The Cognitive Theory Of Emotion

1379 WordsOct 2, 20156 Pages
Based on Tom’s feelings of anger, the theory of emotion described in the text that best fits his feelings at the time is cognitive-appraisal theory. The cognitive-appraisal theory states that “if a person notices a particular psychological response, that person has to decide what it means before he or she can feel an emotion” (Baird 195). In Tom’s case, about halfway through his Milgram’s experiment, his heartrate starts increasing and he starts sweating. He then stands up angry and declares that what is going on is wrong. He then proceeds to slam his fists on the table and say he will no longer participate. Tom’s reactions are following the cognitive-appraisal theory of emotion as he first must process what he is feeling about his heart…show more content…
The drive-reduction theory of motivation might help explain why Tom walked out. The book states that “departures from the optimal states creates drives” (Baird 200). During this experiment, Tom was removed from his optimal state as he began to sweat, his heartrate increased, he became angry, and stated what was going on was wrong and he no longer would participate. Nonregulatory drives involved in the drive-reduction theory such as sex or social drives also might help explain why Tom might have walked out. An example of these nonregulatory drive is “a drive to preserve safety motivates feelings of fear, anger, and even the need for sleep” (Baird 200). The reason I chose this theory of motivation to describe why Tom walked out is not only because of his removal from his optimal state, but also because the other theories might not be able to explain why Tom left. The social learning theory “emphasizes the role of cognition in motivation and the importance of expectations in shaping behavior” (Baird 200). From the definition of the social learning theory, Tom’s importance of expectations or goals from the experiment were never introduced making it difficult to choose this theory as we do not know what his goals were as a participant. Central-state theory of motivation tries to explain “drive by understanding them as
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