"There is nothing like this book on the market. It goes deeper into the problems than any introductory book on emotion that I know, lacking the superficiality of most such texts. The discussions, although accessible, are of intellectual standing. The book is full of theoretical ideas of elaboration that I find very challenging. In addition, it is highly enjoyable in its examples, interesting, very well written, up–to–date, and informative. The organization is admirable, placing culture first and only then going into the more basic processes." Professor Nico Frijda, University of Amsterdam
"In my view, this particular text is quite distinctive in terms of its breadth. It draws upon and integrates material on emotions from social and clinical psychology, from psychiatry, from sociology, from anthropology and from literature. It addresses important issues regarding emotions from many more theoretical perspectives than has been typical in most recent books on emotions. It includes historical material as well as very up–to–date work on emotions and it addresses both theoretical and applied issues." Margaret S. Clark, Carnegie Mellon University
"Oatley and Jenkins′s book is an excellent text that is well written, interesting, and accessible while maintaining intellectual rigor. It is comprehensive in its coverage and considers the historical roots of emotion research as well as the most recent research." Contemporary Psychology
"At each turn, the authors have gone to great lengths to make this book accessible, from their clear and compelling writing, to the large number of figures, tables, insets with biographical information about key figures, summary sections, and helpful suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter. Studies are thoughtfully selected and carefully presented in enough detail that a student can clearly see how a question was framed and answered. Connections between studies are drawn within each chapter, and pains also have been taken to make connections across chapters as well. Understanding Emotions is a truly first–rate introductory treatment of this important area, and promises to be of great use to students, teachers, and researchers in the many fields now connected with better understanding emotions." James Gross, Stanford University<!––end––>
Understanding Emotions ranges across the disciplines from philosophy and narrative literature through anthropology, evolutionary theory, brain research, psychology, and sociology, covering the entire lifespan, from infancy to adulthood. Its main theme is that emotions have functions: they set priorities among our concerns and they provide the underlying structure and human relatedness from attachment in infancy, to the warmth of family life and of friendships, to the excitements of sexuality. Interpersonal functions of emotions include those of anger which mediates conflict and often prompts renegotiation, and the more problematic effects of contempt. Emotions sometimes become dysfunctional in orders of depression, anxiety, and excessive aggression, but these disorders can also be understood in terms of how they arise. The book emphasizes the human value of emotions, with practical concern for clinical problems, education and everyday understanding.