What are 'emotions'? Drawing together the threads of current research on the nature and funactions of emotional expression, of physiological reactions, and of emotional experience, this book offers a balanced survey of facts and theory. Nico Frijda discusses the motivational and neurophysiological preconditions for emotions, and the ways in which emotions are regulated by the individual. Considering the kinds of events that elicit emotions, he argues that emotions arise because events are appraised by people as favorable or harmful to their own interests. he takes an information-processing perspective: Emotions are viewed as outcomes of the process of assessing the world in terms of one's own concerns, which, in turn, modify action readiness. This analysis leads him to address such fundamental issues as the place of emotion in motivation generally and the discrepancy between the functions of the emotions and their often irrational and disruptive character. An important contribution to recent debates, The Emotions does not presuppose extensive prior knowledge.