Emotions as Predictions and Interpretations


I really like some of the ideas Lisa Feldman Barrett presents here and in her book.

  • Emotions are interpretations of affect (feelings or states of arousal)
  • They therefore are not universal to all people. One must first have a concept for an emotion to interpret felt affect as consistent with it.
  • People seem to interpret affect using the same brain regions they use to make predictions. How closely does this affective state (feeling) map onto a concept I have, given the situation I’m in?
  • It suggests that interpretation also works in a Bayesian way, using likelihood matching.

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