Unpicking reasonable emotions
© Oxford University Press, 2014. All Rights Reserved. This chapter focuses on the particular formulation of the adaptive functionality of emotions provided by recent versions of appraisal theory. Their basic idea is that emotions are prepackaged bundles of response designed to address broad classes of functional demands. Selective forces have stitched together the various components of emotional reaction, picking the ones that provide survival and reproductive advantages. The chapter argues that the prestructuring of emotional response syndromes has often been overestimated or oversold. Indeed, coherence emerges piece by piece from real-time affordances and resistances inherent in unfolding situations, rather than running off in a preprogrammed way because of decisions made in evolutionary prehistory. Second, any inherent integrity of response packages derives as much from culturally variant socialization practices as adaptive pressures.