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Emotions . S. Richards Spring 2010. Emotions:. Emotions – States of feeling. 1. May increase due to situations. 2. May motivate certain behavior. Strong emotions spark activity in the Autonomic Nervous System . . History of Emotions: .

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S. Richards

Spring 2010

  • Emotions – States of feeling.
  • 1. May increase due to situations.
  • 2. May motivate certain behavior.
  • Strong emotions spark activity in the Autonomic Nervous System.
history of emotions
History of Emotions:
  • Many ancient Chinese believed that there were four inborn (instinctive) human emotions: Happiness, Anger, Sorrow or Fear.
  • John B. Watson believed that there are three instinctual emotions: fear, rage and love.
  • Katherine Bridges in 1932 believed that everyone is born with one basic emotion: excitement, then excitement divides into other emotions as children develop.
emotions scientific research
Emotions & Scientific Research:
  • 99% of mothers reported that their babies showed curiosity.
  • 95% of mothers reported that their babies showed joy.
  • 84% reported their babies showed anger.
  • 74% reported their babies showed surprise.
  • 54% reported their babies showed fear.
  • William James (1902) said that the motive behind everything people do is “How to gain, how to keep and how to recover happiness.”
  • When someone is unhappy, it affects the rest of their life. When someone is happy, it affects the rest of their life.
  • The happier you are, the more likely you will help someone else.
  • This is a common response to an insult or an attack.
  • Angry people may seek revenge against a person.
  • Some people get angry a few times a week, some people several times a day.
anger continued
Anger Continued…
  • What is the BEST way to handle anger?

Hold it in? Lash out?

  • The most effective way to handle anger is to become assertive instead of hostile.
  • Talk to the person who is creating anger, which will reduce that feeling of anger.
  • Handling anger can also be a cultural situation.
facial expressions
Facial Expressions:
  • Cross-cultural evidence suggests that facial expressions are probably inborn – certain facial expressions appear to be the same around the world.
  • Smiling – universal sign of friendliness and approval.
  • Baring teeth – universal sign of anger.
  • They conducted a study with college students at a European university to tribal members in New Guinean – In all groups, they agreed with the emotions that was being portrayed in each photograph they were shown.
theories of emotions
Theories of Emotions:

1.) The Opponent-Process Theory

  • Richard Solomon believed that emotions come out in pairs, with one emotion being followed by its opposite.
  • People are trying to maintain balance in their emotional lives.
  • When balance is upset by a situation, an emotion come, then the person must retain balance.
theories of emotion
Theories of Emotion:

2.) The Commonsense Approach

  • When a certain situation happens, a person quickly interprets the situation.
  • Body senses a feeling, feeling turns into an emotion.
  • Thoughts/Feelings/Emotions are all intertwined.
  • Activities of there nervous system and hormones play a more important role in determining emotion than what people are thinking about their situations.
theories of emotion1
Theories of Emotion:

3.) The James-Lange Theory

  • Williams James suggested that people’s emotions follow rather than cause their behavioral reactions to their situations.
  • People ACT first THEN react!
  • Instinctive Bodily Response Patterns – certain situations trigger reactions.
theories of emotion2
Theories of Emotion:

4.) The Cannon-Bard Theory

  • Walter Cannon (1927) and Philip Bard (1934) suggested that emotions come with bodily responses that are created by situations a person is in.
theories of emotion3
Theories of Emotion:

5.) The Theory of Cognitive Appraisal

  • The way people label an emotion depends on their thinking of the situation.
  • If the people they are with overreact, that person is MORE likely to overreact.


Activity: Two Truths & a Lie!