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date: 26 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview and novel theoretical synthesis of the literature on how and why emotions regulate social behaviors. It outlines how theorists in this domain have long disagreed on how to conceptualize the role of evolution and innateness in terms of functions of emotions. Parsing theoretical and empirical traditions by level of domain specificity, the chapter argues for a domain-relevant approach to emotion, which is more congruent with current understanding of neurodevelopment and gene–environment interactions. It examines emotion as emergent information about the motivational landscape and offers an alternative metaphorical approach to thinking about evolution as it relates to socioemotional life based on river formation and change.

Keywords: emotion, social behavior, evolution, domain specific, construction, basic emotions, attachment, emotion theory, emotion regulation, social baseline theory

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