Emotion || Motivation, Emotion and Stress || Bcis Notes

Emotion || Motivation, Emotion and Stress || Bcis Notes


In psychology, emotion is often defined as a complex state of feeling that results in physical and psychological changes that influence thought and behavior.
It is associated with a range of psychological phenomena, including temperament, personality, mood, and motivation.

Emotion and Moods can be differentiated in some aspects:

Emotions Moods
They are intense feelings. Moods are less intense.
They are the creators of moods. It can be anything that gives rise to feeling. Moods are the after-effects of emotions. Emotions can turn in to moods.
They are not the traits of an individual. Moods can later become individuals’ traits.

Characteristics of Emotion:

  • Emotion has motivational aspects.
  • Emotional states are normally regarded as acute.
  • They are regarded as intensely experienced states.
  • Emotional experience has valance(decorative framework) and can be both positive and negative.
  • It is accomplished by physiological correlates.
  • It has a cognitive appraisal.

Theories of Emotions

  • James-Lange Theory of Emotion
  • Cannon-Bard theory of emotion(mind-body)
  • Schachter-Singer Theory(mind-body-environment)
  • Evolutionary Theory
  • Facial-Feedback Theory of Emotion

 James-Lange theory(body-mind-environment)

It is one of the best-known examples of a physiological theory of emotion. Independently proposed by psychologist William James and physiologist Carl Lange. It suggests that emotions occur as a result of physiological reactions to events. This theory suggests that when you see an external stimulus that leads to a physiological reaction. Your emotional reaction is dependent upon how you interpret those physical reactions.

For example, suppose you are walking in the woods and you see a grizzly bear. You begin to tremble, and your heart begins to race. It proposes that you will interpret
your physical reactions and conclude that you are frightened (“I am trembling. Therefore, I am afraid”).

Cannon-Bard theory of emotion(mind-body)

Walter Cannon disagreed with the James-Lange theory of emotion on several different grounds. First, he suggested, people can experience physiological reactions linked to emotions without actually feeling those emotions. Cannon first proposed his theory in the 1920s and his work was later expanded on by physiologist Philip Bard during the 1930s.

Cannon also suggested that emotional responses occur much too quickly for them to be simply products of physical states. When you encounter danger in the environment, you will often feel afraid before you start to experience the physical symptoms associated with fear such as shaking hands, rapid breathing, and a racing heart.

For example, your heart might race because you have been exercising and not because you are afraid.

Schachter-Singer Theory(mind-body-environment)

Also known as the two-factor theory of emotion, the  Schachter-Singer Theory is an example of a cognitive theory of emotion. This theory suggests that the physiological arousal occurs first, and then the individual must identify the reason for this arousal to experience and label it as an emotion. A stimulus leads to a physiological response that is then cognitively interpreted and labeled which results in an emotion.

This theory draws on both the James-Lange theory and the Cannon-Bard theory of emotion. Like the James-Lange theory, the Schachter-Singer theory proposes that people do infer emotions based on physiological responses. The critical factor is the situation and the cognitive interpretation that people use to label that emotion.
Like the Cannon-Bard theory, this theory also suggests that similar
physiological responses can produce varying emotions.

For example, if you experience a racing heart and sweating palms during an important math exam, you will probably identify the emotion as anxiety. If you experience the same physical responses on a date with your significant other, you might interpret those responses as love, affection, or arousal.

Evolutionary Theory

Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach to psychology that attempts to explain useful mental and psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language—as adaptations, i.e., as the functional products of natural selection. It improves the chances of success and survival.

Cognitive Appraisal Theory

According to appraisal theories of emotion, thinking must occur first before experiencing emotion. The sequence of events first involves a stimulus, followed by thought which then leads to the simultaneous experience of physiological response.
For example, if you encounter a bear in the woods, you might immediately begin to
think that you are in great danger. This then leads to the emotional experience of fear and the physical reactions associated with the fight-or-flight response.

Facial-Feedback Theory of Emotion

The facial-feedback theory of emotions suggests that facial expressions are connected to
experiencing emotions.  Supporters of this theory suggest that emotions are directly tied to changes in facial muscles. For example, people who are forced to smile pleasantly at a social function will have a better time at the event than they would if they had frowned or carried a more neutral facial expression.

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