- The Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- About the Contributors
- What is Analytical Sociology All About? An Introductory Essay
- Analytical Sociology and Theories of the Middle Range
- Social Dynamics from the Bottom Up: Agent-Based Models of Social Interaction
- Segregation Dynamics
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
- Social Influence: The Puzzling Nature of Success in Cultural Markets
- The Contagiousness of Divorce
- Collective Action
- Conditional Choice
- Network Dynamics
- Threshold Models of Social Influence
- Time and Scheduling
- Homophily and the Focused Organization of Ties
- Dominance Hierarchies
- Game Theory
- Analytic Ethnography
- Historical Sociology
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This article explores the role of emotions in the explanation of behavior. It first provides an overview of complexities associated with the term ‘emotion’ before discussing the link between emotions and rationality. In particular, it considers the rational choice theory of action and the notion of emotional choice, along with the impact of emotion on substantive preferences, formal preferences, beliefs and belief formation, and information-gathering. The article argues that emotions governing action should not be deemed inaccessible to analytic social-science inquiry. Even if emotions trigger actions and reactions discontinuous with prior action streams, emotions do not make the rational-actor model fail. Emotions can determine belief and urgency-based emotions can determine outcomes.
Jon Elster is the Robert K. Merton Professor of Social Sciences at Columbia University and a professor at the Collège de France. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Paris. Before taking his current position at Columbia University, he taught in Paris, Oslo, and Chicago. His research interests include the theory of rational choice, the theory of distributive justice, and the history of social thought (Marx and Tocqueville). He is currently working on a comparative study of constitution-making processes from the Federal Convention to the present, besides being engaged in a project on the microfoundations of civil war.
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