Mysterious as they are inexorabel ,emotions seem to come and go as they please. No aspect of our mental life is more important to the quality and meaning of our existence than emotions. They are what make life worth living, or sometimes ending. Our shared belief that emotions are powerfull and uncontrollable is reflected in different legal penalties associated with “crimes of passion” It is also reflected in our everyday language, by phrases such as “beside oneself with grief” , “lovestruck” and “carried away by anger”. Emotion:
Emotions are biologically based reactions that coordinate adaptive responding to important opportunities and challenges. (Leveson, 1994; Tooby & cosmides, 1990) Emotional expression has long been given a central role in the study and practice of psychology. Both historically and recently, psychologists have cited the expression of emotions as vital for good mental and physical health, although the inhibition of emotion was considered deleterious.
Theories of emotions:
Preeminent American psychologist William James published the first widely influential theory of emotion in 1884. According to this theory when an individual is presented with an emotional object it first stimulates the appropriate sensory organs. These afferent signals are then sent to the cortex, triggering “variously combined” ordinary motor-sensorial “brain processes”. According to James, it is the afferent signals from the bodily changes that account for the emotional experience.
In other way when a person is presented with an emotional stimulus, he or she feels some sort of physiological arousal, which causes a psychological emotion to be experienced. James stated that emotion was “the feeling of bodily changes which follow the perception of an exciting event,”
(Cannon & Walter, 1927)
Robert Plutchik's theory:
Robert Plutchik's psycho evolutionary theory of emotion is one of the most influential classification approaches for general emotional responses. He considered there to be eight primary emotions - anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, anticipation, trust, and joy. Plutchik proposed that these 'basic' emotions are biologically primitive and have evolved in order to increase the reproductive fitness of the animal. Plutchik argues for the primacy of these emotions by showing each to be the trigger of behavior with high survival value, such as the way fear inspires the fight-or-flight response. Plutchik, Robert (1980), Emotion: Theory, research, and experience: Vol. 1. Theories of emotion, 1, New York: Academic
The Cannon-Bard Theory of Emotion
This theory states that we feel emotions and experience physiological reactions such as sweating, trembling and muscle tension simultaneously. More specifically, it is suggested that emotions result when the thalamus sends a message to the brain in response to a stimulus, resulting in a physiological reaction. Cannon and Bard argued that the emotion arises first and then stimulates typical behavior. The resulting Cannon-Bard theory states that the experience of emotion happens at the same time as the physiological arousal happens. Neither one causes the other. The brain gets a message that causes the experience of emotion at the same time that the autonomic nervous system gets a message that causes physiological arousal. (Myers & David, 2004)
The schachter- singer’s two factor theory:
The theory thus presents a model of emotional experience based on cognitive labels in response to physiological excitation. Schachter and Singer developed the two-factor theory of emotion. The two-factor theory suggests that emotion comes from a combination of a state of arousal and a cognition that makes best sense of the situation the person is in. For example, the two-factor theory of emotion argues that when people become aroused they look for cues as to why they feel the way they do.
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