Tips for applying behavioral psychology yourself


The difference between emotion and feeling

Do you have a moment for the insight of the day? Okay here we go.

What is the difference between emotion and feeling?

Ask around you. You get stray answers. Questioning faces. Yes, it is something else. But what? While distinction is so important to all your communications.

I will explain.

Emotions. Psychologist William James first described them. Way back in 1884. It’s the jitters in your stomach at a date. Your sweaty hands from an exciting movie. Your pounding heart after a just-nothing accident. They are your complex, primal, invisible, unconscious bodily processes.

Your perception of it follows. That’s your feeling.
Feeling is your cognitive interpretation of your emotion.

Perhaps they run together in your perception. Because, of course, you don’t realize that your body is experiencing something unconsciously until you become aware of it.

– Crying is your emotion, sadness is your feeling.
– Heart palpitations are your emotion, scared is your feeling.
– Butterflies in your stomach is your emotion, in love is your feeling.

Now why is this so important that I bother you with it?

Because emotions are inseparable from taking action. Emotions prompt people to do something. Give a tendency to proceed to a certain behavior. (Affirmed psychologist Nico Frijda after years of research in his 1986 book The Emotions.)

And feeling, that is, our rational interpretation of our emotion, is not. Is passive. Is contemplative.

So. If you want to get people to take action, aim for their emotion. Their bodily reflexes.

Not on their feelings. Not on their cognitive perception. Not on their minds. Because then little happens.

Only when you touch someone’s emotions does she (he) move toward you. Or away from you. That is why it is so important for all your communications.

Other tips