The concept of appraisal is one of the most widely used concepts in Descriptive Psychology . However, it. has appeared to be a rather slippery notion. In part, this appearance reflects an insufficiently precise placement of the concept within the overall conceptual structure . In turn, the placement problem reflects the fact that the concept of appraisal was introduced into the Descriptive Psychology literature in some half a dozen different places at different times, independently. As a result, there is some question as to whether the same concept is involved in each of these cases. Thus, it is appropriate to review the several usages and examine their alignment. The paradigmatic uses of the term "appraisal" appear in (a) the definition of "appraisal," (b) the formulation of emotional behavior, (c} the Judgment Diagram, (d} the Actor-Observer-Critic schema, (e) the formulation of the phenomenon of status assignments, and (f) the formulation of consciousness and altered states of consciousness. These and other uses are reviewed and explicated below.

Date Created

Spring 1986


Linguistic Research Institute


28 pages; 10.56 x 7.81 inches

Document Type

Technical Report