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Emotions Final

Essay by   •  June 1, 2013  •  Essay  •  870 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,230 Views

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Emotions can be defined in several ways. Emotions can be related to behavior, environments, particular situations, and events. An individual may also experience a change in behavior, which can be associated with the type of emotion that one is experiencing (Kurus, 2001). Emotions may also be expressed many different ways. The James-Lange theory suggests that an event has to happen for an individual to experience an emotion. The Cannon-Bard theory suggests that an individual will experience emotions, which causes an event. Feelings and emotions also can be experienced through body language and facial expression, something of which everyone reacts to on a daily. How an individual reacts to such features allows one to experience emotions.

William James and Carl Lange advocate's emotions are an external factor consequential of physiological responses, developing the James-Lange Theory. This means, in its place of feeling an emotion with a bodily response, such as trembling, the body causes an emotion by the brain reacting to information acknowledged by one's nervous system. "We have experiences, and as a result, our autonomic nervous system creates physiological events such as muscular tension, heart rate increases, perspiration, dryness of the mouth, etc. This theory proposes that emotions happen as a result of these, rather than being the cause of them" (Sincero, 2012, para 1). This process is known as the "fight-or-flight" philosophy, which a person's body's perception formulates him or her to respond established by the brain's interpretation of an event. However, many condemn the James-Lange Theory, such as Cannon-Bard Theory, which proposes psychologists believe an individual feels an emotion before the body reacts to it. "Cannon and Bard's theory instead suggests that our physiological reactions, such as crying and trembling, are caused by our emotions" (Cherry, 2013, para 4).

The Cannon-Bard Theory proposes that individuals sense emotion first and respond to them second. The Cannon-Bard Theory was established from Walter Cannon and Philip Bard, who also proposes "we feel emotions and experience physiological reactions such as sweating, trembling and muscle tension simultaneously" (Cherry, 2013, para 1). A person responds to a stimulus and understands the necessary emotion pertaining to the situation. In more specific terms 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" (Cherry, 2013, para 1). An example would be someone walking down the street, and he or she is approached by a potential mugger. According to Cannon-Bard the person would, at once, start "sweating, trembling, and feeling extremely afraid" (Fournier, 2010, para 2). A breakdown of this response would be "stimulus (bear) - emotion (fear) - reaction/response (run

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