Emotions: Emotion and Schachter-singer Theory

Topics: Emotion, Facial expression, Paul Ekman Pages: 4 (1383 words) Published: May 2, 2008
Running head: What are emotions?

What are Emotions?
University of Phoenix

Jessika Morgan

Emotions are defined as “an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness (Dictionary.com). Emotions are part of our existence as human beings. They are part of what separates us from others. Emotions can be considered to be universal, but everyone’s are different. Imagine a world without happiness or sorrow, life would not be the way we know it. Historical Theories

There are a few historical theories that exist concerned with emotion and arousal and how they affect human motivation. Two of these theories that will be discussed are the Yerkes-Dodson Law and also the Schachter-Singer Theory. Each of these, while alike in being concerned with how emotions and arousal can affect human motivation, also has their differences. The Yerkes – Dodson law is concerned with how arousal alone effects performance and motivation while the Schachter-Singer Theory is concerned with how both arousal and emotion effects performance and human motivation. “The Yerkes-Dodson law: (states that) low arousal produces maximal performance on difficult tasks, and high arousal produces maximal performance on easy tasks” (Deckers, 2005, p.143). In other words, tasks that are perceived as difficult and may take some concentration are maximized in performance with low levels of arousal. Whereas, tasks that require stamina and possibly have a more physical aspect to them, require higher levels of arousal. This law can be seen when taking into consideration writing a paper and going jogging. Writing a paper (difficult task), is a task where an abundant amount of concentration is required, therefore the low arousal that is associated with this results in an output of higher performance. Yet, jogging is considered by most a relatively easy task, but does require a high...
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