Nonconscious Emotion

It seems that people can be wrong about or unaware of many things, but at least they can be sure about their own emotions. Yet, psychologists challenge even that certainty and point out that one's emotional life can be a mystery, even to oneself. The idea of nonconscious emotion proposes in its strongest form that people can be in an emotional state (as demonstrated by its impact on behavior, physiology, and cognition) without having any conscious awareness of being in that state.


One source of speculation about the relation between emotion and awareness are the works of Sigmund Freud. Freud clearly believed that people can be wrong about the cause of their emotion (as when a person's anger at his or her boss comes from the ...

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