Theories of Emotion

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The definition for emotion is a mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes. A lot of theories have been brought up about emotion. Three of them are James-Lange, Cannon-Bard, and the Two Factor Theory. One way to explain each of these is to explain how a tranquilizer that inhabits the sympathetic nervous system will, in most cases, reduce people?s experience of fear and anxiety.

The James-Lange Theory says that our experience of emotion is our awareness of our physiological responses to emotion-arousing stimuli. With this theory, when our body reacts to something, like a pounding heart, we get scared or nervous. The tranquilizer, with this theory, would need to slow the heart down and relax the body, and thus we feel calm and serene.

The Cannon-Bard Theory states that an emotion-arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers both physiological responses and the subject experience of emotion. With this theory your body and emotions occurred at the same time. With the tranquilizer in this theory your body calms down from the tranquilizer as your emotions also calm. These two things are inter-mixed with one another and can?t be brought about without the other one being present.

In the Two Factor Theory it is believed that to experience an emotion someone must be physiologically aroused and cognitively label the arousal. In other words, for you to get a reaction from something you must be able to consciously interpret the arousal. With this theory a tranquilizer could only work half the time. It states that it would only work if you knew what you were getting and how it would react with your body and emotions?then it would be caused.

In the Two Factor Theory the explanation of tranquilizers can?t be fully explained. To state that you need to be consciously aware of what is going on to be able to react or hav... Continue Reading