If situations do not give us feelings, why, then , different people experience different feelings about the same situation?

Here is the answer.

Siegel, (2010) postulates that good or bad is a subjective perception – a translation of what we experience or sense into meaning. For example, when we look at a person we use our own criteria (morals and values) to determine who that person is and whether that person is a friend or foe. Because people have different values the judgment of “good” and “bad” is subjective. So, if two people are looking at the same person but have conflicting morals their perception of that person will be different. One person might regard that person as good and the other might regard the same person as foe.

Study by Nunner-Winkler and Sodian, (1988) underlines this point. In the study, children aged 4–8 years listened to a story in which a protagonist stole some sweets she wanted. Child listeners were then invited to judge whether the protagonist transgressor felt good or bad about what she had done. Nearly all the 8-year-olds judged that the protagonist felt bad, and recognised that she would feel guilty about succumbing to her temptation to steal. In contrast, many children of 6 years and below judged that the protagonist felt good, reasoning that she had got what she wanted.

Results of this study suggest that children’s respective  “good” and “bad” feelings  were based on their respective perception of stealing as being a “good” or “bad” behaviour. In other words, no one knows how the protagonist actually felt about stealing, but participants projected how themselves would feel if they stole the sweets.

The adage “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” applies to all experiences in life.

So one reason for the difference in how we feel is our difference in our moral values which influence our perceptions.


Next, let us discuss the inherent good theory


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Reference can be found here 

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