From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Feelings convey information about situations, on both conscious and subconscious levels, via at least 30 neurochemicals acting alone or in concert in complex ways. Examples of feeling include anger, boredom, ecstasy, disgust, fear, happiness, hate, love, lust, pain, pride and shame.
The feeling of fear, for example, is an anticipation of injury, broadly defined. It raises the levels of brain chemicals such as adrenalin and cortisol. In healthy subjects, fear is triggered by stimuli that indicate the presence of risk or direct danger. However, even in the absence of a direct threat, thoughts (the active comparing and contrasting of data), unconscious brain patterns, and imaginings can also promote fearful responses. Fear can therefore be deliberately induced, as occurs regularly in both the political and entertainment realms.
Thoughts and feelings often coexist. A thought can be viewed as a comparing or contrasting of data items while a feeling is a visceral perception of the difference between the items. When a belief is attached to the cause of, or reason for the difference, the perception takes on a specifically labelled quality assigned by experience and called an emotion.
Harvard professor Abraham Maslow suggested that human beings are all born with an innate sense of positive and negative being-values. We are attracted to positive being-values such as justice,honesty, truth,beauty, humour, liveliness, power (but not abusive power), order (but not nit-picking), intelligence. Likewise, we are repulsed by injustice, death, ugliness, weakness, falseness, deceit, chaos, etc.
Maslow asserted that positive being-values are only definable in terms of all other positive being-values—in other words, we cannot maximize any virtue and let it contain some negative being-values without repulsion. For example, beauty that is associated with deceit becomes repulsive. Justice associated with cruelty is repulsive.
This innate capacity to feel attraction or repulsion forms part of the foundation for moral conscience—that is, feelings, perceived, help shape the individual's moral judgements.
A gut feeling or gut reaction is a visceral emotional reaction to something, often one of disgust. Gut feelings are generally regarded as unmodulated by conscious thought.
"Gut feeling" may also be used as a short-hand term for an individual's "common sense" perception of what is morally right.
Gut feelings, like all reflexive unconscious comparisons can be re-programmed by practice or experiences.
- Affect or Affective
- Feeling rules
- The Rational Feeling Function in Jung's Psychological Types
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
- Sensation (psychology)
- Haptics (disambiguation)
- Vedanā, the Buddhist concept of feeling