Conjunction in the Language of Emotions
Oatley and Johnson-Laird (1987) have proposed a cognitive theory of emotion. According to this theory, there are five basic emotions. A major prediction of the theory is that it should permit satisfactory definitions for all the emotion words in a language, and this was essayed for the English language by Johnson-Laird and Oatley (1989). The theory proposes that only one emotional state can be operative at a time, and therefore words referring to mixed emotions were defined by Johnson-Laird and Oatley as disjunctions of basic emotions. Two experiments are reported which compared these disjunctive definitions with conjunctive definitions (i.e. definitions inconsistent with the theory). For a number of words, conjunctive definitions tended to be preferred. This tendency was increased when the disjunctions and conjunctions were made more explicit. This finding suggests that Oatley and Johnson-Laird’s theory should be modified so as to embrace the conjunction of emotion. That is, it should allow that two or more emotions can be experienced in parallel. © 1992, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.