chapter  2
18 Pages

The Emotion-Based Approach to Conflict Resolution—Some Basic Concepts

We all understand intuitively that emotions play a central role in guiding human behavior. But do we really know what emotions are? And even if we think we know how to define the concept or idea of emotions, are we sure that all people around us understand it in the same or even in a similar way? Some people argue that emotions are like pornography in the sense that one knows that it is a certain emotion when she experiences it. Or in the words of some of the most classical scholars in the field, emotions are what people say they are (e.g., Averill, 1980; Frijda, Markam, Sato, & Wiers, 1995). In other words, according to this approach, there is no need to define emotions in general, or discrete emotions more specifically, because people just automatically identify them when they experience them.