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Alexithymia

  1. Grégoire Zimmermann

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0035

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Zimmermann, G. 2010. Alexithymia. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

Abstract

All individuals experience emotions and feelings, two terms that are often used interchangeably in everyday language. However, contemporary specialists in the area of affect concur that emotions are multifaceted phenomena characterized by more or less coordinated changes in three components: a cognitive-experiential component (subjective conscious experience, such as feeling happy), a behavioral-expressive component (characteristic overt expression, such as frowning), and a physiological component (autonomic arousal, such an increase in heart rate or blood pressure). With particular respect to the cognitive component, people differ considerably in the degree to which they pay attention to their emotional experiences, as well as in their abilities to differentiate between their feelings and share them with others. The alexithymia construct has been proposed to account for this variability.

Keywords:

  • alexithymia;
  • emotion regulation;
  • personality;
  • psychophysiological and neural correlates;
  • treatment