Book Definition: Theory of emotion which theorizes that individuals decide on an appropriate emotion following the event. (pg. 309)

History (Optional)


This theory was led by Nico Frijda and Richard Lazarus.

In Your Own Words


  • After something happens a person would first think and then they would react.
  • A thought-out reaction to a situation.
  • Analyzing a situation and choosing the appropriate emotion to feel.
  • Event ==> thinking ==> Simultaneous arousal and emotion.
  • Choosing how you want to react to something.
  • Studying what is happening in front of you and then choosing your reaction to that event.
  • You decide how you feel after an event.
  • Seeing and processing a situation then deciding how to react.

external image emotmodel.gif


Examples/Functions


  • After my brother punches me, I can feel pain although it doesn't really hurt that much, but I feel like I should be mad for being punched so I become mad.
  • When I fail a test, I realize that failing is terrible, so I feel disappointed.
  • After someone suffers from a break up, they usually convince themselves whether to feel sad about it or relieved after having analyzed the situation, and respond accordingly.
  • When I sit in a movie theater, watching a funny movie, and I see all of the people laughing at a funny part, I decide to laugh too.
  • When someone jerks awake after falling asleep during a dull meeting, they decide whether they should feel embarrassed or indifferent based on the reactions of his/her colleagues.
  • After my dog passed away I realized I should be sad because everyone else is sad.
  • My first snorkeling experience was great so afterwards I associated it with a good feeling.
  • When a colleague gets promoted, i might feel resentful if i think i deserve the promotion more than they do.
  • If a relative that I didn't know very well passed away and everyone is sad, then I reason that I should feel sad too.
  • Your friend is talking about how mad she is at someone and you feel like you should feel angry as well.
  • After getting a new car for Christmas you realize that's a great gift so you feel happy.
  • When someone in your family dies, you know in your mind that it's a bad thing so you start crying
  • When your brother graduates from high school, you gather that everyone else is happy, so you feel happy as well.


Additional Resources


1. http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/cognitive_appraisal_theories.htm
2.http://www.psychologyconcepts.com/cognitive-appraisal-theory-or-cognitive-evaluation-theory/
3.http://psychcentral.com/encyclopedia/2008/cognitive-appraisal-theory/