Emotions and culture: how to decipher the emotional code


emotions Emotion - this is one of the varieties of emotional processes, which is an expression of man's relationship to real or hypothetical events.Emotions are changing faster moods and feelings, they can be quite intense, but not the same as the affects;a person can hide their emotions, and their behavior does not obey them - if a sufficiently high level of self-control.

modern theory of evolution maintains that different emotions have evolved at different times.Basically, the original emotions, such as fear associated with the most ancient parts of the brain - perhaps they could already feel the ancestors of primates.More "new" emotions, such as love of a mother to the children, seem to have developed the first primates.Although sometimes they seem irrational to us, all human emotions contributed to its survival and increase adaptability.

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four theories of emotions

philosophers, doctors, psychologists, many centuries ago, arguing about the nature of emotions.During this time, a host of theories, but the most famous are currently following the theory of emotions:

  • Theory James - Lange.The authors of this theory are William James and Carl Lange.Although they developed the theory independently of each other, it so happened that the same idea came into their heads about the same time - in the years 1884-1887.According to this theory, the emotions are not caused by direct perception of the event, and the body's reaction to it.This means - that there was an emotion must first be a physical reaction (eg, shortness of breath, rapid pulse, sweating of palms).Only after such reactions occur, there emotion.For example, if you see a big dog that barks at you, and is not on a leash, your heart starts to beat faster.Noticing this, the brain realizes that you feel fear, and then you begin to realize that emotion.All this happens in a split second, but on the theory of James - Lange, bodily reaction is still primary.
  • Theory Cannon - Bard began with the work of Walter Cannon, published in 1927, in which he argued that the theory of James - Lange is incorrect for several reasons.During his experiments, he found that some animals, for example, cats, emotions arise, even if the brain is not able to obtain information about the bodily reactions.He also stressed that the same bodily reactions may be accompanied by various emotions.For example, the increase in heart rate can occur when a person is angry, afraid, or when he was very happy.According to Walter Cannon, it means that the brain does not rely only on the bodily reactions to understand what emotion we feel (that is, there must be something else that indicates that a person is angry or happy).Philip Bard agreed with Cannon and continued to examine the links between the brain and emotions.Eventually they came to the conclusion that emotions do not depend on how it is on these or other events reacts body: the emotions and bodily reactions occur simultaneously and independently from each other.
  • two-factor theory of emotion.Many years later, two psychologists Stanley Schachter and Jerome Singer proposed a different theory.They suggested that the need for the emergence of emotions and reactions of the organism, and the interpretation of the reaction to the particular situation in which a person is at the moment.That is, if your heart beats quickened and you pursue alligator brain interprets it as fear.If the heart beats often, when you look at a loved one, it is interpreted as joy.Although the reaction of the body are the same, a person can experience very different emotions, depending on the situation and their own attitude to it (some people bring joy to dangerous and extreme situations that cause the majority only fear).
  • Theory opposition process was developed by psychologists Richard Solomon and John Korbitom.It is very different from other theories, and explains the origin of emotions, giving the key importance of their opposites.Richard Solomon and John Korb suggested that the experience of emotion disturbs the equilibrium in the body, and that all of our basic emotions have the opposite emotions.For example, the opposite of pleasure is pain (not physical), the opposite of fear - a relief, depression opposite feeling of elation, and so on.According to the theory of Solomon - Korbita when we feel one emotion, it suppresses the opposite emotion.After the first emotion weakens, the second emotion - its opposite - naturally balances first.For example, you feel fear when a bungee jump, and after the jump, you find yourself on the ground, he was replaced by relief comes, then you calm down - an equilibrium between emotions.This theory is often used to explain addiction.Drugs cause a strong pleasure - such emotion is difficult or almost impossible to get without them.To balance strong emotions, we need equally strong opposing emotions.Contrary strong emotions makes people keen desire to take the drug again, to come out of this state, and re-experience the euphoria.Over time, a person begins to use drugs more often and in increasing doses, and there is a cycle of addiction from which he can not get out without help.