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Prototype approach

·      Used to identify the distinct characteristics of each emotion (e.g. Shaver et al., 1987)

·      Narrative methodology used to produce a 'script' or 'paradigm scenario' for a typical emotion

·      Approach highlights 'fuzzy boundaries' between emotions

·      Also suggests different ways of experiencing same core emotion so helps explain variations within-emotion

o   E.g., anger experienced as irritation vs rage

  • Example: prototype for sadness
    • Causes: Death, loss, not getting what one wants
    • Feelings: Helpless, tired, run down, slow
    • Expression: Drooping posture, say sad things, crying, tears
    • Thoughts: Blaming, criticising self, irritable
    • Actions: Negative talk to others, suppressing negative feelings
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