don't mean anything else or occur at other times you aren't aware of (indicating that this feeling is significant). The feeling of shallow feelings is still potent (because you are feeling them in real time), but they aren't as powerful as feelings that have a special meaning or significance for you (which would make you feel deeper in real time and feel more effected).

If you think about it, people change their feelings by thinking all of the time. The way they could help manage this is probably by making assessments of their emotional state. If people think about what just made them happy or sad, then they might be able to do something or think something to change that. Some emotional responses are going to be more noticeable, and that is when people might try to figure out what went on.

There are subtleties of emotion as well. People probably respond in many ways that they aren't aware of consciously, but they might have responded because something beneath their notice occurred emotionally. You could say that the emotional world beneath your notice is the "unconscious" mind or the unconscious world.

Your emotions change all of the time, only sometimes are you going to notice when an emotion changes or when you are experiencing one. Furthermore, you might want or expect to experience one emotion but you are actually experiencing a different one because unconsciously that is how you are responding. For instance, maybe you have an unconscious bias against a group of people so you feel hate when you interact with them, but you consciously think that you like those people and feel like you should be happy and positive towards them. A feeling might be important to your unconscious mind, or a feeling might be important to your conscious mind - in which case you would probably 'care' about it.

Your attention is constantly divided between various things in your environment, your own internal thinking and your own emotions. Your emotions are going to determine and assist what you pay attention to. For instance, if something is emotional in your environment for you, then more of your attention is probably going to spent thinking about or focusing on that thing.

Or maybe something in your environment is just more interesting than something else, the point is something in your environment or something in your head (emotions, thoughts) caused an intellectual or emotional reaction in you, and that then caused you to pay more attention to it. That doesn't mean that you notice it more after you pay attention - this type of paying attention might be unconscious - i.e. - more of your attentional resources or just more of the focus that people have (not all of which they are aware of) is going to be directed at it.

Attention and Thought Control

How does the attention process work? Do people who are anxious pay more attention to threatening things in their environment than people who aren't anxious? Do people who are depressed have less motivation and a slower reaction time or do they pay more attention to negative stimuli than positive? There is going to be emotional biases with mental illnesses or each time someone pays attention to something - if someone is experiencing an emotion, than that emotion is going to influence their attention in a certain way. For instance, if someone is experiencing the emotion of 'guilt' then clearly if they see something they feel guilty about they are going to pay attention to it differently (as they would associate and compare the guilt they are feeling with the guilt related to the object they are looking at).

Attention also relates to the thoughts someone experiences - if someone is paying attention to their own thoughts, then they might do things to control their thoughts. Some thoughts are voluntary and people direct or create them consciously, and some are more unconscious and instinctual - thoughts that they have less control over. Wells and Morrison (1994) 2 investigated dimensions of naturally occurring worry and intrusive thoughts in 30 normal subjects. They were asked to keep a diary and record their worries and intrusive thoughts, and they were also asked to rate each thought on the following dimensions:

  1. Degree of verbal thought/imagery involved
  2. Intrusiveness
  3. How realistic the thought was
  4. How involuntary the thought was
  5. How controllable it was
  6. How dismissable it was
  7. How much the thought grabbed attention
  8. Degree of distress associated with the thought
  9. Intensity of compulsion to act on the thought
  10. Degree of resistance to the thought
  11. Degree of success in controlling the thought

Wells and Davies (1994)3 have attempted to distinguish types of thought control strategy. They interviewed patients with a range of anxiety disorders to determine the types of strategy used to control unpleasant and/or unwanted thoughts. Seven types of strategy emerged from the pilot interviews: cognitive and behavioral distraction; punishment; distancing; re- appraisal; mood changing activites; exposure to the thought; worry about more trivial things. Sometimes people might think that their thoughts are likely to come true, or that their worries are not controllable. "Cognitive and behavioral distraction" probably means distraction by your own internal thinking or distraction by you doing something - such as behaving in a certain way. "Punishment" would mean punishing yourself for having a thought you didn't want, distancing would mean somehow separating yourself from the thought, and re- appraisal would mean thinking of the thought differently or assessing that thought in a different way.

Multiple dimentions of emotional control strategy have been found in other studies. For example Mayer et al. (1991) 4 identified three dimenisons of emotion management distinct from dimensions of mood, labelled "suppression" (including distraction), "thoughts of actions" and "denial".

We can to some extent distinguish worry, intrusive thoughts and negative automatic thoughts on criteria such as intensity, unpleasantness, realism, intrusivenss and controllability, but those things are hard to define. How does someone know when the thought they have is 'intense' or when they thought they have is clear and realistic? If the thought is realistic is it going to be clear? I would think that the more realistic the thought is - tied in with reality - the more clear it would be because it is linked to real information. If you are fantasizing your thoughts are more like in a cloud (for example a dream state). It is also hard to tell if a thought is unpleasant, how is someone supposed to know how positive emotionally one single thought is? That seems too hard to measure. Someone might know how easy it is to control their thoughts or how pleasant their thoughts are for a certain period of time, but not every single thought they experience, or even a single reoccurring thought.

Two categories of appraisal are important in determining emotional experience and influencing subsequent coping efforts: primary and secondary appraisal. Primary appraisal is the process of evaluating the personal meaning and significance for well-being of events, which may be irrelevant, benign-positive or stressful. Stress appraisals may be further subdivided into harm/loss, where the person has sustained physical or psychological damage; threat, where harm/loss is anticipated; and challenge, where successful coping may lead to gains. Secondary appraisal is concerned with what can be done to deal with a situation, and includes reviewing the range of coping options available and their likely success in the situation at hand. A third form of appraisal delineated by Lazarus and Folkman (1984)5 is reappraisal, which refers to the changes in appraisal which follow as the event unfolds and new information is acquired, including feedback on the success of attempts to cope.

There are a few more things to consider related to appraisals. How does considering the personal meaning of an event change the feeling involved? How does it change your thinking, and subsequently, what you are paying attention to? How does your history or beliefs change how you make that appraisal? Do you make it with a bias or a unique significance to yourself? Whenever someone makes an assessment, that assessment is unique to themself. When someone makes a secondary appraisal, how does that impact their attention different from their primary appraisal? You first assess a situation (primary appraisal), and then you assess what can be done about it (secondary appraisal), however how do those two actions influence your attention and your thinking? Are the primary appraisal and the secondary appraisals separated out by time or by other thoughts (intrusive or voluntary)?

What types of thoughts do you have in between the first appraisal process and the second one? What occurres with your levels of feeling during this process? - i.e., what happens to you emotionally after a strong appraisal or a strong thought? Does that influence your subsequent thoughts and appraisals? How is your attention to external stimuli fluctuating during this process? What sequence does your significant thoughts/appraisals/emotions occur in, and how does that impact your attention? Do you focus on your emotions or your own thoughts when you pause to consider what happened after you had a significant thought or a significant stimulus input (experience).

It appears that anxiety is only positively associated with on-task effort under rather special circumstances, where there is a strong and immediate perceived threat, or, perhaps, where task performance is appriased as instrumental in effecting avoidance or escape (see Eysenck, 1982)6 That probably means that the decreased performance from anxiety in most other circumstances is a result of people being distracted by the anxiety i.e., scanning their environment for threats or just being distracted by the pain.

Negative mood, which indicates that the environment poses a problem and might be a source of potential dangers, motivates people to change their situation. Negative mood is then thought to be associated with a systematic elaboration of information and greater attention to details. Bodenhausen and colleagues (1994)7, investigating the impact of negative affect of social judgment, showed that induced sadness promotes the use of an analytic, detail-oriented mode of processing, whereas anger induction leads participants to process information on a shallow or automatic mode. If sadness (negative valence, lower arousal) triggered a type of processing identical to that fostered by the negative mood usually induced, anger (negative valence, higher arousal) fostered the hueristic or global mode of processing commonly associated with positive mood states (e.g., happiness or joy). This last result suggests that mood states of opposite valence may have similar effects as they share the same level of arousal (like happiness and anger). Likewise, it has been suggested that motivational-related approach and avoidance behaviors are independent of valence, leading to evidence that both happiness and anger moods are approach oriented, whereas serenity and sadness are avoidance oriented (when someone is depressed they avoid).

A sad mood experienced at our own wedding or birthday party may result in attempts to improve the mood, thus triggering systematic processessing in order to understand why we are sad in a situation that should normally make us happy. The same motivations are less likely to be aroused when the sad mood is experienced in situations where sadness is socially expected (e.g., at a funeral). According to Martin's model (2001)8 people not ask merely: "How do I feel about it?" They ask "What does it mean that I am feeling this way in this context?" In other words, people evaluate the targets by taking into consideration both their mood and some features of situation and doing this configurally. Moods are processed in parallel with contextual information in such a way that the meaning of the mood influences and is influenced by the meaning of other information. The meaning of a mood experience can change in different context, and therefore the evaluative and motivational implications of mood are mutable.

To sum up, the informational value of mood lies not so much in the moods themselves as in the interaction between mood and context. Moods provide input for evaluative, decisional and inference-making processes, and these processes determine the effects that one's mood will have on one's evaluations, motivations, and behaviors. This course of reasoning, known as the context- dependent effect of mood, implies that the influence of mood on one's evaluations, motivations, and behaviors depends on the interaction of mood and the situational conditions.

In accordance with the context-dependent effect of mood, one's mood is not synonymous with one's evaluation. Whether a positive or negative mood leads to a favorable or unfavorable evaluation depends on the meaning of one's mood in that context. The question about the meaning of one's mood in different contexts is therefore a crucial one. In order to answer it, the mood as input model relies on the role-fulfillment process (Martin, 2001), also known as the "What would I feel if...?" process. This process can be characterized broadly as follows: when people make evaluations, they act as if they were asking themselves the question "What would I feel if...?: (For example, "what would I feel if the horror movie I just saw was a good horror movie?"). An evaluation is rendered subjectively when the person compares his/her current moods with the expected feelings. Favorable evaluations arise to the extent to which the person's moods (positive or negative) are congruent with what would be expected if the target had fulfilled a positive role (i.e., if this was a good thing I would feel good, I feel good, so I think this positive thing about it). Unfavorable evaluations, in contrast, arise to the extent to which the person's moods are incongruent with what would be expected if the target had fulfilled a negative role (i.e., if this party was bad, it would make me feel bad, however I feel good).

When people make evaluations, they are thinking more about what is going on then when they don't make evaluations. That is why negative mood enhances attention to detail - because it puts you in the state where you are questioning why the event or environment you are in is making you feel bad. Asking how you might feel if something is felt a certain way is a good way of analyzing the situation. If you think about it, asking how something makes you feel is important - people probably constantly evaluate the events they experience for value or what they got from them. Your mood is going to help you to evaluate those things because those events caused you to have that mood. The mood provides the information of what that event or stimulus does to you - how it makes you feel. If people didn't evaluate how an event or stimulus makes them feel, then they wouldn't really be analyzing that input any further than they normally would.

You basically can be put into a state where you are thinking about what the event or stimulus you are evaluating is like. This state is when you are questioning what the feelings the event made in you are like or what you think about the event. It is interesting that someone can simply not think about those things if they wanted. On the other hand, it seems natural for people who experience negative emotions to think more deeply about the source of those emotions. I guess the trouble that the negative emotions causes them forces one to think more deeply.

Emotions are Dulled Feelings

Feelings are more immediate than emotions, they are easier to identify and are “faster”. You can also have only a few feelings at a time but your emotions are possibly composed of many more components. That is, you can have a feeling about a Frisbee, and you can have a feeling about a Frisbee game as well. But if you have emotions about the Frisbee game then in order to get those strong emotions there would have to be many things you are feeling about the Frisbee game.

So one could think of emotions as just more than feelings. Emotions are greater than feelings and therefore they must have more parts in order to cause that greater feeling. Feelings are easy to understand because they are simple, but emotions are harder to understand because they are more complicated. A moody person would be described as emotional because emotion is a component of mood. Emotion is something that affects your entire system like a depression does. A feeling such as sadness is only an individual feeling and can be identified as such.

If something is intense, then it is a feeling, emotions aren’t intense they are deep. They aren’t as intense as feelings but you could call them intense. Feelings are more intense because that is how we define feelings, if you can feel something then it is a feeling because, well, you “feel” it. Emotion is just something that affects you, your mood, how you are, etc. That is why feelings are easier to identify, because they are more intense. Emotions are deeper, however, when someone becomes emotional you can’t just snap out of it instantly, it hangs around in your system. That is why they are probably made up of more parts than feelings are.

The reason feelings are both more intense yet shallower than emotions is probably because your system can only handle so much intensity at a time, so you can only experience shallow things intensely. If you compare it to a river, emotions would have a lot of water and be going slowly, and feelings would have less water, but be going faster. The feeling is therefore going to touch more things in your mind shallowly, and the emotion is going to touch more things in your mind deeply.

Why then do some simple things cause us to become more emotional if emotion is a deeper experience? That is because the feeling must trigger emotions, the simple thing is actually a feeling itself, but it triggers emotions. Like how color can be more emotional than black and white. It is actually that color causes more feeling, and we become emotional then about that feeling. But while you are looking at the color it is a feeling which you are feeling, not an emotion. The feeling made you feel good, however, and that good feeling infects the rest of your feelings and emotions, and then you become emotional.

In fact, all feelings make someone more emotional. The only difference between feeling and emotion is that feeling is the immediate feeling you get from something. It is the thing which you are experiencing currently. Feeling is another word for current stimulation. You can only feel something that you are either thinking about or experiencing. Otherwise you aren’t really feeling it, and it is an emotion. That is why the word feeling is the word feeling, because you can feel it intimately, closely.

How is it then that emotions are generally considered to be deeper? That is because with emotions you are actually feeling more, you just aren’t as in touch with what it is that you are feeling. So you would experience the effects of having a lot of feeling, such as heavy breathing, crying, laughing, they would be things that make all your other feelings and emotions feel the same way. However your mind isn’t intensifying that experience because it would be too much for you to handle. Therefore emotion is just many feelings (or one strong feeling) that is dulled down, and it would actually be a stronger feeling(s), you just can only experience it fully as an emotion. You can also probably experience parts of that emotion as feelings since parts of it are going to be less intense than the whole, and you can “feel” them then.

So people can basically only “feel” or focus on small amounts of feeling. If it is a feeling that is very large it becomes an emotion with more parts. It isn’t that this emotion isn’t as deep as the feeling, it is actually deeper, but you simply cannot comprehend the entire emotion at once to “feel” it like you feel feelings. You can bring up feelings from memory (by thinking about sensory stimulation) but those types of feelings are going to be less direct and therefore more like emotions (less intense) than current, direct sensory stimulation that you are feeling in the real world.

Just as feelings can generate emotions, emotions can also generate feelings. For example, something like a fly buzzing might generate the feeling of annoyance, and this feeling might generate the emotion sad. You respond to the feeling first because feelings are faster and more immediate than emotions. An example of an emotion generating a feeling would be being sad that you are depressed. The depression is more of an emotion than the sadness because it is deeper and "slower" but the sadness is more like a feeling because it can be more immediate (it can also be an emotion, but in this example it is a feeling).

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • If emotions are dulled feelings then your mind is capable of taking feelings and making them into emotions, and vice versa. That means that a part of intelligence is your ability to control your own feelings and emotions and thoughts.

Emotions and Feelings are Broad Thoughts

Any emotion or feeling can be broken down into the sensations and real events that caused it. And you can think about any of those things (with thoughts).

A thought is thinking about something in specific. You can have a thought about an entire paragraph, but it is going to be just a thought, it is going to be about one thing, and that one thing might be a summary of the paragraph - but it is still a thought. So what we think of as thought is really just a short period of thinking - one unit of thinking that lasts for a short period of time. An essay is composed of many thoughts, but just one thought would be “I went to the store”.

Then again, “I went to the store, and Jason followed me” might be considered one thought as well. So how long exactly is a thought? If it is longer than “I went to the store, and Jason followed me” then it is probably going to be considered multiple thoughts. Thus humans use the word thought as just a short period of time in thinking.

Thoughts are in general talked about as being verbal, people rarely think of emotions and feelings as thoughts. But emotions and feelings are thoughts if you think about that emotion and feeling. The short period of time in which you think about the emotion or feeling is a thought. So thoughts can be about emotions and feelings. They are just harder to identify because they aren’t verbal.

The reason that verbal things are easier to identify is because they are distinct sounds (that we have definitions for). Distinct sounds, different sounds, are easy to separate. It is easy to identify one sound from another sound, and that is all words are, different sounds. So it could be that someone is talking and you don’t have any thoughts about them talking, or you are not thinking about them talking. In that case you just aren’t listening to them, or you are not paying attention to the sounds they are making.

So thought then is really just any short period of high attention. And thinking is long or short periods of high attention. So if you are thinking for more than a few seconds, then you are probably going to be thinking about several thoughts. Since you can think about emotions and feelings too, however, you can think about your emotions or feelings for long periods of time.

Just as thinking is made up of individual components of thought, feeling, or emotion, each of those components is made up of their own further components. In fact, when you think about an emotion or feeling you intensify that feeling or emotion a lot. Each emotion, however, is made up of experiences in the real world. The real world can include thoughts and feelings in your head as well.

So emotions, feelings and thoughts are made up of real experiences. A thought isn’t just a thing in your head, but it is something that has components that are real in the world. Those things might be sounds (when you think about someone speaking, you make that sound in your head). A sound in your head is just like a sound in reality, you are mimicking the emotion that the sound in reality is causing in your head by yourself, without having the real sound be there. Just try it and think about any sound, it produces the same emotions as when the sound itself occurred outside your head.

So a thought in the end boils down to you thinking about sensations, any sensation, taste, touch, sound, smell, feeling, or emotion. How can a thought be of emotion? Aren’t thoughts supposed to be specific and quantifiable? Well a thought about an emotion is basically a summary of that emotion. If you played Frisbee and you get an emotion from playing Frisbee, then that emotion is a summary of the things in which you remember about playing Frisbee. The same goes with feelings. The feeling you have about something is really all the feelings that that thing causes in you, and when you focus on different aspects of that feeling, you are focusing on different aspects of the real experience which caused the feeling.

So when you think about an emotion you are intensifying the feeling of those real experiences. You have no conscious idea of which parts of the feeling you are thinking about, however. Maybe if you think about directly different parts of the real experience you can link it up to different parts of its emotion.

Thus any emotion or feeling can be broken down into the sensations and real events that caused it. And you can think about any of those things (with thoughts). You can also think about those things as individual thoughts. A thought isn’t just a short period of your attention, but it is a short period of your attention during which you are trying to think about something (at least it feels like you are trying, you could not be trying and have a thought). Your natural attention span varies, but if you think about something you can boost that attention, you are trying to boost that attention on something specific or something broad (like an emotion).

Emotions and feelings are so intense, however, that it is like you are trying to focus your attention on them. So emotions, feelings, and thoughts are all periods of focused attention. A thought is just more focused attention than a feeling or emotion (unless it is a thought about a feeling or an emotion, in which case it is going to be even more attention than the feeling or thought or emotion by itself since it is a combination).

So emotions, feelings, and thoughts are all related, they are all things that you pay more attention to. And since emotion and feelings are made up of stuff which occurs in the real world, you could label each one of those things which occurs in the real world a thought, and say that emotions are made up of thoughts, or are broad thoughts. That is, you pay attention to your thoughts, and you pay attention to your emotions, so you could say that emotions are just a bunch of individual thoughts squished into one thing.

What then is the difference between a thought and an emotion? Emotions are usually more intense and therefore last longer in your brain when you think about them, or “bring them up”. You usually can only bring them up by thinking about them, however. Other things might bring up an emotion, like other emotions or other feelings, consciously or unconsciously. The same with feelings and thoughts.

People "bring up" emotions, feelings and thoughts in various ways. One way to bring up an emotion would be using thought, such as thinking "I like my dog" would bring up the emotion of the dog. You could also think directly about the emotion of the dog without using the verbal discourse, however. This could also be described as just "feeling", "feeling out" or "being emotional about" your dog. A feeling could also bring up a thought (and all the other combinations of "bringing up" between thoughts, feelings and emotions). They might also be concurrent, that is, when you have one emotion there is an associated feeling with it (and the other combinations of that with feelings, thoughts and emotions). Don't forget that one of those combinations is that thoughts can also bring up or be concurrent with other thoughts (as with feelings and emotions).

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Since emotions are made up of many parts which are real, then intelligence is ultimately just your ability to manipulate real things, and therefore your emotions are going to determine what it is is in your mind, and give a larger pool of things for your intellect to explore.

Emotion vs. Logic

What is the difference between logic and emotion? When someone says that they are “emotional” which emotions do they mean? I guess they mean that they experience all emotions more. They could specify further, however, and say which emotions they experience more, which emotions they are more prone to.

If someone is emotional does that mean that they enjoy life more? What if someone was emotional, but only experienced positive emotions more than most people, and didn’t experience negative emotions. Then that person would be happier I guess. Unless they separated out the emotions joy and sadness and just talked about those. Can you be an emotional person and just have excess amounts of the emotion happy? So anyone just “happy” is therefore being emotional. You’d probably be a lot more emotional if you were happy and sad at the same time however (the mix of the two would drive someone mad most likely, however).

Happy and sad seem to be the two strongest emotions. They are stronger than fear, anger, surprise, disgust, acceptance, and curiosity. That would make anyone bipolar (experiencing swings from happy to sad) very emotional. Does the swing mean that someone is more emotional than just experiencing one at a time? The emotional change is hard I think and that is more of an experience than just being very happy all the time, so the change from happy to sad is what adds the emotion in. That is, your body goes through changes as it experiences major emotional changes.

There are two degrees of change in emotion however; one is a major change from depression to mania (which is what bipolar is). Another is just your ordinary change from sad to happy, which can occur many times in a day. So if someone is manic or depressed are they being more emotional than someone who is just happy or just sad?

Symptoms of mania ("The highs"):

  • Excessive happiness, hopefulness, and excitement
  • Sudden changes from being joyful to being irritable, angry, and hostile
  • Restlessness
  • Rapid speech and poor concentration
  • Increased energy and less need for sleep
  • High sex drive
  • Tendency to make grand and unattainable plans
  • Tendency to show poor judgment, such as deciding to quit a job
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Increased impulsivity

The symptoms of bipolar depression are the same as those of major depression and include:

  • Sadness
  • Loss of energy
  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Loss of enjoyment from things that were once pleasurable
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Irritability
  • Increased need for sleep
  • Insomnia or excessive sleep
  • A change in appetite causing weight loss or gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Attempting suicide

I don’t think that people with the two extremes of mania and depression are any more emotional than people who are just happy or sad. That is because being too happy or too sad shuts off the other emotions people would experience like anger, fear, disgust, surprise, acceptance, and curiosity. Why does it? Because with all the other symptoms of mania and depression, there isn’t really any room left for emotions other than happy and sad, a person’s system can only handle so much emotion. If you are crying all the time (like you would if you were severely depressed) there isn’t any more room for you to experience other emotions. Or if you are as happy as you can be, you’re probably too out of it (in your happy land) to think about anything else.

A person could be happy or sad and be less emotional than someone with mania or depression, however. But a person (if they were experiencing the other emotions other than happy and sad) could be just as emotional as someone with mania or depression. Although those people may be crying or have expressions of extreme glee on their faces, happy and sad are not the only emotions someone can experience and therefore they may not be as emotional.

Emotion means that you are feeling something; if you are feeling emotions other than happy and sad, then wouldn’t the other emotions (if they were positive) increase the happy emotion and you then have a happy emotion that is larger than the other positive emotions you are experiencing? I guess that would be happy, but it would probably lead to overload. That is why it makes sense that people who are emotional experience a range of emotions from happy to sad ones, so that if they just experienced happy ones it would lead to too much happiness causing overload.

Why would emotions be balanced, why not just have only positive emotions? Because if you are curious, your curiosity is going to backfire when there is a failure (you’d be curious in a failure). Or if you are overly surprised, you would be just as surprised at a bad thing happening as you would as a good thing happening, leading to being happy and sad. Or if you got angry at something, you are then likely to become pleased by the opposite thing happening, so the emotions tend to balance out.

So is it really that the positive and negative emotions balance out? It is probably too hard for your mind to wait to become emotional at things that are only going to lead it to become happy. That is, you would have to consciously say to each thing, ah that is a positive emotion, I can have that emotion now. It seems more natural that when something bad happens, you get more upset, and when something good happens, you get happier. So you don’t have to calculate and spend time to assess if you should “feel” in those instances.

That is a good way to size people up, assess how happy they get from what things, and how sad they get from other things. Why is it that happy and sad are the two strongest emotions? It seems that way because all the other emotions follow suit with them. When someone is happier they are likely to be more curious, or more accepting. When someone is sad it also makes him or her less reactive to things (the surprise emotion).

The other emotions don’t occur as much as well. You can easily be happy or sad all the time, no matter what you are doing, but the other emotions need to fit into what you are doing. Like the emotion curiosity needs something to be curious in, and the emotion disgust needs something to be disgusted by. When you are doing nothing the emotion you are going to feel most of the time is just plain happy or sad, thus those two emotions are also our “idling” emotions (when we are idle we have them).

If the other emotions don’t occur as much, then why would someone be happy or sad in the first place? Are the emotions happy and sad simply the result of other emotions in your body? If that is the case, how is it possible for someone to become manic or depressed? Mania and depression are such extremes of happy and sad that other emotions can’t be experienced as well. What then is the source of that extreme happiness or sadness?

Either it seems like life has enough in it to justify being manic or depressed or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t then the mania and depression would arise from people just being unstable and fragile creatures, easily upset and disturbed. If it does then by a logic process one should be able to figure out the cause of their mania or depression is and solve it.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • It could be viewed that emotion is entirely driven by intellect, that everything that you feel you feel because you are who you are, and who you are is determined by your thoughts and your own intelligence. Or it could be rephrased the opposite way, that intelligence is entirely driven by emotion for the same reasons, those viewpoints are obvious when you take emotional highs where it seems like you are acting out of control - because then you realize why it is you are having those emotions, and you are having them because of something you did (which was driven by your intellect) or something you were feeling (which is driven by your emotions). Your intellect determined how you felt the emotion, because you are your intellect, and that (you) would then determine how you feel about something that happens. Someone’s emotional template (who they are, how they respond to the world) could be viewed as being an intellectual template because intellect is understanding real things, and your emotions determine what it is that you process and how you process them.

Emotion and Attention

How does emotion influence attention? If you think about it, humans probably have a complicated mix of emotions occurring all of the time, and this emotional make-up is somehow going to impact their attention. If someone is in a state of pure pleasure, then they probably aren't going to be paying as much attention to their environment then if they are in a normal or negative state. That I think is because there is no reason for the person to pay attention to their environment because they are satisfied within their own minds.

The sensory input that a person is receiving is going to be related to their emotional state as well. People can be in touch with their senses, with their thoughts, or be focused on their external environment. People often look to sensory stimulation in order to relax themselves - such as taking a bath or eating food. My guess would be that this changes their focus from their own internal thinking to their environment or their senses. There is a complicated mix of emotions, senses, and thoughts occurring all of the time.

So an important question is if someone can pay more attention to sensations if they wanted to. There is going to be some sort of complicated sequence of attention occurring, a person might naturally focus on one thing more and then switch to something else without awareness of themselves doing that.

Also, which emotions are triggered by which sensations? Some people buy scented candles in order to induce an emotional response, but are they aware that a much more complicated psychological response could be being created that they aren't aware of? If you think about it, someones entire network of sensations, thoughts and feelings could be manipulated by sensory feelings.

Someones thoughts are going to impact how much attention they are paying, and what they are paying more attention to. If you think about it, if you spend your time thinking about one thing, then your attention is going to be changed significantly. You might pay more attention to the thing you were just thinking about (obviously), but there might be other ways your attention could change.

People know that they can go into different moods for different things (such as being in the 'mood' to go shopping or the 'mood' to have a romantic encounter), but the question is, what triggers these moods? It isn't as if people randomly start to want to experience different things in life and therefore go into a different mood (or you could call it a mode). Your thoughts and thinking probably plays a large role in what you are feelings and therefore the moods you might go into.

Think about it this way - in each mood or mode you go into, your attention is probably focused more on whatever the mood is for - i.e. the mood you are in is a happy one, so you want to go out and have a picnic, or the mood you are in is a sad one, so you want to chill out. You want those things, so you begin to focus on them more, your attention changes. When people pay attention, there isn't just one thing they are focused on, their is everything in life they can focus on. All of the things that person who is paying attention can pay attention to, or usually pays attention to, are going to be things which are going to be factors in how their attention is functioning.

For instance, if a person cares about such and such things, and spends a lot of time thinking about those things, then those things are probably going to be a permanent part of their attention. When that person is in a mood for one thing, the other things they care about are also going to impact how their attention is behaving. For instance when a person is relaxing, the high-stress elements in their life are going to play a role in how their attention is even during the time when they are relaxed. You aren't ever completely in one state - so when someone is in a relaxed state, how they are when they are in a high stress state, and things they pay attention when they are in that other state, is going to have an impact on what they are like when they are in the relaxed state. You might pay attention to some things that you think you only care about when you are stressed when you are relaxed, and this is probably because all of your emotional states are mixed. You might also experience emotions and have a similar or associated experience during the time when you are relaxed as when you are stressed, because these two different states are related and connected to each other.

Humans have many different emotional states, or you could call them moods, ways of behaving, ways of thinking, ways of feeling, etc. All the different ways that people can feel and think are obviously going to be connected to one another. A simple way to think about it would just be to say that if you are stressed then you might want to relax later on, however that is missing the complicated emotional subtlety involved. There are emotional states, ways and levels of feeling, ways and levels of thinking, and these different things are going to play a role when you are relaxing or whatever it is you are doing. Your feelings, behavior and thoughts are going to be under the influence of more subtle tones of feeling and thought that are related to the previous things you have done and your other emotional states when you are doing other things.

I am just using the different things people do so I can describe what a different emotional state is like. Different emotional states are obvious if you consider the two most extreme examples - a high stress state and a relaxed state. However there must be many many more ways of feeling that people can experience. For instance people probably experience many feelings, sets of feelings, modes, moods, etc during an activity. I am suggesting that people have different ways of 'being' whereby their feelings and thoughts are influenced by their mood, their emotional state, whatever you want to call it.

My theory is that for a certain period of time people are influenced by certain ways of being. So say someone is doing any activity - during this activity they might change modes and for a few seconds or a few minutes feel more like the activity is like another activity that they have done. Or maybe they just adopt a different way of feeling for that activity that they are doing (feel differently about it in some way).

So there are many different layers of feeling, ways of feeling, modes people can go into where they feel differently for a certain period of time, or ways in which their thinking and feeling interact to help them have a unique experience that is dynamic, shifting, deep and complex.

Emotion is influenced by thoughts, moods, experience, previous activities, your environment, your physical condition - and there a levels of emotion and thought that make this experience much more complex. When one can adopt a set of feelings for one activity for a few seconds or minutes during a not related activity, it makes you wonder just how complex emotional and intellectual experience is.

Life Occurs In Sharp Spikes

Life occurs during the brief periods of time when people are actually paying attention, in spikes.

People need to pay attention to things in order to keep their minds alive and active. They need to pay attention to little things all the time. That is why spikes occur, when people refocus their attention on little things over and over it occurs as a spike, because the new object needs to be processed as a whole and this processing takes energy in the form of a “spike”.

Humans cannot pay attention to everything, and the things they do pay attention to they need to “spike” their attention initially to get that object into their attention and focus. It is possible to not use spikes of attention, but if you did that then life would be boring. In order for life to be interesting people naturally spike their attention on certain things every so often (once a minute or so) to make life more exciting. Life would be boring if you never paid sharp attention to anything. Spikes of attention keep life “crisp”.

If life occurs in sharp spikes, why then doesn’t it feel like life occurs in sharp spikes? It seems pretty smooth to me. If it seems this way, then you aren’t realizing or paying attention to the complicated emotional and cognitive processes that are going on in your mind, life is not “all smooth” but there are changes in attention going on all the time. Each little thing you pay attention to (actually pay attention to that is, not just “absorb”) actually occurs as a spike in attention. This is because most of the time your attention isn’t extremely directed, but you need to make it extremely directed sometimes (once a minute or so) in order to properly stay awake. It is also because you don’t absorb every little thing, you only absorb a few things once in a while, and these things that you do absorb are the spikes. They are spikes because they are relative to most of your activity which isn’t absorbing things intently or deeply. Every minute or so you need to absorb something. That thing is the spike.

When you pay attention to your attention (or what you are paying attention to) how does life feel to you? Does it feel smooth or rough? Life seems rough if you pay attention to it like that, with occasional spikes of interest in things. It is rough because there are many little fluctuations of interest in various things, but intensity is needed somewhere. This intensity comes from the spikes, otherwise life would just be rough and there wouldn’t be anything smooth. The top of the spike is smooth, however because it is clear and it lasts a little while (a few seconds or a few dozen seconds). Paying sharp attention to things allows you to have a clear mind for the time you are giving that sharper attention. It separates out all the other things and you focus more on what it is you processed. This clears your mind because you just received a lot of stimulation. In this way spikes can make life be smooth. Without spikes life would always be rough because of all the little things. But if you use a spike then life is smooth afterwards because you are satisfied.

Life is many small variations in attention over time. There are periods of focused attention and periods of non-focused attention. The periods of focused attention are the spikes. This is very complicated if you try to follow your own spikes because there are so many things you are “spiking” and paying sharp attention to all the time. There are three groups of things, things you pay sharp attention to, things you pay attention to, and things you don’t pay attention to. You pay sharp attention to things much less often than the other two categories, and that is why the sharp attention is a spike, because it is uncommon and doesn’t last as long as the other things, so it looks more like a spike when compared with the other two categories than a leveled plain.

Also, people’s emotions change all the time. The change probably occurs both gradually and like a series of steps. There are so many emotions in a person’s head that some of them are going to interact with each other suddenly, causing a sudden sharp change in emotion, and others are going to interact more slowly, causing gradual changes in emotion.

It might be that the changes are just sharp, however. You could look at the mind as a system that only changes when it gets a trigger, and that would probably mean that it only has sharp changes of emotion. However those changes wouldn’t just be sharp changes. Large, sharp changes of emotion don’t just happen by themselves, but deep emotional experiences are often followed by similar emotions that are less intense. That is, if you experience emotion A, emotion A is going to linger in your system.

That excludes the staircase model, but there still could be something like a staircase, only instead of steps at a 90 degree angle they would be something like an 100 degree angle. With 10/360 percent being the emotions that hang around after an initiating event. That would be just emotion changes resulting from large events, however. Either a large event within your own system (something like a thought or a feeling, or a mix of thoughts and feelings), or a large external event (like something happening outside your body). That’s because your mind needs to understand, “ok now I am sad”. As intellectual, thinking beings all major emotional events that occur in the mind need to processed intellectually (unless you’re sleeping). So in other words if you just get sadder and sadder and are not aware of it you are not going to get nearly as sad as when you realize that you are getting sadder. The points when you realize (at some level) that you are getting sadder are going to be when you start feeling a lot sadder (the steps on the downward staircase of sadness and depression).

There must be other stuff going on in the mind, however. While a clash or mix of two feelings or emotions or thoughts could be figured out, and that would probably result in a noticeable emotional change (the staircase or spike model). There are probably other things going on in your conscious or unconscious mind. That is, some things that happen to people take a long time to recover from. But the main point is, everything, whether or not is a slow, gradual change or a sudden, quick change, resulted from some mix of emotions and feelings and thoughts and external events happening.

Furthermore, any mix of those things, when they interact, is going to be a large change. That is because it is a large change relative to your normal state, which is most of the time feeling nothing, because nothing is going on most of the time. People experience events in life and things in life and they occur in individual units.

Thoughts, emotions, and feelings are the three main components of the brain. “Everything” isn’t stimulating enough to cause sharp spikes. There is vision, that is, you see things all the time, but your emotion doesn’t go up or down a lot when you close or open your eyes. Unless you are looking at something that is causing a feeling, of course. But even then that feeling is only going to last a few seconds before it dies off. Therefore vision clearly functions with the sharp spikes pattern.

The same with hearing, if you hear something interesting, there is a sharp spike of initial interest, and then it dies down to almost normal. That must mean that feelings and emotions are probably a combination of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. That you almost think about the event that is occurring, and that when you think about it there is a large spike upwards. That the combination of feeling and emotion with thought results in large spikes, which form our best and common regular life experiences.

That is, you can’t really tell you are thinking about it because it isn’t verbal. But it feels like you are thinking about it during that brief time. That means that your attention is going to be focused on it, basically. Sometimes when someone is in a depression these spikes can be very large because that person is very upset. A large spike would result in emotional damage, furthering the depression, thereby causing the depression to go down like a staircase. It is easy to do emotional damage, but it can’t be repaired in a series of spikes, as it would go up gradually (still small compared to the spikes however).

Just think of it as fabric; damage needs to be mended, and mending takes time. It is easy to do damage to the fabric, you can only mend it slowly. No one just “snaps out” of a depression. Furthermore it is easy to stimulate the fabric, just poke it. That poke would be similar to a life experience, the poke has ripples, but the main event was the poking.

The sharp spike occurrences show just how short of attention span humans have. That for brief periods we are capable of almost perfect attention, and during those periods is the height of the spikes. These spikes actually look more like lumps since they go up gradually and cause a stay in attention for a few seconds, but they are so fast that they are best called spikes. Say looking at an attractive girl/guy causes a feeling. The first few seconds you look at her/him, you are going to have perfect attention, but then it is going to die off. Everything else in life is somewhat like that, whether you are looking at your pencil, or your computer, or whatever. The item you are looking at needs to be initially processed, and your attention needs to be directed to it first off.

Everything in life needs to be processed before it enters your system, and that process is going to be a sharp spike of emotion, feeling, and thought. After you process looking at the computer you can move along to just wandering your eyes throughout the room. If you pause at any one of the things you are wandering your eyes around, you will experience a sharp spike of emotion/thought/feeling. That is, looking at things also causes emotion as well as the thought needed to direct your attention to it, if you are paying more attention to something which causes emotion, then logically you are going to feel more emotion from it.

This doesn’t mean that you aren’t thinking/feeling when you don’t pause or stop. You could say that people are thinking, feeling, and are having emotion all of the time just in amounts so small it is hard for them to detect. That these amounts only go up in sharp spikes when they actually pay attention to something either in their mind or outside it. This “paying attention” doesn’t have to be conscious or deliberate. If two feelings interact within your mind it could cause you to pay conscious or unconscious attention to them.

Something like, your girlfriend meeting your ex girlfriend would cause a clash of feelings for your new girlfriend, with feelings for your old girlfriend (possibly). But that clash of feelings wouldn’t occur in a thought spike, it would occur in an emotional spike. It would also be a slight rise of tension in the feeling between which one you like more. Also, the rise in that feeling wouldn’t be significant compared to if you thought about that feeling at the same time. When you think about the feeling it would result in a sharp spike, and that spike would last a few seconds, then die away. That is because that feeling was a potential explosive one, one that exploded when you thought about it, resulting in a spike. Also, thought about anything else, a feeling, a vision, whatever, results in lesser spikes of thoughts/feelings/emotions. That anything and everything, when thought about, is interesting for the first few seconds, but then that interest dies off. It is the same principal when you pinch yourself. When you pinch yourself the first time, it hurts the most. That is because the first time you are thinking about it a lot more, after that your interest in it dies off. Amazing how much our attention can fluctuate to cause life to occur in short, sharp spikes. The girlfriend example is different than spikes that occur more frequently all the time, when you pay attention to little things. The girlfriend example was an example of when a spike can happen, but that is a spike that you are going to notice a lot more then something like, you just refocusing on what you are typing. It is spikes like that which happen all the time so you stay focused.

Although there are spikes of emotion and feeling, spikes of thought are needed to direct attention. Not thought in the verbal sense, but thought in the sense that it is under your control and feels more similar to thoughts. Thought occurs as basically a bunch of spikes, and since people think all the time and about everything, life occurs in those spikes. They don’t feel intense because it is just thought. But basically whenever something new comes into your vision or your attention there is an initial sharp spike of interest. And if you are going to be doing the same thing for a long period of time, then it is going to take additional sharp spikes every couple of seconds or every minute to keep your attention. It is easy to test that, try and read something with the same bland expression as when you start reading it (but after your initial interest at the beginning when you notice the piece) and you just can’t do it. To maintain attention your mind needs to snap back to what it is paying attention to. Feelings and emotions are going to follow the thought, however (that is emotions and feelings are imbedded in thoughts). That is why people need to think all the time, to maintain a healthy level of mental activity, it is a part of life. Emotions and feelings can also be described as thoughts, however, so those spikes continue even after you stop thinking, just in the form of emotion-feeling-thoughts (they are still more similar to thoughts however since they are short and spiky).

Basically your attention needs to be initially “grabbed” for anything that you are going to pay attention to. That grabbing is the initial period of paying attention to it. During that first period of paying attention to something is where the spike is because you are processing the item/object. You need a spike to grab your mind and attention, otherwise you wouldn’t be paying attention to anything. You can still process most of life without the spikes, but that is only because spikes had brought you back to reality in the first place in order for that attention to be grabbed. Furthermore it is going to be easier to process new things based on what the spike was about, that is, it is going to be easier to process similar things more related to the spike then to other things in the area. If you focus on a school bus, then you are going to be more attentive to the other school buses you see for the next few seconds or minutes because you were just paying attention to one school bus, and your mind is wired to notice school buses.

Furthermore there is a similar way in which your mind processes each spike. For spikes that are under your control, first the spike would be a period of thought about something, say a school bus or a coffee machine. Then what you just saw or thought about becomes an emotion, or an unconscious series of thoughts. That is you are less focused consciously on what it is you are seeing or whatever but your mind is still processing it. Next, after your mind processes the unconscious thoughts it becomes a feeling, you then feel something about what it is you were focusing on. So it isn’t when you look at something you immediately get a feeling, that doesn’t make any sense. First you think about it, then you feel it in a general way (an emotion) then after you understand what that feeling is, you feel it (but that basically happens instantaneously so in a way you do feel it right away - also, that same process can happen over a longer period of time). That is because you know what it is, you know where it is, and you know what to focus your attention on. An example of unconsciously processing something you see is when you look at match you then think about fire. Then after you think about the fire you can almost “feel” the fire, following the pattern of thought to emotion to feeling (you think about the match, then something happens unconsciously (this unconscious thought process is emotion (remember emotion is unconscious thought) which then causes you to feel the fire – a feeling).

It could be that a few minutes passes before a conscious spike occurs (that is a spike that is under your control). A spike is basically just anything that you are going to start paying attention to. During those first few seconds of when you are going to pay attention to something there is a sharp spike upwards. Without these periods of attention humans/animals would never pay attention to anything. Basically once every few minutes or so you need to pay attention to something or your brain is going to be too inactive. After you pay attention to one thing, however, your general attention is grabbed and you don’t need to have another spike for at least a few minutes.

Everything that is processed, not just spikes, follows the sequence of thought to emotion to feeling. That is because thoughts are clearer than emotions and feelings, and emotions are more similar to thoughts than feelings are (discussed previously) so when you see something or hear something or whatnot for the first time, it is clearer in your mind. Then it becomes less clear and you think about it unconsciously. You think about it unconsciously because it takes further processing in order to isolate the feeling that that things gives you. Some things are just too complicated to feel them right away. Other things, however, can be felt right away, say if you are touching something the feeling arises right away. That is because the physical stimulus is more immediate than emotional stimulus.

Emotional things, however, are simply to complicated to “feel” them right away, they need to be processed first. That is logical, just take looking at anything, say a book. In order to feel the feelings that the book causes in you, you are going to have to at least unconsciously think about it first (that is, after you start paying attention to it, which you do by starting to think about it or just see it and notice it more than you usually notice things in the area). Since you don’t need to think about physical stimulus since it is just a physical stimulus, (not something like vision) you don’t really unconsciously process it.

Spikes are dramatic rises in attention. They can be assisted by load noises or something dramatic visually, but they don’t need to be. In other words they can be internal or external. You can pay sharp attention to something in the real world or something in your own head. If there is a load sound in the environment, it is most likely that your spike in attention is going to occur during that period. It doesn’t have to, you could pay attention to something else in spike form, but the main point is that you have to have about one sharp spike in attention a minute at least. That is, you have to pay attention to something in your environment or something in your head, sharp attention in the form of a spike (lasting a second or a few seconds) every minute or so.

Otherwise the world would just go by you and you’d be completely out of it. You don’t just need to pay attention to things, you occasionally need to pay sharp attention to things. Furthermore this attention in the form of a spike can’t be dissipated and spread out, it is always going to occur in a spike. If, in between the spikes, you are trying to get the highest attention you can in an attempt to spread the spike out, (that is, if you are trying to spread out your attention instead of having spikes) the normal spike would still be a spike relative to even the extra attention you gave to the non spike period, because that attention would still be too low, so you couldn’t give it that high of an attention level, as it would be very low compared to the spike still. Spikes of emotion and feeling also need to occur every few minutes or so. The human system needs to be “shocked” into reality because you need to pay attention to life.

Say it is time for another sharp increase in attention (that is you waited too long without focusing on anything) and something occurs like a dog barking. Then you are going to focus on that dog barking intently in the form of a spike. So if the dog continues to bark for the next few seconds or minutes, your attention will be on that more because you paid attention to it initially more so than other things in your environment. This is very important because if someone doesn’t use their spikes say to someone they are talking to, they could be talking to that person and not be paying attention at all. You could hear what they are saying but not really be interested in it nearly as much as you would in a normal conversation (if you choose not to think about the person talking to you – remember if you do think about the person talking to you then naturally you are going have a thought spike because that is how thought initiates when thinking about new objects, the new object needs to be grabbed and processed first).

If you direct your attention spikes away from the things you don’t want to hear (say if there is a loud noise in the background, just don’t pay sharp attention to it) then most of your attention will follow along suit. If attention was uniform then people wouldn’t be able to direct their attention easily. In order to ignore the other things in your environment and just focus on one thing, the only way to get just that one thing into your focus would be to use a spike in attention. After that spike the thing you “spiked” would be in your attention at a low level, but the other things around you would be at an even lower level. The spike is necessary to differentiate what you are paying attention to, to differentiate the new thing which you are paying attention to from everything else. You can’t just go to a slightly higher rise in attention for one thing (you can pay attention to something new, but you wouldn’t be paying more attention to it than other things in the environment already, you’d just be isolating that thing, it wouldn’t be a rise in attention, or an insignificant one), because people can only focus on one thing at a time for this reason. Because of the spikes in attention, people can isolate (focus intently on) one or a few things.

That limitation (of only being able to focus intently on a few things) happens because each spike eliminates the other things which they were paying attention to previously. You can spread out one spike to different things, however (if you do it at the same time), that is how your attention can be spread. You can’t do a series of smaller spikes because that confuses your mind, it is like saying, pay attention to this, then pay attention to that, and then pay attention to that. It is too confusing. It is easier to say at once, pay attention to this that and that, and then you can do it.

That explanation also explains why spikes occur at all – because it is much easier to pay a lot of attention in a short period of time then to keep jolting yourself over and over at each thing that you want to pay attention to. That way is too jarring and much less smooth. You don’t notice the spike when it occurs because it is more like a refocusing than a spike. People basically need to be focused on little things continuously, and this focus is directed by short periods of refocusing labeled here as spikes. One way in which these spikes occur is that when something is first presented it takes more energy and brain power to process it at first because it is new. It is easier to try and comprehend the entire thing at once than to comprehend it in pieces, as the latter just doesn’t make any sense. People comprehend things as wholes not as parts added up over time. The other reason these spikes occur is to initially catch your attention and hold it at a high level on something. That is, in order to go from a state of inactivity to a state of activity, you cannot just go up to the level of activity, but you need to motivate yourself to get there by having a spike (this spike is also the initial processing of the new object/event and occurs because of that as well).

In order to get someone’s attention they can’t just lazily look at you like they are looking at everything else, but they need pay sharp attention to you for the first instant (this is the initial “grabbing” talked about). Otherwise people would be paying attention to anything and everything at the same time. There has to be a way of separating out what it is that is in someone’s attention field. That method of separating is by the use of the spikes.

Spikes work for emotional things and feeling as well as for thought. That is things that are emotional occur in the same spike pattern, as well as things you feel (feelings). Another way to note this would be that your attention is only focused on things that change (things that change, the change usually occurring in spike form). It might be that something grabs your attention a little, and you only put a spike in after it initially grabs your attention a little to then pay full attention to it. Lots of time something happens, like a loud noise, that you only process after it occurred, or slightly after it occurred. So there might be a delay in when you process it, or spike it, or you might not spike it at all. You might also not need to spike something if a similar spike occurred with a similar thing previously.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Someone’s attention determines what they see and figure out about the world, if someone is paying more attention then they are probably going to realize more things, or notice more things visually and intellectually. Since attention varies based on emotion, your intellect is going to vary based on your emotions. If you are emotionally interested in things then it might make you pay more attention to them and then you might realize more about those things. If something causes more of an emotional impact (or more of a spike) you might retain understanding it longer (memory is also a part of intellect) or it could increase your emotional intelligence about that thing.
  • Everything that is processed follows the sequence of thought to emotion to feeling – that shows how everything in the world is real, and these real things all cause feelings, you recognize what it is (a thought) and then you feel that thought, your emotional processing of your thoughts is part of your thoughts themselves – this is obvious with emotional spikes because when you feel something strongly that strong feeling clearly aids in you understanding things about what it is you are feeling.
  • People also only comprehend things in their entirety, because if it isn’t completely understood then you cannot verbalize it and make a thought process of it, therefore things that aren’t completely understood or verbal are going to be emotional and you are going to “feel” them, not think them.

Angry, Upset, and Depressed?

Angry and upset feelings often accompany sad feelings, as it is natural to be upset and angry that you are sad (or became sad).

If someone is sad or depressed, it is natural that they are going to be upset that they are that way. Therefore it is probable that all depression or sadness has feelings of anger and agitation mixed in. In fact it is easy to see a combination of those three feelings as when something bad happens to someone their reaction is an intense feeling of sadness/anger/agitation. Like if you punch someone in the face, or shoot him or her, they aren’t going to be just sad, they are going to sad, angry, and upset.

After the event occurs (such as getting punched in the face) the sad/angry/upset feeling only lasts a few seconds on that persons face, to various degrees of visibility to other people. What happens after that is more interesting however. After the first few seconds of sad/upset/angry their mind loses focus on what happened and it no longer is a single emotion. They are focused on the event and that is why it shows up on their face, after they lose focus, however, the emotions become unconscious.

In their unconscious form the emotions are like a depression. A depression is something that affects someone’s mood, his or her entire system. When the angry/sad/upset emotions go into the unconscious, they start affecting the other emotions around them, and your entire system becomes sad, angry, and upset. This might not be visible on your face because it isn’t as intense, you didn’t just get punched, or something bad didn’t just happen to you, but it has left a mark.

It seems like the angry and upset emotions are more temporary, and the sad feeling is retained longer. That is because you forget why you are sad, you forget the event that caused the sadness, but your emotions remember the impact of the upset and anger, and that impact was to make you sadder. The emotion sad is simply easier to remember. It is marked in your mind for vengeance, you associate the sad emotion with being bad for you, but the anger and the agitation are more hormonal, temporary emotions.

That is, it is hard to be angry if you don’t know why you should be angry. You need to be able to logically justify your own feelings. It is more common that sadness occurs for a long period of time than anger. There are still elements of anger and agitation remaining mixed in however, just less so than the sadness. So after an initiating event there are the three emotions equally present for a few seconds, and after that mostly the sadness remains, still with elements of the other two emotions.

It is hard to be angry or upset when you don’t remember what it is you are angry at. It is easy to be sad because you don’t need to remember anything to be sad at something, the sad feeling simply stays in your system because you are used to sad feelings and you don’t need to justify them like you would an angry feeling. Or it could be that being angry and upset takes up more energy than being sad does, being sad lowers how energetic you are because it brings you down. When you are angry and upset you are much more energetic and agitated.

So it is like, ok that really pissed me off, but I am too tired to be pissed, I can be sad though. The sadness in your system isn’t even an individual emotion after the first few seconds from the initiating event, however. It becomes mixed in with the other emotions and feelings in your body because you no longer remember what caused the sadness. So it is like a depression because it affects your entire system and mood like a depression does.

So there is really a difference between being sad, and being upset. You might even call that period after the few seconds for that person “the person being upset” instead of them being sad. That is how much the upset and agitation emotions are mixed in, that after someone is punched you could say either they are upset, or they are sad, or they are agitated, it depends on the person and the circumstance. That is a lot of proof to show that all three are often mixed in together.

You might say that they are upset, but they are probably going to be more sad, however, because if you are upset and angry then you are going to be sad about that, just like you are going to be upset and angry that you are sad. But I think the sad is going to dominate because no one has enough energy to be upset and angry for very long. When you are upset and angry your tone is louder, you are moving faster and more agitated like, you are more aggressive and looking for retribution. Anger and agitation almost need something to take vengeance on, while sadness you don’t attribute to someone else causing it. You do attribute anger and agitation to something external, however.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • If it is hard to have emotions if you don’t remember something, then that shows how your emotions are based off of your intellect as well. What your memory (which is a function of intellect) remembers is going to bring up emotions, which are then in turn going to determine (to some extent) your emotional intelligence.

Emotion is a Combination of Feeling and Thought

Emotion is such a strong feeling that it must be the combination of thoughts and feelings. If you think about it, if you combine positive thoughts and positive feelings, you’re going to have a general overall greater experience, (if the thoughts and feelings are on the same idea or the same thing, you are going to have a greater positive single emotion about that thing). Just take the strongest emotion you can experience, it would have to be a combination of all the positive things in your mind, and people can control their thoughts to a large extent.

By a combination of feeling and thought I mean a combination of what it feels like to have a thought, with the feeling of what it feels like to have a feeling – I don’t mean the combination of actual verbal thoughts with feelings, but non-verbal thoughts which are like verbal thoughts in that they are about something, you just can’t identify what it is all the time because it is non-verbal.

Since thoughts are conscious and unconscious, emotion could be redefined as the combination of feeling and thought - that you only have emotion when you are thinking about something, and feeling something at the same time, and the combination of the two results in individual emotions. There is evidence for this from the facts that you can only experience one strong emotion at a time, and you can also only think about one strong emotion at a time. That shows how emotions are pulled up by thoughts, or controlled and generated by them. It might be that this only applies to strong emotions, but it depends on each individuals definition of emotion (it might vary), but I don’t think anyone can experience two strong emotions simultaneously. You can feel it for yourself, try and feel any combination of the following emotions (strongly) at the same time - anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, curiosity, acceptance, or joy. You just can’t do it. A slight feeling of curiosity is exactly that, a feeling and not an emotion. Emotions are stronger than feelings, and stronger than thoughts, but what are they made of? The only logical conclusion is that they are made up of thoughts and feelings.

The type of thought that makes up emotions isn’t just words or sentences or verbal ideas in your head, but basically any period of thinking. It doesn’t have to be intense thinking, in fact, if you are intensely thinking there probably isn’t enough room left to process a strong emotion, but rather emotion arises from periods of very low intense thinking, and less intense feelings (you still have to be trying to be thinking, that is why negative emotions don’t exist, because people just don’t try to think about them). During those periods of low intense thinking (from which part of emotion arises) you don’t have to even understand what you are thinking about, just understand that to some degree you are more thoughtful than usual. Feelings are generally considered to be shallower than emotions, and thought is considered a deep experience, so in order to have the strong, deep feeling of emotion, it must be made up of the part of your brain that experiences deep things, (the thought part) (remember feelings feel like feelings from sensory stimulation, which isn’t “deep” at all).

Furthermore, emotion isn’t just a strong feeling, a strong feeling can give rise to an emotion, just like a strong idea can give rise to an emotion, but an emotion is the combination of a lesser feeling and a lesser idea or thought process (this thought process might be unconscious, leading the person having it to just know that they are thoughtful during the experience). You can’t have a strong feeling and a strong emotion at the same time because there just isn’t enough room or processing power in your mind to do that (it’s easy to feel that in your mind just by testing it).

Is a thought sensory input? No it isn’t, you can think about sensory input, and that would give rise to a feeling of the sensation itself, but a thought is much faster in the brain. A thought is like a fast firing of neurons while a feeling or a sensation is an experience that actually takes some amount of time longer than it takes for a neuron to fire, which (it feels like anyway) is the length of a short thought. So basically, emotions must be the result of feelings and thoughts in your brain because there isn’t anything else left that they could be made up of. All that is in your brain is feelings and thoughts. It is obvious how you can turn off a thought automatically, but you can also do that to some feelings. This is so because feelings are in large part triggered by thoughts. That’s because feelings are experiences of sensory stimulation. If you are feeling something that you don’t want to feel, however, because that sensory stimulation is present in your environment, there is nothing you can do. But if it results from a memory or something in your mind, you are going to shut it off automatically. This way feelings and thoughts work together; you have your present experience of the sensation, and your mental direction of thinking about that sensation. The latter part you can turn on if you want to make that natural, environmental feeling a strong one. It is hard to experience a strong feeling just by bringing the feeling up in your head, to have a strong feeling you need to have some type of direct sensory input and be thinking about that sensory input at the same time.

So a strong feeling is just like a strong emotion, only you need direct sensory input and thoughts to feel it, while with emotions you just need a feeling (which can result from the memory of a sensation) and some thoughts. So, very simply, everything in the brain is either a feeling or a thought. And emotions are combinations of feelings and thoughts.

Thinking about things generates feeling because you are simulating the emotions of that thing in your head. Although you are not experiencing the stimulation in real life, you still understand what it feels like to be in that situation, and this memory of that stimulation you can feel almost like being in the real situation itself.

If you have emotion about something then you are feeling that thing. Thus you are directing thought about that object, and directing thought is what thought is. Thought is just directed to something specific, while feeling is more generalized, you have only a few feelings for many many things, and thought is only a way of categorizing those feelings. For example, you can simulate many feelings by thinking, “I am going to go to the store then I am going to come home”. Instead of feeling “store” which you feel in the store, you are adding the feeling of traveling to the store and being home. Those feelings are less intense than actually traveling to the store and actually being home, but they are still there and present in the thoughts. So when you have a thought about the store, you feel the store because you are simulating the idea of being in the store in your head.

Emotion always precedes thought; thought is always just going to be an explanation of emotion. Everything in the end turns out to be an emotion in your system, so therefore everything is really an emotion. When you say “I want to leave” the feeling of you wanting to leave is always going to precede the thought. Actually first you quickly understand what it is that you are feeling when you realize what it is you are feeling as an unconscious thought process, then you have a more regular feeling about it, and then you are able to verbalize that feeling into a thought. Unless something is said to you instead of you thinking it, in which case the process is reversed. First it is a thought because it is expressed that way, then it is a feeling, and then it is a quick unconscious thought process to think about what was said.

When the thing is said or thought of verbally it is most clear what the meaning is. In this way words assist understanding. This is probably because the combination of adding the stimulation of sound to the stimulation of the visual (or other sense) of the object/idea enhances understanding and forces you to think deeper about it because sound is an enhancing mechanism for thought.

Feelings are fast, you don’t pause and think about them. Emotion you could say, since it is deeper, that you almost “think” about it.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Thoughts also contribute to what it is you are going to feel, and what you feel and how you feel it is then going to determine your emotional intelligence, and over the long run would help determine other aspects of your intelligence as well.

Self-Regulation: A Definition and Introduction

What is self-regulation? Which mental processes compose it, and how do those processes work together? Self-regulation is the conscious and nonconscious processes by which people regulate their thoughts, emotions, attention, behavior, and impulses. People generate thoughts, feelings and actions and adapt those to the attainment of personal goals. Behavioral self-regulation invovles self- observing and strategically adjusting performance processes, such as one's method of learning, whereas environmental self-regulation refers to observing and adjecting environmental conditions or outcomes. Covert self regulation involves monitoring and adjusting cognitive and affective states, such as imagery for remembering or relaxing. Someones performance and regulation is going to be changed by their goals, motivations, and decisions, People self-regulate their own functioning in order to achieve goals or change how they are thinking.

Someones actions and mental processes depend on one's beliefs and motives. Self -regulation is cyclical - that is, feedback (information, responses) from prior actions and performances changes the adjustments made during current efforts. Adjustments are necessary because personal, behavioral, and environmental factors are constantly changing during the course of learning and performance. Someones performances are constantly being changed by their attention and actions. Forethought is the phase that precedes efforts to act and sets the stage for a performance. A person self-reflects on performances afterwards, and this reflection influences their responses.

Forethought Phase

In the forethought phase people engage in a) task analysis and b) self-motivational beliefs. Task analysis involves the setting of goals and strategic planning. Self motivational beliefs involves self- efficacy, outcome expectations, intrinsic interest/value, and goal orientation.

Performance Phase

In the performance phase people perform self-control processes and self- observation strategies. Self-control involves self-instruction (various verbalizations), imagery (forming mental pictures), attention focusing and task strategies (which assist learning and performance by reducing a task to its essential parts and organizing the parts meaningfully. For example, when students listen to a history lecture, they might identify a limited number of key points and record them chronologically in brief sentences. People do those things while learning (say in education), and in non- educational settings.

Also as part of someone's performance they do self-observation. This refers to a person's tracking of specific aspects of their own performance, the conditions that surround it, and the effects that it produces. You can set goals in forethought about how you are going to do self- observation.

Self-Reflection Phase

Bandura (1986)9 has identified two self-reflected processes that are closely associated with self-observation: self- judgment and self-reactions. Self-judgment involves self-evaluating one's performance and attributing casual significance to the results. Self-evaluation refers to comparing self-monitored information with a standard or goal, such as a sprinter judging practice runs according to his or her best previous effort. Previous performance or self-criteria involves comparisons of current performance with earlier levels of one's behavior, such as a baseline or the previous performance.

People also make casual attributions about the results of their evaluations - such as whether poor performance is due to one's limited ability or to insufficient effort. Self-satisfaction involves perceptions of satisfaction or dissatisfaction and associated affect regarding one's performance, which is important because people pursue courses of action that result in satisfaction and positive affect, and avoid those courses that produce dissatisfaction and negative affect, such as anxiety.

Adaptive or defensive inferences are conclusions about how one needs to alter his or her self-regulatory approach during subsequent efforts to learn or perform. Adaptive inferences are important because they direct people to new and potentially better forms of performance self-regulation, such as by shifting the goals hierarchically or choosing a more effective strategy (Zimmerman + Martinez-Pons, 1992)10 In contrast, defensive inferences serve primarily to protect the person from future dissatisfaction and aversive affect, but unfortunately they also undermine successful adaptation. These defensive self-reactions include helplessness, procrastination, task avoidance, cognitive disengagement, and apathy. Garcia and Pintrich (1994)11 have referred to such defensive reactions as self-handicapping strategies, because, despite their intended protectiveness, they ultimately limit personal growth.

An Introduction

I said in the beginning of this chapter that "Self- regulation is the conscious and nonconscious processes by which people regulate their thoughts, emotions, attention, behavior, and impulses. People generate thoughts, feelings and actions and adapt those to the attainment of personal goals." But what is meant by terms such as self-regulation, self-control, self- awareness, and self-monitoring? The difficult thing to figure out I would think would be how much of self- regulation or what is going on mentally is conscious or not conscious. When someone is doing any action, how much of the control they are employing is conscious and how much of it is unconscious? That is a very complicated question. To a certain extent it is like you are unconsciously saying to yourself various things while you are doing something, but you also might be saying things to yourself consciously at the same time that also helps direct your behavior.

Other important questions are - how does a persons goals and motivations influence their feelings, behavior, self-control and actions? How much of feeling, impulses and impulse control, motivation and goal creating is conscious or unconscious? If you think about it, your goals, motivations, and the natural impulses that result from your emotions (which are to a large extent determined by your goals and motivations) are going to be fluctuating and changing all of the time.

People can alter the goals they have, however there is going to be an incredibly complex set of unconscious goals that one is not aware of. These goals create multiple motivations as well as multiple concerns. Also, doing well at approaching an incentive is not quite the same experience as doing well at avoiding a threat. If you think about it, your emotions are going to be different if you achieve something you are striving for then if you are threatened and respond because you are under pressure. It makes sense that approach is going to have such positive affects as elation, eagerness and excitement, and such negative affects as frusturation, anger and sadness. (Carver, 200412; Carver + Harmon-Jones, 200913). Avoidance involves such positive affects as relief and contentment (when someone avoids a threat, they are relieved and content) and such negative affects as fear, guilt and anxiety.

Goals can be changed by how motivated someone is to have that goal. Some goals can be brought into conscious awareness at various times for various reasons. Simon (1967)14 reasoned that emotions are calls for reprioritization: that emotion regarding a goal that is out of awareness eventually induces people to give that goal a higher priority. The stronger the emotion, the stronger the claim for higher priority. Affect pulls the out-of-awareness into awareness.

Simon's analysis applies readily to negative feelings, such as anxiety and frustration. If you promised your spouse you would go to the post office today and you've been too busy, the creeping of the clock toward closing time can cause an increase in frustration or anxiety (or both). The stronger the affect, the more likely the goal it concerns will rise in priority until it comes into awareness and becomes the reference for behavior.

Therefore, it makes sense that the main goal you have and you know you have can reliquish its place. You are constantly shifting the goals you have, you simply might not be aware that you are doing this. If you think about it, people unconsciously might create many goals that they don't think about because they don't understand that they are motivated to do those things. They simply don't know that they are trying to reach certain objectives clearly. Take for instance sexual goals - people probably do many things to enhance sexual feelings without being aware that that is the motivation behind other goals they are consciously striving to achieve.

Emotionally people have many desires - all of these emotions are going to create and alter the various goals that people have (conscious and unconscious). If you think about that further, on a moment-by-moment basis your emotions are going to be altered continuously by various goals - your emotions are going to be creating goals, objectives and whatnot. For instance, even with simple activities you may have an emotional goal that you aren't aware of. Say you are opening a door - maybe a previous event caused you to slow down when opening the door and going into the next area because your motivation was decreased so you weren't as excited about moving onto the next activity in your life.

A Review

So before someone does anything, their previous thoughts and emotions are going to determine how they perform during the action/activity. They have many goals that they created unconsciously and consciously that determined to some extent the emotions they are feeling, and they thought many things which (in combination with their emotions) helps determine how they are thinking. During the action conscious verbalizations and mental imagery help assist performance, and reflection of the performance afterwards helps to determine a persons response.

Further Thoughts

The process of self-regulation is not completely understood, nor do I think it ever will be, because it is basically asking the question of how exactly does the mental processes behind thinking and feeling work. When 'mental imagery' is used, how exactly does that work? Which associated images come up with each image you bring up for a specific purpose? When people monitor their affective state, how much does that enhance what they are feeling or change what they are feeling? When someone uses a strategy such as a verbalization to help learning, why does that work exactly the way it does?

There seems to be a large unconscious factor that is too complicated to be understood. The unconscious is so complicated, as it has many factors that are interacting with each other all of the time. When those factors mentioned in the previous paragraph are brought up (mental images, monitoring, cognitive strategies), along with the natural unconscious emotion and motivation that occurs always with humans, it becomes obvious that there is no telling what could be influencing your thinking and feeling (on a detailed, moment to moment basis and even just considering the obvious factors).

How are Arousal and Stimulation Processed in Emotional Processing?

If you think about it, emotion is going to be related to everything in life. Things that inspire us generate emotion, things that arouse us generate emotion, and ordinary stimuli generates emotion as well.

But what is arousal? What is inspiration? If everything in life has some combination of arousal and stimulation, and this combination generates an 'emotional response', then are there other factors present that are also significant?

Arousal is a physiological and psychological state of being awake or reactive to stimuli. Arousal is important in regulating consciousness, attention, and information processing. It is crucial for motivating certain behaviours, such as mobility, the pursuit of nutrition, the fight-or-flight response and sexual activity. So in order to understand what arousal is, it helps to recall what sexual arousal is, since the two are related. Arousal is basically being stimulated, when someone is stimulated in a powerful way, they are aroused. This doesn't need to be sexual arousal, although sexual arousal is one type of arousal. You could say that there is 'intellectual' arousal or arousal from other types of stimulation.

When a person is aroused, he or she may find a wider range of events appealing 15 The state of arousal might lead a person to view a decision more positively than he or she would have in a less aroused state. So therefore arousal relates to inspiration, if one is inspired then they might also be more aroused.

How can inspiration relate to emotional processing? Arousal clearly relates, when someone is aroused, it influences their perception and determines if they are feeling strongly or weakly. If someone is aroused, then it is likely that they are feeling stronger emotions because they are more stimulated. But what if someone is inspired? Is someone going to be feeling stronger emotions if they are inspired? Can someone be inspired when they are feeling poorly?

Could someone be 'stimulated' or 'aroused' and not be experiencing strong emotions? Why would it matter if those emotions are 'inspiring' or not? Inspiration is related to imagination more than to stimulation. It could take only a little stimulation to get someone inspired because inspiration is something you make up or create in your mind. It takes a lot of stimulation to get someone aroused because arousal is more of a physical response and is less intellectual. It is as if the most obvious form of arousal is sexual arousal, because that is clearly biological and powerful.

Is arousal just 'stimulation'? If someone is stimulated, then they are likely to be aroused. Arousal implies a response so strong that it generates a physical response. Arousal involves the activation of the reticular activating system in the brain stem, the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system, leading to increased heart rate and blood pressure and a condition of sensory alertness, mobility and readiness to respond. It should be obvious that a stronger emotional response will lead to a stronger physical response. The mind and body are linked, when someone has a reaction, they also move in a certain way to reflect the nature of that reaction (such as a facial expression, or a body expression or gesture), and this physical reaction is not always controlled. That example is one way of demonstrating the link between mind, body and arousal.

Arousal is a difficult concept to understand. It becomes more simple when someone thinks of sexual arousal. Sexual arousal is obvious - someone feels strongly in a sexual way. This makes the person more alerted and possibly results in a faster reaction time because they are stimulated and 'aroused'. Non-sexual arousal works the same way only it is not sexual. It is non-sexual things or stimulation generating a physical response in the body. Imagination also can generate a physical response, which is interesting because it is as if imagination is something you are just making up.

This makes it more clear how emotion is processed - an emotional reaction causes various factors in your mind and body to interact with each other, producing a more complex reaction. Arousal, stimulation, imagination and various thoughts and ideas (which are in the same category as 'imagination' because they are made up by the mind) all interact.

Intentions

When someone has an intention, or does anything such as thinking something or doing something without thought, what is the exact mental process that lies behind that action? What combination of emotions, feelings and thoughts makes that happen? Here is what is at the bottom of the "Emotion is a Combination of Feeling and Thought" chapter:

"Emotion always precedes thought; thought is always just going to be an explanation of emotion. Everything in the end turns out to be an emotion in your system, so therefore everything is really an emotion. When you say "I want to leave" the feeling of you wanting to leave is always going to precede the thought. Actually first you quickly understand what it is that you are feeling when you realize what it is you are feeling as an unconscious thought process, then you have a more regular feeling about it, and then you are able to verbalize that feeling into a thought. Unless something is said to you instead of you thinking it, in which case the process is reversed. First it is a thought because it is expressed that way, then it is a feeling, and then it is a quick unconscious thought process to think about what was said."

So there is an unconscious thought process before everything you think/do, however there are also patterns of feelings which are also there. The feelings described are an important part of it, when you do something there isn't an unconscious thought right before you do it. You first have the unconscious thought when you have the original feeling that caused you to want to do that thing - you first have a feeling that you want to do something, then you understand what that feeling means as an unconscious thought, and then that is translated back into a feeling which remains there until you do the action. So the unconscious thought is not right before you do the thing, the feeling is there before you do it because feelings are faster than thoughts, so your mind has the feeling ready at hand to act on the unconscious thought process. That is because once you realize what it is you are going to do as a thought process, you don’t need to spend the time to think the entire thing through again, but it is stored in the instinctual part of your brain where your feelings are. Remember from the instinctual frog example that feelings are faster than thoughts, and feelings are also unconscious thoughts so they can also store information to do. This is the frog example in the chapter “Thoughts”:

"The definition of intellect and thoughts is almost understanding (those concrete things). Emotion is feeling, completely separate from facts or information. All facts and information are going to be about things that cause feeling, however, since all things that happen cause feelings and all facts and information are about things that happen. So facts and information are just feelings organized in a logical manner. Intellect and thought also generates feelings when those thoughts are processed in your mind. Since thought is really only about feelings, it is logical that thought actually has root in feelings. For example, all events are really feelings in the mind, so thoughts are actually just comparing feelings. You take two feelings and can arrive at one thought. Take the feeling of a frog moving and the feeling of a threat of danger. The two feelings combined equal the idea or thought that the frog needs to move when there is danger - the thought is actually just understanding how feelings interact. All thought is is the understanding of how feelings and real events interact with themselves. Feeling is what provides the motivation to arrive at the answer (the thought). If you just had the facts, there is a threat, and the frog can jump, you aren't going to arrive at the conclusion that the frog should jump away. You need to take the feeling that there is a threat and the feeling that the frog can jump and then combine the two sensory images in your head to arrive at the answer.

That shows how all intellect is powered and motivated by emotion. It also shows that frogs have thoughts; the frog has to have the thought to jump away when it sees a threat, as a thought is just the combination of two feelings resulting in the resulting feeling of wanting to move away. That process of feelings is like a thought process. Thoughts are a little different for humans, however, because humans have such a large memory that they are able to compare this experience to all the other experiences in their life while the frog only remembers the current situation and is programmed (brain wiring) to jump away. The frog doesn't have a large enough memory to learn from new information and change its behavior. That shows how humans are very similar to frogs in how they process data (in one way at least), and that one thing that separates a human from a frog is a larger memory which can store lots of useful information and potential behavioral patterns."

It would be too slow for you to just do something based on an unconscious thought process, you would have to wait to have this unconscious thought right before you do the thing, instead of having the thought at one point in time and storing it, and then doing the thing later on.  If it is just an instinctual reaction, however, it is just a feeling that you are responding to because it is too fast to have an unconscious thought process. It is just a manner of the definition of what an unconscious thought is - that it is going to be more like a thought than a feeling - which is also an unconscious thought, so it depends how you view it.

If it is an instinctual, immediate reaction, say if you slam a door on your hand then you are going to say "ouch" - that is a thought that resulted from two feelings, the feeling of pain and the feeling that you need to express that pain. The thought is so fast you might consider it unconscious, that is also like in the frog example.

It gets even more complicated than that - this is in the "Life Occurs in Sharp Spikes" chapter of the book:

"Everything that is processed, not just spikes, follows the sequence of thought to emotion to feeling. That is because thoughts are clearer than emotions and feelings, and emotions are more similar to thoughts than feelings are (discussed previously) so when you see something or hear something or whatnot for the first time, it is clearer in your mind. Then it becomes less clear and you think about it unconsciously. You think about it unconsciously because it takes further processing in order to isolate the feeling that that things gives you. Some things are just too complicated to feel them right away. Other things, however, can be felt right away, say if you are touching something the feeling arises right away. That is because the physical stimulus is more immediate than emotional stimulus.

Emotional things, however, are simply to complicated to "feel" them right away, they need to be processed first. That is logical, just take looking at anything, say a book. In order to feel the feelings that the book causes in you, you are going to have to at least unconsciously think about it first (that is, after you start paying attention to it, which you do by starting to think about it or just see it and notice it more than you usually notice things in the area). Since you don't need to think about physical stimulus since it is just a physical stimulus, (not something like vision) you don't really unconsciously process it."

That shows that it is really all mixed in - thoughts, emotions and feelings - that there isn't just an unconscious thought process but you could also just say that feelings or thoughts are first - this is because when you process something you might think about it first, and it certainly feels this way because when you are processing something it is a very intellectual experience, it is clear in your mind and it feels like you are thinking about the thing so clearly that you must be using thoughts instead of emotions. I say that things are first clear in your mind when you first see it or whatnot, - that would be the "thought" but then it is an emotion, and you do that (make it into an emotion) to isolate the feeling the thing causes in you, so then you feel it (after you isolate the feeling) - thought to emotion to feeling. 

So when you have an intention to do something could it be that first it is an unconscious thought and then you just do it? First you are going to have an unconscious thought about it, then you are going to have a conscious thought about it (because it is an intention) and then you are going to do it. Your conscious thought about it may or may not be verbal, you don’t have to think about everything verbally in order to do it. You do have a conscious thought about it because that is almost the definition of intention, your intent. If you don’t have a conscious thought about it then it is more instinctual, or it could be a mix of the two. Everything someone does is going to be on the spectrum somewhere between complete intention and completely instinctual.

Intentions and instincts (or things you do) aren’t just thoughts, but feelings and emotions are often involved as well, where do they fit in? First an emotion could start an intention, and then it would be an unconscious thought process, and then it might become another emotion because you can feel everything (you are going to feel the thought, or have a feeling about it) and feelings are very fast so this feeling can fit into the time after you think about it and before you do the action, or after the initiating event and before the unconscious or conscious thought process. When you do think it is very fast, in fact your thinking might be slow, but there is one point in time where your thinking leads to a conclusion and that is culmination is considered to be when you had the “thought” because it is a conscious thought that your mind understands, but leading up to that conscious thought (which could be verbal or not verbal) was unconscious thoughts (or thinking) because it is hard to reach difficult conclusions instantly. This thought is then held in your mind until you do the action, it prepares your mind for the action, and during that time that thought might generate a certain feeling – maybe fear or a lack of confidence. This feeling is then used when you do the intention, because when you do something you do it so fast that you don't "think" about it right before you do it, but you use the feeling that is “storing” the thought. You might not have feelings about it and your action might not be swayed by feeling, but if it is then your thoughts might be under the influence of your feelings. Your feelings might cause you to stop doing the thing if you are too afraid, for example.

So there is an unconscious thought before every intention, that is what thought is, it is figuring out what you are going to do, and you are going to have to figure out what it is that you are going to do first before you do it. Unless it is like the frog example where you just feel it at the same time that you do it, but in that case the feelings are mixed in with the thoughts, so then it is a matter of how you define "thought". Thought is really a conclusion (not a partial thought, which could be an emotion), so you take two feelings and come at a conclusion, which is the thought, then you do the thing, and that means that you do have an unconscious thought right before the intention, the feeling really is a thought, it is just so fast that it is a feeling and a thought. So right before you do something there can be a feeling - which is also a thought, that causes you to do it finally. So is it a thought or is it a feeling? The feeling is the drive behind the thought (or thinking), which builds up along with the feeling. The feeling is powering the thought (or thinking) because it is so instinctual. So things that are more instinctual are going to be faster and involve more feelings, feelings can speed up thoughts (this is obvious with the instinctual example, where instinct then is really just powerful feelings causing you to think very fast).

So if you do anything there is going to be unconscious thoughts before you do it, because thoughts are just understanding real things. That includes if you have intentions, only intentions (since they are more conscious) are going to involve conscious thoughts as well as unconscious ones, unless it is an intention you intended to do unconsciously. The reason intentions involve unconscious thoughts as well is because you need to think to arrive at the conclusion, and most thinking isn’t completely consciously understood. How many people can think without using words, yet understand what it is that they are thinking? You can understand that you are going to do a certain thing without using words, but you can’t think for a long period of time without using words and still follow your thought process. Complicated non-verbal thought processes are unconscious. And almost all thoughts and everything you do is going to be complicated - and therefore they are going to involve long unconscious thinking about them (by long I just mean longer than instantaneous, which would be what you would do if it was instinctual).

So right before you do something there is going to be something in your mind that understands what it is you are going to do, this is a thought because it is real (versus feelings which are things which you just feel).  You might even "feel" the thought really.  That is what happens right before you do something.  However, leading up to that final thought/feeling it is going to be like described before; first you might have a feeling. If humans were computers I would say that first it starts with its programming and then it has the thought, but for humans feelings are their programming – so humans first have feelings and then we have thoughts.  Feelings can originate from thoughts however, so it is then a which came first, the chicken or the egg debate.  But if the original feeling started because of a thought, the thought was more further away in time from the feeling -by a few seconds at least – that is because conscious thoughts (verbal ones) have space of time around them, if you think, “I am going to shoot” you don’t shoot as quickly as you would if you just understood that you were going to shoot, the conscious verbal thought slows you down.  So when you have an intention or when you are going to think something (which is what thoughts are - they cam be verbal because you can express anything verbally almost, including all intentions) then that follows the process of feeling to unconscious thought to feeling again to store it.  I said before “a feeling, then an unconscious thought process, then a more general feeling”. 

I said that because the first feeling is just the real feeling of the intention you are going to have - which you could say is an unconscious thought because as discussed previously all feelings are unconscious thoughts - and it is clear they are when you realize it is an intention, which is going to be doing something real, and intellect is understanding things that are real.  So the first feelings/thoughts are when you first feel that you want to do something, then you need to unconsciously think about it to realize what it is you want to do exactly (this is not a conscious non-verbal thought, but an unconscious one), and then you have a more specific or general feeling about it (by general there I really mean larger or more clear) to store that clear thought, the general feeling then is going to be more clear because you now unconsciously understand what it is that you are going to do, and then it is a real conscious thought and then you could translate that conscious thought to a verbal thought or an action.

So to explain the statement, "first it is a feeling, then it is an unconscous thought process, and then it is a more general feeling and then you are able to make that feeling into a conscious thought (or do an action which would stem from that clear thought)" - that was originally said in the book at the end of the "Emotion is a Combination of Feeling and Thought" chapter in this form - "actually first you quickly understand what it is that you are feeling when you realize what it is you are feeling as an unconscious thought process, then you have a more regular feeling about it, and then you are able to verbalize that feeling into a thought".  Whether someone’s state before they have that thought is one that started with an emotion or without an emotion, that state must have originated from a previous state, or from some other previous stimulus. In terms of someone’s first feelings, their first feelings probably came from physical feelings before the brain was developed in the womb.  First people would have just physical feelings, not deep emotional ones because all there is in the beginning is sensory stimulation - mostly feeling your own body and your surroundings. 

So the first thoughts/feelings originated from physical stimulus, like, "ouch that hurts".  Or "that looks cool".  After the human develops they can have thoughts and feelings that can originate from sensory stimulation, physical stimulation, or other thoughts and feelings.  But that doesn't explain what happens right before someone thinks something or does something. It explains that originally there are those things which would cause the intention, but not how the intention is formed.  Since humans have strong emotions, many intentions are going to be formed from emotion.  Intentions are also going to be formed from conscious / unconscious thinking.  Feelings are also going to have elements of thoughts, however (so it isn’t either feeling or thought that originated the intention, it might be both at the same time).  Say if you want to switch a switch - it is going to be a progression of feeling/thought.  That is, it is going to take time for you to realize what it is you want to do, so it could be feeling and thinking all along, and at some point in that feeling/thinking you are going to realize fully what you want to do, and then you could call it a thought because it is completely formed (this thought might be conscious or it might remain unconscious and only later become conscious).  When you realize you want to switch a switch it isn't instantaneous, but it takes time.  But when you do switch the switch instantaneously, are you acting off of the thought or the feeling? You are probably acting off of the feeling, the thought was a period in time a while ago, but that thought started the feeling of you wanting to do it, which lead to you switching the switch off of the feeling instead of the thought. Unless you happen to do the thing right after you finally figure out what it is you want to do, then you could say that the thought made you do it.

That reveals that you are always going to have some feeling about what it is you are going to do right before you do it, because then you “think” or “feel” what it is you are going to do. It isn’t going to be as strong in terms of thought as when you first thought of what it was you were going to do, because you don’t need to think as much to realize what it is you are going to do. You are probably going to be feeling more than thinking right before you do it because you are going to be excited about doing something, you already realized what you were going to do which was the thought part, now it is time for the feeling part. The thought is still there of course otherwise you wouldn’t know what to do, however right before you do it feeling is probably going to dominate.

Right before you do something your mind needs to get ready to do it, and you need to remind yourself what it is you need to do and that you need to do it. So that means your mind probably feels something based on what it is you are going to do. This feeling can be simulated if you read a book and then later reflect on how you feel about the book. Reading the book in this instance would be the original thought process, and reflecting on it later would be simulating the feeling right before you do something. You don’t need to think about everything in the book to understand the feeling that the book causes you. You don’t need to think as hard to understand the same things because it was already understood at one point. The second time it is easier. That is like when you first have an unconscious thought process to understand what you are going to, when you are going to do it later you already understand what you are going to do, you simply then “feel” what it is you are going to do because it is more clearly understood, it is understood emotionally now (more instinctual) so you don’t need to “think” as much as you did before. Emotion replaces thought because emotion is easier than thought. Someone isn’t going to think unless they have to, you basically have already done the hard part, so the second time you bring it up the thought would be reduced and the emotion would remain. The further excitement of being about to do the thing would raise the emotion even more. But here learned is another thing, if you think about something once the next times you bring it up (especially if you bring it up right after you figure it out) it is going to be much easier to understand so thought is going to be reduced and feeling raised relatively.

So in other words, before the thought or your understanding of what it is you are going to do is complete, you are going or are not going to be having emotions that are encouraging this thought process or affecting this thought process.  Emotion and intelligence are intertwined.  That is why first comes the emotion, then the complete thought, and then you might have an emotion about that thought itself as well, - in other words the state of the emotion you are feeling is probably going to evolve as the thought does.  This reveals that while emotion is unconscious thought, not all unconscious thought is emotion. 

Humans don't just say things without thinking about them first, so everything is going to be unconscious first.  Speech is much much slower than your thoughts are, and unless you start saying something and don't know the complete sentence before you say it, you are going to have the entire thing thought out first.  So technically everything starts with an unconscious thought.  However this thought has levels of understanding, there are levels to which you understand the thought, that is why you can't just say everything all at once, you usually have to think about it for a bit first. When people think, it takes time to think, and they don't think unconsciously in sentences.  They think unconsciously with emotions, thoughts, visualizations, anything your mind can simulate. When they think unconsciously with emotions you could be taking large emotional experiences and trying to analyze them, or little ones, you could be combining different experiences, or combining emotion with thought or emotion with visualization (etc.). Your mind doesn't just use sentences to figure out what it wants to do, that would take too long.  Sentences are actually just sounds that represent things, you don't need to simulate a sound in your head in order to think.  It might be that you simulate tiny sounds, or however it is your neurons fire to organize the thoughts, the point is the thoughts are not fully formed instantly.  It isn't the firing of one neuron once that makes a complete sentence.  There is a progression of thought.  This is obvious because when you are doing a problem, say a math problem, you often can reach the answer without having to say anything.  What is happening is that you are thinking about things unconsciously, maybe you are visualizing the number of things you need to visualize to find the answer (say adding 1 to 1 you have to visualize the separate objects, and then visualize the two objects together).

An Overly Optimistic Attitude towards Life Leads to a Dulling of Emotion

When you go into a situation or an event the attitude you have is going to impact your emotional experience. If you think something is going to be fun, when in reality it isn’t, and you continue to think that that thing was fun afterwards, it is going to make you feel worse than if you had the right understanding of how much fun the event was. This is because an overly optimistic attitude causes you to consciously focus on things which you enjoy more, but your conscious mind can only recognize a tiny amount of things which you enjoy. So you are amplifying a disproportionate amount of emotion in your own mind. That throws things off balance in your head and you start to wonder (consciously and unconsciously) why you are enjoying some things more than others, and it throws off your responses to natural, ordinary events. In other words, your mind compares the positive things which you are amplifying to the things you aren’t amplifying (like how it compares how you work during the day to how you rest at night – that is your mind compares the work during the day to resting at night and therefore you feel more rested because your mind is comparing those things to if you didn’t work during the day). Furthermore ordinary events start to become duller because you are amplifying a few events you just think are fun, when in reality all of life is fun if you give it an equal chance.

What those people fail to realize is that basically everything can be viewed as fun, they don’t need to grab onto a few things with their overly optimistic attitude. Emotions are fun, and life is so full of emotions that any scene or event in life can be broken down into its many emotional parts. Emotion just means how something makes you feel, and that in turn means what kind of reaction things make you have. In fact, each individual object in life gives an emotion, and makes you react in a certain way.

If you have an optimistic attitude towards life, or an overly optimistic attitude, then most of the emotion that you get is going to be undercut (undermined, etc, because it is going to be outweighed by the few things which you are praising, or have an optimistic attitude for) and therefore overall be leading to a dulling of emotion. That is because this overly optimistic attitude is a conscious thing that only enhances a few of the events in life and doesn’t understand that everything in life can be viewed as being fun (if you take the same attitude and just twist it that is).

You’re not still being optimistic because you’re dismissing the verbal discourse whereby you rate some things in life as higher than other things. You are still being optimistic in a way but now you understand that you shouldn’t be over inflating some things more than others. It is like saying, wow that duck tape is really really cool. But then you are missing all the other things in the room which are also cool, maybe a lot less cool than the duck tape but they can still be viewed as being cool. So instead you’d say, hey that duck tape is cool, to keep it more in line with how cool the other things are. This doesn’t mean that you are less optimistic towards life, it just means you are more aware and considering of the whole.

Similarly, an overly negative attitude can bring down how cool an object is. You can basically manufacture false emotions about things. While you might feel a temporary sensation of elation (if you’re being optimistic) or a temporary down feeling (if you’re being pessimistic) afterwards you are going to feel bad because you basically insulted all the other feelings in your mind as being weak compared to it. Either that or you feel bad because you inserted an emotion that was too hard to deal with in your mind because it was so strong, and you feel bad afterwards because that strong emotion lingers in your mind and takes up room that it shouldn’t, in addition to throwing your system off balance.

That is what an overly optimistic attitude does, it takes all the things in your mind that you might verbally over inflate, and inflates them. That creates a tension in your brain because then most of the ordinary things which you should also be enjoying seem dull. The reverse is true with an overly negative attitude, which is also bad.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Your attitude is determined by your thoughts, and your thoughts are going to be determined by your intellect because your intellect is who you are, and you decide what it is that you are going to think. Your attitude is going to lead you to have different emotions, and these emotions are then also going to change how it is you understand the world emotionally, or your emotional intelligence.

Smaller Emotions Follow Brief, Intense Emotions

Extremely deep feelings and emotions, like sadness or anger, usually only last a few seconds. However, those deep feelings often trigger lesser feelings of sadness and anger for the period afterwards. This intense, brief period of emotion can trigger a long array of smaller, similar emotions afterwards. Say if the deep emotion was you being sad, the following emotions that person is going to experience would be lesser sad emotions. These emotions aren’t just by themselves, but are often accompanied by thoughts, behaviors, or environmental stimulus.

If you have a brief period of being extremely happy it is more likely to be followed by extremely optimistic thinking, like thinking, I am great, I am amazing, and wow I really did a good job. A brief period of extreme sadness is likely to be followed by pessimistic thinking because that is how your brain is wired. Your brain is programmed to associate sad with failure, and success (or happy) with optimism.

Why do intense emotions only last a few seconds? They do because emotions work in accordance with thoughts. Thoughts only last a few seconds, and therefore it is logical that the most intense emotions you experience are going to be periods of intense thought and intense emotion at the same time. These periods are so intense that they are probably capable of being noticed by the person experiencing them.

Such an intense emotional experience is going to leave a mark, however. That is why those brief periods of intense emotion are going to be followed by lesser, similar emotions. Say if you were extremely happy for a few seconds, then you’d be slightly happy for a while afterwards.

Why does the brief period only last a few seconds? Can’t it be longer? If life were great, I guess the positive intense emotional experiences would last longer, and the short negative emotional experiences not even exist. But the attention span of the average human/animal is actually very short, and they can only handle so much intense emotion in a certain period of time.

That leads to another phenomenon called overload. A person or animal can only experience so many intense periods of emotion in a certain amount of time. Say you made someone laugh really hard, and then would tell an equally funny joke right after, that person wouldn’t laugh as hard because the laugh brain circuitry is already exhausted. It is like being jaded, only in the short term. This theory is easy to test, just pinch yourself, then pinch yourself again, and you’ll realize that it hurts a lot more the first time. That is because pain is an emotional experience as well, and that first pinch is exactly similar to the brief periods of intense emotion mentioned before. Furthermore, the pinch is followed by lesser amounts of pain. When all that residual pain is gone you can pinch yourself again and it will hurt just as much as the first time.

In other words, the brief, intense emotion was so intense that it leaves an aftereffect of lesser amounts of that same emotion. I could also just change the word emotion with thought. If you think something strongly, then similar thoughts are likely to follow, only less intense. The intensity of the emotion/thought goes downhill after the main event solely because your mind is exhausted by the intensity of the intense experience of emotion or thought. Humans/animals simply don’t have the capacity for a more intense experience then an intense emotional or intellectual experience.

People just don’t have very, very, very intense emotional or intellectual experiences. The mind just can’t handle it. People can have very, very, very intense physical experiences, however. That is only because evolutionarily humans and animals evolved going through very intense physical experiences, but there just isn’t any need or purpose to go through intense intellectual/emotional experiences. It would even be boring after the first few seconds. That’s because most emotion and intellect is originally from sensory stimulation, which is found in the real world and not in your head.

There are many examples of the intensity of intellectual and emotional experiences dying off. It is simply because something repeated over and over in your head becomes less and less interesting as its newness dies off. You could take any idea and repeat it to yourself over and over and you’ll notice how doing that becomes less and less interesting.

In fact, sometimes it is better to not initiate thinking about something that would lead to you to continue to repeat it (or similar ideas or emotions) because it is unhealthy to repeat things (or experience emotions that last too long) because the intensity of the experience dies off and you are stuck in a pattern of thinking about something, or feeling something, that you don’t want to be thinking or feeling because it isn’t providing enough stimulation. But you are still stuck feeling/thinking it because for whatever reason your mind doesn’t let go of it easily.

It is healthier to not be so interested in the thing in the first place so your mind doesn’t over inflate it and you wind up going through a period of over-excitement, which you don’t really enjoy, followed by a period of under-excitement, which you don’t really enjoy. It is like an addiction to emotion that would lead to this behavior. Or an overly optimistic attitude towards life. Someone that is overly aggressively approaching life, trying to grab onto whatever positive emotions or thoughts they can. Or someone overly upset about something and, just being persistent, doesn’t realize that it becomes less and less interesting to be upset about that thing, but continues to persist in thinking about it. They just need to move on.

In fact, you could view this two different ways, one is to not experience the more intense thoughts/emotions and try to spread it out over time. The other way to view it is the sharp emotional spike is a good thing. It is probably only a good thing if you like hurting yourself, however. It is a bad thing because it is so out of character with your everyday emotions/thoughts, which are much less intense. Such a drastic change from the ordinary would cause a violent mood swing. Your mind is going to be upset that things around it are changing so fast, and it would lead you to continuously try and figure out what is going on (consciously or unconsciously). Your mind has in it an automatic thing which tries to figure out what is happening to it, and that device is going to short circuit if you put in short, brief periods of intensity. It is like the brief period of intensity jolts your entire system. Like a hot wire.

If you are going to go for the brief period of intensity then that is a way of looking at life, it is a philosophy that you need to grab on to anything that throws its way to you. Or if you are looking for the brief period of negative intensity then that philosophy would be looking to grab onto (really anything, not just anything positive) that comes your way. Someone with those attitudes would think something like, “ok there is a positive experience, lets do it, I mean lets really go and do it that would be really really really fun”. They are so upset about life that when they see a positive thing, they cling onto it desperately. What they don’t realize is that clinging onto something positive (or negative) or any clinging, causes your mind to stop liking it due to repetition and overload.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • When you have a strong emotion it just doesn’t disappear, but it disappears gradually. This shows how your emotions are going to determine your thoughts and therefore your intellect. It shows that emotions cannot be completely controlled and therefore are going to change your thoughts and therefore possibly the reliability of your intelligence.

Visual learning

Things that are easier to picture are easier to understand.

Things that are easier to picture are easier to understand. Take the difference between understanding, we are going to play with the Frisbee, and if you throw the Frisbee twice as fast, it will arrive at its destination in half the time. It is clearly easier to understand what playing with the Frisbee is then it is to calculate how soon it will get to the other person. That is because the emotional event of playing with the Frisbee is large and distinct, and involves many things.

One thing was an emotional event; the other thing was a precise calculation. You could also view that backwards, that the calculation is actually an emotional event, and the emotional event is actually a calculation. The emotional event of playing Frisbee is in fact a calculation; you are calculating everything that there is involved with playing Frisbee. When someone says, “let’s play Frisbee” you imagine and picture in your head everything that playing Frisbee involves.

Thus for anything that is said you bring up a picture of it in your head. Even if it is a sound or a smell, you always try to picture what is causing it. That is because the vision enhances the experience and makes it more enjoyable to think about and therefore it is also going to be easier to remember. It is like vision is tied in with everything, and that if something can’t be visualized, it simply doesn’t exist.

Empty space is the absence of vision. But when you think hard about just an empty space, you’d like to imagine something there because you know that you would enjoy looking at that space more that way, that it just isn’t right for something to be empty like that. Even blind people visualize things because they can feel in three dimensions with their bodies and hands.

That is also why harder mathematical problems are harder to do, because they are harder to visualize. You have to memorize what 12 times 12 equals, but you can easily visualize what 1 times 2 is. Just one group of 2, that equals 2, you can picture that object in your head easily but when you picture adding up 12 groups of 12 the image gets too large.

Even if you think about a smell that is an invisible gas, you are going to picture something in your head like a gas outlet or a gas tank, or the air being filled with an invisible substance. Vision is in all of our thoughts and emotions, the other senses aren’t. Only some things smell, only some objects make noise, but everything can be seen. Everything exists somewhere physically, that is, and if it exists somewhere physically, then even if it is invisible you are going to be trying to imagine the space in which it is in.

In that manner blind people can see. They have an image of the world similar to what we do (even if they have never seen) solely from feeling objects and imagining where everything is. If someone asked you what the properties of an invisible gas were, you’d be thinking about the empty space in which the gas was in. How is it that people can visualize empty space? If there wasn’t empty space there, then there wouldn’t be anything, just empty space. So when most people visualize empty space they probably think of something like an empty room, or the corner of an empty room and just not focus on the walls, trying to look into the empty space by having an unfocused look to their eye.

It also seems that the easier it is to picture something, the easier it is to understand and remember. That is because things that have a stronger visual presence cause more emotion to be invoked in a person, and it is has a larger presence in that persons mind, and therefore is easier to remember. So the easier the vision is to comprehend, the easier it is also going to be to remember.

Also, the more emotional the event, the easier it is to remember. (and all events and such things in life are visual, as well). That is why dogs remember the words they care the most about like walk, Frisbee, food, and their name. It isn’t just easier to remember these larger things, but it is easier to understand them. The smaller and more complicated it gets, the harder it is to understand. So easier physics problems would be something like ball A hitting ball B, but harder ones would involve something like friction, which you can’t see as well. For example what is easier to understand, what is the force of friction on the ball, or what is the force of my hand on the ball? Mathematically they would seem to take just as much physical work to write down the mathematical solution, but emotionally it takes more work to do the friction part of the problem. (because it is harder to visualize) That means, however, that it is going to be harder for you to do the mathematical problem, or the friction part of the mathematical problem.

The easier something is to visualize, the less the strain on your mind processing that thing is going to have. Things that are easier to picture are easier to understand as well.

There are also degrees to which you visualize something. Say you are doing a math problem that involves distances. You can focus on those distances when you think about them to varying degrees. That is, when you think of the word distance you have unconscious thoughts about something like, “oh was that a very long trip?” Or you think more or less clearly about how straight the line of the distance is because you are thinking about trips now. Or thinking about the force of friction on an object, you have to try and visualize the tiny particles rubbing against each other. There are degrees of effort you can put into thinking about each visualization. Fields like engineering and physics require a lot of visual intelligence. People who can focus more and visualize things better would probably do better in those fields. Since vision relates to everything, better visual ability could help in countless situations to varying degrees.

Is emotional intelligence visual? How does the statement, “boys are aggressive so they would be more likely to buy a book about aggresivity to encourage their own aggressiveness than if they weren’t aggressive” relate to visual intelligence? You have to be able to imagine boys being aggressive and then you have to think about the response (which is visual) to boys when they are encouraged to be aggressive. Emotional intelligence is then just observing slight visual changes in affect. However to notice these slight changes in affect it is important to point out or lead one to notice better certain visual things by more intellectual observations, which are actually just visual observations themselves.

They are visual observations themselves because almost everything is a visual observation, the only things that aren’t visual observations are observations related to the other senses, but those other senses might play a lesser role than visual since visual is the sense people are most in tune with since it occurs all the time.

Emotional intelligence, however, might also relate to understanding physical senses because you need to understand how people physically feel in order to understand their emotional state, as the physical contributes to emotion. You feel your own body all the time and the senses from your skin and muscles changes all the time as well. Those feelings play an important part in how you feel, and serve as a baseline for emotions. That is you can close your eyes and stop thinking, but you are still going to feel something. That thing you are feeling then must be mostly physical since you aren’t getting any other inputs (other than unconscious emotional ones, but you can do things like focusing on your heart beat or breathing to eliminate more of that focus and focus more on your body).

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Emotional intelligence is sensory (or comes originally from sensory data), and your senses are directed by your thoughts and emotions (or you – and you are your intellect). So it becomes clear then that someone is their intellect, and their intellect then must comprise their emotions and their thoughts (since someone is only emotions and thoughts just behaving in a certain pattern).

Consciousness

Understanding the psychology of your feelings, emotions and thoughts is important because it leads to increased consciousness.

Consciousness occurs when feeling and understanding meet, this is because consciousness is shown in the ability to reflect on your feelings. In other words, when you understand what it is that you are feeling you are the most conscious. That is because during that time you are most aware of what is going on. This awareness could be described as an understanding of life, not just general understanding. That is you could be doing a math problem, but that math problem isn’t going to increase how conscious you are, because doing it isn’t going to increase your understanding of how it is that you are feeling. It could be that doing the problem makes you more awake, and as a side effect of that you understand how it is that you are feeling better, but that is just a side effect. Understanding how you are feeling makes you more aware of yourself because that increases how much you are thinking about yourself (or your feelings).

Since thoughts and emotions lead to feelings, the more you understand them as well the more conscious you are going to be. So if you are doing a math problem, the more you understand that you are doing a math problem, and the place the math problem has in your life, then the more conscious you are. That is, it isn’t doing the math problem that is making you more conscious, but it is understanding the place of what it is you are doing and feeling (in this case a math problem) and where that fits into your life that determines how conscious you are. It is your inner reflection of how the math problem makes you feel as a whole that separates humans being conscious from other animals. Consciousness basically means aware. This means that the math problem actually does lead to increased consciousness, because you are becoming more aware of the place of that math problem in your entire life as you do the math problem.

So consciousness basically means how aware someone is of themselves (it means other things as well). The more aware of yourself you are the more conscious you are. In order to be aware of yourself you need to understand where everything in your life fits in. It is this awareness, or commonsense, that is more important to understanding who you are. In order to be aware of yourself, or have a concept of self, you have to have a concept of how yourself interacts in the world as a whole, not just as individual parts.

Even though you might be sleeping, you are conscious because you still understand who you are. Then again, during dreams you don’t act in as rational a manner as when awake, as dreams tend to not make as much sense as real life. Therefore you wouldn’t be as conscious during a dream as you would when you are awake. You are still conscious to some degree, however, since you are functioning in a somewhat reasonable manner. But you still aren’t clearly perfectly aware of yourself or your place in the world since in dreams sometimes you do things and see things that don’t make sense, but you apparently don’t notice them. This indicates further that consciousness is more a matter of commonsense and how well you know yourself than just standard intellect like would be present say when doing a math problem. Your ability to reflect on yourself might not be related to normal IQ, but might more likely be more highly related to emotional IQ.

In other words commonsense can be measured just as standard intellect can be. But what leads to commonsense is emotional intelligence not intelligence that is more related to memory or something built up over time, like skill. The more commonsense someone has the more conscious they are because they know what it is that they are doing. This is a different type of consciousness then the type that makes humans human, this is the practical type of consciousness that makes someone aware of their environment and their ability to function, versus a deeper human consciousness. In dreams people have very little commonsense, for example, in a dream you might try to do the same thing over and over again even though it might be failing, and you just randomly appear in scenes or scenarios with no background knowledge of how you got there or where in the world you are. That suggests that during dreams you are solely emotional. So commonsense isn’t just emotional intelligence, but it is a general awareness that would result from understanding your emotions, thoughts, and feelings all at the same time (and their place in the world). In order to understand the proper place of emotions, thoughts and feelings just a large assortment of knowledge isn’t going to increase your understanding of who you are. What is going to increase your understanding of who you are however is understanding how your emotions, thoughts and feelings fit into the general assortment of facts and information which makes up the world.

In review, commonsense and a general knowledge of where you are leads to consciousness. Those things both are clear facts separated from a bunch of haziness (the real world). So something like a bee might act like it understands its place in the world, but it doesn’t consciously understand it because if you put it in a glass cage it might just bat against the wall trying to get out over and over, not aware that it is ever going to get anywhere. The bee has no commonsense or knowledge. Knowledge in that case would mean understanding that it is in a glass cage, and commonsense would mean understanding that it is never going to get out. So to have commonsense you do need knowledge, but you need to take knowledge and appropriately configure it in order to gain common sense, or consciousness.

You need some knowledge and standard intellect (like memory) to attain commonsense (or consciousness). The more memory you have (random assortment of facts and information) the more information you have to put together in an organized way. It could be that it is easier to put together small amounts of information since it is less to process, leading to more commonsense than just being confused with a lot of memory. However, if you have a lot of data (or memory) and are also capable of putting it together effectively (like you wouldn’t be doing in say a dream) then you would have more commonsense then if you had less data and put it together just as effectively, because overall you’d have more data that is properly processed. So commonsense (or consciousness) is your ability to organize the data in your head. This data is organized relative to yourself, therefore giving you a greater understanding of where you are relative to the data. Disorganized data doesn’t count at all. A greater memory might increase your commonsense, but only if you can put that extra data together effectively. The bee didn’t understand the data that it was in a glass cage, and it didn’t understand that it wasn’t getting anywhere by hitting against it over and over. If bees had some commonsense they would fly around a room trying to get out instead of trying to get out in the same place over and over. They just have no idea what they are doing. But that is because it probably doesn’t remember what it just did. It might remember to some extent, but that memory might not be clear. So it isn’t the bees fault that it has no commonsense, because it didn’t have a large enough memory to collect enough facts to potentially use commonsense. A person with no commonsense in that example would be someone constantly running into the door without using the handle. You know the person has a large enough memory to remember that it just did that and it shouldn’t do it again, but it is still doing it over and over. That human is not conscious at all.

That human is showing no understanding of its actions. Understanding actions leads to commonsense because it shows that you know your place in the world. That human apparently isn’t aware of its current place in the world, which is that it is never going to get out of the room with that strategy. So the more sense someone has, the more likely they are going to understand their place in the world and what they are doing, therefore being more conscious.

The better one understands the statement “I am happy” the more that person understands how they are then relative to their condition at previous times. That would lead to them understanding themself better. The better someone understands themself, the more aware of themself they are, leading to increased consciousness. That is an example of how understanding feelings leads to increased consciousness. That is also different from what makes humans truly conscious, however. It is someone’s own deep understanding of who they are and how they are happy at that specific time relative to their life, and the meaning of that which makes someone really aware.

So life is a bunch of data that needs to be sorted in some ways in order for a sense of self to be identified. One way to sort the data would be to identify things similar to yourself. A data point in the center would be you, the points closest to that would be the points most similar to you, and the points further out would be more different. That type of sorting would lead to a long term understanding of sense of self. The other type of sorting where the closest points are what is most relevant to you at the time would be a temporary sense of self. Take the bee example, the bee doesn’t understand that hitting the wall over and over isn’t getting it anywhere, so for it a temporary data point that it is missing that would increase its sense of self awareness is that it isn’t getting anywhere by doing that.

The other type of sense of self is a more long term one. Things like what you like and dislike, and what emotions different things cause in you repeatedly would help you identify “who you are”. So consciousness isn’t just awareness of your environment, it is an understanding of yourself and who you are relative to your environment. That means a deep psychological understanding of your emotions, thoughts and feelings, an understanding of how you perform both in individual and general instances, and what your ability is to perform in those instances.

Putting together some data points doesn’t increase self consciousness as much as if you put together data points that relate to yourself. It is when you relate data point(s) to yourself that even more increased consciousness occurs, because you are relating yourself to more information, increasing your interaction with the world and therefore understanding yourself better relative to the world. So doing a math problem isn’t going to increase your understanding of yourself a lot, because those data points don’t really relate to you. It is going to increase your understanding of yourself a little because you understand what it is that you are doing, which increases your understanding of yourself, but it doesn’t increase how much you are thinking about yourself, which would increase your awareness of yourself even more. If you are trying to leave a room (the bee example) however, you linking your desire to leave the room and the fact that opening the door allows you to do that is linking a point about you and a point about the door together, strengthening your sense of self and how much you are thinking about yourself.

So basically any thought about oneself is going to increase ones sense of self. You have a permanent understanding of who you are that doesn’t change, and that is your long term understanding of self, but when you think about yourself, or you doing something (like trying to leave a room) your sense of self is temporarily increased because you are thinking about yourself more. So consciousness fluctuates greatly based on thought. It also increases greatly if you are having feelings or emotions about yourself as well. It increases when you are thinking, feeling, or being emotional about yourself because during those times you are more aware of yourself.

Commonsense increases someone’s ability to put data points (facts) together, but the more those facts (and resulting combinations of facts) relate to yourself the more that your consciousness is going to be increased. This leads to the conclusion that consciousness is just the awareness of the experience of oneself, and that experience includes ones actions, thoughts, feelings, and emotions (both long term and short term). It could be rephrased that consciousness is awareness of someone’s life experience, both short term and long term. The more commonsense someone has the more aware of their life they are going to be because they are going to be able to organize their life and their actions in an efficient, clear manner (both short term and long term) by connecting facts to themselves (the more distant the fact, the less consciousness it leads to because it is less related to yourself causing you to think about yourself less). The more someone is thinking about themself (or experiencing feelings and emotions about themself) the more they are going to be aware of that life experience because their life is going to be temporarily elevated in their minds.

It is impossible to have a perfect understanding of self, or consciousness because to do that you would have to be aware of the exact effect of each emotion, feeling and thought you have. To do that you’d have to be aware of everything in your environment, and everything that you can remember all at the same time. This means that your consciousness evolves based on your memory, that is if your memory changes, who you are changes because you can’t base yourself off the same things anymore. Who you are also changes based on your environment, and how aware you are of your environment.

You are going to be more aware of your environment if you are thinking more about your environment, or processing data about it (again this type of consciousness is more a functional one versus a deeper one). Processing data about your immediate environment leads to a greater sense of self because who you are is dependent on your immediate environment, because you automatically process what is going on in that environment. You get a lot of sensory stimulation from the environment you are in. That can be proved because when you think about your immediate environment your awareness of it increases much more than if you think about an environment you are not in. If you think about being in an environment you are not in your sense of self is going to decrease more than you would be if you weren’t thinking about anything, because your minds awareness is going to be divided between two places, so you’d have two senses of self. That links into the idea that processing data that is more relevant to yourself leads to greater consciousness, if the data is physically in your environment it is going to increase your self awareness because that is where you are (so you’d be thinking more about yourself).

While thinking about yourself being in another environment leads to less consciousness then just thinking about nothing, thinking about another environment without yourself in it leads to even less self consciousness then either of the two. That is because you just aren’t thinking about yourself at all. If you are processing data in your environment it is like you are thinking about that environment, only less so, so processing data in your environment would increase your sense of self more so than thinking about nothing in your environment, but less so than thinking about your environment directly. By “your environment” I mean the area directly around you, the closer it is to you the more related it is to you, so the more it is going to cause you to think about yourself. If you look at trees in the far distance you aren’t going to be as focused as if you were looking at someone right in front of you because your attention is on something less related to yourself.

In summary, when you think about your environment, or you being in an environment, your sense of self changes, (listed from most positive to least positive amounts of change) a) if you think about you being in your environment, b) if you are processing regular data in your environment c) if you are just in your environment not thinking, d) if you think about yourself in another environment, and e) if you just think about another environment (because you are removing you from yourself). This thinking about oneself leads to greater consciousness because that is what consciousness is, awareness of oneself which is going to increase a lot when you think about yourself (or have feelings and emotions about yourself).

Those rules apply unless the environment has data which is similar to yourself, say if there is a painting of yourself far away that you are looking at, it would cause you to think more about yourself then if you were just focusing on your immediate environment. So if the environment is just environmental, sensory stimulation those rules apply, but if there is something in the environments that causes you to think deeply about something then you are going to be either even more removed from yourself (if you are thinking deeply about something not related to yourself like a math problem or a person who is different from you) or even more related to yourself (greater consciousness) if you are thinking about something deeply which is similar to yourself (say a person similar to yourself, or an experience of yours was a personal experience about you).

That shows that if you think about consciousness as a short term thing, your consciousness changes all the time and drastically. For instance, one might have barely any consciousness at all if they are completely out of it (drunk, really unfocused, laughing really hard). During that time you simply have little or no short term consciousness. There are multiple different time spans of awareness, however, one is of your life in the long term (many years), the other is of your life in the short term (a few years), and another is of your life in its immediate, current phase (days or so) (or any combination of time). People about over 50 might have a consciousness for each 10 year or so span of their life, and they would constantly remember all 5. People are aware of themselves and their lives at different periods. The only thing that is very consistent that people have of themselves is their understanding of who they are, how they interact in the world, and how their emotions, feelings, and thoughts respond in similar instances. Those are things which don’t change a lot based on the environment they are in, and that sense of self, or consciousness, is a more long term one. So long term consciousness is based off of how well you understand the psychology of your emotions, feelings, and thoughts, and also how those three interact as a whole to produce your long term psychological state/condition.

So having a larger memory isn’t going to necessarily increase your consciousness a lot because it isn’t going to lead to a greater understanding of yourself. What you remember of yourself changes your consciousness, but it doesn’t increase or decrease it a lot unless it is a dramatic amount of difference in memory, like the difference in memory between a dog and a human. Unless the greater your memory the greater your emotional experience and you’d need to constantly remember all prior experiences in order to maintain the most advanced level of emotional experience you have. In that case a decrease in memory would decrease your emotional experience, and the more advanced ones emotional experience the more likely it is they are going to have a better understanding of themself.

That leads to the idea that certain emotional experiences lead to a greater sense of self more so than other emotional experiences. If someone was in a war they would have the emotional experience of understanding how they respond in combat, and their sense of self would then forever (or as long as they can remember) be a more action oriented one. So the deeper the emotional experience, the more it contributes to your self consciousness. The more individual the emotional experience, that is, the more related the experience is to yourself, the more the experience is going to increase your self consciousness. That means that there isn’t just self consciousness, but people can be conscious about the world around them and other people, and that there is an overlap between self consciousness and world consciousness.

That is, if you have an experience with another person, you then become more aware of that person as well as more aware of yourself. So you’d have more consciousness of that person, and more self consciousness. The same idea goes if you have an emotional experience with an object, or group of objects (in the case of a war it might be something like guns). Going to war might increase someone’s consciousness of weapons or danger. Consciousness therefore means awareness in general, not just self awareness. If you are aware of something, then you are conscious of it.

Most dictionary definitions of consciousness just list it as being the things people are most aware of. There are things to be aware of that aren’t major things, things which you aren’t “most” aware of. Awareness just happens to center around the self. That is a selfish view of the world. Someone could be only most aware of wrongdoing, more aware of wrongdoing than they are of themself, that is possible. If that were true for most people then consciousness would be defined as wrongdoing, not someone’s interest, or awareness in themself.

So the best definition of consciousness is therefore “everything that someone is aware of”. People are aware of things in both the short term and the long term. A fly is probably only aware of things in the short term, since it has almost no memory compared to a human. A human’s consciousness can change drastically, however (their consciousness, or what it is that they are aware of in total). Conscious just means, “Are you aware in general”, but consciousness means, “what are you aware of exactly”.

The next question is, what are people usually most aware of? Most dictionary definitions have as definitions for consciousness things like awareness of ones surroundings, ones feelings, ones identity, things that people are usually most aware of. Those definitions are people’s long term sense of consciousness. Over the long run, most of the things you are going to be aware of are going to be related to yourself somehow; therefore most of consciousness is based on the self. However, you can think about things that aren’t related to yourself, and your thought changes drastically, so during periods of thought about things that aren’t related to oneself that person is almost completely not focused on themself. It is impossible to be completely not focused on oneself because you are experiencing physical sensations from your body all the time (which are going to be about yourself), not just mental ones.

So someone can have consciousness about something, the question “what is consciousness” is like asking “what is awareness”. Awareness is when you focus on certain things and therefore think about them and/or have more feelings and emotions about them. In review, consciousness means “awareness”, “everything that someone is aware of”, “everything that someone is aware of currently”, or “everything that someone is aware of currently or during a certain period of time (say their life)”. So you could ask, “what was your consciousness over the last 5 years”. That would mean, over the last 5 years, what have you been aware of. The response could be “wrongdoing”, “myself”, or a large list of things. A more specific version of that would be to ask, “what are you aware of, and when are you aware of it”, or “over the last five years what were you aware of, and when were you aware of it”. If someone wants to know someone else’s life time consciousness they could ask, “what were you aware of throughout your life”. If someone wanted to know if someone was conscious about something (or what their consciousness was of something) they could ask, “what is your awareness of that thing”, or “what is your consciousness of that” (for example, “what is your consciousness of war”). You could also say, “what does it truly mean to be human” that could also mean what is consciousness.

How This Chapter shows how Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion:

  • Explaining the definition of consciousness shows how intelligence isn’t just random thoughts and emotions, but some parts of intelligence are directed thoughts and directed emotions, and that direction is what makes someone conscious.

Curing Depression

Depression arises from any negative emotion. Therefore, to eliminate depression, negative emotions need to be eliminated.

Depression arises from wanting things that you can’t have. You basically need to be satisfied with your current state/condition. Even thinking that although things are bad now, but there is hope for them to get better means you’re satisfied with your current condition. If someone wants something that they can’t have, they get depressed. Therefore that is the logical cause of depression.

That works on the small scale too in addition to the large, if you are unhappy with yourself in general, that is probably going to result in a larger depression than if you can’t go to the store right away. If you want to go to the store right now, but can’t, then it might make you sad, but that isn’t as large an issue as if you are dissatisfied with something like your personal life or who you are in general.

What if there is something that will make you happy but you don’t know about it? That is ok because thankfully there are only a few general causes of depression. The human condition can be studied and similar things that people want arise in each instance. Just go through everything that you might want but can’t have and say in each instance, it’s ok that I don’t have that, I don’t need everything.

Wouldn’t ignoring something that you want but can’t have be imposing blocks on yourself, that if you want something, you should let your emotions run free and let the desire go? Well if you do that, you’re going to be upset. You basically somehow need to justify that your current condition is the best thing.

The best way to do this is to realize that each person is an individual and unique, and that a difference should be viewed as an asset. That if you are different in some way, that that way is positive, not negative. That other people appreciate you for who you are. You need to have confidence in who you are and the state your life is in.

Is having too much confidence in yourself arrogant? Yes it is slightly arrogant, but it also means that you have what you want. If someone has what they want, they are going to be confident. That won’t be bad however, because people like people that are confident in themselves because they are easier to be around. Lower self confidence would cause someone to act differently. This is because they would be unsure that each thing they are going to do is going to be ok, so they are going to be hesitant and unsure, causing them to act different and more uncertain. Therefore confidence is the most important thing for someone to have in order to combat depression.

Confidence also eliminates fear. When you aren’t confident you are afraid that life is failing you, you are afraid that there is something out there that you want but can’t have. It is very important to not be afraid of anything. What if there is something you’re afraid of but you don’t know what it is? You need to go through everything that you might be afraid of, and eliminate that you are afraid of them.

What if you’re afraid of fighting a lion? Something like that would be a test of how fearful you are in general. Once you pull up the fear emotion by doing something fearful, if you are more afraid than you should be then something is wrong. That was just a test. You shouldn’t have a lot of fear in life for anything. You should have a lot of self confidence. So you shouldn’t be too afraid to do something like fight a lion, you should, however, realize that it is probably going to cause you to die.

How is it possible to not be afraid of death? Surely everyone is afraid to die. Well it is perfectly possible. Think about the situation if you were not afraid of death. What would you be, and how would you be acting, if you weren’t afraid to die. If you can imagine that, then you know that it is possible. If you can’t imagine that then go up step by step. Take something you are just a little afraid of, and imagine doing that without fear. Then keep going up. Eventually you won’t be too afraid of anything, including death.

Fear isn’t necessary. Part of logic is the understanding of facts. So if you logically understand that you are going to die, that is ok. If you get a weird feeling when you think about death (aka fear) then you should realize that you don’t really need that feeling. The feeling of fear is almost completely unnecessary. You don’t need strong feelings of fear to remind yourself that you are going to die if you fight a lion, or to motivate you to run away. Maybe the emotion fear can’t be eliminated completely, but the more that is eliminated, the more self-confidence you are going to have.

In fact, logically, eliminating any negative emotions is going to help eliminate depression. That is the definition of negative after all, bad and likely to cause sadness and therefore depression. Just go through the negative emotions of anger, fear, sadness, disgust and surprise. Try to go through anything that might cause those feelings and eliminate them. Also you can do the test like we did with the death test for fear. If you have a larger amount of that emotion than you should for an extreme example, (like death) then that is indicative that there is too much of that emotion in your system, that you are too afraid in general and need to reduce how much of the emotion fear is in your system.

Logically only positive emotions are good, and all negative emotions should be eliminated. They basically don’t do any good. The only reason to have minor amounts of them in your system would be to cause a small, healthy amount of anxiety to keep you on edge, but the key word there is still small.

Wanting things that you can’t have counts as a negative emotion which is called dissatisfaction. Also a lack of self confidence is a negative emotion because that is more likely to cause fear. If you have 100% confidence when fighting a lion you aren’t going to be afraid.

Basically psychology doesn’t need to be complicated. If psychology is complicated, then things like depressions can arise easily because there are complicated factors going on. Psychology, however, is actually simpler than it seems. Just imagine a person standing anywhere. This person is not doing anything; there are no inputs in and no outputs. If there are no inputs in and therefore no outputs, then there is no possibility for error (or a depression). Life doesn’t get much more complicated than just standing around and doing nothing, so where could a depression arise from?

It is logical then that something like a slight confidence boost (say imaging having enough confidence to fight a lion) should raise someone out of a depression and into feeling normal, like how they would in the situation where they were just standing around, getting no inputs in and therefore no outputs (output like a depression).

In fact, if you imagine yourself just standing around doing nothing, not only are there no outputs, but you probably feel good about yourself too. There is a simple pleasure in just absorbing the surroundings. That means that humans are like cars, when in idle they are set to go at a minimum speed. They don’t stop when you put them in drive but the engine keeps running at a slow pace. From where can a depression arise if our natural state is a happy one?

Unconscious Emotion Regulation and its Determinant in Humans: Cognition

The proper term for 'unconscious' emotion regulation is actually 'implicit' emotion regulation. Emotion regulation is typically considered to be more conscious and deliberative, however I think that the interesting and complex aspects of emotion regulation are the unconscious ones. If you think about it, people don't know all the complex ways in which their emotions change. All of the emotional changes that people experience occur at the unconscious level because emotion is so subtle and complex - people basically have no idea what is happening to them emotionally. Knowing you are experiencing one emotion is much different from understanding exactly what is going on.

Many different factors influence someones experience of emotion. The biggest factor in the experience of emotion is probably the strength of the emotions occurring. I was thinking that there would many more factors to discuss (since I am talking about emotion and is obviously a significant psychological phenomenon) but I guess there isn't. There should be a lot of factors that impact how emotion is felt and how it changes.

Since strength seems to be the only significant factor of emotional processing to discuss I will start there. It appears to me that emotion is triggered often and starts and stops frequently. Humans have a whole set of cognitive thoughts or unconscious mental decisions that start and stop emotion. For instance when they see something significant their mind has this stimulus categorized and responds to it in a way that has been programmed in - either from at birth or by previous emotional development.

So one thing a person might respond to is just seeing another person. That stimulus would trigger a complex emotional response, immediately upon seeing the other person the cognitive unit of 'compare myself with this person' or 'analyze this person' is engaged. The things the other person represents in your mind, the way the other person is emotionally significant, what the other persons current attitude and manner is, are all things that your mind tries to think about and picks up on initially as a pre-programmed response.

These 'pre-programmed' responses occur because there is a natural, fast, and complex way humans interpret emotional information. The significant emotional dispositions of other people (who they are), whatever it is they are emotionally communicating at the time (what they are projecting), and how your mind is prepared to accept, look at, and interpret that information are the factors that determine these pre-programmed emotional responses.

The automatic emotional response occurs instantly and continues to give feedback. People then start to think on their own after the initial response and their thoughts influence the emotions that are felt and (obviously) their thought process and the ideas that they have about the other person. I just used people meeting other people as an example of strong, instantaneous emotional decisions/responses, however whenever your mind processes any object it makes calculations about that object that come from pre-programmed cognitive structures.

Attention can lead to complex thought. When someone experiences an emotion their attention changes based off of that emotion. The emotion triggers a set of thoughts. The emotion triggers cognitive units of thought, and this is going to impact someones attention because the thoughts (or cognitive units, whatever you want to call them) are associated with certain emotions.

Unconscious (Implicit) Emotion Regulation, Mental Representation, Principles of Emotion and Cognitive Determinants of Emotion

How do emotions fluctuate and change? What principles, mental processes, and cognitive determinants govern feelings? The most obvious factor behind how emotion varies from individual to individual, from situation to situation, and from moment to moment; is appraisal theory. However, it is a more complicated question to ask how appraisals and mental processes affect changes in the nature of feeling and mind.

A process of appraisal can be considered the key to understanding that emotions differ for different individuals. Assuming a process of appraisal that mediates between events and emotions is the clue to understanding that a particular event evokes an emotion in one individual and not in another, or evokes an emotion at one moment, and no emotion, or a weaker or stronger one, at another moment. (This is because the evaluations (appraisals) (for example, someone steals your car and then you think 'that is bad that my got stolen, this is going to make me feel bad' and then you feel bad, the thought involved an appraisal of if the event was good or bad for you and if it was going to cause negative or positive feelings in you) that people make about events influence how they feel about those events). A process of appraisal also explains why an emotionally charged event elicits this particular emotion, and not another one, in this particular individual under these particular conditions.

The process of appraisal accounts for the fact that the arousal of an emotion depends upon the meaning of the event for the individual and explains why the emotion that is evoked often depends upon quite subtle aspects of that meaning. Arousal of emotions is determined by the interaction between events, the individual's conceptions or expectations as to what constitutes well-being for him or her and the individual's expectations that he or she will be able to deal or cope with the event and, if so, in what manner or how effectively.

However, all of someones thoughts are going to influence their feelings, not just their appraisals of events. People think things about the events that occur in their lives. They don't just ask if the event is good or bad, they form opinions of it, compare it to other events, analyze it, struggle with it, etc. Also, the sequence of events in someones life causes emotions to occur in a certain way as well, if one event follows another, it might influence the emotions felt for the previous or next event.

Also, a thought may have an emotion associated with it that you wouldn't expect or don't know about. If you think about it, with each thought, an emotion is going to be a result of the thought or would have helped bring up the thought. This is because thoughts are more complex that just the verbal thought - there is a lot of things the thought represents in your mind that also could be emotional triggers.

Why are appraisals such significant thoughts then? People must really care about how good or bad the events in their life are. Your assessment of how good or bad an event is is going to influence how good or bad the event actually is. That basically means that your attitude and thoughts about the event is going to influence feelings about the event. These thought processes are the most significant ones someone has about an event.

That makes sense - what else would someone think about something that just happened to them other than if it is good or bad for them anyway. They could think practical things about an event, but in the end it all really results if it is good or bad for them. People get emotional about if something is going to hurt them or help them, it seems.

All thoughts represent something larger in the mind and are more significant than they might appear by themselves. People have hopes, desires, and fears about each thought they think. Thoughts are also related. One thought might bring up similar hopes and fears as another thought, therefore helping to trigger or inhibit the other thought.

But surely thoughts are related more than just emotionally. Emotionally thoughts are related because they bring up similar or related emotions. But thoughts are also related because they represent similar physical things or other thoughts and ideas. Desires are ideas and thoughts, and these might be triggered by similar thoughts. When someone sees a piece of art, the art could represent desires that they have (and therefore trigger thoughts).

A child might be afraid of an animal. Since animals are similar to humans, the emotional response of the child to the animal it is afraid of might be similar to being afraid of a human. Physical the animal might look somewhat like a human. Animals and humans are certainly more related in how they look than humans and physical objects. Animals and humans both have emotions, and animals think to a certain extent. My point is that thoughts and emotional reactions have things in common with other thoughts and objects. They all represent similar and related things in the mind (such as emotions like hope, desire, fear, and beliefs).

This complex network of interacting ideas, emotions, and representations is going to determine how the emotions of humans fluctuate. Emotions and thoughts are related to each other because they each represent ideas, other thoughts (such as beliefs or facts) or other emotions. A simpler way to say that would just be that one emotion, event, or stimulus triggers a complex reaction in the mind. It triggers an intellectual reaction whereby the person goes through all the things that that event represents to them. This can be other physical things, complex thoughts and ideas (such as beliefs or facts), or hopes and other emotions.

Unconscious (Implicit) Emotion Regulation

Implicit emotion regulation is how someone moderates and changes their emotions automatically, beneath their awareness. Goals and intentions are going to play a large role in how this process occurs because they are a large source of emotions and feelings. People form many intentions which they aren't aware of, and these intentions are going to influence their emotions and the potential thoughts they might have.

When someone feels better but they don't know why, or when someone thinks something but they don't know what motivated them to think it, then it was clearly from the unconscious (such as unconscious feelings, thoughts, intentions and goals) which caused them to want to think the thought and generate the new emotion.

What is the difference between an unconscious goal and an unconscious intention? It is clear what the difference between those two terms when referring to there conscious function is - a goal is a large objective, an intention however is something that you want or intend where you are thinking that you are trying to do something right then. You are trying to accomplish something - that what an intention is. You have the intent to do something. You are striving to do that thing.

A goal, however, you aren't necessarily trying to achieve in the present time. You can put a goal aside or lower its priority. An intention you usually wouldn't do that with. When someone forms an intention, they try to do it right away. So a goal is basically a more important intention. If you intend to do something, and it is important for you, then it becomes a goal because goals are longer term or just more important.

This distinction is important because goals and intentions can be unconscious. People make goals and intentions about things in their lives all of the time, consciously and unconsciously. However, there are two types of unconscious goals/intentions - one type is very subtle, and the other type is a larger more obvious type of goal or intention.

A subtle unconscious goal or intention might be something very insignificant emotionally. For instance you might not want someone to come closer to you, so emotionally you might freeze up. This is so subtle you probably wouldn't notice that it is occurring consciously. However what happened unconsciously was that you recognized that you didn't want this person to come near you, and you unconsciously regulated your emotions so you would be feeling less. You could say that the other person made you afraid and that caused the emotional freezing, or it could be that it was an unconscious intention of yours to block out the other person because you didn't like them or want them coming near you.

That is just one example of a subtle, unconscious emotional event. There are constantly emotional things going on beneath one's notice. All of those emotional processes are regulated unconsciously. People are much more capable of manipulating their emotions unconsciously than the are consciously because there is much more going on unconsciously than consciously.

Some other examples of unconscious goals or intentions are seeking pleasure, trying to feel any single or set of emotions, trying to increase, decrease, or maintain any single or set of feelings, or trying to achieve some thought you had at some other point - such as a conscious goal of some sort of success in your life or something like that.

How the Mind Works, Principles of Emotion, and Mental States

The mind works primarily through various emotional principles - for instance striving for pleasure is a natural emotional process that people have little control over, and this process is going to be influenced by stimuli and cognition. Striving for stimuli or pleasure is one of the more important principles of emotion since clearly emotion is going to fluctuate and be influenced by stimulation, which often (and hopefully) takes the emotional form of 'pleasure'.

What exactly is a principle of emotion then, or, if emotion is so important to a mental state, what is a normal mental state? What happens differently to someones mind when they are under stress then when they aren't? What is the difference between a mental state and a mood? If someone is happy - that is a mood, if someone's mind is more or less competent, conscious or capable of performing then that is more of a mental state. Meditation is like a mental state - in that state the mind is doing certain specific things (such as being calm in a way that is induced by certain thoughts or feelings). A mood, however, is just your general way of feeling (which you can feel for a long period of time and doesn't necessarily impact your performance). Someone can be in a mental state to do work, or be in one of the two most obvious mental states - conscious or not conscious.

My saying that doing work is a mental state is theoretical. It depends on how someone defines the term 'mental state'. There could be a endless number of mental states, or someone could define mental states to be states just related to doing work. Maybe for one job they have their own defined mental states where they need to be in a certain mental zone or whatever in order to perform a certain task.

It looks like this is much more complicated than it seems. If you think about it, there are going to be a lot of factors that influence someones mental state. There are ways of going into a meditative mental state, people can prepare their minds to go to work, to go to sleep, etc. Everyone knows they are in different states at different times, however it would be interesting to know what exactly is going on. For instance, in each of these states what is the person focused on, what are they capable of doing, how are they feeling, what are they thinking about (consciously and unconsciously), how conscious are they and what are they paying attention to.

Concentration and Emotions are Important Factors in Intelligence

People can concentrate in various ways, and one of these ways is imbedded in how a person’s brain functions (their emotions, feelings and thoughts all contribute to a certain “brain structure” which would enable some people to concentrate more than others). All things which are harder to do and require a higher intelligence really require more concentration. Concentration is best understood when it is compared to a person’s emotional mind; that is, emotion and concentration are contrary to each other because as emotional development and temporary emotion increase, concentration decreases. As adults age their emotional development grows and how emotional they are increases as they learn to separate out the things they enjoy from the things they don’t, (as this is a sign of good emotional development) but their intelligence decreases. This must mean that something (probably emotion and emotional development) replaces the decline in intelligence that occurs as adults age. Emotion replaces it because that is the natural thing to happen. As animals use less and less of their conscious mind, they become more and more unconscious. For an animal with as large a brain as a human’s being more emotional would mean that they could be very emotional. The larger brain size increases emotional capacity. Since brain size doesn’t decrease over age the emotional capacity becomes used more as intellect goes down. When people are less intelligent, they tend to be more emotional because they have a more direct connection (they don’t have to “go through” or “think through” their intellect) to their emotions.

A good example of how concentration can have a large impact on intelligence is seen through the example of some people who cannot read and comprehend complicated sentences, but are capable of hearing and comprehending these sentences in real life (Durell, 1969). It may mean they just aren’t concentrating enough when they read as when they are listening. Listening leads to them being more interested in what is being said so they can focus on it deeper. The sound and/or social factors “wakes” them up and focuses their attention naturally. That means that solely because they were motivated their intelligence increased; that shows how emotion can influence intelligence.

Concentration is relative to emotion, which is unconscious thinking about something. Concentration is also another word for consciously or unconsciously thinking about something, usually when it is normally hard to think about that thing. That is, you need to concentrate more if you are being emotional or not focused in order to stay in focus, so concentration might then be better defined as thinking under pressure, or thinking in the absence of emotion. That is, someone very emotional would concentrate and that would be thinking under pressure, the pressure coming from the emotion, and someone non-emotional might just concentrate without having to battle wild emotions or distractions.

While concentration means thinking against the perils of disruptions and emotion, you can also concentrate when you’re not being disrupted. So any higher-level thinking can be viewed as concentration. This means that when you’re not concentrating, you’re doing more simple things, since those things wouldn’t be higher-level intellect. People can’t think about several emotions at once, so therefore emotional things are simpler than intellectual ones (so simple that you can’t think about them consciously easily – too simple). That is, as emotion increases, conscious thinking decreases, therefore the number of things you recognize yourself as “doing” also decreases. This happens because people can only think of a few things at a time, and if one of the things you are thinking about is emotion (which you would do just by being emotional) then you wouldn’t be capable of thinking as much consciously (remember emotion is unconscious thought) and that this lower thought capacity would be reflected in a lower intelligence. That is, unconscious emotional processes can replace the higher level functioning used in intelligence as your brain ages and physical factors in your mind decrease your intelligence you might accommodate that change by spending time and energy you’d otherwise spend remembering things and figuring things out by putting your mind into emotion. In the absence of thought you retreat into feelings because they are all your mind can physically handle. As people age their minds physically change to accommodate emotion more than intellect, which decreases. It could be that you understand how your brain is changing, and your emotional mind understands that as well, so you emotionally develop to accommodate your changing mental wiring. That is, as you get dumber (in certain ways) you learn to relax more because you don’t have to think as much. You retreat to become more embedded in your feelings and more sensitive to them because the intellect that was covering them up (partially blocking them) is gone. Younger adults might be wilder than older adults, but this does not make them more emotional because emotional means being affected by your emotions, so the younger adults might have a lot of emotion but their intellect isn’t affected by it, therefore they are less emotional.

That is, it could be that your emotional development happens to correspond with the physical changes in your brain. That is demonstrated by imagining an adult in a child’s mind (say around 3) it simply wouldn’t work because the mental wiring is so different. The child is simply too interested in the world and this greater interest is mirrored by faster learning connections in the brain. That is fitting because if you are interested in something, you want to learn about it. As you get older you want to learn less and your ability to learn mirrors your desire to learn. This coincidence is likely a product of good evolution. Learning uses higher level functioning because you need to draw conclusions based on data for the first time, and it is going to be harder to come to conclusions the first time you learn something then when you implement that learning later on. Using what you learned requires much less brain functioning because you aren’t getting used to new material which may require a different way to think about that material (it would probably require a new way since by definition you are learning).

Emotion is really any disturbance from concentration, which can be seen as higher-level intellect. So as emotion increases, your conscious concentration goes down, and therefore your conscious intellect goes down (that is when emotion increases a lot such that your willpower cannot overcome it, say during any highly emotional time like crying). But what then is unconscious intellect? It seems that unconscious intellect would be things like emotional intelligence, that is emotional intelligence would be processed unconsciously, since it is emotional. You can think about how “cool” something is but you don’t have a conscious thought process about it, you have an unconscious emotional one about it so therefore it is emotional intelligence and having more of that type of intellect might make you more emotional (because you are thinking and processing more things unconsciously, which means you are processing them with emotion). That means that emotional intellect is really just an understanding of things that make you feel, and therefore when you use this intellect you are having feelings so large you can usually identify that you are feeling something, like in the example where you identify how “cool” something is you probably are experiencing an emotion of enjoyment if the object is very cool. If the object is neutral (not cool or uncool) then you would still “feel” your emotions as your mind delves into the emotional part of your brain in order to figure out if you like it or not. You can test that for yourself; just think of a neutral object and ask, “How cool is that” – you become slightly more emotional when you ask the question because you have to think deeply in order to figure out the answer. If you ask the question of “how cool is that” to something cool then it makes you feel good because it is a cool object (this happens because it causes you to think deeply about how cool the object is, and think deeply means thinking more about how cool the object is, and since the object is cool you are going to enjoy thinking about it).

If you think about it emotion is really just things that distract you. Emotion and conscious concentration are completely contrary to each other; they are opposites. If something happens to you that is a disruption (like emotion) then you simply cannot concentrate as well, because you were disrupted. As in the cool example, when you think about how cool something is you start to have feelings about it, and this distracts you from other things that you might be thinking for that time period. That is, it feels like emotion “disrupts” you because it is unconscious, so it disrupts your consciousness because it causes you to feel which disrupts your conscious mind and you recognize your sense of self fundamentally as being a conscious being, not an unconscious one. In this way it is fitting that emotion would replace higher level intellect (as adults age), because it is clearly separated from it. That is, thinking about how cool the object is thought just like regular thinking is thought, you can feel that in your mind – this indicates that since emotion and thinking take up the same space they cannot exist concurrently.

Emotion feels like it is disruptions and unconscious thought (that is, because it is not logical so it disrupts your sense of logic and the rational continuity of life). When I say “rational continuity of life” I mean that you need to be logical in order to function in a way that would continue your life. You need to have a basic understanding of who you are and where you are and what you are doing (which having higher order brain processes as shown in a good learning ability helps). That understanding is often absent in dreams, where you are mostly emotional and you clearly don’t know what you are doing because if you did, you’d be aware that the dream you are in doesn’t make sense (as most dreams make little sense). Emotion doesn’t just disrupt people in that way (less logical continuity of life) but it would also cause someone’s mind to become more emotionally chaotic. In other words, emotion is unconscious because it cannot be understood. If emotion was understood, then it would be conscious and it wouldn't be emotion. That is why emotion disrupts consciousness and clear thinking, because it by nature is unclear and not understood. When something not understood such as emotion interacts with things that are understood (such as things in regular thinking and intellect) then the clearer thinking becomes disrupted, because something that is not clear and not understood in nature is only going to add components that don't make sense, instead of adding logical information which does make sense. That means that when emotion is on, thinking is off. Thinking and emotion cannot exist in the same space, because thinking by definition is something you understand, and emotion is something you don’t (you understand emotion to some degree, that is people can say, “I like that” which shows understanding of their emotions, but emotion is less understood than non-emotion related thoughts such as math, which is much more exact). To deal with this your mind must turn off emotion in order to think, and thinking off in order to feel; thus your brain separates periods of thinking from periods of emotion. The two components of intellect and emotion never exist together, they are by nature they are separate (in terms of time and separate in terms of nature).

If you are disrupted, you think about what happened unconsciously, so emotions and disruptions are the same (that is because disruptions cause people to become more emotional since they get so upset that they got disrupted, which in turn causes them to think about the disruption unconsciously, which is why emotion is unconscious thought - or an unconscious control process of conscious thought that is the mechanism by which the disruption causes you to stop; but what drew your attention to the disruption in the first place, however, was something unconscious because it was so fast - this quick attention to the disruption is emotion, and that is why emotion is thinking unconsciously). That further shows how emotion is different from higher level, conscious intellect.

If you are more emotionally developed does that mean that you think more unconsciously and therefore think less consciously? Emotion or unconscious thinking would replace your decreased intellect, and this is fitting because emotion also takes away from conscious thinking anyway because you only have so much space in your mind (you can only think about so many things at once, and it is harder to think about more things than less). That is, it is fitting that emotion would replace intellect because you are still capable of thinking of the same number of things, so you’d need to replace brain power used for intellect with something in order to maintain the same mental activity overall. That is, your brain still has the same power (which could be thought of as your number of neurons) but they are just used differently. That could also be thought of as when you age the number of activities you do remains the same, so you still need to use just as much brain power. When viewed that way humans can be compared highly with other animals, that is, most of life is really just doing simple, animal like actions. Someone could do something intellectual, but this isn’t going to result in a significant amount of more brain activity than non-human animals. Just because non-human animals don’t think in words doesn’t mean that they don’t feel similar emotions and feelings as humans. If one animal likes another they have a feeling about that. A human’s ability to put that feeling into words doesn’t necessarily add that much emotion or feeling. Most of the feelings people have come from external sensory stimulation, not internal (such as thinking) so therefore most emotions humans have are going to be similar to other animals (dogs, cats, etc). Therefore it becomes obvious that humans maintain a similar level of activity when they age as when they are younger. And a human’s intellect can be seen as just a mental blocking of their emotions; especially when compared with other animals in the world. Most emotions come from real sensory stimulation, not just sensory stimulation that you think of in your head say when reading a book. Doing the actions of the book in real life would generate more emotion than reading about them, for sure. So as people age they still get about the same stimulation, and this stimulation either needs to be felt or blocked out.

A good example of “blocking” emotional stimulation can be seen when certain behaviors of dogs are compared with that of humans. When a submissive (possibly younger) dog meets a more aggressive older dog (say the meeting between an American bull dog and a regular dog) the younger dog can show his/her submission by nipping the dominant dog’s snout. That is because the emotional interaction is so intense (due to the dominant dogs aggresivity and potential to harm the younger dog, who it views as annoying) that the submissive dog would be viewed as ignoring the dominant dog if it didn’t engage in a very friendly social interaction such as a nipping on the mouth. The nipping relieves the enormous tension between the two dogs, it is a way of saying, “it is ok we are friends”. The need for such a nipping comes from too much emotion between the two animals. If humans were in the dogs’ skins such an interaction wouldn’t occur because the emotional intensity wouldn’t occur in the first place. The humans’ intellect would block the emotional interaction, they simply wouldn’t be aware of it because they aren’t as aware of their emotions, the dog is more impulsive and responds directly to his/her emotions. The human might be intellectually aware that one dog is dominant and that this might be a problem, but they ignore it. Ignoring it would cause anxiety for the human in the dog’s body and the human wouldn’t know why. The human cannot give into their emotions and accept that there is a problem, and that it needs to be resolved.

This problem (the problem is there is a dominant dog and a submissive dog, and the submissive dog would be upset that there is a dog more dominant than it, and the dominant dog would be preoccupied by how annoying the non-dominant dog is, because it is so inferior to it that it is annoying, also there is a need to establish dominance) of dominance can be seen with other animals as well. If there are two roosters and too few hens the roosters are going to fight. If a human was in the rooster’s body (but had the rooster’s emotions such as a desire for the hens) then it would have to fight it out with the other rooster in order to relieve that anxiety of desire for dominance. The human is simply less in touch with its emotions than the rooster. That is, the rooster is capable of such desire for the hens that it is going to fight over the hens each time, humans on the other hand wouldn’t “have” to have a fight over anything that is emotional, they simply don’t experience emotions as well because they have too much intellect. Even though the rooster’s brain is much smaller than a humans, it is capable of much more emotion because of the lack of intellect. Emotional conflicts that aren’t solved then generate anxiety because they aren’t solved, so sometimes a lack of emotion leads to people being dumber instead of more intelligent. In fact more emotion means that animals would spend more time dealing with emotional issues, thereby causing less anxiety. It doesn’t appear that animals other than humans have the same level of anxiety or depression as a human. How often do you see a dog with a depression or long term anxiety? From those examples it is clear how intellect is a block of emotional stimulation, so if intellect (or memory, which is a part of intellect) is removed the result would be that the animal (including humans) would become more emotional.

Instead of intellect blocking emotions, it could be that intellect is simply changing the emotions to make them go away. That is like with the rooster example, a human might not be aware that there is a problem because he/she isn’t as in touch with its emotions (desire for the hens), or with the dog example he/she might not be aware that one dog is different from it and this causes a social issue consciously, but unconsciously he/she would be aware. So the tension still exists, only unconsciously, so the emotions related to the problem still exist. It is only that the human is blocking them out because of his/her conscious mind, which is capable of blocking the unconscious. He/she isn’t aware of these unconscious emotions because he/she is thinking too much (and thinking is a conscious process, so humans are conscious because they think, but this leads to a blocking of emotion). That could be viewed as that humans think in a way fundamental to their psychology and consciousness, so fundamental and important that it interferes with their emotions. That means that intellect is intricately tied in with emotions. If something is tied in with something else then as one increases ones awareness of the increase increases he/she is going to be aware directly proportionally of the larger portion (that is rather obvious). So as intellect decreases, the emotions that were always there from the large amounts of sensory stimulation and social factors become uncovered.

Just as emotion takes away from intellect, intellect also takes away from emotion. That is, if you are thinking about something you can’t be feeling as many things, because you can only think about so many things at the same time, and emotion is really just unconscious thought. If you have less conscious thinking then your memory is going to be less because you are thinking less about stuff. That is, emotion uses processes in the brain to think that relate to emotional things, like feelings, not intellectual, concrete things which you would be capable of remembering. Emotional things are complicated things which involve feelings and people have a very hard time thinking about them consciously (for this reason when people feel emotion it is almost all unconscious, that is, you do not associate emotion with a sense of self). Unconscious thinking isn’t as clear and defined as conscious thinking, so more unconscious thinking instead of conscious thinking would reflect less of an intellect (because it is less clear and defined, “cloudy”). What it might lead to is a greater emotional understanding, however. That is, it doesn’t help with concrete learning, like in school, since its nature is not concrete, but it might help with emotional learning, since its nature is emotional. That is, if you spend more time being emotional it might be that you have more insight into how it is that you are feeling, and have a more direct connection to your feelings.

The reason that less intellect would lead to greater emotion is because emotion is by definition feeling. And people don’t “feel” their thoughts. That is, thought doesn’t lead instantaneously to feelings. Thoughts can lead to feelings, that is you can direct which feelings you are going to have by thinking about certain things, but the thoughts themselves are not feelings. The thoughts are instantaneous; the feelings take time and linger in your mind. That is why there is an almost endless source of feeling, because you feel them and this feeling is more profound than something you don’t feel. It could almost be said that thoughts are just ideas, and feelings are real things. The ideas might generate feelings, but not directly. The reason that feelings are such a source of emotion and feeling is because feelings are more similar to direct feelings which you get from touching things, feeling things, smelling things, tasting things, hearing things and seeing things (the 5 senses). Stimulation of any of the 5 senses leads directly to feeling. It would seem like there would be an overabundance of such sensory stimulation if your intellect was taken away. That is why other animals’ minds are smaller than humans, because without the intellect if they had such a large mind to just process sensory information it would lead to an overload of sensory data. That is why most of the human’s mind is used for intellectual endeavors, and the feeling part of the brain is very small. In fact, how much people feel compared to how much they think is mirrored in the proportion of the size of the feeling part of the brain to the thinking part. That makes a lot of sense. People think much more than they feel. Animals other than humans tend to feel much more than they think. Just imagine you stopped thinking and just felt the world around you, like if you were a dog. That when you encountered a situation when you needed to think you instead just responded to feelings directly. If you did that then with the submissive/dominant dog example you would respond to the dominant dog (if you were the submissive dog) like the submissive dog does. You would feel the feeling “scared” when you encountered the dominant dog and feel that you would want to suck up, you’d do that by kindly nipping the dominant dog’s jaw. Instead people don’t respond directly to their feelings but they think about things. When they see the dominant dog they would think about the dog and not realize as well that they are scared. This would cause a tension in the relationship between dominant and submissive dog because it would appear that the submissive dog isn’t scared when it should be, and is therefore threatening the dominant dog’s dominance. That would cause both dogs anxiety and probably lead to the dominant dog growling at the submissive dog and the submissive dog running away.

In review, intellect disrupts emotion just as much as emotion disrupts intellect. This is because too much feeling or emotion can disturb an intellect because the intelligent mind is very powerful and can magnify the sensations and feelings it receives from the emotional/sensory part of its mind. Intellect also disrupts emotion because it blocks it out or minimizes it. It is capable of doing this because it is so much larger and more powerful than emotion. That is emotion is weak, but is capable of being large if allowed. It is like a river, emotion has a wide stream but it is moving slowly and has a weak current. Intellect has just as wide a stream but is moving much faster. Thus when intellect meets emotion, as it does in the mind, more “water” from the intellect comes in. If the water from the intellect is reduced, however, there is plenty of water from the emotion to take its place. The lake where the water from the emotion comes from is almost infinitely large, because people can feel anything, anytime. The lake behind the intellect however is more limited, so when you have nothing to think about you resort to feelings. This may make some people feel stagnant, (if they aren’t thinking) because they otherwise wouldn’t be moving around all the time. So for optimum enjoyment/health people either move around all the time, or think all the time, or do one or the other or both all the time. Before modern civilization people were hunter-gatherers and they moved around all the time, and probably thought less. In modern civilization it is more common for people to think all the time, and move around a lot less. That is a significant change. People might be more emotional and in touch with their feelings in pre-civilization time when they were exposed to more sensory and physical stimulation. Physical stimulation is a feeling, you get direct feelings from physical stimulation just as you get direct feelings from external sensory stimulation.

That is, either you are interacting with the world or you are thinking, and if you are interacting with the world you are receiving direct sensory stimulation, which leads directly to feelings. Sometimes intellectual topics lead to feelings, but they rarely lead to deep feelings (things like extremely intense arguments might generate deep feelings, and no one can handle those arguments all the time). Intellect leads to fewer feelings than real sensory input because intellect only leads to thought. How many thoughts can you think of that are more intense than doing the actual thought in real life? I cannot think of any. Real feelings in the brain mostly come from sensory stimulation and emotion, or unconscious thought. If a male sees an attractive female he might feel things and therefore get emotional, but he doesn’t have to think anything consciously to feel those things. So even though there are complicated thought processes (unconsciously) going on about the female, it was still sensory stimulation which triggered the emotion. That is, the sensory stimulation lead to no conscious thought that would be related to having a higher intellect. So that same person could feel all those things even if they had a lower intellect or consciousness (conscious mind) because the thoughts generated from seeing the female in that instance were unconscious. You can only think of a few conscious thoughts when the female is seen because you can only think so fast consciously, but you can think much faster unconsciously, and if it occurs unconsciously it is going to lead to emotion, because that is what emotion is, unconscious thought. Emotion is unconscious thought because if it occurs unconsciously it is something you are going to “feel” instead of “think”.

This emotional nature of emotion (separate from higher order thinking or learning ability) is best demonstrated during dreaming, where a person is entirely unconscious and therefore one can see how emotions (which are unconscious thoughts) function. Dreams are random, chaotic and rarely make sense – that is a reflection of the nature of emotion itself. During a dream you rarely know who you are and things occur which often reflect that you really don’t know where you are. There isn’t a strong sense of self in dreams because you can’t think clearly about yourself. “Thinking” is something which doesn’t really occur in dreams, because if you were thinking you’d realize that you were dreaming, and your mind would switch from its unconscious thinking which consists of making up an elaborate story for a dream to conscious thinking where you wouldn’t do that, or be capable of making up such a complex story and complex visual data that quickly. Emotion can really be defined then just as complicated confusion, such as exists in dreams, which are almost entirely emotional.

Dreams are so out of the ordinary in order to generate more feeling and emotion. The out of the ordinariness in dreams, however, also makes them less logical and make less sense. This means that in order for something to be emotional, it needs to not make sense; if it made sense, then it would be conscious thought not emotion, and that emotion therefore could be defined simply as stuff that doesn’t make sense that you think about, not just as unconscious thought. And “stuff that doesn’t make sense” isn’t going to be remembered because it isn’t stuff that you can think about consciously because it doesn’t make sense. Dreams still make sense to some degree, since there are events in them which are at least somewhat real. So while emotions make some sense, they still make less sense than conscious thought. That is, if you are feeling a lot then are you emotional, and if you are emotional then a lot of stuff is going on in your brain. It could be that emotional development causes people to focus more on things they enjoy as they get older and block out the things which they don’t like (this makes sense as it would be good emotional development) and that therefore they get to be more emotional and experience emotions better. That is, maybe people can separate themselves from the things they don’t enjoy and attach themselves to the things they do. Adults might even seem to be asking the question, “how does that relate to my emotions?” (Since they learn to separate out things they like from things they don’t like better, they’d have to relate everything to their emotions more.) This might mean that adults are capable of being both more distant and more “close” than teens/younger adults because of their emotional development, they simply don’t treat things as equal anymore and possibly as a result gain more feeling. The down side of getting older on the other hand is that the things you enjoyed before are now older and you potentially don’t enjoy them as much because of that (they are less “fresh”). More unconscious thinking (emotion) probably also helps to maintain a more emotionally developed mind, as emotionally developed minds would need to think more about their emotions since they have more of them. This means that as people get older they would get more unconscious, but more intelligent emotionally.

Evidence for the idea that adults learn to separate out emotional events from ordinary ones and emphasize the emotional more comes from studies in autobiographical memory retrieval. In a study done by Dijkstra and Kaup (2005) younger and older adults were tested for autobiographical memory retrieval. Older adults were more likely to selectively retain memories with distinctive characteristics, such as being self-relevant and emotionally intense, particularly when remote memories were involved.

In another study by Charles, Mather and Carstensen (2003) the forgettable nature of negative images for older adults was tested. Young, middle-aged and older adults were shown images on a computer screen and after given a distraction task, were asked first to recall as many as they could and then to identify previously shown images from a set of old and new ones. The relative number of negative images compared with positive and neutral images recalled decreased with each successively older age group. Since it is clear people don’t want to remember negative images as much, the study shows how age and emotional development cause people to select what they like more. This would cause people to “relax” more. That is, as adults get older and their intellect decreases, this lack of intellect enables them to be more in touch with their emotions and be more capable of selecting the more positive images.

Memory tests (R.t. Zacks, G Radvasky, and L. Hasher (1996)) show that young adults perform better than older adults when told to remember and forget data. The older adults remembered less than the younger adults when told to remember, and when told to forget data they remembered more than the younger adults.

The results show that younger adults have better control over their minds than older adults. A greater emotional makeup of the older adults is likely a consequence of this. Emotions would lead to less “mental willpower” which would enable younger adults to direct their thinking and to forget when told to forget, and remember when told to remember.

A paper by Einstein and Mcdaniel (1990) investigated the ability of old versus younger people to remember to carry out some action in a future time (known as prospective memory or PM). They suggested that different patterns might emerge between situations in which the PM target is triggered by some event (e.g. “when you meet John, please give him this message”), and those that are time based (e.g., “remember to phone your friend in half an hour”). Their work showed age-related decrements in time-based but not event-based tasks (Einstein, Mcdaniel, Richardson, Guyn & Cunfer, 1995). In my view that would indicate that the event based tasks were more emotional than the time based ones. That is, old people are programmed to work based off of emotional events that occur in real life, not based off something unemotional like time, which occurs all the time and isn’t associated with emotional events. Since they forgot more on the time based tasks but not on the event based ones, it suggests that older adults are cued into emotional events more than the younger adults because there wouldn’t be a discrepancy between the two. It is clear that the event based task is more emotional than the non-event based task because the non-event based task doesn’t occur along with an event. That is, the event is a trigger for the old adult to remember the task. Even if the older adult is more motivated to remember the event in the beginning, they still aren’t going to remember it later on unless this motivation is “triggered” again. That is, it is something unconscious (motivation, emotion) which helps them to remember the event. The motivation can be triggered better by the event based task because the motivation comes from the task itself, so they attribute a greater amount of emotion to the recipient(s) of the task. Events are simply more emotional than non-events.

You think of yourself as primarily conscious, therefore anything unconscious would take away from your consciousness because you can only think about so many things at the same time. If one of those things is unconscious that you are “thinking” about (and thinking about emotion is going to be difficult at best) then it would make you more confused because you would lose more of your conscious, clear, defined sense of self. That is, your sense of self is a clear and focused one (different from emotion, which is not clear). Your sense of self can’t be an emotional one, because emotion doesn’t really make any sense (already shown as in dreams) so you can’t really think about emotion consciously, because it defies conscious thinking or logic. So since your sense of self is what you think about consciously, you are not going to think of yourself as emotional, you are going to think of yourself as more logical than emotional and if you do call yourself emotional that just means emotional relative to other people. That shows that emotion is clearly different in nature from higher order logical processes. And that therefore as intellect goes down as people age as adults it is possible and easy for emotion to go up, because it is clearly separate from intellect. The idea you have of yourself is as a functional being, not an un-functional and chaotic emotional one (that is, if you were solely emotional, not logical, you wouldn’t be able to do anything, you’d just feel and not think – like a frog).

In review, as people age they learn to separate out what they like from what they don’t like, and this ability causes them to gain more emotion, and emotion, being chaotic and unclear in nature, clearly works differently in the brain than intellect does. Emotions are chaotic; they permeate all your thoughts and have an affect on them, like a cloud. When someone is emotional it certainly seems like your entire mind is affected. Some emotions even have physical effects. More evidence that emotion doesn’t use the same brain processes as memory and learning ability can be seen during very emotional times, like during sex or crying, where ones concentration is less. Concentration is needed to maintain intellect, and emotion is clearly different from concentration (as when you are very emotional during sex or crying you cannot concentrate). You can’t memorize multiplication tables (which to do you’d need to concentrate) during sex or crying.

If an adult is intelligent at the same time that he/she is emotional then he/she is relatively less emotional because the intellect balances the emotion. So older adults would be considered to be more emotional because their intellect (or learning ability) is less (if older adults have more emotional intelligence then that wouldn’t make them less emotional because to use emotional intelligence you don’t “think” to figure out the answer but you feel. Emotional intelligence is therefore a sophisticated way of being emotional that animals other than humans might or might not have). That is, younger adults are wild and they are smart. They would still be considered to be less emotional though since a greater portion of their brain is intellect. Animals (other than humans) would be considered to be even more emotional than humans because they have almost no intellect. Emotional is acting instead of thinking, and all animals do is act, not think. Younger adults could then be viewed as acting and thinking at the same time with a higher proportion of intellect than older adults, if you don’t think that older adults have a greater emotional intelligence than younger, that is.

The statement “people and their intellect are based on emotions” is a complicated one. They are based off of their higher emotions and their lower emotions. There is really no such thing as “no emotion” because people they are always thinking, consciously or unconsciously, and that is what emotion is. Sometimes it appears as if they have no emotion, but they are still thinking about things, they still have a memory and they are still using it, processing data and sensory inputs. Those things all cause thought and therefore emotion.

How then could someone be called non-emotional? It must be that they are feeling less, that is if they are concentrating deeply for a very long period of time then they might be a deep thinker that isn’t really wavering in their feelings, just simply thinking about things and not really doing anything interesting that would invoke a lot of emotion, or unconscious thought.

Many older adults complain about being too occupied, both emotionally and physically. That is better seen in very old people whose brains are decaying, for whom even tiny mental tasks can wear out their mind. It isn’t that their mind is being worn out; it is that they already lost most of their intellect but the pauses are filled with emotion. That is what animals are like, the experience you get from animals is an emotional one, not an intellectual one. Therefore animals spend more time being emotional. Emotional in that context means feeling, animals spend more time using unconscious thought and “feeling” the world around them. That is good evidence that as intellect, learning ability and memory decrease it is replaced with emotion. That is because emotion doesn’t need to increase, it simply needs the block of intellect to be removed. People were already thinking about enough things consciously and unconsciously. That is, someone’s unconscious mind is really being partly blocked at least as a younger adult, but when intellect is removed the unconscious becomes unveiled (like how animals are unconscious) and the person becomes more emotional as a result.

Evidence for the connection between higher amounts of emotion and a lower intellect can be found in test studies done on people with a depressed mood. In a meta-analysis done by Vreeswijk and De Wilde (2004) a confirmation of the connection between overgenerality and depression was done. The depressed patients were less specific in recalling their memory than the non-depressed.

Since being emotional is rated by how much proportionally larger the emotional part of your mind is than the intellectual part, older people do get more emotional since intelligence decreases over age. However they don’t necessarily get more emotion as they age, they simply get more of it relative to their intellect. The lowering of the intellect, however, would make them more in touch with their emotions and capable of greater emotional regulation (as evidenced by the study where successively older age groups remembered more and more of the positive images). They aren’t likely to get significantly more emotional, however because the amount of sensory stimulation they are receiving is going to be similar to what they received when they were younger. The only thing that would go down is internal stimulation or thinking which goes down from a lowering of intellect.

As adults age from 20-74 their IQ (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) declines steadily (Kaufman, Reynolds and Mclean (1989). The verbal IQ actually stays about the same but it is performance IQ that decreases. From the postulates in this paper the conclusion would therefore be that verbal IQ is somehow related to emotions. Performance IQ is clearly not related to emotions because it tests mostly visual abilities. Verbal isn’t likely to go down because the things it tests have to do with emotion and emotional control of attention. You cannot control how effective you are doing visual stuff, however because it requires concentration to visualize objects because there is less motivation to visualize then there is to just think. Thinking is easier than visualizing because people are used to thinking about anything, however they usually only visualize things they want to visualize, not things that are going to be tested on the IQ exam. That is, you can use emotion to control thought but you cannot use emotion to control your basic intelligence as would be reflected in visual ability tests (performance IQ).

The “willpower” of adults won’t decrease as adults age. The willpower can direct a mind for under 20 second periods, and under 20 seconds is the time that it takes to do most intellectual tasks. Like a math problem. They could repeat the focus they put in every 20 seconds, “spike” their mind every 20 seconds or so to maintain this intelligence. The things on the performance test don’t require that much focus, either you know them or you don’t. Note that three of the verbal tests test mention attention or concentration specifically (which relate to willpower which relates to emotion as already stated). And the other parts of the verbal test measure things which are also going to relate to emotion such as information acquired from culture (you are emotionally interested in your culture) and ability to deal with abstract social conventions, rules and expressions (you are emotionally interested in social events) and verbal reasoning (tests things that occur in everyday life which you are emotionally attached to). The performance test on the other hand doesn’t test things that are likely to go down because of increased emotion. The performance test tests things that are more intellect related than emotion related, that is visual things require a more intellectual, flexible mind to move objects around in your head. While the verbal subtests just require some motivation to perform (only one component of verbal tests working memory (which isn’t that emotional and wouldn’t be subject to changes in concentration) - one component wouldn’t have a significant impact on the result).

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

Verbal Subtests

Information 

Degree of general information acquired from culture (e.g. Who is the premier of Victoria?)

Comprehension

Ability to deal with abstract social conventions, rules and expressions (e.g. What does - Kill 2 birds with 1 stone metaphorically mean?)

Arithmetic

Concentration while manipulating mental mathematical problems (e.g. How many 45c. stamps can you buy for a dollar?)

Similarities

Abstract verbal reasoning (e.g. In what way are an apple and a pear alike?)

Vocabulary

The degree to which one has learned, been able to comprehend and verbally express vocabulary (e.g. What is a guitar?)

Digit span

attention/concentration (e.g. Digits forward: 123, Digits backward 321.)

Letter-Number Sequencing

attention and working memory (e.g. Given Q1B3J2, place the numbers in numerical order and then the letters in alphabetical order)

Performance Subtests

Picture Completion

Ability to quickly perceive visual details

Digit Symbol - Coding

Visual-motor coordination, motor and mental speed

Block Design

Spatial perception, visual abstract processing & problem solving

Matrix Reasoning

Nonverbal abstract problem solving, inductive reasoning, spatial reasoning

Picture Arrangement

Logical/sequential reasoning, social insight

Symbol Search

Visual perception, speed

Object Assembly

Visual analysis, synthesis, and construction

Optional post-tests include Digit Symbol - Incidental Learning and Digit Symbol - Free Recall.

There is more evidence that emotion plays a role in intelligence. In a study done by Bartolic et al. (1999) the influence of negative and positive emotion on verbal working memory was tested. Their data showed significantly improved verbal working memory performance for positive emotions and a significant deterioration in verbal working memory during negative emotion. That shows how emotion can manipulate intelligence in the short term, as working memory is a short term ability. Therefore, however, long term intellect (like the rest of the verbal IQ test other than working memory) might be manipulated or under the control of long term emotions. It seems like your ability to learn all the rest of the verbal IQ tests would go up during the period of increased emotion as in this study, only it is hard to test for that. But that ability over the long run would be reflected in no decline in verbal IQ scores, and there isn’t. That is, it isn’t likely that just verbal working memory would increase due to increased emotion; that was just the only thing that they tested for. The subject probably became motivated overall and this motivation and good mood gave him/her greater mental powers, not just a better verbal working memory.

As adults age their explicit memory goes down Howard (1988) but their implicit memory stays about the same. Howard describes implicit memory as the ability to successfully complete memory tasks that do not require conscious recollection. Since emotion is unconscious, that lack of decline would provide further evidence that emotional process don’t decrease with age, but more intellectual ones do. That itself provides evidence that the emotional part of the brain is separated from the intellectual. The emotional part of the brain and the intellectual part still interact, however.

Emotion can enhance or detract from intellect, and intellect can enhance or detract from emotions. In the long run intellect does not disrupt emotion, but in the short term intellect and emotions intermingle and disrupt each other. It was shown how emotions are separate from intellect, and how therefore concentration (which can be defined as thinking under the pressure of emotion [since to give undivided attention you couldn’t be disturbed by emotional factors]) is an important part of intelligence (such as memory). When people’s intellect is removed they become more emotional, as this is what is left. The source of emotion (sensory stimulation) is so large that it can never be ignored. Intellect, however can be ignored and emotion would rise up in its place. In the case of adults aging this “ignoring” of intellect happens as the mind physically gets older and some of the intellect is removed. This reveals the idea that humans have the ability to hold off emotion and do intellectual endeavors, or to indulge and bask in emotion if they want to (and switch between the two) sometimes as fast as a split second, and they can switch from one to the other for years.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bartolic et al., 1999 E.I. Bartolic, M.R. Basso, B.K. Schefft, T. Glauer and M. Titanic-Schefft, Effects of experimentally-induced emotional states on frontal lobe cognitive task performance, Neuropsychologia 37 (1999) pp. 677-683.

Charles, S.T., Mather, M., & Carstensen, L.L. (2003). Aging and emotional memory: The forgettable nature of negative images for older adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology General, 132, 2, 310-24, June.

Dijkstra, K. & Kaup, B. (2005). Mechanisms of autobiographical memory retrieval in younger and older adults. Memory Cognition, 33, 5, 811-20, July.

Durrell, D. D. (1969). Listening comprehension versus reading comprehension. Journal of Reading, 12, 6, 455-60, March.

Howard, D.V. (1988). Implicit and explicit assessment of cognitive aging. In M. L. Howe and C.J. Brainerd (eds.), Cognitive Development in Adulthood. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Kaufman, A.S., Reynolds, C.R., and McLean, J.E. (1989). Age and WAIS-R intelligence in a national sample of adults in the 20 – 74 years age range: A cross-sectional analysis with education level controlled. Intelligence, 13, 235-254.

R.t. Zacks, G Radvasky, and L. Hasher (1996), Studies of directed forgetting in older adults, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 22, pp. 146-148 (experiment 1b).

Van Vreeswijk, M.E., De Wilde, E.J. (2004). Autobiographical memory specificity, psychopathology, depressed mood and the use of the Autobiographical Memory Test: A meta-analysis. Behavior Research and Therapy, 42, 2, 731-43, June.

Footnotes

  1. Kennedy-Moore, E., + Watson, J.C. (1999). Expressing emotion: Myths, realities and therapeutic strategies. New York: Guilford Press.
  2. Wells, A., + Morrison, T. (1994) Qualitative dimensions of normal worry and normal intrusive thoughts" A comparative study. Behavior Research and therapy.
  3. Wells, A., + Davies, M. (1994) A questionaire for assessing thought control strategies: Development and preliminary validation.
  4. Mayer, J. D Salovey, P., Gomberg-Kaufman, S., + Blainey, K (1991). A broader conception of mood experience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 100-111.
  5. Lazarus, R.s>, + Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal and coping. New York: Springer.
  6. Eysenck, M.W. (1982). Attention and arousal: Cognition and performance. New York: Springer.
  7. Bodenhausen, G,V., Shappard, L. A., + Kramer, G. P. (1994). Negative affect and social judgment: The differential impact of anger and sadness. European Journal of Social Psychology, 24, 45-62.
  8. Martin, L.L.(2001). Mood as input: A configural view of mood effect. In J. P. Forgast (Ed.) Feeling and thinking: The role of affect in social cognition (pp.135-157). New York: Cambridge University Press.
  9. Bandura, A. (1986). Social Foundations of Thought and Action. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  10. Barry J. Zimmerman, and Manuel Martinez-Pons. (1992). Perceptions of efficacy and strategy use in the self-regulation of learning. In D. H. Schunk + J. L. Meece (Eds.) Student Perceptions in the Classroom: Causes and Consequences (pp. 185-207). Hillsdale, NJ: Earlbaum.
  11. Garcia, T. + Pintrich, P.R. (1994). Regulating motivation and cognition in the classroom: the role of self-schemas and self-regulatory strategies. In D.H. Schunk and B.J. Zimmerman (Eds.), Self-Regulation on Learning and Performance: Issues and Applications (pp.132-157), NJ, Hillsdale, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  12. Carver, C. S. (2004). Negative affects deriving from the behavioral approach system. Emotion, 4, 3-22.
  13. Carver, C. S., + Harmon-Jones, E. (2009). Anger is an approach-related affect: Evidence and implications. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 183-204.
  14. Simon, H. A. (1967). Motivational and emotional controls of cognition. Psychology Review, 74, 29-39.
  15. Ariely, D; Loewenstein, G. (2006). "The heat of the moment: The effect of sexual arousal on sexual decision making.". Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 19 (2): 87–98.

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