UpDate - Vol. 11, No. 19, Page 1
February 13, 1992
Love and other emotions in Carroll Izard's latest book

     How can you write a book about emotions and not include a
chapter on love, Carroll Izard's students asked.
     How indeed? For eons, the tangled and twisted course of true
love has inspired bards, playwrights, novelists, librettists,
poets, painters and, lately, filmmakers. Star-crossed lovers have
inspired ballads, ballets and blues singers, and the topic "love"
takes up at least five pages in the index to Bartlett's Familiar
     So, in his newest book, The Psychology of Emotions, Izard, who
is a nationally recognized emotion theorist and authority on the
emotional development of children, added a chapter on love.
     Love joins 10 other chapters on discrete fundamental emotions:
interest, enjoyment, surprise, sadness, anger, disgust, fear,
shyness, shame and guilt.
     "Although love is not a single emotion like joy, I added that
topic because of student interest," Izard, University of Delaware
Unidel Professor of Psychology, said. "But the book points out that
love can be a feeling or state or a relationship, and it can exist
on many levels. It can be romantic love, love of parent, love of
sibling, love of child. In love relationships, one can experience
all emotions."
     In his newest book, Izard charts the characteristics and
functions of each emotion and backs up his commentary with
psychological studies and vignettes of emotional experiences
written by his students. He added these emotional autobiographies
because he thought material from the lives of peers would be useful
for teaching and learning, he said.
     A burgeoning interest in the science of emotions has led to
much new research, Izard said, and suggestions for additional
reading are included at the end of each chapter. One of the more
important aspects of the book, he said, is the discussion of
different pathways that lead to emotions.
     "Information travels along some of these pathways
automatically and unconsciously," Izard said. "This helps explain
why we sometimes wonder, 'Why do I feel so blue?'"
     "Emotions can come into our minds in many different ways and
in the past that hasn't always been recognized," Izard said. "The
tendency for leading theorists in our field is to believe that all
emotions come to us through cognition. That is, only after
appraising something as good or bad do we feel something."
     Izard gathers together diverse studies to demonstrate that
emotions also can be generated directly by the nervous system, by
empathy and by highly intense states of physiological drive.
     Many emotions do appear in our consciousness through cognition
or thought, Izard said. These emotions are evoked by any situation
that's complex enough to cause us to make a judgment before we
     "For example, if, while waiting in a line, we are bumped hard
from behind, we may become angry if we see it is someone trying to
jump ahead in the line. But if we turn around and find that we were
jostled accidently by someone with a cane, we might feel sadness
and sympathy instead," he said.
     That the nervous system can generate emotion directly has been
proven by studies in which areas of the brain have been stimulated
by various drugs to create emotions of depression and anxiety,
Izard said. Our sensory processes can also produce emotion through
empathy. "If you see a person looking very sad, you might
automatically imitate their expression and ultimately feel sadness
as well," he said.
     Finally, any motivational state that reaches a peak of
intensity can cause emotion, Izard said. These can include intense
hunger, thirst, fatigue or sexual arousal.
     Very few human conditions give rise to one single emotion,
Izard said. In depression, sadness may be the dominant aspect, but
anger is almost always there in what is called the sad/mad
syndrome. The student biographies frequently illustrate these
combined emotions, Izard said, and he believes his book will help
psychologists, clinicians, students and the educated layperson to
identify what emotions are expressed in different situations.
     "What this book does, more than any other book on the market,
is give people a clearer understanding of the unique motivational
power of each emotion. Each emotion has a special motivational
aspect and serves a different function for us," he said.
     Written from a bio-social perspective, Izard's book also
reviews different theories of emotion, considers possible origins
of human emotions and portrays how emotions are tied to such other
aspects of the individual as cognition, action, temperament and
personality. The Psychology of Emotions is published by Plenum
     Educated at Mississippi College and Yale and Syracuse
universities, Izard also has written The Face of Emotion, which
received the Elliot Memorial Award from the American Psychological
Association, and Human Emotions, which has been translated into
German and Russian. His research on the role of emotions in human
development has been featured on the PBS television series "Nova"
and in other science-education media such as Smithsonian magazine.
A member of the University of Delaware faculty since 1976, he
received the University's Francis Alison Faculty Award as an
outstanding member of the faculty in 1989.
                                        - Cornelia Weil