Analysis Of The Emotion Of Disappointment

Smith and Passer (2004) define emotion as feeling or affect state that involve pattern of cognitive, physiological and behavioral reaction to events. These two scholars continue to tell us that motivation and emotions are linked, in that we only react emotionally when our motives and goals are met, threatened or frustrated. The emotion which am looking at, which is disappointment, result mostly when someone is frustrated.

Izard (1991) says emotions are part of human interactions, and they are an avoidable, she says also that emotions are part of our personality, for example we can say that Diana is very emotional, and we tend to say this because of what we have observed, maybe we saw Diana watching a movie, and when she saw a scene of people who loved each other breaking up, she cried, that’s where we saw Diana as emotional person.

Disappointment is a reasonable or appropriate response to violated expection.Draper continues to argue in his writing that it is reasonable to feel disappointed when you lose something important in your life, because of certain event that happen.

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Another scholar by the name of Bradley (2010) defines disappointment as a negative emotional response to the disconfirmation of a positive event, which is, or which would be the object of hope. Disappointment is appropriate when positive event are overtaken by negative event. For example if there is person working in an a certain organization and during his career everything has been going right for that person, in that, that person has been waiting for a promotion, but suddenly things happen not the way that person had expected, in that, that person gets dismissed from his position, it’s perfectly reasonable for that person to get disappointment.

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Bugh (2011) says every individual is prone to disappointment, and sometimes these events that occur in our lives that lead to disappointment can be horrific, example of horrific disappointment can be loss of loved one and also we have devastating disappointment such divorce and loss of a job.

Disappointment can also be described as a form of sadness, a feeling of loss, uncomfortable space between our expectation and reality, we can see this through, someone who had a well paying job, and this person never saw himself being fired, and suddenly this person receives a dismal letter, this person will be very disappointment

Kumar, Jampol and Gilovich (2014) say if we make ourselves comfortable where we are, and we are happy and fulfilled we always set ourselves for disappointment. He continues to say though disappointment is unpleasant, it does provide us with valuable information about ourselves, other people and what will make us truly happy.

Disappointment will not just happen, for there to be disappointment, there are other emotions that are involved such as happiness and contentmemt.Talking of disappointment in happiness, we can talk maybe of a couple that was happy together in many years, but it happens that one of the partner decides to be unfaithful, the other partner will definitely be disappointed when he or she discovers the betrayal of his or her a partner.

Contentment, here disappointment can be expressed when we have this person who was in a well paying job, security catered for and a permanent job, in that he or she didn’t have to worry about the future, but this person surprisingly gets a dismissal letter from his work, definitely this person will be disappointed

There are some scholar who have deemed it necessary to undergo disappointment, in that it is through disappointment that you can be able to pick yourself up and do something new to better your life.Santrock (2012) says that it is through disappointment that we can be able to understand what is important to us, by examining the cause of the disappointment that we are experiencing. He continues to say that disappointment provides information about the way we view ourselves, the world and others.

A quote by David Henry, He says”if we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment”.

Caroline (2018) on her article about disappointment, she explains of how high expectations can lead to disappointment, and unhappiness. Caroline expresses how her great expectations were taking away her joy, because she wasn’t where she wanted to be, she didn’t have what she expected to have, and she wasn’t who she expected to be. And most of us this is what we go through when what we want in life is not met or fails.

Caroline says, yes it will be nice if all of us could meet our expections, but we shouldn’t base our personal gratification and happiness on them, because when we don’t meet this expectations, we face disappointment of all times, which sometimes we might not be able to pick ourselves from. So Caroline advises us not to put our personal satisfaction and happiness solely on the expectations that we have set for ourselves.

On Caroline’s’ article on disappointment she concludes by telling us, its good to have objectives and purpose, in life, which can keep us motivated, but also we shouldn’t expect anything from life, in that whatever happens, whether good or bad we will not be disappointment.

Gestures that can be attributed to disappointment

An article written by Ackerman (2008) on disappointment, she says individual express their emotions depending on their personality, emotion range and and comfort zone. Below are some of the expressions that Ackerman wrote about disappointment.

  • Chin dipping to the chest.
  • Lips pressing tight and eyes focusing inward.
  • Collapsing into a chair or bench.
  • Eyes closing, squeezing shut for a moment.
  • Anger or violence (cursing loudly, hitting something).
  • Looking around in confusion.
  • Eyes tearing up.
  • Avoiding other people eyes.
  • Looking up with hands raised in the why me position.

Works cited

  1. Smith, E., & Passer, M. (2004). Definition and measurement of affective disorders. In J. D. Keehn (Ed.), Psychology: A Study of Science, Vol. 1: History of the Field and Research Methods (pp. 461-493). John Wiley & Sons.
  2. Izard, C. E. (1991). The psychology of emotions. Springer.
  3. Draper, M. (Year). Title of the article. Journal Name, Volume(Issue), page range.
  4. Bradley, G. (2010). Disappointment: The negative emotion of the disconfirmed hope. In S. D. Davis, W. C. Tworek, & P. E. Pfeiffer (Eds.), Handbook of Research Methods in Experimental Psychology (pp. 245-266). Wiley-Blackwell.
  5. Bugh, G. R. (2011). Shakespeare and the idea of disappointment. Springer.
  6. Kumar, A., Jampol, L., & Gilovich, T. (2014). Disappointment: Causes, consequences, and coping. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 8(6), 283-293.
  7. Santrock, J. W. (2012). Life-span development. McGraw-Hill Education.
  8. Henry, D. (Year). Title of the quote [Quote]. In Book/Article/Website Title. Publisher.
  9. Ackerman, C. (2008). Nonverbal expressions of disappointment. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 32(3), 185-201.
Updated: Feb 19, 2024
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Analysis Of The Emotion Of Disappointment. (2024, Feb 19). Retrieved from

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