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An evolutionary approach to emotion in mental health with a focus on affiliative emotions


  • Compassion


Document Type

Published Date

  • 2015


  • Emotions evolved to guide animals in pursuing specific motives and goals (e.g., to find food, avoid harm, seek out sexual partners, rear offspring). They function as short-term alertors and regulators of behaviour and can be grouped into their evolved functions (evolutionary function analysis). Emotions can coregulate/influence each other, where one emotion can activate or suppress another. Importantly, affiliative emotions, that arise from experiencing validation, care and support from others, have major impacts on how people process and respond to threats and emotions associated with threats. Hence, exploring how affiliative emotional experiences change and transform the capacity to cope with threat and pursue life goals, are salient research issues.
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