The Function of Emotions

When and Why Emotions Help Us

  • Heather C.  Lench

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Heather C. Lench, Zari Koebel Carpenter
    Pages 1-7
  3. Parisa Parsafar, Elizabeth L. Davis
    Pages 9-23
  4. Melissa M. Karnaze, Linda J. Levine
    Pages 45-58
  5. David Huron
    Pages 59-91
  6. James Danckert, Jhotisha Mugon, Andriy Struk, John Eastwood
    Pages 93-119
  7. Jose C. Yong, Norman P. Li
    Pages 121-140
  8. Ira J. Roseman
    Pages 141-173
  9. Makenzie J. O’Neil, Alexander F. Danvers, Michelle N. Shiota
    Pages 175-193
  10. Alice Chirico, David B. Yaden
    Pages 221-233
  11. Heather C. Lench, Cassandra L. Baldwin, Dong An, Katie E. Garrison
    Pages 253-261
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 263-267

About this book


This eye-opening text brings together research from behavioral science, neuroscience, and other fields to make a cogent case for emotions acting as a practical framework for living our lives. A dozen basic emotions are analyzed in terms of what causes them, how they change thoughts and behaviors, and the functional value of these responses. Contrary to the common idea of emotions as fleeting occurrences, they are shown as having the potential for lasting impact on moods, thoughts, and behaviors. Intriguing findings assert that even negative emotions such as jealousy and anger can have positive results such as promoting positive goals, and can lead to successful outcomes in overarching domains such as cognition and well-being.

Among the topics covered:

·         How fear and anxiety promote attention and protective behavior.

·         How sadness and depression promote analysis of complex problems in goal-pursuits.

·         How happiness promotes processing and attention.

·         How love promotes relationship development and goal attainment.

·         How pride promotes sense of self and identity.

The Function of Emotions is a valuable resource for students, researchers, and clinicians interested in the psychology and neuroscience of emotions and their function in everyday life. It will attract an interested readership among professionals working in such fields as education, management and leadership, social work, and psychotherapy.


behavioral study of emotion neurological study of emotion goal pursuit research in affective science motivation and emotion emotions and well-being fear and anxiety anger sadness happiness boredom and education emotions and decision making emotions and moral decisions jealousy in relationships

Editors and affiliations

  • Heather C.  Lench
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Consumer Packaged Goods