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Emotions are really complicated and interesting, which is why we’ve talked about them a lot here on SciShow Psych. In fact, we’ve talked about them so much that we’ve made a compilation of our favorite emotion-related videos!

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Whether you love them or hate them, emotions are a big part of our lives. They shape our best days and our worst ones. They help us make decisions and they're an important lens through which we see the world.

There's a reason Disney and Pixar made a whole movie about them. But your emotions don't work like the characters in Inside Out. They're a lot more complicated and more interesting, which is why we've talked about them a lot here on SciShow Psych. In fact, we've talked about them so much that we were able to make a compilation of our favorite emotion related videos.

Of course before we jump in there is one important question we need to answer: what is an emotion anyway? Here's what researchers have found.

Think back to the last time you had a feeling all the feels moment. Maybe it was when you finished reading this really great book about, I don't know, two teenagers with cancer who fall in love and it basically ripped your heart out and what? I'm not sobbing, you're sobbing.

Or maybe it was when you got engaged, or that day when everything went wrong. Whatever it was it gave you some really strong feelings, but how did you know what you were feeling? Feeling that something is hot or cold or a soft fluffy kitty makes intuitive sense.

You're touching a physical thing and it's going to feel a particular way. But emotions are way less straight forward. So where do they come from? Let's just say that psychologists have all the feels about that one.

Even defining emotion is tricky. Like, we all know that cold is a feeling and that it isn't an emotion the way sadness is, but it's hard to explain the difference. So one of the things psychologists have tried to do is identify a few key parts of experiencing emotion.

There's obviously the part where you feel, along with a cognitive piece, which involves being aware of the feeling. There's also something motivational, like when fear makes you want to run away from the giant hairy spider in your basement as fast as your legs will carry you.

Then there's a physiological response, like the racing heart and sweaty palms that accompanies said fear. And there's a motor response, say when you do actually high-tail it out of there. The debate is actually which of these components are part of the emotion itself and which are a cause of it or a consequence of it.

It's kind of a chicken and the egg situation.

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