AFFECT and emotion, target-value mismatches, and Russian dolls

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The focus in this chapter is on the evaluative systems of attitude, as modelled in the appraisal framework. While fully accepting the validity of the model, I explore three practical issues that arise in applying it. The first concerns the question of whether affect, the core area of attitude, should be distinguished from the more general field of emotion talk, and, if so, how. The second issue arises because two related but distinct criteria are used to distinguish judgements and appreciations: the kind of entity evaluated (the target) and the value ascribed to it. As a result, there may be an apparent mismatch between these two criteria. The third difficulty can be called the ‘Russian doll’ dilemma. An expression of one category of attitude may function as a token (an indirect expression) of a different category; and that token may itself function as an indirect expression of yet another category, and so on. This poses problems for a study of evaluation which relies on quantitative analysis. I suggest my own principles to help make life a little easier for anyone engaged in analysing evaluation in text.


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