there is a lengthy, esteemed, peer reviewed text on emotion in which there is no definition of emotion anywhere
it is a human tendency to be ignorant about the nature of emotions
so what is emotion ? as montaigne, the philosopher said -"think about it yourself"
emotion is a particular type of thought/thinking...
first of all it is helpful to point out that this is not a nebulous subject as is the common belief and that all emotions are linked back to one only emotion: happiness... every other emotion, positive or negative is a response to the need for, the loss of, or the getting of happiness so the enormous jungle of emotions which is the way it is often described is really reduced only to one emotion
all the emotions are connected to happiness either wanting happiness or wanting to avoid unhappiness all wanting is only for either of these things and all the other emotions are descriptions for these wants
emotions are very much autonomous you may be able to encourage certain emotions to occur and at times you might succeed but you cannot simply choose your emotion at any time equally you cannot simply terminate emotions at will
whereas you can change your objective thoughts at will so we are able to control our conscious, objective thoughts but not our subjective thoughts, which are our emotions
those who claim that emotions are created by ourselves, would have to explain how and why we can knowingly create something in our mind which is quite autonomous. (that seems intuitively, innately impossible anyway) and something which includes the misery of negative emotions and why we don't just choose positive emotions and if we do create emotions which 'we' are we talking about because if the creation of emotions is happening subconsciously then what is creating them?
the answer can only be...dna
why wouldn't we just create positive emotions if we could? and why would we create something which causes us so much trouble? also, if you ask most people about emotions they run out of steam within about one paragraph or less they don't have much to say... so how could they possibly have created them consciously? that is despite the fact that the only reason they bother to live is because they have emotions, otherwise they would not care about anything.
no doubt our emotions become more complex but only in the number of things in the world that they relate to they are still only to do with our search for happiness as we grow up the number of things in the world that our emotions are able to play on increases but this is because of our ability to discern more about the world of objective things. our emotions then have more to play on and therefore seem more complex, but all they are still doing is labeling things as good or bad... ...delivering happiness or unhappiness. the same drive exists still behind all emotions no matter how complex they seem they are all still finally concerned about delivering happiness and avoiding unhappiness so they label things as good or bad for navigation
the happiness is a reward for doing things that helps dna survive and the unhappiness is a deterrent for not doing things that help dna survive
so dna is really driving us far more than most people are aware
emotions are a largely independent programme in your brain they are tools made for the survival of dna
however they are not perfect and though they have so far delivered the survival of dna: (look at the population on the planet now) they clearly have problems for us see how many people have mental illnesses, drug abuse or wander outside the law these are all finally the result of failed emotion management
emotions have these various and variable subjects or characteristics below:
they are all directly related to the search for happiness all wanting is only finally this... ...the want of happiness emotions then in this process have these characteristics affirmation/rejection (of self or others or things) capacity to be acute or chronic or both involvement in the processes of attack or defense of self dominance absolute persistence entrainment, the tendency to draw other thoughts in. escalation, the tendency to magnify things and themselves. subtle/gross, they can be anywhere on that spectrum. rigid or supple, they can be anywhere on that spectrum. able to insinuate themselves into and beside every objective thought as an oriental guru describes: (they are) "a dark master of confusion"
emotions are the generators of the need for attack and defense attack or defense are to ensure happiness without emotions generating a self that we care about we would not have any urge for defense or attack
emotions connect to things or concepts perceived by our cortex
and emotions then label these things or concepts as either what we want, or what we want to avoid our cortex is therefore linked up to emotions by providing the input and we then respond with desire for the good and avoidance of the bad which can be simply described as craving and cringing (for happiness and away from unhappiness)
we are told in one of the many isolated aphorisms that are strewn around in the confetti of human wisdom that we should know ourselves and know our enemy that is what emotions are: ourselves and our worst enemy, as well as our best friend worst enemy is when we are overcome with emotions that make our lives less content,
best friend is when we enjoy the comfort of friends and humour etc and the resultant contentment but cause no harm to others