Emotions and antisocial behavior

R. F. Baumeister, J. Lobbestael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Traditional theories have regarded emotions as transient states that directly cause or inhibit behavior. Contrary to them, recent evidence has suggested that links between emotion and behavior are largely indirect, often depending on learning by stimulating cognitive appraisal and anticipation of future emotional outcomes. We propose that one major function of the human emotion system is to foster positive social connections with other people, and these emotional patterns (such as guilt and empathy) contribute indirectly to prosocial behavior patterns. When emotions are not functioning properly - such as among psychopaths or recently rejected persons - emotions lose their ability to promote positive social connection, and that opens the way for antisocial behaviors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-649
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • emotions
  • antisocial behavior
  • psychopathy
  • prosocial behavior
  • anticipated emotions
  • SOCIAL EXCLUSION
  • SELF-REGULATION
  • WORKING-MEMORY
  • PHYSICAL PAIN
  • RISK-TAKING
  • GUILT
  • AGGRESSION
  • EMPATHY
  • PSYCHOPATHY
  • MOTIVATION

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