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Emotion is a state of biological arousal that is described along a spectrum ranging from anxiety to depression, with a non-aroused state of euthymia. It is a complex reaction pattern, produced by some stimulus that involves experiential, behavioral, and physiological elements. [1] As a distinct, integrated psychophysiological response system, emotion is described by three distinct response systems [2], which include:

  1. a prototypic form of epression (typically facial)
  2. a pattern of consistent autonomic changes
  3. a distinct subjective feeling state

Theories of Emotion

James-Lange three-stage theory

Schachter & Singer’s arousal-interpretation theory

Cognitive theories

Lazarus’s cognitive appraisal theory

Power & Dalgleish--SPAARS


  1. vandenBos, Gary B. (2006). APA Dictionary of Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association
  2. Watson D., & Clark, L.A. (1994). The PANAS-X: Manual for the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule—expanded form. Unpublished manuscript, University of Iowa, Iowa City (Cited in Psychology: An International Perspective, Eysenck)