Motivation and emotion/Lectures/Nature of emotion

Lecture 07: Nature of emotion

Resource type: this resource contains a lecture or lecture notes.

This is the seventh lecture for the Motivation and emotion unit of study.


Figure 1. Emotions are triggered by significant life events and have at least four distinct components: feelings, bodily arousal, social expression, and goal-directed sense of purpose (Reeve, 2018)

This lecture discusses key questions about the psychology of emotion:

  1. What is an emotion?
  2. What causes an emotion?
  3. How many emotions are there?
  4. What good are the emotions?
  5. Can we control our emotions?
  6. What is the difference between emotion and mood?

Take-home message:

  • All emotions serve a functional purpose.


  1. Chapter 12: Nature of emotion: Six perennial questions (Reeve, 2018)


  • Feeling all the feels (CrashCourse Psychology #25, YouTube) (2:01 mins): an introduction to emotion.
  • Emotions and the brain (Sentis, YouTube, 2012) (2:02 mins): a simple, clear explanation of emotions, the brain, and emotion regulation.
  • Inside out - Meet Riley's emotions (Pixar, YouTube, 2015) (3:08 mins): Trailer for the animated movie Inside Out which provides an entertaining look at our inner emotions and memories.
  • What is an emotion? (Paul Ekman) (Mind with Heart, 2012, YouTube) (7 mins): Paul Ekman explains what emotion is, why we have emotions, and how they can be regulated.
  • Lie to me (Quicksubs, YouTube, 2015) (2:01 mins): Trailer for a TV series about lie detection through analysis of facial expression and body language.


See alsoEdit




Ekman, P. & Cordaro, D. (2011). What is meant by calling emotions basic. Emotion Review, 3, 364-370.

External linksEdit