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Positivity versus negativity is a matter of timing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 November 2017

George Ainslie*
School of Economics, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7710, South Africa. Department of Veterans Affairs, Coatesville, PA 19320.


“Negative” emotions are never purely negative. They attract attention at the very least and often stay attractive enough to make rehearsing them an addictive activity. As the authors point out, they also counteract a relentless tendency for positive emotions to become boring. Analysis in terms of reward suggests why this tendency occurs and how symbiosis with negative emotions may arise, in art and in life.

Open Peer Commentary
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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