Montageman: A dude who writes

January 29, 2007

Some Tomkins

Filed under: affect, tomkins — montageman @ 3:29 am

In “The Quest for Primary Motives” Tomkins outlines the nine primary affective responses:

  1. Interest
  2. Enjoyment
  3. Surprise
  4. Fear
  5. Anger
  6. Distress
  7. Shame
  8. Contempt
  9. Disgust

He continues, “These are discriminable distinct sets of facial, vocal, respiratory, skin, and muscle responses,” (58).

“Affects may be intra- or extrapunitive, intra- or extrarewarding, intra- or extraconflicted, intra- or extraimpunitive, not rewarding,” (62).

From “Role of the specific affects”

“Startle appears to be activated by a critical rate of increase in the density of neural firing,” (68).

Fear is expected to be limited to only stimuli that produce the requisite density of neural firing (70).

“Interest must not necessarily remain activated too long once aroused, but it must also be capable of being sustained indefinitely if the object or activity so demands it,” (71).

If distress is activated by a general continuing level of nonoptimal neural stimulation, the we can account for the fact that such a variety of stimuli, from both internal and external sources, can produce the muted distress reponse in the adult (73).

Pain, distress, and/or frustration can cause anger (76).

Joy operates on the principle of stimulation reduction (76).


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