The James-Lange and Cannon-Bard Theories, Cognition and Emotion, and Two Dimensions of Emotion

The 3 Theories of Emotions

Do we first notice our heart racing and our faster step, and then feel anxious dread? Or Does our sense of fear comes first, stirring our heart and legs to respond?Must we consciously appraise a threat before emotionally reacting?
EmotionsFamilies of emotions
(1) (2)

James-Lange Theory

  1. William James and Carl Lange proposed that we feel emotion after we notice our physiological responses.
    • "Our experience of emotion is our awareness of our physiological responses to emotion-arousing stimuli." (3)
  2. Definition from Myers: the theory that our experience of emotion is our awareness of our physiological responses to emotion-arousing stimuli. (5)

Cannon-Bard Theory

1. Walter Cannon and Philip Bard believed that people feel emotion at the same time when our bodies respond.
  • "Emotion-arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers physiological responses and the subjective experience of emotion." (3)
2. Definition from Myers: the theory that an emotion-arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers (1) physiological responses and (2) the subjective experience of emotion. (5)

Cognition and Emotion

  1. Cognition- "the process of thought" (4); our perceptions, memories, and interpretations are essential ingredients of emotion.
  2. Stanley Schachter's two factor theory states that emotions have two ingredients: a physical arousal and a cognitive label.
  3. Schachter presumed that our experiences of emotion grow from our awareness of our body's arousal.
  4. Thus, an emotional experience requires a conscious interpretation of the arousal
  • The "spillover effect" states that a stirred-up state can be considered one emotion or another different one, depending on how we interpret and label it.
    • ex) arousal from a soccer match can fuel anger, which can result a riot.
  • Robert Zajonc and Joseph LeDoux believe that some simple emotional responses occur instantly, not only outside of conscious awareness but also before any cognitive processing occurs.
Two Dimensions of Emotion
Our feelings are "obscure and confused."
-Benjamin Constant de Rebecque

  • Many emotions can be placed among two basic dimensions:
  1. Arousal- high versus low
  2. Valence- pleasant and positive versus unpleasant and negative
  • ex) When Olympic gymnasts feel arousal, they think it as energizing because it gives them an edge. Hence, the arousal in this case has a positive valence.

Links
  1. What is an Emotion?
  2. Cognitive an Experimental Psychology
  3. Components of Emotion
  4. Jeopardy Lab

Article
New Insight into Emotions
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By using a new mechanism, scientists have identified brain pathways that help bring emotions under control.
New Article
- People who take antidepressants tend to drive worse than those who don't take these medications.

Citation
1.
Retrieved October 16, 2009, Web site: http://thesituationist.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/emotions.jpg
2. Retrieved October 16, 2009, Web site: http://eq4pm.typepad.com/eq4pm/files/families_of_emotions_06apr19b.gif
3. Retrieved October 16, 2009, from Chapter 13, Emotion Web site: http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:-R2qrmtjiwIJ:www.msu.edu/course/psy/101/jackson/HiAchSum2005/Chapter13/Chapter13Review.doc+William+James+and+Carl+Lange+proposed+that+we+feel+emotion+after+we+notice+our+physiological+responses.&cd=1&hl=ko&ct=clnk&gl=kr&client=firefox-a
4.
Retrieved October 16, 2009, from Wikipedia Web site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognition
5. Myers, D. G. (2004). Psychology. New York, New York: Worth Publishers.

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