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By Janet Polivy (auth.), Kirk R. Blankstein, Patricia Pliner, Janet Polivy (eds.)

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4. A response may be regarded as good or bad because of its intrinsic characteristics, as indicated above, or because of the consequences to which it leads. Consider an emotion such as courage. , dangerous) and/or there must be pain and anguish involved. , rushing into a burning house), particularly if it does not succeed. Yet, courage is considered a positive emotion because it often does lead to beneficial outcomes, and hence is encouraged. A similar point, but from the negative side, is illustrated by vengeance.

Averill ble to positive states, only that their range of applicability is more limited in the case of positive as opposed to negative responses. And the attribution of emotion as a function of positive and negative outcomes simply illustrates one of the limiting conditions. Perhaps it would be helpful at this point to take stock of where we have been, and to preview briefly where we are going in the remainder of this chapter. Thus far, we have (a) established that there are fewer concepts in ordinary language for positive as opposed to negative emotions; (b) examined the meaning of emotional concepts, in general, and the criteria for identifying positive and negative emotions, in particular; and (c) illustrated how the meaning of emotional concepts makes them less applicable to positive states, using outcome as the criterion for classifying a response as positive or negative.

With regard to the feeling of emotion, Dewey agreed with James that this must follow rather than precede the response. Diagrammatically, these two phases can be related as follows: RESPONSE -> FEELING But the response, for Dewey, is not simply a physiological reaction. It is a teleological coordination. The meaning of this phrase can best be conveyed through an example, such as laughter. If one took the James-Lange theory literally, all laughter should result in feelings of mirth. That obviously is not the case.

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