Emotions, Emotion, Grief, Sadness, Anger, Outrage, Surprise, Happiness And Sadness

1480 Words Nov 30th, 2015 6 Pages
Emotions play a fundamental role in our everyday lives. As human beings we can experience many emotions throughout the day, for example, we may experience sadness when given bad news, but experience happiness when given good news. Like most psychological phenomena’s, emotions are recognised fairly easily but are difficult to define. How can we define happiness, sadness or fear in a way that everyone can agree? According to Hockenbury et al (2007) emotions are “complex psychological states that involve three distinct components: a subjective experience, a physiological response, and a behavioural or expressive response." In order to understand fully what emotions are, researchers have tried to identify the different types of emotions. Eckman (1972) proposed that there are six basic emotions that are experienced universally by human beings: fear, disgust, anger, surprise, happiness and sadness. Emotions are key to healthy social and cognitive functioning (Holt et al, 2012). Therefore, there has been numerous research carried out in order to explain emotional development. In this essay I will be comparing and contrasting the different theories of how we experience emotion. I will be focussing on the James-Lange theory (1884), the Cannon-Bard theory (1915) and the Schacter-Singer theory (1962). James and Lange (1884) proposed that we experience emotion because we perceive our body’s physiological responses to external events. For example, instead of…

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