ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2021, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (12): 1393-1404.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.01393

• 理论与史 • 上一篇    


叶浩生1, 苏佳佳2(), 苏得权1()   

  1. 1广州大学心理与脑科学研究中心, 广州 510006
    2浙江师范大学教师教育学院, 金华 321004
  • 收稿日期:2021-03-16 出版日期:2021-12-25 发布日期:2021-10-26
  • 通讯作者: 苏佳佳,苏得权;
  • 基金资助:

The meaning of the body: Enactive approach to emotion

YE Haosheng1, SU Jiajia2(), SU Dequan1()   

  1. 1Research Center of Psychology & Brain Science, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    2School of Teacher Education, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004, China
  • Received:2021-03-16 Online:2021-12-25 Published:2021-10-26
  • Contact: SU Jiajia,SU Dequan;


生成论的情绪学说从“意义建构”的视角看待情绪的动力作用, 主张情绪与认知相互交织, 与有机体适应环境的身体活动密切联系。情绪是身体的情绪, 身体是情绪体验中的身体。身体在情绪体验中扮演着构成性角色。根据这一观点, 情绪是一种积极的行动倾向, 是在理解环境意义基础上的具身行动。情绪并非发生于有机体头颅内, 而是产生于大脑、身体和环境的互动与耦合之中。由于认知与情绪在生成论的视域下统一在有机体意义建构的活动之中, 因而认知的4E属性也必然反映到情绪上, 使得情绪和情感也具有了具身、嵌入、延展和生成特征。情绪的生成理论为了解情绪, 进而理解意识的本质提供了一个新视角。

关键词: 情绪, 生成论, 意义建构, 具身认知


Emotion can be considered as one of the most complex conscious experience phenomena. This is mirrored by the variety of the differing and often opposing emotion theories in psychology. For many years, emotion theory has been characterized by a dichotomy between the mind and the body. Enactive approach to emotion, however, tends to treat emotion as a sense-making process by which the physiochemical environment is transformed into an Umwelt — a world that is meaningful for us. Emotion and cognition are interwoven in this process and closely related to the physical activities of the organism that help the organism adapt to the environment. When correctly understood, sense-making is neither passive information absorption nor active mental projection. Instead, our sense-making depends both on what is offered by the environment and on our morphological characteristics and bodily action. Emotions are the emotions of our body, and the body refers to the lived body in the emotional experience. The lived body plays a constitutive role in the formation of emotion. According to enactivism, emotion is an active action tendency, which means that living beings are autonomous agents who actively make sense of their environmental conditions and bring forth or enact their emotional experiences. Emotions do not occur in the organism’s skull, but arise from the interaction and coupling of the brain, body, and environment. Therefore, emotions are simultaneously mental-physical and bodily cognitive, not in the familiar sense of being made up of separate-but-coexisting bodily and cognitive constituents, but instead in the sense that they blend with each other to achieve complete harmony and convey meaning and personal significance as bodily meaning or significance. Since cognition and emotion are unified in the activity of sense-making of the organism in the enactive theory of emotion, the 4E attributes of cognition, namely, embodied, embedded, extended, and enacted, must also be reflected in emotion and affective life: (1) Emotion is embodied, which means the body is not just a means of expressing our feelings and emotions; it is the particular shape and nature of our body that makes our affective life a meaningful experience. (2) Emotion is embedded. By virtue of being embodied, our emotive life is also automatically embedded or situated in an environment. Emotions are rooted in the environment and form a whole that is closely related to the environment. (3) Emotion is extended, which means that the brain itself is not capable of producing emotional experiences, and the neural activity in the brain cannot fully explain the formation of emotions. On the contrary, other parts of the body contribute significantly to the realization of emotional experience in terms of biological, physiological, morphological, and kinematic details. Emotions, therefore, extend beyond the brain to the non-neural parts of the body. (4) Emotion is enacted. Emotional experience is not a state of perception, but a tendency to act. It conveys meaning to us and allows us to adopt more adaptive intelligent behavior in the process of sense-making. Therefore, emotions are dynamic in nature, and emotional experience includes a motivational component. It is an active, intentional effort. In this sense, emotions entail “doing” and manifest themselves as a tendency to act. The enactive approach to emotion offers a new paradigm for the psychology of emotion, thereby opening up a new perspective for emotion research.

Key words: emotion, enactivism, sense-making, embodied cognition