A Functional Perspective on Emotion Elicitation: Some Considerations for the Development of Emotional Architectures

Craig A. Smith

Appraisal theory, a functional approach to understanding emotion elicitation is described. Three distinct classes of appraisal models are reviewed: structural — which describe the cognitive contents of appraisal and how those contents map onto the elicitation of various distinct emotions; procedural — which describe the cognitive processes underlying appraisal; and relational — which describe how both person and situation information is combined in producing specific appraisal outcomes. A theoretical example of each class of model is described, and the state of the empirical literature addressing such models is reviewed. The relevance of the general theoretical approach, and of the three types of appraisal models, to developing architectures for modeling emotion are discussed.

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