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Psychology of Emotion

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After reading chapter six of Niedenthal et al (2006), one could ask what emotions have to do with social cognitions? Emotional concepts are not only basic for an understanding of the social world; they are fundamental to the development of behavioral repertoire. The emotions are conceived as a system that interacts with the cognitive system. Emotions influence cognition and vice versa. The underlying circuits are genetically thoughtful to respond unconditionally to stimuli representing evolutionary pressures faced.

The positive thinking of neural activity means emotional arousal outlasts the precipitating circumstances. All inner processes associated with entrepreneurial activity are at least partly cognitive processes. Therefore, one might argue that entrepreneurial activity is influenced by cognitive biases, and cognitive biases were indeed found to be strongly influence entrepreneurial decision-making (e.g., see Baron 2008). Emotional circuits can reciprocally influence higher decision-making and appraisal systems and categorization to others.

In chapter seven, Niedenthal et al (2006) described group emotions produced significantly different profiles than did individual emotions. At the individual level, emotions inform the individual on an event or the conditions that should be acted on. At the group level, emotions help define group boundaries and help individuals in the group identify other group members. Some emotions like love, hate, envy, and admiration are ‘intrinsically social’ in that they are felt necessarily towards someone else. Others like joy, enthusiasm, sadness are individual emotions since they do not require a second argument in their argumentative structure (Keltner and Haidt 2001).  

The schadenfreude presupposes that it is okay to attack individuals that are different, successful, or ‘outside’ one’s concept of normalcy. Hareli & Weiner (2002) suggested that acts of schadenfreude happen when one is jealous of another person’s success or ‘perceived’ success. Typically, this attitude is propelled by lust, envy, hatred, jealousy, or the need to gain attention of one’s self.

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