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Escritos de Psicología (Internet)

On-line version ISSN 1989-3809Print version ISSN 1138-2635


OLIVERA-LA ROSA, Antonio; ARANGO TOBON, Olber Eduardo  and  MARTI NOGUERA, Juan José. Stars or constellations?: implications of cognitive studies for the dimensional model of emotion. Escritos de Psicología [online]. 2016, vol.9, n.2, pp.31-41. ISSN 1989-3809.

One of the main debates in the study of the psychology of emotion concerns the conception of emotions as unified psychological constructs (categorical/discrete) versus the dimensional approach to emotional episodes. In this context, the dimensional model of Russell (2003) stands out as an inclusive framework that takes into account a set of historical problems in this field of study. We analysed the model, discussed its viability, and reviewed the empirical evidence in favour of four hypotheses that underlie Russell's dimensional model: (1) There is a temporary primacy of basic affects versus more cognitive components in the development of an emotion; (2) perceived affective changes facilitate access to hedonically congruent material; (3) the human mind can mistakenly attribute the experience of a specific core affect to the incorrect stimulus; and (4) the experience of the dimensional components facilitates the occurrence of congruent cognitive responses. The combination of nonspecific dimensional components, both purely affective as well as those with more "cognitive" characteristics, can act as prototypical emotions. We conclude that Russell's dimensional model is an integrated alternative to other models with great potential for studying the nature of emotion.

Keywords : Emotion; Cognition; Core Affect; Dimensional Model.

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