Feeling

Feelings are subjective self-contained phenomenal experiences. According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, a feeling is "a self-contained phenomenal experience"; and feelings are "subjective, evaluative, and independent of the sensations, thoughts, or images evoking them".[1] The term feeling is closely related to, but not the same as emotion. "Feeling" may for instance refer to the conscious subjective experience of emotions.[2] The study of subjective experiences is referred to as phenomenology. The discipline of psychotherapy generally involves a therapist helping a client understand, articulate and learn to effectively regulate their own feelings and ultimately take responsibility for their experience of the world. Feelings are sometimes held to be characteristic of embodied consciousness.[3]

The English noun feelings may generally refer to any degree of subjectivity in perception or sensation. However, feelings often refer to an individual sense of well-being (perhaps of wholeness, safety or being loved.) Feelings have a semantic field extending from the individual and spiritual to the social and political. The word feeling may refer to any of a number of psychological characteristics of experience, or even to reflect the entire inner life of the individual (see mood.) As self-contained phenomenal experiences, evoked by sensations and perceptions, we might expect feelings to strongly influence the character of subjective reality; and indeed feelings may sometimes be seen to harbor bias or to in some way distort veridical perception, in particular through projection, wishful thinking, among many other such effects.

Feeling may also describe the senses, with an exemplary case being the physical sensation of touch.


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