Emotions are understood sociologically as experiences of involvement. Emotion regulation influences the type, incidence, and expression of emotions. Regulation occurs through physical processes prior to an emotions episode, through social interaction in which a person’s emotions are modified due to the reactions of others to them, and by a person’s self-modification or management of emotions which they are consciously aware of. This article goes on to show that there are emotions which the emoting subject is not consciously aware of. Therefore, a certain class of emotions function by foregrounding external objects of attention while remaining outside the emoting subject’s consciousness. The nature and significance of such backgrounded emotions beyond explicit emotion regulation are explored through consideration of their role in theory choice in science and in trust relations.