An emotion is a mental and physiological state associ-
ated with a wide variety of feelings, thoughts, and beha-
vior. Emotions are subjective experiences, or experi-
enced from an individual point of view. Emotion is often
associated with mood, temperament, personality, and
disposition. The English word ’emotion’ is derived from
the French word émouvoir. This is based on the Latin
emovere, where e- (variant of ex-) means ’out’ and movere
means ’move’. The related term "motivation" is also
derived from movere.
No definitive taxonomy of emotions exists, though
numerous taxonomies have been proposed. Some cat-
’Cognitive’ versus ’non-cognitive’ emotions
Instinctual emotions (from the amygdala), versus
cognitive emotions (from the prefrontal cortex).
• Basic versus complex: where base emotions lead to
more complex ones.
• Categorization based on duration: Some emotions
occur over a period of seconds (e.g. surprise) where
others can last years (e.g. love).
A related distinction is between the emotion and the
results of the emotion, principally behaviours and emo-
tional expressions. People often behave in certain ways
as a direct result of their emotional state, such as crying,
fighting or fleeing. Yet again, if one can have the emo-
tion without the corresponding behaviour then we may
consider the behaviour not to be essential to the emo-
tion. The James-Lange theory posits that emotional ex-
perience is largely due to the experience of bodily
changes. The functionalist approach to emotions (e.g.
Nico Frijda) holds that emotions have evolved for a par-
ticular function, such as to keep the subject safe.