In this paper, emotion is dealt with as a complex theoretical term, whose empirical referents derive from physiological, behavioral and subjective discourses (psychophysiological triad). It is argued that the meaning of emotion terms is not exhausted by any of these discourses (or ‘texts’), but by the complementary consideration of the three. In order to proceed psychophysiologically, any given text becomes context for the others, thus allowing for consensual validation of hypothetical constructs. The position delineated in this paper seeks to go beyond the usual correlational approach and is discussed in relation to other similar attempts. The pivotal position of language and the implications of content category (or meaning) analysis in the study of affect and emotion are illustrated.

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