Difference Between Emotion & Sentiment

Emotion vs Sentiment

Often, the terms emotion and sentiment are used interchangeably, even though there is a difference between the two concepts. Both terms are widely used in psychology. Emotion refers to a complex psychological state such as happiness, anger, jealousy, or grief. Sentiment, on the other hand, can be defined as a mental attitude created through the existence of the emotion. This shows that an emotion and a sentiment are different from one another. In this article, we will examine the differences between an emotion and a sentiment.

What is an Emotion?

Emotions are key motivators in human life and can be described as complex psychological states. They can be positive or negative and have a significant impact on us. According to Paul Eckman, there are six basic universal emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust. However, psychologists have since included other emotions in this list, such as pride, excitement, embarrassment, contempt, and shame.

Emotions comprise three main components: subjective experience, physical response, and behavioral response. Subjective experience emphasizes that, although emotions are almost universal, each individual’s experience of emotion can be different. The physiological response involves bodily changes such as sweating, a racing heartbeat, or nausea as part of the emotional experience. The behavioral response involves expressing the emotion. For example, if a person is smiling, we can understand that they are happy. This description of emotion allows us to understand that emotions are intricate and can form due to environmental cues, such as the situations we encounter in daily life, or individual conditions.

What is a Sentiment?

A sentiment can be defined as a mental attitude or a thought influenced by emotion. A sentiment enables an individual to convey their emotion through expression. For example: “He expressed his sentiment on the subject.” In this instance, the word sentiment is used to convey the opinions or thoughts of the individual, which derive from their emotion.

Some psychologists and sociologists believe that, unlike emotions, sentiments are a sociological concept because they create a link between the cognitive and physiological aspects and the social and cultural aspects. In this sense, sentiments go a step further than emotions, which are mostly confined to the psychological dimensions. Sentiments are typically not primary emotions but are highly organized. Psychologist McDougall states that sentiments usually connect primary emotions with action. This is why psychologists consider sentiments as organized dispositions. Sentiments are formed as a result of a relationship with a social object, for example, love, jealousy, contempt, or grief, all of which revolve around another individual, making that individual the social object that gives rise to the sentiment. This clearly demonstrates that emotions and sentiments are two distinct yet interrelated concepts.

What is the difference between Emotion and Sentiment?

• Definition of Emotion and Sentiment:
• Emotions can be defined as complex psychological states.
• A sentiment can be defined as a mental attitude, a thought influenced by emotion.
• Connection:
• Sentiments are the expression of emotions where they become tied to a social object.
• Dimension:
• Emotions are mostly confined to the psychological dimensions.
• Sentiments go a step further, capturing the social dimension.
• Nature:
• Emotions are raw and natural.
• Sentiments are highly organized.

Key Takeaways

  • Emotions are complex psychological states, while sentiments are mental attitudes influenced by emotions.
  • Sentiments are the expression of emotions, where they become tied to a social object, capturing the social dimension.
  • Emotions are raw and natural, while sentiments are highly organized.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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