Theories Of Emotion In Daily Life

1968 words (8 pages) Essay

27th Apr 2017 Psychology Reference this


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On the last assignment, I have explained about the theories of emotion. There are five theories of emotion that the physiologists and psychologists had theorized it. They come out with such theories because of all of the people did not know where their emotional experiences come from. But most people think that they really know about emotions. They think of emotions as special kinds of feelings and they show that emotions through their faces. But there are three elements that cause emotions, such as physical arousal, facial expression, and the labeling emotion (Ciccarelli & White, 2012). Is the emotion that all of us expressed it every-day really affect our daily life? The emotions that every seconds, minutes or even hours that we show really affect our daily life. How the emotions affect our daily life? Emotion may affect people activities, such as when you feel happy you will do your work with a happy expression on your face and you will do your work until it is done. Every theory that the scientists theorized will be critiqued by other people and they will give their evidence why that theory is not reliable. I will write about the James-Lange Theory, Cannon-Bard Theory, and Lazarus’s Cognitive Mediational Theory.

The James-Lange theory is probably the best known out of the other theories of emotion that we know. This theory explained that the stimulus will lead to the bodily arousal and it will interpret into the emotion (Lange, 1885; James, 1884, as cited in Ciccarelli & White, 2012). Strongman (2006) said that this theory rely on the view of the visceral discharges that link with the external situation and it will interpret into emotion that all of us experience it. Also another type of evidence that found on this theory is the objectless emotions; it means that when some people suddenly feel angry, sad or nervous without knowing why are because of the unusually sensitive to their own autonomic changes (Plutchik, 2003). James failed to explain the question of how the bodily states arise or why they alter in an individual, but he did not provide any explanation of the possibility (Plutchik). According to Izard (1990, as cited in Strongman, 2006), the most important part from James-Lange theory was the view of the emotion is feeling, without that feeling this kind of emotion does not exist. There are two reasons for the important of this theory. First, the idea that emotion is a feeling state, subjective and personal. Last, this theory gave a large impulse to the researchers to start examining physiological changes in relation to the emotion (Plutchik). There are several scientists that critique about James-Lange theory. Irons (n.d., as cited in Palencik, 2007) stated that even though the awareness of human bodily disturbance will involve emotion, but that awareness actually is not emotion that human experience it every-day. They try to introspect the statement that said by Irons, whether it is true or not. They introspect on the bodily disturbances that in ways, it did not lead to experience the emotion and eventually the James-Lange theory became uncertain. Waroester (n.d., as cited in Palencik, 2007) added his own evaluation from James-Lange theory. He stated that the emotion is linked to the noticeable figure of the behavior, but he could not explain that why human will respond to the stimuli in one way and not the other. The reason that why someone able to response some objects and experience it in different kinds of emotion seems unexplainable. Titchener (n.d., as cited in Cook, 1911) stated two sides of arguments, positive and negative arguments. First, the negative side of the argument. He able to point out the indecisive of that argument because of someone could not try or imagine that emotion without the organic sensations; it means that the emotion should consist in organic sensations. Last, the positive side of the argument. For this positive side, he stated two arguments of the positive side. It is about the testimony of introspection. This testimony is about a group of organic sensations. We must added more something into the group of the organic sensations to show the true emotion and that something found in the emotional elements of agreeableness and disagreeableness (Titchener, n.d., as cited in Cook, 1911). Next, Titchener said that emotion and the organic sensations are not the same. The intensity, quality, and temporal relations of the emotion and the organic sensations are completely different. The awareness of the meaning seems have the clearness and quality, and to both of these characteristics the variability of the argument shall be applied (Titchener, n.d., as cited in Cook, 1911). Cannon made five criticisms of James-Lange theory. First, the visceral changes did not produce the strong emotion of the emotional feelings. For example, the injections of adrenalin into normal or abnormal human could produce bodily changes, such as trembling, cold, and feelings of weakness, but it did not cause feeling of fear and the other emotion that we usually will experience it (Plutchik, 2003). These kinds of people were able to send their bodily changes and were not need to interpret them to produce the emotion. Second, any type of stressful stimuli able to produce a similar physiological response. This visceral reaction seem to be the same and able to distinguish between the emotions (Plutchik). Third, even though the entire sympathetic divisions of the autonomic nervous system had been removed, but the emotional behaviors are still able to occur (Lang, 1994). Fourth, the visceral organs have a little bit of responsiveness; hardly to differentiate the emotions (Strongman, 2006). Last, the slow response of the visceral organs to stimulate. At least one or two seconds after the external stimulation, the emotion would occur (Strongman). After Cannon criticized the James-Lange theory, he and Bard came out another theory of emotion.

The Cannon-Bard theory is a theory that the human physiological reaction and their emotion are thought to be occurred at the same time (Bard, 1934; Cannon, 1927, as cited in Ciccarelli & White, 2012). This theory came out when Cannon argued about the James-Lange theory. Cannon said that the visceral changes are the part of the emotional reactions (Lang, 1994). He came up with a hypothesis that human thalamic discharge continuously produced the series of the bodily charges and also experienced the emotions (Strongman, 2006). James found the emotional feelings that human experienced in the viscera organs while Cannon found the emotional feelings in the thalamus (Plutchik, 2003). Cannon came up with the hypothesis based on he had an experiment with the cats which the different parts of the brain are removed. In the end, Cannon found out that the cortex did not affect the emotion that the animals would show (Plutchik). Cannon did not try to remove the thalamus from the cat’s brain, because the cat will never experience the emotions if he did that (Newman, 1936). Some researchers stated that the incoming stimulus from the receptors will cause the activation of the cortex in the thalamus and the stimulus will pass to the cortex that determined the response (Newman, Perkins, & Wheeler, 1930). In the thalamus, the response had been determined and only need to wait for the instruction of release for the action (Newman, Perkins, & Wheeler). Newman, Perkins, and Wheeler (1930) came out with two possible processes that the cortical neurons received some of the certain stimulation, which the cortex is associated and another one is not associated; but they need the thalamus working as the third function to improve the consciousness of the cortex. Newman (1936) stated that the Cannon-Bard theory is not assuring because there should not have an extraordinary neuron process that achieving for nothing or it is occurring without any biological purpose. According to Cannon (1936), there is one scientist that did not agree with his theory but that scientist could not have the evidence for that.

The Lazarus’s Cognitive Mediational Theory is a theory which the impulse should be interpreted by someone to obtain the result of the bodily response and the emotional reactions (Lazarus, 1991, as cited in Ciccarelli & White, 2012). Lazarus stated that in four ways the culture can affect the emotion (Strongman, 2006). First, human received the emotional stimulus through the manner. Second, by straightly changed the emotional expression. Third, by deciding the social relationships and common senses. Last, by greatly practicing the behavior (Strongman). Before he came out with the theory, he said that emotions should include of the physiological activity, adaption, cognition, and motivation. Lazarus stated that there are two sorts of coping processes (Plutchik, 2003). The first, problem-focused coping. It means that deals the problems by straight action designed just to adjust the relationship (Plutchik). The last, emotion-focused coping. It means that deals the problems by reappraised the situation (Plutchik). Lazarus stated five ways to express his theory (Strongman). First, system theory, this theory includes many variables that are classified into the configuration. The variables include of the long-term effects, instantly the effects of the emotion, mediating processes, and the causal antecedents. Second, the process principle and the structure principal. The process principal have the relations with adjustment and the structure principal mention to have a fix relationships between a person and the environment that having a consistent of the emotional in the individual. Third, development principle. It means that the emotions will change throughout life. This is concluded by the social and biological variables. Fourth, specificity principle. This principle directly to the process of emotion being distinguish for every emotion that human experience it. Last, the relational meaning principle. Every emotion has a unique and specific relational meaning. Also every emotion has a relation with the advantages and disadvantages that occurred in person-environment relationship (Strongman). Lazarus (1991, as cited in Zuk, 1994) paid more attention to the emotion, anger and he explained that most of the infants will more experience in anger, but he failed to explain them because the infants did not restraining their force and react with their anger. Matsumoto (1995) stated that he strongly approved the statements that Lazarus proposed, but there is a problem that he is not completely disagree with it, he just wanted to suggest that someone needed extreme care be taken in considering the process of the contradictions.

Human did not really know what actually the meaning of emotion. They think that they know the meaning because every-day they experience the emotion. So, the psychologists and physiologists came out with their own theory about the emotion and some of the researchers may not agree with the theory that they came out with. Actually the theories that the psychologists and physiologists came up, all might be true because at the end we also experience the emotions. May be we do not realize it because every-day we experience that emotions. For example, when you feel angry, you do not feel like of doing something or talk to other people. Emotions also help us to improve our relationship with other people and also may cause a breakup in a relationship. Emotions also affect us religiously, in relationships, and our daily life. So, we should try to understand our emotion and we also need to be careful when we will make a decision cause we will not know what is going to happen if we are not careful.

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