From moods to modules: preliminary remarks for an evolutionary theory of mood phenomena

Evans, Dylan (1999) From moods to modules: preliminary remarks for an evolutionary theory of mood phenomena. [Conference Paper] (Unpublished)

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In the past few decades, research in the psychology of emotion has benefited greatly from being located in a firm evolutionary framework. It is argued that research in the psychology of mood might attain equal rigour by taking a similar approach. An evolutionary framework for mood research would be based on evolutionary psychology, the main thesis of which is the Massive Modularity Hypothesis. Translating the folk-psychological language of moods into the scientific language of modules might clarify many theoretical questions and provide a sound basis for empirical research. It is argued that such an evolutionary approach would reveal mood to be a much more heterogeneous category than emotion. While the six basic emotions identified by Paul Ekman are probably each subserved by a single module, prototypical moods such as elation, depression, anxiety and irritability are likely to be subserved by a wide range of modules. An evolutionary approach to mood might therefore lead to the elimination of the concept of mood from scientific psychology altogether.

Item Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:emotion, mood, modularity, depression, euphoria, anxiety, irritability, automatic appraisal mechanism, adaptation
Subjects:Biology > Sociobiology
Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
Psychology > Social Psychology
ID Code:814
Deposited By: Evans, Dylan
Deposited On:28 Jun 1999
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54


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