James A Russell

James A Russell
Boston College, USA | BC · Psychology Department

Doctor of Philosophy

About

103
Publications
117,586
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25,295
Citations
Citations since 2016
35 Research Items
13043 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,5002,000

Publications

Publications (103)
Article
The theory that suicide violates the moral domain of purity, whereas homicide violates the qualitatively different domain of autonomy, rests in part on the hypothesis that suicide, but not homicide, elicits disgust in a witness, taints the perpetrator's soul, and is judged immoral in a way relatively insensitive to the perpetrator's intention. In s...
Article
Judgments about the morality of an act that harms another (an autonomy violation) depend on the perpetrator's intention, but judgments about an impure act (a purity violation) have little to do with the perpetrator's intention—or so it has been theorized. In contrast, our hypothesis, supported here in three studies of American internet users, is th...
Article
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Which, if any, emotions have a facial signal? Studies from AI to Zoology sometimes presuppose an answer to this question. According to one important and influential research program, the basic (fundamental and discrete) emotions can be identified by their possession of a biologically based unique and universally recognized facial signal. To the cla...
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“No” is our answer to the question in our title. In moral psychology, a purity violation (defined as an immoral act committed against one’s own body or soul) was theorized to be a homogeneous moral domain qualitatively distinct from other moral domains. In contrast, we hypothesized heterogeneity rather than homogeneity, overlapping rather than dist...
Article
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Affect is involved in many psychological phenomena, but a descriptive structure, long sought, has been elusive. Valence and arousal are fundamental, and a key question-the focus of the present study-is the relationship between them. Valence is sometimes thought to be independent of arousal, but, in some studies (representing too few societies in th...
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Research over the past decades has demonstrated the explanatory power of emotions, feelings, motivations, moods, and other affective processes when trying to understand and predict how we think and behave. In this consensus article, we ask: has the increasingly recognized impact of affective phenomena ushered in a new era, the era of affectivism?
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Much theory, research, and application regarding emotion is based on a set of basic emotions. But the question remains: which emotions are in that set? One proposal is to expand the classic set of six with 12 new ones, each indicated by a facial expression purported to convey that one specific emotion universally. A series of studies offered as sup...
Book
Shame is one of the most stigmatized and stigmatizing of emotions. Often characterized as an emotion in which the subject holds a global, negative self-assessment, shame is typically understood to mark the subject as being inadequate in some way, and a sizable amount of work on shame focuses on its problematic or unhealthy aspects, effects, or cons...
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Voice quality refers to the auditory impression (e.g., hoarse and nasal) the listener experiences from a piece of speech, and it provides information about the speaker such as his/her physical characteristics, age, and emotional state. The present study aimed to develop a scale in English language to measure how we perceive qualities of emotional v...
Article
On the assumption that shame is a universal emotion, cross-cultural research on shame relies on translations assumed to be equivalent in meaning. Our studies here questioned that assumption. In three studies (Ns, 108, 120, 117), shame was compared to its translations in Spanish (vergüenza) and in Malayalam (nanakedu). American English speakers used...
Article
According to one important set of theories, different domains of immorality are linked to different discrete emotions—panculturally. Violations against the community elicit contempt, whereas violations against an individual elicit anger. To test this theory, American, Indian and Japanese participants (N = 480) indicated contempt and anger reactions...
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No abstract available for this commentary.
Article
Anthropological studies in India inspired the idea of a distinct domain of moral purity, but a precise characterization of that domain has been elusive. One proposal based on current theorizing in psychology is that prototypical purity violations are self-harming actions, which are perceived as disgusting and immoral whether done accidentally or in...
Article
Disgust has been hypothesized to be uniquely linked to violations of a distinct moral domain (called divinity, purity, or sacred) aimed at preserving one’s body from contamination with pathogens and preserving one’s soul from violations of what is sacred. Here we examined whether the same emotion—core disgust—occurs when witnessing both types of vi...
Chapter
Emotions play a role in nearly everything we do and think. Understanding people and their interactions requires an understanding of emotion. And science can contribute to that understanding. Here, I cannot cover everything in the science of emotion, but cover enough to introduce the reader to an emerging new way of thinking about emotion that is an...
Article
Three studies (Ns = 200, 400, 400) tested the hypothesis that we humans feel disgust when reminded of our animal nature. Participants verbally rated their disgust reaction to pictures of humans engaged in various unpleasant actions. For pictures of events that present danger or suffering, accompanied by an explicit and vivid reminder that animals f...
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According to CAD theory, different moral domains are associated with different emotions: (C) community violations with contempt, (A) autonomy violations with anger, and (D) divinity violations with disgust. Do people from different cultural groups make the same associations? Three studies (Ns = 120, 240, 240) tested the CAD theory. Participants fro...
Article
Extensive prior research has demonstrated the interplay between emotion and eating, but there has not been an empirical examination of the effects of experimentally induced basic emotions on people’s desire for foods that vary in caloric density and taste quality. To address this issue, we used validated emotion induction manipulations to elicit fe...
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That facial expressions are universal emotion signals has been supported by observers agreeing on the emotion mimed by actors. We show that actors can mime a diverse range of states: emotions, cognitions, physical states, and actions. English, Hindi, and Malayalam speakers (N = 1200) viewed 25 video clips and indicated the state conveyed. Within ea...
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The claim that certain facial expressions signal certain specific emotions has been supported by high observer agreement in labeling the emotion predicted for that expression. Our hypothesis was that, with a method common to the field, high observer agreement can be achieved through a process of elimination: As participants move from trial to trial...
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We report 2 studies on how residents of Papua New Guinea interpret facial expressions produced spontaneously by other residents of Papua New Guinea. Members of a small-scale indigenous society, Trobrianders (Milne Bay Province; N = 32, 14 to 17 years) were shown 5 facial expressions spontaneously produced by members of another small-scale indigenou...
Article
Feeling bad is one thing, judging something to be bad another. This hot/cold distinction helps resolve the debate between bipolar and bivariate accounts of affect. A typical affective reaction includes both core affect (feeling good or bad) and judgments of the affective qualities of various aspects of the stimulus situation (which can have both go...
Article
The claim that certain facial expressions signal certain specific emotions has been supported by high observer agreement in labeling the emotion predicted for that expression. Our hypothesis was that, with a method common to the field, high observer agreement can be achieved through a process of elimination: As participants move from trial to trial...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Humans interpret others’ facial behavior, such as frowns and smiles, and guide their behavior accordingly, but whether such interpretations are pancultural or culturally specific is unknown. In a society with a great degree of cultural and visual isolation from the West—Trobrianders of Papua New Guinea—adolescents interpreted a gasping...
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This article introduces the Children’s Scales of Pleasure and Arousal as instruments to enable children to provide judgments of emotions they witness or experience along the major dimensions of affect. In two studies (Study 1: N = 160, 3–11 years and adults; Study 2: N = 280, 3–5 years and adults), participants used the scales to indicate the level...
Article
Six studies (Ns = 65, 96, 120, 129, 40, 200) tested the hypothesis that being reminded of our animal nature makes us feel disgust. Participants from three cultural groups indicated the intensity of their disgust reactions to pleasant and unpleasant animal reminder stories and pictures as well as to a statement directly reminding them of their anima...
Article
Do different languages have a translation for the English word disgust that labels the same underlying concept? If not, the English word might label a culture-specific concept. Four studies (Ns = 93, 90, 180, 960) compared disgust to its common translation in Hindi (an Indo-European language) and in Malayalam (a Dravidian language) by examining two...
Article
Recent research has indicated that language provides an important contribution to adults’ conceptions of emotional expressions and their associated categories, but how language influences children’s expression category acquisition has yet to be explored. Across two studies, we provide evidence that when preschoolers (2–4 years) encounter a novel la...
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Objective: While in general arousal increases with positive or negative valence (a so-called V-shape relation), there are large differences among individuals in how these two fundamental dimensions of affect are related in people's experience. In two studies, we examined two possible sources of this variation: personality and culture. Method: In...
Article
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That all humans recognize certain specific emotions from their facial expression-the Universality Thesis-is a pillar of research, theory, and application in the psychology of emotion. Its most rigorous test occurs in indigenous societies with limited contact with external cultural influences, but such tests are scarce. Here we report 2 such tests....
Article
Native speakers of English, Korean, and Malayalam (N = 30 in each group) rated their emotional reactions to stories describing events leading to anger, fear, sadness, and disgust. Speaker’s language had no significant effect for anger, fear, and sadness stories, but did for disgust stories. The category named by the English word disgust includes em...
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Contrary to a common presupposition, the word disgust may refer to more than one emotion. From an array of 3 facial expressions (produced in our lab), participants (N = 44) in Study 1 selected the one that best matched 11 types of emotion-eliciting events: anger, sadness, and 9 types of disgust (7 types of physical disgust plus moral disgust and si...
Article
Adults distinguish expressions of hubris from those of positive pride. To determine whether children (N = 183; 78-198 months old) make a similar distinction, we asked them to attribute emotion labels and a variety of social characteristics to dynamic expressions intended to convey hubris and positive pride. Like adults, children attributed differen...
Article
In a classic study, children were shown an array of facial expressions and asked to choose the person who expressed a specific emotion. Children were later asked to name the emotion in the face with any label they wanted. Subsequent research often relied on the same two tasks-choice from array and free labeling-to support the conclusion that childr...
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Two correlational studies (ns = 400; 90) examined the association of judgments of immorality and disgust (hypothesized in much current research and theory). Across 40 scenarios in Study 1, immorality was positively correlated with negative emotions, especially anger. With anger partialed, disgust was significantly, but weakly, correlated with immor...
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Past research has found that children recognize emotions from facial expressions poorly and improve only gradually with agebut the stimuli in such studies have been static faces. Because dynamic faces include more information, it may well be that children more readily recognize emotions from dynamic facial expressions. The current study of children...
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Context-the external situation-overrides facial information when judging the emotion from spontaneous facial expressions, even on valence. Observers (N = 60) judged the emotion in each of 15 facial expressions of athletes in the 2012 Olympics who had just won or lost their respective event. Observers were given either correct, incorrect, or no info...
Article
Prior research has identified a facial expression for positive pride, but no expression for negative pride, hubris. In the present study, professional actors created expressions intended to convey hubris. In Study 1 (N = 52), participants were shown dynamic expressions and attributed confidence, positive valence, and positive personality traits to...
Article
Several colleagues recently told me that they are rereading William James on emotion. Smart idea. James articulated as yet unanswered questions at the heart of affective science. With the understandable exception of Charles Darwin, William James is the scientist from the 19th century whose ideas most continue to stimulate theoretical debate and emp...
Article
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A reaction time study showed that the concept of emotion is more like a prototypically organized concept than a classically defined one. Emotion terms rated as better examples of “emotion” (such as anger) were verified as emotions faster than were terms rated as poorer examples (such as awe).
Article
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Certain facial expressions have been proposed to be signals evolved to communicate a single specific emotion. Evidence to support this view is based primarily on university-educated Western adults. In the current study (N=96), university-educated and non-university-educated Americans were asked to label purported facial expressions of happiness, sa...
Article
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Happiness, sadness, and anger are translated into Arabic as farah, huzn, and ghudub, respectively, by the translation–back translation method. But are these translations equivalent? To be equivalent, they must have the same referents, specifically, show a high correlation between profiles of endorsement and a similar breadth of endorsement when use...
Article
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The claim that certain emotions are universally recognized from facial expressions is based primarily on the study of expressions that were posed. The current study was of spontaneous facial expressions shown by aborigines in Papua New Guinea (Ekman, 1980); 17 faces claimed to convey one (or, in the case of blends, two) basic emotions and five face...
Article
Evidence does not support the claim that observers universally recognize basic emotions from signals on the face. The percentage of observers who matched the face with the predicted emotion (matching score) is not universal, but varies with culture and language. Matching scores are also inflated by the commonly used methods: within-subject design;...
Article
An emotion concept is a script in which an emotion event is an ordered sequence of subevents from situational cause through bodily changes to behavioral consequence. As children build a script for each emotion, in what order do they add each subevent? Preschoolers (N = 108, three to five years), were asked to name the protagonist's emotion in stori...
Article
In prior research, preschoolers were surprisingly poor at naming the emotion purportedly signaled by prototypical facial expressions-when shown as static images. To determine whether this poor performance is due to the use of static stimuli, rather than dynamic, we presented preschoolers (3-5 years) with facial expressions as either static images o...
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As an alternative to using the concepts of emotion, fear, anger, and the like as scientific tools, this article advocates an approach based on the concepts of core affect and psychological construction, expanding the domain of inquiry beyond "emotion". Core affect is a neurophysiological state that underlies simply feeling good or bad, drowsy or en...
Article
We aimed to study the neural processing of emotion-denoting words based on a circumplex model of affect, which posits that all emotions can be described as a linear combination of two neurophysiological dimensions, valence and arousal. Based on the circumplex model, we predicted a linear relationship between neural activity and incremental changes...
Article
Increasing evidence supports the existence of distinct neural systems that subserve two dimensions of affect--arousal and valence. Ten adult participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging during which they were presented a range of standardized faces and then asked, during the scan, to rate the emotional expressions of the faces along...
Article
Comment on an article by Peter Zachar (see record 2007-10982-007) An account of emotion must include categories and dimensions. Categories because humans categorize reality, and a person's categorization of their own state influences aspects of that state. Dimensions because humans are always in some state of Core Affect, which varies by degree al...
Article
Jane is calmly strolling through the forest one lovely day. Suddenly, a large spider drops in front of her face. She immediately freezes; her heart races; her hands tremble; her face broadcasts “fear.” She screams and runs away. Both before and after, she concedes that spiders in this forest are harmless. Jane's reaction to the spider contrasts gre...
Article
Consensus scoring occurs when the scoring key for a test is based upon the responses of the norm group. Consensus scoring is an attractive alternative to traditional methods of creating a scoring key for ability tests, especially useful when experts disagree about the correct answers to test items, as they do in the area of emotions and emotion per...
Chapter
The functions of facial expressions: What's in a face? Humans are quintessentially social beings, and our faces occupy a central role in our social interactions. How and why they do so is the focus of this chapter. This chapter is not intended to be comprehensive, an inevitable choice given the explosion of research on facial expressions that has o...
Article
This article explores the idea that Core Affect provides the emotional quality to any conscious state. Core Affect is the neurophysiological state always accessible as simply feeling good or bad, energized or enervated, even if it is not always the focus of attention. Core Affect, alone or more typically combined with other psychological processes,...
Article
At the heart of emotion, mood, and any other emotionally charged event are states experienced as simply feeling good or bad, energized or enervated. These states - called core affect - influence reflexes, perception, cognition, and behavior and are influenced by many causes internal and external, but people have no direct access to these causal con...
Article
Children's performance on free labeling of prototypical facial expressions of basic emotions is modest and improves only gradually. In 3 data sets (N = 80, ages 4 or 5 years; N = 160, ages 2 to 5 years; W = 80, ages 3 to 4 years), errors remained even when method factors (poor stimuli, unavailability of an appropriate label, or the difficulty of a...
Article
Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books , 1999, Vol 44(1), 26-27. Review of book: Handbook of Communication and Emotion: Research, Theory, Applications, and Contexts, edited by Peter A. Anderson and Laura K. Guerrero (see record 1997-36344-000 ). The relation between emotion and communication is the topic of this book....
Chapter
This reference work provides broad and up-to-date coverage of the major perspectives - ethological, neurobehavioral, developmental, dynamic systems, componential - on facial expression. It reviews Darwin's legacy in the theories of Izard and Tomkins and in Fridlund's recently proposed Behavioral Ecology theory. It explores continuing controversies...
Chapter
This reference work provides broad and up-to-date coverage of the major perspectives - ethological, neurobehavioral, developmental, dynamic systems, componential - on facial expression. It reviews Darwin's legacy in the theories of Izard and Tomkins and in Fridlund's recently proposed Behavioral Ecology theory. It explores continuing controversies...
Article
In words such as happy, sad, angry, and afraid, the English language provides a taxonomy of emotional states. But to what extent is this taxonomy language or culture bound? This article describes a method that compares emotion words in different natural languages. Translations for 14 emotion words in English were obtained for Chinese and Japanese....
Article
Full-text available
Two studies are reported on the question of whether children acquire concepts for more complex emotions, such as jealousy and pride, in an all-or-nothing manner rather than feature by feature. In the first study, 96 children between 4 and 7 years of age were asked to describe situations that would evoke happiness, pride, gratitude, shame, worry, an...
Article
Discusses, in conjunction with comments by G. L. Clore and A. Ortony (see record 1991-14423-001), the trend in emotion psychology to begin rethinking assumptions implicit in emotion-related terminology. The author argues against Clore and Ortony's implication that scripts for specific emotions must be universal and must match the actual occurrence...
Article
this chapter is about self-report questionnaires, rating scales, behavioral or physiological indexes, and other measures of emotion that rely, directly or indirectly, on such everyday English words as anger, fear, happiness, anxiety, or stress. considerable evidence suggests . . . [that] people use emotion words as if they were highly and systema...
Article
Reviews the book, Environmental psychology: Principles and practice by Robert Gifford (see record 1987-97351-000). Publication of this undergraduate text is a welcome event in environmental psychology. Especially environmental psychology in Canada. The first text in the field by a Canadian, the book is richly illustrated with Canadian scenes and ex...
Article
We are not the extremists Ekman and O'Sullivan (1988) assume. Much, but not all, of the apparent disagreement evaporates once misunderstandings are cleared up. They offer no alternative explanation for our findings, which thus remain a challenge to those who think of the perception of emotion in facial expressions as accurate and absolute rather th...
Article
People appraise environments as pleasant, gloomy, stressful, and so on. A model concerning such affective appraisals is proposed in which the theory of adaptation level is combined with a descriptive model of affective categories. Three experiments tested the model by showing subjects an anchor scene to change their adaptation level (AL). One exper...
Article
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Factor-analytic evidence has led most psychologists to describe affect as a set of dimensions, such as displeasure, distress, depression, excitement, and so on, with each dimension varying independently of the others. However, there is other evidence that rather than being independent, these affective dimensions are interrelated in a highly systema...
Article
While the majority of alcoholics surveyed believed that drinking could help to compensate for feelings of displeasure, nonalcoholics were more likely to believe that drinking amplifies displeasure.
Article
This paper presents a questionnaire measure of alcohol use habits designed to separately assess consumption of wine, beer, and liquor, and drinking rate. Factor analysis of the measure for 593 college students indicates that the highest loading items on the single factor extracted are those relating to drinking rate. The weekly amount of wine consu...
Article
It was hypothesized that approach toward an environment and the desire to affiliate there are influenced by the emotion-eliciting quality of that environment. In two studies, undergraduates (N = 200, 310) rated these two behaviors in response to settings shown via color photographic slides. As predicted, approach toward the setting was determined b...
Article
It is often assumed that the emotion-altering effects of drugs are the major reasons for their use and, more specifically, that drugs are used to compensate for undesired emotional states produced by various events and environments. The present paper explicitly states one version of this point of view, based on a descriptive system for emotional st...
Article
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Two studies provided evidence that three independent and bipolar dimensions, pleasure-displeasure, degree of arousal, and dominance-submissiveness, are both necessary and sufficient to adequately define emotional states. In one study with 200 subjects, 42 verbal-report emotion scales were explored in regression analyses as functions of the three di...
Article
Russell Belk's explicit recognition of environmental variables and their ability to explain and predict behavior is applauded. His approach to describing environmental differences is noted as lacking parsimony, however, and an alternative, more parsimonious, approach is suggested.
Chapter
It was hypothesized that the physical environment elicits an emotional response, which then influences subsequent behaviors. Settings presented by photographic slides were first rated on their pleasantness, arousing quality, and dominance-eliciting quality. A separate sample of subjects was then asked to rate their desire to drink, smoke, affiliate...
Article
The literature on the relationship between alcohol and a drinker's emotions, personality, environmental conditions and behavior provides complementary sources of evidence, all suggesting that alcohol use is at least partially motivated by its emotion altering effects.
Article
120 undergraduates rated their desire to work in (verbally described) situations varying in setting and task variables. Desire to work was significantly greater for (a) easier tasks, (b) less arousing settings, (c) more pleasant tasks, and (d) more pleasant settings. Predicted interaction effects showed that easier tasks and more pleasant settings...
Article
Available literature provides ample evidence that there are basic responses which are elicited by stimuli but which are independent of sense-modality distinctions. Everyday observations of intermodality associations, studies of synesthesia and of physiological reactions to different stimuli, and semantic differential studies all showed evidence of...
Article
Defined any emotional state, including anger or anxiety, in terms of 3 independent and bipolar dimensions: pleasure-displeasure, arousal-nonarousal, and dominance-submissiveness. Verbal self-report measures for these various emotional states were used to test the hypotheses that anger consists of feelings of displeasure, high arousal, and dominance...
Article
Identifies and measures relevant variables (e.g., color, heat, light, and sound) involved in environmental psychology and fits them into a systematic framework. It is proposed that environmental stimuli are linked to behavioral responses by the primary emotional responses of arousal, pleasure, and dominance. (31 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c)...