Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Gerald L. Clore & Yoav Bar-Anan
How do we know whether or not we approve of some action or like some person? According to the affectas-information hypothesis, our feelings provide such information. Just as our smiles and frowns provide information about our reactions to others, our positive and negative feelings provide such information to ourselves. Like many psychological processes, emotional appraisals are generally unconscious. Hence, having evaluative information available from affective feelings can be highly useful. Affective reactions are forms of evaluation, and experiencing one's own affective reactions provides information that something good or bad has been encountered. Such information can be compelling, because it may involve not only thoughts but also feelings, bodily reactions, and even action. Thus, specific emotions, like embarrassment, involve distinctive thoughts, feelings, and expressions, whereas general moods are less differentiated. Affective states can be thought of as having two components—affective valence, which provides information about how good or bad something is, ...