Send to

Choose Destination
Am Psychol. 1991 Aug;46(8):819-34.

Progress on a cognitive-motivational-relational theory of emotion.

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


The 2 main tasks of this article are 1st, to examine what a theory of emotion must do and basic issues that it must address. These include definitional issues, whether or not physiological activity should be a defining attribute, categorical versus dimensional strategies, the reconciliation of biological universals with sociocultural sources of variability, and a classification of the emotions. The 2nd main task is to apply an analysis of appraisal patterns and the core relational themes that they produce to a number of commonly identified emotions. Anger, anxiety, sadness, and pride (to include 1 positive emotion) are used as illustrations. The purpose is to show the capability of a cognitive-motivational-relational theory to explain and predict the emotions. The role of coping in emotion is also discussed, and the article ends with a response to criticisms of a phenomenological, folk-theory outlook.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association
Loading ...
Support Center