Hidden Affections: Presumptions that Continue to Misshape The Measurement of Emotion

George E. Marcus


All empirical investigations rely on formative presumptions. Over the past 70 plus years, research on emotion has long been reliant on data collected using subjective responses and by experimental exposure to target stimuli, and increasingly with various brain scanning technologies. During this period neuroscience research greatly contributed to our understanding of how emotions are formed and what functions they perform in the realm of politics and social life more generally. I identify a number consequential presumptions, in some differing combinations, that have been the foundations for commonly used measures of emotion and measurement practices. These presumptions enable research that has generated a considerable empirical literature. But these presumptions have become increasing tenuous as insights produced by neuroscience has slowly been integrated into the measurement of emotion. The measurement of emotion has gradually adopted these new insights. The adjustments and benefits that derive are described in the final section.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/ape.v5n1p73


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