The Psychology of Feeling or Affective Reactions

Jacob Robert Kantor
Indiana University

Feeling phenomena have always occupied a very peculiar position in psychology. On the one hand, they have been considered as partaking of the most pronounced inner and subjective character. Much more than any other kind of psychological facts have feeling phenomena therefore been considered elusive and unamenable to investigation. On the other hand, from a very early period of modern psychological history the study of feeling phenomena has always involved an emphasis of the so-called external or bodily character of our feeling reactions. For example, upholders of the James-Lange theory of emotions or feelings and their historical predecessors emphatically stress somatic factors if only as expressions of internal mental states. In point of fact this stressing of visceral factors in the study of feelings constitutes in a genuine way one of the actual historical beginnings of a behavioristic attitude in psychology. And so while feeling phenomena have always carried with them the basis for their naturalistic treatment as definite scientific data, still it is probably the bias of internal mentality which has hitherto prevented any naturalistic description of them. To the writer this condition seems intolerable in view of the great importance and prominence of our affective life. Accordingly, the following paper is an attempt to analyze and describe feeling activities as objective scientific facts.

I. The Nature of Feeling Responses.-- Feeling reactions constitute a distinct type of behavior segment in which the responses, though always morphologically overt, do not, however, effect any immediate change in the stimulus objects as in the case of most of the other overt forms of activity. Only one exception is possible, and that is when both the stimulus and the responding individual happen to be the same person. This, however, is clearly a peculiar and non-typical situation. In affective behavior, then, the response or the action to the stimulus is not performed upon the stimulus but upon the acting person himself. In other words, the peculiar fact about feeling responses is that, instead of the person producing some effect upon the stimulus object, the person himself is affected. Emphatically, we are dealing with a genuine adaptational response, although the mode of adaptation is such t that the active changes taking place

( 434) are localized in the acting person or in his changes of posture or attitude toward the stimulus rather than in the objects or persons acted upon.

The description that we have given implies that a direct overt form of action is performed; that is to say, the stimulus object or adjustment stimulus is immediately present and not absent as in implicit behavior. In implicit activity it is obviously the normal condition that no changes are brought about in the adjustment stimulus or stimulus object; but that is because the latter is absent, and substituted for by some other object. In the case of overt affective behavior, although no effect is produced upon the stimulus, there is nevertheless a direct and immediate contact of the acting person and the adjustment stimulus object.

Moreover, the affective reaction is not a delayed reaction which, after being initiated, is not consummated until a later time, nor is it in any sense action which is inhibited or in some way prevented from occurring. Such notions are implied in the idea that feelings involve a passive state of mind prior to a final and resulting expression which affects persons and objects. Also affective responses do not constitute indifferent functioning of the person, which is attached to or accompanies some other kind of action. No, the affective response is a direct reaction made to its own correlated stimulus. But this is not to deny, however, that very frequently affective behavior influences other actions, as we shall later have ample occasion to observe.

How can we further characterize the intimate nature of affective behavior? To formulate an effective identifying description we must refer to :t, few members of a large series of differing modes of affective action, each of which depends upon the specific character of its stimulation as well as upon the behavior history of the acting person.

The simplest form of such an affective response consists primarily of an increase or at, decrease in the general functioning or activity of the person. The individual may be merely retarded or accelerated in his activity, or he may be said to react positively or attractively, negatively or aversely, to some object. This type of affection represents an apparently unlocalized and ineffective type of behavior which is visibly the farthest removed from producing changes in stimuli objects or persons. The latter simply start up a specialized type of behavior change in the partial or total activities of the person. Possibly this type of reaction can be illustrated by the response of well- or ill-being induced by a bright or a dull day.

Another form of affective responses displays a less marked passivity on the part of the person. This type differs from the kind just treated in that the person is more definitely directed

( 435) toward the stimulus object and his action seems more definitely organized with respect to some particular stimulus. That is to say, the reaction system more definitely involves a certain organ or series of organs of both the external skeletal and visceral forms. Such reactions are exemplified by the elementary anticipations or pleasures induced by seeing or smelling food.

Among the more complicated affective responses we may note those in which the person is made depressed or elevated, either in his general behavior attitudes or in some specific action toward an object or person. In these cases the stimuli produce in the person more decided and more positive reactions, stirring him up more definitely and arousing or depressing him more acutely. In these cases the person is more sensitive to the qualities of the stimuli in general and to their particular organization of details. A fairly good example of these reactions is offered us by simple aesthetic responses.

In still more complex situations the effect of the stimulation upon the person will be to increase or decrease his contact with certain things or to arouse his interest in the object or person to the end that he will put himself into a posture for further stimulation in order to be more and more affected, that is, pleased, aroused, depressed or otherwise activated. So intense and complex may the response be that all actions, to other than the affective stimulus, may be inhibited, while the person becomes more and more active, either aroused or depressed, with respect to the stimulus object. In intense situations this direction of activity toward the affective stimuli may fairly amount to a total dissociation of the person. In different words, the person may become manic or stuporic, depending upon whether the stimuli conditions are arousing or depressing. But in no case does the affective response as such involve any actual modification or change in the stimulus object.

Feeling reactions are characterized then primarily by the fact that, even when they are most active and energy-consuming, they do not constitute operations upon the stimuli objects or persons. How is this situation possible? The answer to this question lies in the fact that the affective responses are actions in which the person is above all and essentially responding with internal mechanisms. It is for this reason that the traditional descriptions of affective phenomena have contained the term non-localisability. Now as a matter of fact the affective reactions, as far as the reaction systems of the organism are concerned, are always definitely localisable, for they represent actual responses of the person to their appropriate stimuli. These localisations cannot always of course be observed by our unaffected onlooker. Howsoever "passive"and immediately ineffective feeling responses are, they are still genuine psychological responses and not, merely organic states or tones. Feeling reactions

(436) consist of actually organized reaction systems. This warning need be made only with reference to the very simplest of our affective reactions, since it is only those, consisting as they do mainly of visceral mechanisms, which superficially appear as merely conditions of the organism instead of actual direct responses. When we consider the more complicated affective reactions, such as the passion responses, [1] they cannot be described of course as other than specific organized reactions.

And finally we must point out that affective reactions must not be looked upon as indifferently induced by different kinds of objects. This error too is founded upon the belief that feeling reactions are merely biological conditions instead of definite psychological reactions. Were affective responses indifferently aroused by various dissimilar objects they could not be considered as definite psychological phenomena. As a matter of fact affective responses are always aroused by specific stimuli, although we must admit that frequently we experience great difficulty in distinguishing from one another the details of different affective stimuli as well as their corresponding reactions. This condition is, However, exceedingly common in the domain of psychology.

II. Distinction of Feeling Responses from Emotional, Desire and Pain Reactions. Because of the nature of feeling reactions, especially of the simpler and unlocalised type, they are very frequently confused with other types of reactions resembling them in some respect. It is essential, therefore, to distinguish affective reactions from the three kinds mentioned in the heading of this section, which more closely than other forms resemble affective responses.

A. Emotional and Affective Reactions

And first let us distinguish feeling from emotional responses. In the history of psychology the feeling and emotion reactions have always been very much confuse, and more especially has this been the case since the emergence of biological conceptions in psychology. The basis for this confusion lies in the fact that emotions very prominently involve organic or visceral reflexes, and so emotional reactions apparently constitute a specific type of affective behavior. This resemblance, which is of course genuine, is, however, merely superficial and entirely unjustifiable. To identify feeling reactions with emotional responses because they both involve visceral reflexes is just as illegitimate as to reduce to one type all the reactions which do not involve visceral mechanisms. Such procedure in both cases results in overlooking all the essential characters of the different types of action. And so, as a matter of fact, when we study emotional and feeling reactions as specific behavior situations, we find very definite differences between them. What are these differences?

Foremost is the fact that in the emotional behavior segment there occurs a total disruption of the person, because a reaction system to some overwhelming stimulus fails to operate. Lacking the appropriate or customary reaction the resulting disturbance of the individual is followed

( 437) or accompanied by the operation of many reflex responses of a visceral sort .[2] But let us note that these reflex responses are replacement actions; they are the only type of behavior the person can perform under the peculiar conditions of the disruptive situation; but, unlike feeling reactions, they do not serve as appropriate responses to definitely correlated stimuli. These replacement reflex reactions we must look upon as really biological processes. The person's psychological personality is for a moment, at least, in abeyance. Quite otherwise is the case in actual feeling behavior. Here there is, as we have already indicated, a definite reaction system involved in every case, a reaction system (as we have pointed out) involving visceral factors, but in every instance constituting a definitely organized mode of reaction.

B. Feeling and Desire Responses

Feeling and desire reactions are also confused. The factual basis is that desire objects are very frequently not attainable, and therefore the reaction seems to be one in which no effect is produced upon the stimulus object. Moreover, even when the object is attainable, the desire behavior segment [3] involves two distinct phases. The first phase is an implicit response in the form of an intellectual attitude, wish or thought concerning an absent object which is substituted-for by some other thing.[4] Or it may be an anticipation of possessing a present desirable object.

The second phase is the action of securing the object thus desired. The first phase is probably the more important of the two and should, if it properly bears the name desire, lend its name to the total behavior segment. The second action in the behavior segment is a result and consequent of the first. This statement we make upon the basis of the relative independence of the two actions; for the first may occur without the possibility even of the second transpiring, and in a great number of cases when the second and consequent action is possible it may be, and very frequently is, inhibited. Technically speaking, the first action is a precurrent response which calls out, or is a necessary antecedent of, the second reaction. Now, if this description of desire is correct we find here an acceptable basis for distinguishing between desire and feeling reactions. The latter, unlike desire responses, are usually, if not exclusively, the final or completing overt reaction systems in the behavior segments in which they are found.

Additional plausibility is lent our distinction of feeling and desire reactions by the fact that, whether desire responses are precurrent or final, as they would be if they were not connected with another final reaction, they are implicit activities, and thus very distinctly different from the majority at least of feeling reactions.

Feeling responses are also wrongly identified with desire responses through the historic identification of desires with the so-called vegetative functions or appetites. Such identification of very different processes by the use of a common term is greatly to be deplored. For the so-called vegetative functions are clearly immediate visceral reflexes and do not involve the protracted and mediate form of directedness-toward-some-stimulus-object that feeling responses do. The fact that desire reactions are frequently stimulated by visceral reflexes argues more for their difference than for their identity.

Another fact which makes possible the identification of feelings and desires is that in very many cases the thing or person desired is the sort

( 438) which produces some affect in us. In other words, desires and feeling reactions are very frequently found to operate together. Possibly it is true that most of our desires are based upon or connected with some kind of feeling reaction.

Just how unsatisfactory this identification of the two types of behavior is we may judge from the fact that the desire reaction may be composed of entirely different components. The desire reaction proper, when it is not connected with a feeling response, which is frequently the case, may not involve any more internal visceral responses than are usually ascribed to non-feeling reactions. This would depend upon the kind of stimulus object desired. Of course when the stimulus object for the desire is unconnected with activities like eating, sex, or (to be more general) does not involve intimate personal or organic conditions, then the reaction is entirely different and is composed of widely divergent elements. We must not overlook the fact that some desire reactions may be considered as practically completely intellectual in character and therefore essentially remote from feeling responses, although here again our intellectual reactions may be connected with feeling responses.

C. Feeling and Pain Reactions

Of the three types of reactions which are incorrectly related to feeling responses, pain reactions are probably more frequently and more intimately identified with feeling activity than either of the other two. No doubt the basis for this situation is contained in the fact that, while pain reactions in common with emotional and desire responses simulate feeling responses in that they do not involve changes in their stimuli objects, pain reactions do involve definite modifications in the person's own condition.

This resemblance between feeling and pain reactions does not, however, in any sense overshadow the decided differences between them. We may point out at once that in general, pain responses are definitely discriminative or perceptual in character, whereas feeling reactions are primarily immediately adaptational. In other words, pain reactions are precurrent and sometimes anticipatory of further final responses. In this sense pain reactions are passive activities just like any other sort of discriminative action, whether visual, auditory, or any other. All of these discriminative or perceptual responses are passive and thus unproductive of direct changes in their stimuli cause they are on account of their vestigial character, partially implicit actions. On the other hand, however, when the pain reactions do lead to further and more immediately adaptive reactions, that is to say, when their final responses are not inhibited, they bring about very definite changes in their stimuli objects, and in this instance are sharply distinctive from feeling activity.

In considering the relation between pain and feeling reactions we must not be misled by the fact that in the case of pain some actual changes, such as laceration of tissue, take place in the person. For this type of change is very different in at least two ways from the changes in feeling responses. In the first place, the changes in Cain reactions constitute the kind of contact with the stimulus object that ears the name of a medium rather than of a response; that is to say, the laceration or other modification of tissues constitutes the mode of stimulation rather than a feature of the response. And in the second place, even the actual changes in the organism performing pain reactions may be located in the superficial anatomical and function features of the organism and not in the deeper mechanism as is the case with the feeling reactions. Even the older psychologists have pointed out that in pain reactions there is a decided outwardly directed activity involving exteroceptive stimulation and specialized neural pathways such as we find in the case of other perceptual behavior systems; and therefore they have contrasted pain with feeling activities. Moreover, the relative indepen-

( 439) -dence of visceral changes of even very exaggerated forms of pain responses argues for undoubted difference in the two kinds of activities.

As in the case of the desire reactions the very close interrelations between pain and feeling responses argue for it distinction in type and function of response, since the fact that pain reactions are possibly always stimuli for feeling reactions indicates a very great difference between them.

III. An Analysis of Feeling Reaction Systems. As a means of achieving a further understanding of feeling or affective responses it is important to compare their reaction systems, or their unit response factors, with those of non-affective behavior. Our plan is to indicate in what respects affective reaction systems are similar to and dissimilar from non-affective reaction systems, irrespective of any specific differences between affective reaction systems themselves. Not because the latter differences are not exceedingly important and the inevitable results of stimulation by different stimuli objects and conditions do we neglect them, but rather because we find similar differences between the individual members of every type of behavior.

Of the twelve or more unit factors of a reaction system [5] most show marked differences when the affective reactions are compared with the non-affective reaction systems. It is these that we shall emphasize in our brief survey of the unit factors of the reaction system.

(1) So far as the discrimination factor is concerned the feeling reaction system operates precisely like that of any behavior type. In other words, the total reaction or adjustment performed is differential with respect to the qualities of the object, the general nature of the total stimulus object and its relationship to other things (its settings).

(2) Much the same statement may be made with respect to the attention factor of the affective reaction system; since, if we mean by attention the fact of the person changing his response from one stimulus to another, there would hardly be room for any greater difference between affective and non-affective reactions than there would be between any two particular responses in either the affective or the non-affective class.

(3) When we consider the comparative affective factors in the different reaction systems we are impressed of course with the great difference between feeling and non-feeling reaction systems. In the latter, especially when they are definite non-feeling systems, there is indicated only a very slight change in the visceral and other internal mechanisms of the acting person, [6] whereas in affective reaction systems these changes are by far the most prominent features of the whole behavior situation.[7]

(4) Feeling reactions are naturally stimulated by objects and persons in precisely the same way as non-affective responses. In consequence, the

( 440) receptor functions of affective reaction systems or the modes of actual contact with stimulus objects are the same as in other types of behavior. The point to be observed is that, just as in the case of other types of behavior, so here we can observe that the reacting person is primarily in visual or auditory contact with a stimulus object. The same similarity of contact with stimuli is found between affective and non-affective responses whether the stimuli objects or conditions are located within or without the organism.

(5) As we must expect from the general character of affective responses the specific reaction systems will involve an overwhelmingly greater proportion of glandular functioning than is true of non-feeling responses.

(6) Furthermore, it follows also that the sympathetic neural mechanisms will have an exceedingly large component share in the operation of such behavior mechanisms, whereas, in the non-affective response systems, the somatic mechanisms are relatively more prominent.

(7) In both the affective and non-affective reaction systems probably no difference in the functioning of the central neural factor can be observed.

(8) Again, the muscular mechanisms will include a greater prominence by far of the unstriped muscles. Or to put the matter more plainly, the primary muscular action components in affective responses involve the visceral functions, although we should never make the mistake of assuming that the striped muscles are not at all involved in affective reaction systems. At this point, we maybe reminded again that the reaction system is merely an abstracted action of the organism. Probably the most important indication of the lace of striped muscle mechanisms in affective response systems is found in the inclusion of facial grimaces and other facial movements so clearly observable as factors of at least the intense feeling responses. Moreover, who can overlook the large place that the vocal and other linguistic apparatus and functional mechanisms take in affective responses?[8]

IV. Are There Precurrent Feeling Reactions? In our description of feelings we have used as a basis affective reactions which constitute the final factor or act in a behavior segment. That is to say, we have considered only behavior segments which are considered as affective adaptations and which consequently carry the name of affective behavior segments. These segments are affective because, no matter how many other reaction systems they contain of a perceptual or other non-affective sort, their chief function from the standpoint of description is affective. In such behavior segments the feeling factor definitely concludes the adjustment in question.

Now the problem arises whether affective reactions are always final responses, or whether they can serve in other capacities in behavior segments. For example, cannot feeling reactions operate in the same manner as perceptual reactions, namely as precurrent responses to some other and final reaction? To this question we reply that feeling responses, just as well as perceptual reactions, can determine other responses in the same behavior segment. In other words, final reactions in behavior segments may be determined and conditioned by an

( 441) affective precurrent response as well as by a knowledge or immediate manipulative action. It must be added, however, that in every case in which an affective response serves as a precurrent reaction it operates along with, and in addition to, a perceptual reaction.

We might illustrate the precurrent functioning of our affective behavior by pointing out that, just as our refusal to buy a picture must be determined by our perceptual appreciation of its nature or character, so the final action of refusing to make the purchase may likewise depend upon our affective reaction to that picture. Whenever the final act of the behavior segment is conditioned by an affective reaction in addition to the perceptual reaction, that behavior segment is of course complicated and becomes more intricate than if the perceptual action alone determined the final response. But this complication, no doubt, represents a common situation in our behavior circumstances.

Not inappropriate is it to add here that, besides the feeling reactions which we have called final and precurrent responses, affective reactions also occupy other positions in behavior segments in such a way that they must be called by a distinctive name. To such reactions we apply the term byplay responses. These byplay activities are incidental feeling reactions which are attached to behavior segments but which do not determine or condition a final response in the segment in which they are found; nor do they themselves constitute a final form of psychological adjustment; they merely operate along with other reactions, a condition made possible by their peculiar morphological character.

V. Are There Implicit Feeling Reactions? Because feeling reactions always comprise decided changes in the person's behavior (a fact which is symbolized in the statement that feeling reactions are definitely overt in their morphological character) the problem arises whether affective responses can be implicit in their functioning.

On the other hand, just because feeling responses are actions upon or in the organism, they can all the more operate without the presence of any original stimulus object, that is, they function through the stimulation of a substitute object. Now if we accept as our criterion of implicit action the operation of a given response to some definite object or person when that stimulus object is not present, then we are impressed by the fact that nothing is more common than the arousal of affective reactions by substitute stimuli.

How frequently do we observe a profound depressive affection produced in us by some person or object which substitutes- for, or is the symbol of, some past sorrow or perhaps some grief or disgrace situation ! Such a response is a typical implicit reac-

( 442) -tion. Or again, what is more common than to be pleased or exhilarated by a letter, a friend, a garment or some other substitute stimulus for an adored person toward whom we have acquired affective or feeling responses? The range and complexity of implicit affective activity is revealed to us by the fact that to a considerable extent such behavior constitutes the psychological basis for religious, sex and other fetiches. To consider the bare character and use of fetiches is to appreciate immediately the implicit character of the reactions to them.

We might make the passing observation that implicit feeling reactions simulate much more closely the original overt affective reactions than do the non-affective implicit actions resemble the original overt non-affective responses. Morpholologically speaking, the implicit feeling responses are always precisely like the original acts; but there may be a decided variation in intensity. We note, then, that implicit feeling reactions are never symbolized or symbolic in the sense that other types of implicit reactions may be; on the contrary, they are always incipient or vestigial. This latter fact, namely, that implicit affective reactions are very similar to the original overt responses, does naturally bring about a very decided limitation in the range of possible connections of such reactions with stimuli, but it does not in any sense interfere with their occurring at all. In other words, we have a great deal of implicit affective behavior, but none of it can ever be constructive in character. It can only be repetitive, that is, it is the repetition of previous reactions to stimuli, but not the construction of new forms of responses to absent stimuli.

The existence of implicit affective responses solves the problem of affective memory. Often has the question been propounded whether we can have affective memory, since it was supposed that memory consisted of the operation of images which were presumed to be cognitive, and symbolic. Now from the standpoint of this present objective description of affective reactions we see that we can very readily recall or act over previous affective behavior.

VI. How Many Kinds of Feelings Are There? In the past history of psychology, when it was the tradition to make psychological facts consist of mental states called awarenesses of things, the whole series of affective reactions was reduced to a very small number. Most frequently it was to two, pleasure and unpleasantness. Sometimes other pairs were added, strain and relaxation, calm and excitement. Possibly we can discover two conditions governing the reduction of all kinds of feelings to so few kinds. One of them was that in the case of cognitive reactions the names of things were made into states of mind, and because there were so many different kinds of things to be aware of a great number of different states of cognitive mind

( 443) were enumerated. Now having given the names of the qualities of things and of the things themselves to cognitive states it was presumed, apparently, they could not be further employed as affective terms.

The second basis for the view that there were only a few kinds of feeling responses lies in the fact that the psychology of feeling was developed mainly by ethical writers, who looked upon feelings as the springs of human action. The supreme categories employed by such writers were good and bad; consequently they attempted to find feeling qualities which could be correlated, with this good and bad. These they found in pain and pleasure. When the psychologists took over this conception, they of course did not connect pleasantness and unpleasantness with an ethical condition of goodness and badness, but with a furtherance and hindrance situation within the life of the organism. That is to say, they connected pleasantness with the kind of situations furthering the life activity, and unpleasantness with opposite sorts of situations.[9]

From the standpoint of the actual observations of human behavior we find that as a matter of fact the names historically employed for feeling reactions, such as calm, excitement, strain, pleasantness, unpleasantness, relaxation, etc., may be readily accepted as symbols for particular affective responses, as well as for types of affective reactions. No list, however, that is easily or quickly made can possibly exhaust the specifically different individual and class responses. That list must run into the thousands at least.

Impossible it is to solve the problem of the number of the kinds of feeling reactions that we perform unless we pay attention to at least a great many of the particular affective responses that we make to the great variety of stimuli arousing in us affective or feeling responses. Now the reactions induced by different stimuli conditions differ very materially in their morphological organization and specific psychological function. When we take the attitude that we are studying concrete facts of adaptation to specific objects and conditions we cannot for an 'instant be satisfied with any sort of limited list of affective activities.

Nor can the idea that there are only a very few kinds of affective processes be justified by asserting that after all only a few distinct affective qualities exist but that these can be mixed with cognitive and other processes to make a large list of complex feelings. For we submit that such an assertion obviously in-

( 444) -volves merely a logical proposition and is not based upon a descriptive analysis of specific behavior or reaction facts. Our suggestion is that even the simplest affective behavior phenomena comprise a large number of individually and typically different actions.[10]

That the proposition to which we have just been objecting is purely logical and not descriptive is evident from the implication that these qualities are always direct opposites. Now the actual study of feeling activities in no sense supports the view that feeling responses all fall upon one or a few two-dimensional scales. An excellent argument against the logical view of the number of feeling types has always been contained in the problem which the upholders of that view had to face in the fact of mixed feelings.

If the feelings are made into simple states which are absolutely opposites, then logically it would appear that you could not have, say, pleasantness and unpleasantness, or strain and relaxation, in the same reaction. Such a logical conclusion of course clashes violently with the actual fact; for in our affective responses, at least sometimes, we have a few or many different kinds of feelings. When we look upon feeling reactions as definite adaptation responses to stimuli there is no fact militating against the inclusion in one behavior segment of both pleasantness and unpleasantness, strain and relief, and other kinds of reaction usually considered as opposed. Moreover, many of our simple feeling responses, each one of which involves only a single affective reaction system, are of such composite qualitative character that we may appropriately apply to them a number of supposedly opposite names. Certainly every one of our complex affective responses, say, to social or aesthetic stimuli, is constituted of a number of different sorts of qualitative reactions. We might describe our responses to aesthetic objects as pleasant with respect, to some feature, and unpleasant with respect to some other, calming in seine ways, exciting in others, and so on throughout an extended list of affective behavior.

A great obstacle to psychological analysis and description is the poverty of language. This condition is magnified in the case of feeling behavior. Whether this language difficulty is the cause of the intolerable affective classifications or whether it is the effect of it we cannot be sure, but the fact remains that we do not have enough names to describe or to indicate the multiplex and multiform affective responses. In view of the impossibility of estimating even the probable number of distinct feeling reactions we perform, we might suggest a few word symbols which

(445) represent unmistakeable simple affective responses and cannot possibly be classified under the heading of pleasantness or unpleasantness. Such names are elated, ravished, delighted, displeased, pleased, horror, disgust, disdain, satisfied, unsatisfied, dissatisfied, longing, libidinous, apprehensive, uneasy, catatonic, anatonic, manic, mirthful, downcast, disturbed, vexed, flustered, contented, etc.

VII. Simple and Complex Feeling Behavior Segments. Already we have indicated that we might look upon some of our affective behavior as comprising only single reaction systems, namely, in the case in which a feeling reaction determines a final response in a non-affective or affective reaction segment. On the other hand, the affective response may itself constitute a behavior segment, and so it may well be that the large number of qualitatively different feeling activities may indifferently comprise either simple reaction systems or behavior segments. In other words, the qualifying terms may apply to both the simpler and the more complex behavior units. Now we want to point out that when the affective phenomena constitute behavior segments they may be classified into two different sorts, namely the simple and the complex.

By simple affective behavior segments we mean the type of behavior in which the stimulus situation is comparatively simple and the response is a correspondingly uninvolved action. The perception of the stimulus merely brings about in the person some sort of immediately final feeling response. Probably the main characteristic of such a reaction is that the response is more subtle than in the more complex behavior segment and approximates more closely to a condition or tone of the person. Consequently, in many cases, the response appears to the observer as a less definite adaptation to a particular object or situation.

The principle of division between the simple and complex behavior segments (let us observe) refers to the simplicity of the total segment and not to the final reaction system which gives the segment its affective character. The point may be made therefore that the final reaction system itself need not necessarily be simple, but may on the contrary be very complex. Of course, no matter how complex the final reaction system is, the total behavior picture presented by the behavior segment in which this reaction system is found will be comparatively simple.

Complex affective behavior segments are characterized by the presence in them of one or more implicit or overt reaction systems besides the affective final reaction. In other words, the entire behavior segment is much more complicated owing to the more involved stimuli conditions. Not only must the individual perceive the stimulus but he must also do more than merely react with internal mechanisms. In listening to music one may

(446) perform merely single behavior segments to the obvious harmonies and single melodies; but, on the other hand, the definitive affective responses may be conditioned by an elaborate analytic and discriminative response to the intricate organization of the nuances constituting the musical stimulus.

Another way in which affective behavior segments are complicated and elaborated is by comprising many affective reaction systems in addition to the other precurrent responses found in the behavior segment. By this statement we do not mean to imply that some behavior segments as a matter of actual count contain only a simple affective reaction system. Rather we should be disposed to think in terms of numbers of different kinds of specific feeling reaction systems.

Further to differentiate between the various types of affective reactions we might consider a number of particular classes under each of the general headings of simple and complex action. These classes are arbitrarily chosen for illustrative purposes and it might be observed that the illustrations of our simple affective behavior segments will indicate a greater prominence of the reaction side of the segment while in the case of the complex behavior segment the illustrations will feature more prominently the stimuli conditions.

A. Simple Affective Reaction Systems

(1)Expressive Behavior Systems. These are situations in which the individual's behavior becomes more intense and on the whole he has an arousing feeling response to some specific thing in his surroundings. In other words, provided we have the coordinate reaction systems in our equipment, a sunset, a picture or some person may arouse in us a reaction of heightened tension, of increased affective inclination or of a changed internal and external organic posture, as contrasted with some previous condition. We have purposely considered here the simplest type of affective response, but we must stoutly assert that we are dealing with organized reactions to specific stimuli and net merely with hygienic conditions of the person.

(2) Depressive Behavior Segments. In these types of behavior situations the individual is reduced in tone or sensitivity to his surroundings. He does not feel as intensely an he did in some immediate previous condition or in some more remote prior situation. Particular situations such as accidents, the futility of our conduct or some disappointment may induce in us an immediate withdrawing and slumping feeling. Likewise ugly or disagreeable objects, or things with which we have had some previous unfortunate or undesirable contacts, arouse in us feelings of a cataphoric sort.

Every different stimulus situation, as we have so frequently repeated, calls out its own peculiar depressive affective response. In consequence, there are a great many of these depressive behavior segments. Especially important is this statement, for if we carefully heed its significance we may avoid serious error of interpretation. In the first place, we shall not over look the fact that in every case of affective behavior we are dealing with a concrete response of the person to a stimulus. And in the second pace, we may avoid the error of looking upon affective behavior as made up of opposites. For, as we have already indicated, to consider modes of affective behavior as opposites means to look upon them as logical or abstract conditions or kinds of reaction. And so, while it is true that we may arrange

( 447) some types of our affective reactions in a two-dimensional scale, this must be considered as a classifactory scheme and not as a descriptive procedure. From the point of view of our actual behavior it can hardly mean anything to put expressive reactions over against depressive responses as opposites.

(3) Euphoric Behavior Segments. Quite different from the heightened or lowered tone of the individual's reaction to stimuli are feeling situations in which the person's contact with stimuli of various sorts induces in him reactions described as well-being, reactions which place him at ease, in a condition of calm, and withdraw him from any kind of intensification or depression. A number of different responses involved in sex gratification admirably exemplify these reactions. The English words pleased, satisfied, contented, placid, surfeited and serene may symbolize for us various reactions which can be placed in this class.

(4) Cacophoric Behavior Segments. Here we have a type of reaction describable as a lack of calmness or satisfaction. The stimuli disturb the person and remove his tranquility and serenity. Further descriptive terms would be displeased or unpleased, anxious, amazed, apprehensive, and others indicating disturbed relations between certain objects and the reacting person.

Despite the fact that the four kinds of affective responses we have just been describing may well be thought of as different each one from the others, yet it is true no doubt that in many cases a single affective behavior may better be described under two or more headings. Thus, some behavior segments may be elevating, depressing and pleasant all at the same time. The exact description in every case depends of course directly upon the stimuli objects and conditions.

B. Complex Affective Behavior Segments

Not only are the behavior segments of the complex form more complicated because of the presence in them of more and different systems, but also because the individual is in a more active contact with the stimuli objects. What is meant by being more in contact with stimuli we have already indicated in a former section. The responses in these cases are much more describable as adaptations to the stimuli than as effects which the stimuli have produced upon the organism. It would naturally follow that the stimuli conditions in the complex affective behavior segments are correspondingly more definite and complicated things or situations. In general, we might say that such stimuli are found in the more distinctly human situations constituting the milieu of our conduct.

For convenience of illustration we might suggest that such situations constitute what are conveniently referred to as the aesthetic, political, religious, social, sexual, economic, moral and intellectual situations. To illustrate, religious stimuli may produce in us complex feeling reactions which may be named dependent, hopeless, hopeful, awed, sacred, and purified. Aesthetic situations induce reactions of admiration, ravishment, appreciation, transport, etc. Moral and social stimuli are correlated with reactions of sympathy, antipathy, pity, while personal situations may induce love, hate, intolerance, sympathy. Intellectual and practical situations produce reactions of satisfaction, accomplishment, completion and numerous others.

Once more must we be on our guard in the use of our crude and inadequate linguistic tools in psychological description. In the first place, we should note that any name used for an affective reaction does not belong exclusively to a single one of the behavior situations we have mentioned, or to which we have made mere general reference. Unfortunately, because of the lack of practice in the analyses of affective responses and the+ symbolizing of them by words, we cannot be sure that any particular term may not refer to responses which are common to many kinds of situations, oven nonaffective. her example, the term disgust may be used to describe a feeling

( 448) reaction either to intellectual or to aesthetic stimuli. On the other hand, within the range of any one of these situations, say the moral, we shall find a large series of reactions to which we apply the same term. Our main concern is to be certain that in each case we are not overlooking the fact of a specific form of response to some specific stimulus.

Again, it is exceedingly important for us to make sure that each term we use does refer to some specific organized affective reaction to a stimulus and does not symbolize some sort of social conduct other than a feeling response. What we are describing or referring to now are exclusively feeling reactions and not other kinds of behavior which may be very closely attached to, even inseparably associated with, some feeling activity.

A further caution is not to confuse our specific affective responses with large behavior situations which may involve all kinds of behavior segments along with non-psychological facts. For example, we must guard against confusing a particular complex affective behavior segment with, say, the behavior situation of purchasing a picture. In this reaction there are many affective reactions, but also we find many others which are distinctly nonaffective in character. Again, there may be in that situation a lot of facts which are not even psychological in character, for instance, facts relating to economic values, or aesthetic importance of aesthetic objects,-facts, that is to say, which are not directly involved in psychological action at all.

VIII. Degrees of Intensity of Feeling Responses. In all of our responses we may observe a variation in the intensity of action depending upon the degree of energy expended in their performance. That is to say, whenever we perform a specific response to a stimulus, the general hygienic and other conditions of the person may bring about a more or less intense contact with the stimulus object in question. Such modifications in the physiological or biological status of the person not only make him especially susceptible to certain stimuli but intensify or slacken his reactions. This is of course mainly observable in overt responses in which definite changes are produced in the object. This variation in the intensity with which any action is performed gives us in the case of affective responses a more striking picture of the behavior situation, than is true in other kinds of activities. In fact, to a certain extent, when the same affective reaction system operates more or less intensively, there is a superficial appearance of an entirely different kind of behavior picture. We might immediately suggest that this apparent variation is due to the fact that the total affective response is much more intimately related to the person's biological status than is true of other types of behavior.

Such variations in the intensity of operation of affective responses are made possible, then, by the intimate organic character of affective responses. But what are the specific stimuli conditions which bring about these results? Quickly we observe that such changes of intensity depend upon (1)the way the stimulus object is presented, (2) the nature and condition of the stimuli settings, and (3) the length of time that the person has had the affective response included as a part of his behavior equipment.

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(1) If the same stimulus object which ordinarily calls out some particular affective reaction is presented suddenly or more gradually than is usually the case, the affective reaction constituting the response to that stimulus may be so much more or so much less intense as to give on the whole a different behavior picture. Especially we must emphasize the point that the response, whether it is a simple action or an affective reaction pattern in a more complex situation, falsely seems to become a qualitatively different kind of activity, merely because of the greater or lesser intensity of the response. How many times has the young man preoccupied with business or other situations been accused by his beloved of not entertaining the same feeling toward her, whereas, in fact, there has been no difference in the quality of his reaction but only in its intensity? Such extreme variations of behavior picture are unique in the case of affective responses.

(2) According to the specific variations in the setting of objects which . stimulate affective responses, they will be more or less intense in their operation. And here again, as in the previous case, an apparently different behavior picture is presented by the acting individual, although in actual fact the activity is in its qualitative description the same as in its customary operation. In general, we might indicate that in many cases an individual performing an affective reaction is much more sensitive to variations in the settings of objects than is true of the same individual while performing non-affective responses.

(3) The passage of time between the acquisition of some affective response to an object and the later successive performances of that reaction makes a difference in the intensity of that affective response. The feeling reaction becomes either more intense or less intense as the case may be. This phenomenon is very familiar to us under the heading of adaptation. It has long been known that our activities such as feeling behavior become adapted to situations so that the intensity becomes reduced. Now the other type of modification, namely, the increase in intensity of an affective response, may also occur with the passage of time, during which the acting person has changed organically or physiologically with respect to the particular action mechanisms which operate in this behavior system.

In effect, we have been pointing out in this section that affective reactions involve two sorts of intensity. One of these types constitutes a genuine qualitative difference in the affective reaction system, which displays to us a distinctly observable behavior picture, but which does not constitute a different type of reaction system. We must consider that the stimuli for these somewhat qualitatively different responses are the same. On the other hand, we have a type of intensity difference which represents a quantitative variation in behavior; that is, it is merely done with more energy and seems to indicate no sharp difference in the behavior picture. This second type of intensity of variation is common to both the affective and the non-affective reactions.

IX. The Stimuli for Affective Responses. Investigations of affective behavior indicate that the stimuli for such action must constitute an exceedingly large series of objects, situations and conditions. The truth of this observation appears in the following considerations. In the first place, it is unquestionably

( 450) true that because of their character affective phenomena constitute responses to a more varied array of stimuli than is the case with other types of reactions. For is it not true that whatever objects or conditions can serve as stimuli for other kinds of reactions can also be stimuli for affective responses?

In the second place, we must add that the affective stimuli are far more numerous than the combined stimuli for several classes of reactions. For example, affective stimuli are more numerous than those for intellectual reactions, imagination responses, and all the activities of the person involving him in situations more or less detached from organically intimate behavior. It is a matter of common knowledge that most people less rarely perform thinking or problem solving reactions than feeling responses even to the same objects or situations. On the other hand, there are some objects which constitute stimuli peculiar to feeling reactions and do not at all serve to arouse other kinds of action.

Thirdly, because affective behavior segments can be both simple and complex, the number of stimuli within a definitely feeling domain must be larger than in a behavior domain in which no such division of activity is possible. All this means of course that the affective stimuli cover an exceedingly wide range of all the myriad objects and situations that prompt human beings to perform psychological conduct.

By way of enumerating some of the more prominent things serving as affective stimuli we will consider them according to their division into types.

(1) Objects as Affective Stimuli. Among the stimuli objects inducing affective responses we may suggest all types of things from the simplest natural objects to the most complex cultural objects, such as art works and social institutions. Furthermore, we find that certain qualities alone of both simple and complex objects can serve to arouse affective reactions. For example, the colors and tastes of fruits or flowers as well as the whole objects, may induce pleasant, unpleasant or other kinds of feeling reactions. Similarly the specific sounds in music may produce exciting depressing or other kinds of feeling reactions, as well as the total musical effects. Or possibly specific chords or discords may arouse an individual affectively as well as the entire composition. Again, the intensity and brightness of colors, as well as of tones may produce varying forms of feeling activity. The same thing is true of the size and intensity of things. Contrasts of objects and of their qualities such as their colors, and rhythms of all sorts in the visual and auditory objects are fertile sources of affective stimulation. The same thing may be said for the non-rhythmic changes in the appearance of things and the alternate presence and absence of objects, such as light flicker, etc.

Including persons under this type, we need hardly mention the many qualities such as colors of eyes, slenderness or otherwise of figure, etc., which induce in individuals specific feeling behavior. Here we think at once of the sex factors, although we must not fail to observe that sex stimulation is unique and the affective responses are differential with respect to particular qualities and actions of persons. Almost infinite in number are the affective responses we perform to the human and cultural attributes of persons

( 451) in their various capacities and in their interrelationships. Exceedingly prominent are our affective responses to persons which have as their stimuli the linguistic, religious, political, social and intellectual traits of people from different national groups or different strata of the same national groups.

An extremely interesting question arises here, namely, whether on the whole our most complex affective reactions are stimulated by complete objects such as a picture, a person, a statue or a symphony,-in other words by some large aesthetic or non-aesthetic object, or whether the several qualities of complex objects can just as well individually be stimuli for complex feeling responses. Possibly there is no definitely fixed correlation, but rather in some cases either the parts or the wholes of objects can be the stimuli for either simple or complex feeling responses.

(2) Events as Stimuli. Events of all sorts constitute a very prominent source of stimuli for feeling activity. For the simple affective reactions we find as stimuli the various happenings to physical things, such as injury to a book, or loss of some minor possession. Simple affective reactions are also called out by events involving happenings to persons who are not connected in a personal way with the reacting individual. For instance, an accident involving a stranger will probably call out a simple feeling response on the part of the onlooker rather than a complex one. The more complex and intense affective reactions are usually made to incidents involving persons near to us or disliked by us, and by the more complex affairs of national life, deaths, wars, strikes, famines, etc.

(3) Conditions as Stimuli. Whenever the person meets with a difficult or obstructing condition with respect to something that he wants to do, such as some unfavorable weather condition, then there is promptly induced in him some affective reaction. Any kind of hindrance in one's activities, or on the other hand the appearance of conditions favoring such activity, constitutes a stimulus for the operation of feeling reactions. These conditions are constantly present as affective stimuli. We have already had occasion to refer to the general stimulating character of change for affective responses. Now we may point out that the length of time that some event endures may be considered as a stimulus condition for affective behavior. Thus when one is looking at a picture which disappears too soon, or stays too long, the result is an affective response of an unique sort.

Changes in the individual's own condition are a common source of affective stimulation. Such changes may be direct, in the form of hygienic modification, or they may be indirect, through the indulgence or non-indulgence in food, drink, poisons, or by being touched, tickled, or perhaps injured or at least pained (modify tissues).

(4) Actions as Affective Stimuli. One of the commonest sources of affective stimuli are the actions of the person himself or of some other. Any successful act may be a stimulus for a pleasant reaction, perhaps, or a, calming or exciting one, while unsuccessful action is of course accompanied by unpleasantness and other types of feeling responses. For instance, the successful or unsuccessful manipulation while solving a problem stimulates very decidedly a favorable or unfavorable feeling condition. The recalling of an unpleasant or pleasant situation that the person has participated in likewise produces such reactions, or the inability to remember what one wants to recall, for example, a name.

Especially important among the person's own actions which stimulate affective responses are the general implicit responses constituting the mediate adaptations to all sorts of objects and situations. Not, at all negligible as affective stimuli are prior affective reactions of the acting person himself.

Among the more simple action stimuli we may name those induced by our own behavior, namely eating dancing, conversing, or reflex action of a sexual or general visceral sort. Here we find a very common and pervasive source of affective stimuli.

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Among the affective stimuli constituting other persons' behavior is the action of individuals intimately connected with us, or upon whom we are dependent in various ways. Our affective responses to the acts of such closely related individuals would simulate very closely the responses to our own behavior. For instance, we are fearful for them when they do something harmful to themselves, or we become especially pleased when they do something favorable to their own advantage and social estimation. Again, the actions which disgust us when unrelated individuals perform them would not produce in us such negative affective responses when performed by related persons, especially if such actions arouse no negative affective response when we perform them ourselves.

These suggestions concerning the stimuli for feeling reactions must appear exceedingly fragmentary and incomplete, but they are here set down by way of emphasizing the importance of stimuli in affective conduct. While stimuli as components of behavior segments are always important, in the case of affective reactions especially, the specification of particular stimuli indicates the organized and directed character of feeling behavior.

X. Influences Upon Feeling Reactions. In common with all psychological responses affective reactions are subject to various influences which determine their precise operation aside from the stimuli and their settings. But unlike other sorts of activities the organic character of affective responses makes these influences much more pronounced. Of these influences there are many and all aside f rom those concerning the person's general physiological and hygienic conditions which we have already discussed in Section VIII.

Our present task, then, is to indicate some of the more prominent influences upon affective action arising from the individual's own reaction circumstances.

(1)To begin with, it is popularly recognized that the type of response a person undergoes immediately before the performance of an affective reaction will distinctly affect its nature.

This influence is apparent both when the prior action is affective and when it is non-affective. For instance, if we have just been experiencing a depressing situation our following affective response to some other situation will not be nearly so expressive or so intense as it would have been had the immediately previous experience been a pleasant one. Or some types of previous affective situations may intensify the following behavior. On the other hand, the same or similar effects upon affective responses may be produced by intellectual preoccupation or by some other contact with non-affective stimuli.

(2) Again, we readily sec the determining influence that the individual's general behavior equipment would have on his affective responses. In the first place, the person who has in his action make-up feeling behavior of various kinds is liable to have affective reactions of a particular sort with respect to some specific happening, while the persons lacking those behavior systems in their equipment would have different or possibly no affective responses to that event. To illustrate, an in-

(453) -dividual who has been constantly stimulated to be tender with animals will have a decidedly more intense affective reaction when witnessing the maltreatment of some animal than another person who has not built up such feeling traits.

In the second place, the individual who has a large complex of different types of behavior systems in his equipment is more likely to have affective reactions connected with the objects correlated with those reactions than is the individual with a generally meagre set of behavior traits. Most certainly the person having information and art techniques is much more subject to affective reaction with respect to intellectual and aesthetic stimuli than another individual who lacks such techniques. This same fact holds good for all types of behavior equipment coupled with complex affective reactions.

Impossible it is to overemphasize at this point the cultural character of our affective behavior. Owing to the emphasis of the organic and biological factors of affective mechanisms we are prone to overlook the essentially conventional character of most of our feeling responses. But as a matter of fact, although in every reaction we must operate as animal organisms, yet probably ninety percent. of all our reactions are cultural or conventional in character. So far as our affective conduct is concerned we might suggest that since every individual is a product of a specific group, of a particular culturalisation process, his affective responses will inevitably be conditioned by the fact that he acquired his equipment in his particular group. Now since these groups or communities include varying social and intellectual centers, individuals will materially differ in their number and type of aesthetic, moral and other affective responses. Furthermore, since the different culturalising groups are not merely different strata of a given community but large cultural centers in actually different communities we have a basis for national and racial affective traits. The former affective reactions, namely those representing particular individual differences, may be illustrated by the popular notion concerning the physician's stoicism with respect to suffering as contrasted with the rest of the community. National or racial affective traits are represented by such characteristics as the insensitivity of the Romans toward death, compared with the individuals of other national or racial groups. Naturally we do not believe that the cultural differences and characteristics of affective behavior refer to the "expression" of feelings and not to the "feelings" themselves, for obviously upon the basis of our discussion no such differences exist. On the other hand, if our view concerning the cultural character of affective responses is acceptable, it reinforces the description of affective phenomena as concrete responses of the person to specific stimuli.

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Briefly to sum up the influencing factors originating in the person's behavior we may call the two main modifying determinants (1) immediate influences, those resulting from behavior immediately performed previous to the affective behavior segment studied, and (2) permanent influences or those resulting from the deep-rooted behavior systems of the individual.

XI. The Conditioning of Feeling Reactions. Of all the reactions which we perform probably the affective responses are most easily conditioned. That is to say, the specific reaction systems can be detached from stimuli in contact with which they were originally developed and reattached to newer and different stimuli objects and conditions. This increased susceptibility to conditions obviously belongs to affective responses because of two of their primary characteristics. First, since affective reaction systems involve primarily the operation of internal mechanisms, they possess a sort of independence of the stimuli. Again, in performing our affective reactions we do not change our stimuli; and in consequence, while every affective response is a specific adaptation to a particular stimulus, the relationship between the responses and stimuli is such that probably they are more subject to be interchanged.

This entire matter may be otherwise stated by suggesting that a peculiarity of affective behavior segments is that they are capable of being interchanged in various ways. That is to say, the stimulus of one may become attached to the responses of the other and vice versa. Possibly this fact may be well symbolized by the statement that in the affective behavior segments the response and stimulus factors seem to be less rigidly related than is true in other types of behavior.

This characteristic, of conditioning, while probably attaching to all affective behavior segments, is doubtless of more frequent occurrence among the simpler feeling activities. And so while it is very common for us to transfer the simple euphoric responses induced by the brightness of the day to various other stimuli objects and conditions, we probably less frequently similarly transfer any more complex affective actions. Illustrative of the transferred complex feeling response is the case of the person who is stimulated to love some individual and who transfers his affective reactions to objects belonging to this loved person or to others associated with him, even including a whole family, nation or race. Similarily, we carry over our antipathies and enthusiasms from one stimulus object or situation to another.

An individual who becomes enthusiastic about some painting may condition his affective response by connecting it with all the artists of that school although not all the members have the

(455) qualities to which he originally responded. Without doubt much psychopathic behavior consists essentially of the unadaptable conditioning of affective responses.

Affective conditioning processes may be considered to consist of two general types, one of which is not a genuine psychological phenomenon, though it has every superficial appearance of being such. We discuss each in turn briefly.

(1) Pseudo-conditioning processes are those in which there is no actual reattachment of a response to a new stimulus. On the contrary, the affective response just seems to persist and to be indifferently associated with various objects, as if it kept acting on its own momentum. Such pseudo-conditioning situations are exemplified by the actions of the person who allows his antipathies to be carried over from one individual to a whole group, without actually responding to each one of the group separately.

Now just here lies the criterion for spurious and genuine affective conditioning. In genuine conditioning some actual response to a particular stimulus object is reattached to another stimulus object. In spurious conditioning the actual reattaching process is absent, except in appearance. That is to say, there really is no new stimulus to which the old response could be attached. In actual practice the genuineness of the conditioning process is frequently far from being easy to determine. Especially must we be careful in situations in which the transfer, is from some particular person to some abstract stimulus such as his profession. Such genuine but ostensibly spurious conditioning processes are common in various forms of insanity. These spurious affective conditionings may be very descriptively designated as feeling illusions or affective maladaptations.

(2) Genuine affective conditioning processes may be differentiated into two sorts, depending upon whether the reattachment is to a new object or to the same object. Any object may ordinarily of course constitute two or more specific stimuli for different reactions. Similarly the same reaction may become detached from one of the two stimuli which a single object or person constitutes and reattached to the other. Or the reaction need not of course necessarily become detached from the old stimulus, but may be attached to the new stimulus in addition. A striking illustration is the pleasurable feeling induced in an individual by some person in one capacity, say as anatomically attractive, which same reaction may later be attached to the person as a friend, that is, may remain as the response to both.

Genuine affective conditioning, when the stimuli are different objects, is exemplified in the case of a woman transferring a particular affective response to her first child to the later ones, or in the transference of a love reaction from a child who has died to some adopted infant or even to an animal.

XII. The Place of Feeling in Behavior Situations. Such intimate behavior phenomena as feelings must inevitably play a very large part in all of our behavior situations. That is to say, they must, because of their peculiar character, be very pervasive in the various activities of the individual. What, we have to point out here is that in addition to having affective reaction systems operate in both affective and non-affective behavior segments, affective processes whether reaction systems, reaction patterns, or complete segments, must, and do play a very large part in our behavior situations. By the latter we mean a larger behavior unit than a segment; in other words,

( 456) we mean a series of segments. In non-technical language we might say that practically every definitely human type of behavior involves some feeling reactions.

To illustrate, practically every one of our reactions to human beings comprises some sort of affective response, especially if it is a person of the opposite sex and if the stimulus individual is not exceedingly familiar to the reacting person. Also in aesthetic, religious, or sports situations we may distinctly observe a number of more or less complicated feeling activities. Possibly the observation we are making here has been the factual basis for the idea very frequently expressed in psychological literature that the feelings appear to be attributes or tones of other kinds of processes. Certainly, we find feeling activities exceedingly pervasive and also capable of thoroughly interpenetrating with other kinds of activity.

The operation of affective responses in what are essentially non-affective behavior situations may be illustrated by considering a few varieties of complex behavior. To turn first to an aesthetic behavior situation we will consider the constructive action of creating a work of art, a poem or a picture. Such activity we might consider as essentially imaginative in character; in different words, the primary response is the development of an aesthetic conception and its later execution. Such activity also may be designated as a type of social behavior, since the fact of making any particular object, and its execution in a particular kind of medium, are conditioned by a series of group ideas, sanctions and stands, as well as other sorts of specific group institutions. Never can such complicated constructive art, behavior be carried out, however, without numerous correlated affective responses.

From the object which is painted or from the person and events about which the poem is created the artist receives many stimuli for the performance of many simple and complex affective reactions. Present here are the calm of admiration, the excitement of enthusiasm for the work or subject, and sexual feeling for the subject the artist is handling.[11] In addition to these there is present the general euphoric response with respect to the progress or success of the accomplishment.

The same or very similar kinds of affective behavior can be traced out in the appreciative or impressive types of affective conduct as well as in the constructive. Doubtless it is the operation of these affective responses, coupled with imagination reactions and others, which constitutes the behavior basis for the empathic or Einfühlung phenomena of aesthetic behavior.

(457) Much the same type of combination of affective and other forms of behavior can be traced out in the case of moral action. In the solution of moral problems, for instance, we also find these complex affective components giving character to the total behavior situation no matter how complex the latter may be. An essential difference between the moral and aesthetic situation may be pointed out in that the latter need not be so essentially imaginative in character but may involve more thinking and problem solving activity. Also in other cases, as well as in moral action, we can trace out a large number of memorial and habit activities of various sorts.

Especially important is the observation that the complicated meaning and understanding behavior situations which function to adapt the individual in his most complicated activity are veritably replete with affective elements. The meanings of things, the comprehension of objects and situations, are complicated behavior activities containing a goodly portion of affective reactions. And just as in the case of the aesthetic situation, color, shape, etc. condition the total behavior situation, so do such factors likewise influence the significance of things and persons from a reactional standpoint.

Just how the affective response factors operate in meaning activities may be pointed out in the following manner. Let us assume that, when we have our first contact, or perhaps even some later contact, with some object, this contact results in a pleasant or unpleasant feeling reaction. Now meaning responses are essentially behavior which conditions some other reaction connected with the first one. If the pleasantness or unpleasantness resulting from the contact of the person with some particular object or situation induces a particular kind of response action with respect to that object, which response will later condition other reactions, then we see how the pleasant or unpleasant affective response conditions the development of meaning. This development, Of course, is merely preliminary to the future operation of this meaning activity. Our point is that in its development the meaning was greatly influenced by the affective response and the latter constitutes then a permanent factor in that meaning situation.

XIII. Varieties of Feeling Behavior Segments. Certainly by all relevant criteria, and especially because of possessing unique characteristics, affective behavior segments constitute a specific type of psychological activity. But, on the other hand, affective reactions are not thus excluded from participating in the qualities of some of the non-affective reactions. And so we might point out that the feeling behavior segment consists of reflexes, habits, volitional and other types of psychological behavior. Quite definitely do the barriers between different

( 458) classes of behavior break down here in the sense that a particular reaction may at the same time be affective as well as volitional or habitual as the case may be. How then may we distinguish between the particular types of affective reactions? Most effectively can we do so by briefly describing each one.

(1) Affective Reflex Action. Reflex responses naturally constitute the simplest type of affective behavior. These responses consist of a simple unique reaction system correlated with a particular stimulus object or condition. Such comparatively simple responses depend upon the biological organization of the acting individual.[12] As a matter of detail we might point out that affective reflex reaction systems consist primarily of the operation of visceral mechanisms. Affective reflex actions then appear clearly to be classifiable as members of the general class of reflex responses.

But here we must be on our guard lest we wrongly conclude that, because all affective reaction systems involve predominantly visceral mechanisms, all feeling responses are reflexes. Such is far from being the case.

For, as we have abundantly seen, not all affective responses are so simple as to involve merely a single reaction system. Whenever we have a response pattern (more than one reaction system) we must place the reaction in a different class. We shall then have habits, volitions or other sorts of behavior. For example, even a fairly simple sex feeling response must always be connected with social or informational responses in theme behavior unit or segment. Consequently, even such comparatively uninvolved affective reactions must belong to another class of action than reflexes. As we have intimated in a previous section, the question whether we must classify sex feeling reactions as affective at all is determined by the fact that the primary element is the feeling factor rather than the social or informational ones which are also included in the behavior segment.

(2) Feeling Habit Reactions. Some of our affective reactions are definitely organized responses which are clearly integrated very closely with specific stimuli. Such an integration process brings it about that the mere appearance of the object constituting the integrative stimulus results in the practically automatic operation of the reaction. Since we call such integrated responses habit reactions, affective behavior of this nature will answer to this description and we will call them feeling habit reactions.

(3) Affective Volitional Reactions. By volitional reaction we understand a behavior segment in which the final or definitive response is conditioned, not only by its ordinary stimulus, but in addition by other stimuli objects directly, or indirectly by such additional stimuli objects through reactions of various sorts. Many of our affective responses constitute such multiply determined responses, and therefore they must be placed in the class of volitional reactions. The feeling reaction toward a picture is determined not only by the picture itself but also by the knowledge of its painter, the understanding of its technique, etc.

(4) Affective Meaning Responses. We have already indicated above that feeling responses serve to condition the operation of further and final reactions in behavior segments. Now such a conditioning function we call a meaning process. And therefore, the determining affective responses must be called meaning reactions in addition to feeling activity. Here in this case it will be observed that only some reaction systems in a behavior segment, namely the precurrent determining reactions and not the final action, bear this name of affective meaning response; in this sense this class of feeling reactions differs from the others we have been describing. But our point that affective reactions may at the same time belong to other types of behavior is here no less cogent than elsewhere.

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Similarly our affective responses may be placed in several other categories. We might merely suggest in addition that affective responses may also be considered either as individual responses, in the sense of representing the unique reactions of an individual who has developed in his particular behavior situations an unique type of affective reaction, or the activity may be classified as cultural, that is to say, as we have suggested above, action in which the person has developed part of his behavior equipment because of some group prescription.

XIV. Classification of Feeling Reactions. Impossible it is to classify feeling reactions in any sort of logical or adequate fashion. The various forms are too complicated and too individual in their operation to permit any satisfactory organization; and yet these very conditions which make classification so difficult make if all the more necessary to inject some order info the multiform facts of affective behavior. Even the most unsuccessful attempt at organization would undoubtedly add something to our understanding of feeling responses and supply some measure of descriptive control over them.

When we attempt, however, to plan such a classification we immediately face a serious problem. What criteria from all the possible ones that present themselves shall we adopt as a guide? Here is an incomplete list of them, which we will offer in the form of questions. (1)Temporal condition; or whether the feeling response is momentary or prolonged? (2) Smoothness of action; in other words, does the reaction operate consistently and on a level throughout, or is there a climax? (3) Directness of feeling; is the reaction definitely directed toward some stimulus object or person, or not? (4) Localization; is the feeling reaction unmistakably localized with respect to some organs or some segment of the organism? (5) Is the action simple or complex? (6) Does if involve great activity or not? (7) Does the reaction appear independent of other behavior at the moment or does if accompany some other reaction? (8) Does the affective action represent one of acceleration or of depression and slowing down of the organism? (9) Does the behavior segment involve implicit reactions of other sorts? (10) Is the feeling reaction itself totally implicit? (11) Is the reaction if-self of a reflex sort or of a habit type? (12) What particular sort of mixture of behavior is involved in the feeling behavior segment? (13) Is there a preponderance of some one qualify in the feeling action, for example, pleasantness or excitedness, etc.? (14) What is the type of stimulus? (15) Is the feeling reaction subtle or crude and violent in ifs operation? (16) Is the affective behavior suffusing or overwhelming? (17) And finally, does or dots not the reaction represent the operation of some permanent reaction system (behavior trait) in the person's equipment?


Any attempt to classify feeling reactions must obviously be based upon some one or a group of these criteria. Moreover, whatever series of classes we adopt, each class must necessarily include thousands of members. The impossibility then of the classifactory enterprise in the field of the affective responses is manifest. What we shall attempt to do is to select from the more common forms of feeling reactions a few (ten) representative types. For class names we adopt terms in ordinary use, specifying, however, that such names need not be considered as exclusively and irrevocably adhering to the type of behavior with which we connect it. Follows then our attempt at classification.

(1) Passions. Here we have a highly organized, usually intense and active form of feeling response which may be momentary or prolonged, overt or implicit. Passions are especially directed toward some particular kind of stimulus object or person. Again, a passion response may involve much implicit behavior of non-affective types such as information, as well as a critical attitude toward the person or object serving as a stimulus. These implicit components of passion responses would comprise of course the anticipatory or precurrent phase of the reaction. To point to examples, we may cite the actions ordinarily referred to as hating, loving, revenging, despising, loathing, jealousy and fits of anger.

(2) Orgasmic or Irruptive Feelings. In this class we put (a) the feeling reactions ending in a very definite climax after a more or less prolonged operation, and ) the feeling responses which start with a sudden change of behavior. For these responses the stimuli are mainly situations which have abrupt endings or interruptions, or objects which change rapidly. Such actions are performed while hearing music that attains to a climax or which begins with great volumes of sound. Also these reactions occur in watching games, in which there are striking gains and losses, and the person's feelings are thus suddenly initiated or interrupted. Similarly, in observing theatrical performances we may have many sudden irruptions of feeling responses; but probably the best example of orgasmic type of feeling reaction can be found in the sex reactions. For the orgasmic and irruptive type of feeling reactions we cannot find very definite word symbols in our language but the expressions striking disappointment, overwhelming surprise, sudden indignation suggest the kind of behavior under discussion. In contrast to the passions, Ife orgasmic or irruptive feeling, responses are more turbulent, fitful and less organized or we and m this respect they are closer to the emotions than any other type of feeling behavior.

(3) Affective Sentiment Reactions. Sentiment reactions represent very highly organized activities which typify acquiesence or readiness to do certain things or to refuse to do them. They are usually exceedingly complex and very intimately connected with complicated knowing and informational behavior. They arc also for the. most part developed and function as cultural or social modes of action. In each case sentiments are unmistakably directed toward some particular kind of stimulus object or situation. Probably most frequently the stimuli for sentiment responses are social institutions of the group behavior variety. Names symbolizing sentiment reactions are shyness, altruism, patriotism, modesty, shame, decency, indecency, cleanliness, charitableness, etc. [13]

(4) Affective Dispositions. The main characteristic of disposition reactions is the fact that the feeling activity when it occurs in response to its

( 461) particular stimulus represents a practically permanent behavior factor of the person's equipment. Thus the dispositions may be considered to a certain extent as giving character to the person. The stimuli for these reactions may be objects, situations, and persons. Such dispositions are tenderness, hopefulness, optimism, pessimism, etc.

(5) Affective Attitudes. These reactions are contrasted with dispositions in representing an action of the moment and do not necessarily reach back to definite elements in the personality behavior equipment. By feeling attitudes we mean more or less prolonged responses with respect to particular stimuli which are usually immediately present. They constitute reactions, then, that are organized with respect to some particular kind of situation object or person which is usually present. These reactions may be exceedingly intense, such as some extreme happiness over some situation or a hopefulness concerning some event. Very good examples of affective attitudes may be found in aesthetic situations; to be enraptured in a work, inspired or repelled, represents such behavior and in ethical situations to be disconcerted or astonished by some one's action. When these expressions represent definite affective responses they may be considered as typical feeling attitudes.

(6) Affective Moods. Moods constitute feeling reactions consisting mainly of a simple type of slightly organized conduct. Qualitatively the mood reactions are in effect conditions of depression or elevation of the person, but these depressions and elevations are none the less organized and directed towards a stimulus object or condition, since they comprise a number of varieties differing with the arousing conditions. Because of the simple character of these reactions, however, they have for the most part been considered as merely conditions which color other types of action. Much plausibility attends this observation, since the comparative simplicity of mood responses makes them especially subject to conditioning. In consequence, they seem to belong indifferently to various kinds of behavior situations. Also moods appear as not directed and autonomous responses because probably for the most part they are stimulated by hygienic conditions of the person himself. Moods may be symbolized by the popular color-terms, blues, browns and rosy moods.

(7) Continuous Feeling Responses. A very prominent type of feeling reaction we are constantly performing are the affective responses of an unlocalized sort which accompany other actions and which to a considerable extent may be said to have their stimuli in other actions of the person. In these cases we have definite pleased, displeased, satisfied or unsatisfied disappointed, apprehensive or other affective responses which parallel and accompany other actions. The essential characteristic of these continuous feeling reactions is that they are not independent responses; that is, they depend upon and are closely connected with other reactions. To illustrate the operation of these actions we might indicate that during a conversation we may have definite pleasurable, excitable or other sorts of feeling responses, depending upon the nature of the conversation and the sort of person with whom we are conversing. Such forms of feeling reaction may frequently amount to a suffusion of the individual with pleasantness or other sorts of feeling. Continuous feeling reactions are naturally not connected with objects as stimuli, but rather with series of objects or continuing action (conversation) and in general with events and conditions.

(8) Diffuse Feelings. In this class we place a large series of complex organized reactions the members of which have a longer or shorter duration in their specific situations. Although the responses of diffuse feeling seg-ments are direct related to some stimulus object or condition, still the segment as n whole appears to feature the response indefinitely more than the stimuli objects and conditions. In other words, the reference to the stimuli objects is not very marked on the surface, especially when the total segment is of considerable duration.

(462) Diffuse feelings usually constitute responses of a serious or important nature. They operate in situations which greatly affect the person. It is for this reason that the response appears so much more in evidence than the stimulus. Thus the responses are diffuse and apparently undirected. We might point out, too, that the most typical of these diffuse feelings have as their stimuli past or future situations or present conditions which are inevitable and cannot be controlled by the individual. This fact adds also to the diffuseness of these reactions. Well symbolized can such behavior be by the responses we call regretfulness, remorse, gladness, elation, dread, anxiety, ecstasy and resignedness.

The diffuse feelings may be differentiated from the continuous feelings chiefly by the fact that, the latter are not independent responses but are always related to some other kind of response. Again, the continuous reactions represent, slighter forms of behavior.

(9) Localized Feeling. By localized feeling we mean definite forms of direct feeling responses to stimuli which are immediately present and in close contact with the individual. These stimuli, however, may be simple or complex, with a simple or complex response on the reaction side. Here we refer to the pleasantness or calming affect produced by touching, stroking or hurting the skin, or the kind of feelings that accompany such actions as eating in which we can localize a pleasant or unpleasant feeling on the tongue.

(10) Tender Affective Responses. Classed here is a type of highly organized feeling directed toward a person or some other living thing. The specific qualities of these responses are correlated with these types of stimuli. That is to say, these reactions involve implicit responses to the suffering and the joy of the persons or other living things that constitute the stimuli. To a certain extent the person reads himself into the situation of the stimulus individual, and imagines his trials and triumphs, and himself suffers accordingly. For names of these reactions we might use the terms sympathy, meltingness, pity, forebearance, etc.

Specific differences between the tender feeling responses depend upon the character of the person and upon the relationship of the stimulus person to the reacting individual. Of course in every case we are ruling out any sort of intellectual compassion or pity and insisting that the reaction when it occurs must answer to the particular characteristics we have specified as belonging to the feeling reaction.


In this paper we have attempted to suggest a naturalistic description of feeling phenomena. By this we mean that we describe feeling reactions as actual ways in which the person adapts himself to his affective stimuli. Upon analysis we have found that a feeling reaction system consists of adaptations which involve primarily the visceral mechanisms, facial movements and such external skeletal mechanisms as do not produce any direct effect upon the object. As a consequence the most characteristic feature of affective adaptations is that they constitute changes or effects in the person himself, and not effects in or upon the stimuli.

Striking superficial similarities appear to align affective responses with emotional, desire and pain reactions. In consequence, feeling responses are very frequently confused with one

( 463) or more of the latter. Because of this situation we have essayed a differentiation of the three latter forms of behavior from the affective reactions.

Assuming that affective, phenomena are concrete psychological adaptations of a specific sort, it follows that because of their intimate personal character and frequency of occurrence there must be a great number of qualitatively different types. These qualitative differences constitute essentially different reactional characteristics which are not reducible to any sort of logical abstractions.

Concerning the stimuli for affective reactions we find that these are extremely numerous and very frequently are conditions, events, modifications of things, acts and qualities rather than composite objects.

Among some other results of our study is the observation that the typical affective reactions partake of behavior characteristics of other psychological phenomena. Accordingly, we find that affective behavior comprises reflex, habit and volitional reactions besides a great many varieties of cultural conduct.

In lieu of the impossible task of classifying feeling behavior we have selected from the more familiar types of affective reactions ten classes which we have attempted to distinguish from one another. As names of these classes we have retained whenever possible the terms usually connected with them in so far as this was practicable.


  1. See classification below.
  2. Cf. J. R. Kantor, An Attempt Toward a Naturalistic Description of Emotions, Psychol. Review, 28, 1921, 19-42, 120-140.
  3. For a description of a behavior segment cf. A Tentative Analysis of the Primary Data of Psychology, J. of Philos., May, 1921, 254-269
  4. The thing present may of course be a substitute for the same thing possessed.
  5. For a description of a reaction system see article mentioned in Note 3.
  6. It must not be overlooked that every reaction system is itself a unit in a behavior pattern or situation, that is, a unit in some total adjustment of the person and therefore different reaction systems overlap. We must be understood therefore to be considering ideal or abstract reaction systems.
  7. The critical reader will observe that as a matter of feet the names feeling and non-fooling reaction systems are attached to these specific forms of action.
  8. Was it not the observation of the close connection between feelings and language which induced writers on language (Wundt for example) to find the origin of language in affective expressions?
  9. It is without doubt the internal or organic character of affective behavior which gave plausibility to the furtherance-hindrance view of the biological psychologists (Spencer, Bain, etc.). And because of the element of truth in this view it must not be summarily rejected.
  10. We assume in this discussion that we may be allowed to interpret the term mental state, employed in the assertion referred to, as meaning responses.
  11. The writer hopes it is unneccessary to indicate that this statement has nothing in common with the view that art is the sublimation of sex urges.
  12. Cf. The Psychology of Reflex Action, this JOURNAL, 1922, 19-42.
  13. None of these names refers to social conduct, but only to the particular affective responses of persons, but these affective responses may be social in character.

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