An Easy Guide To The 3 Major Theories of Emotion

Theories of Emotion

Emotions exercise a particularly powerful force on human behavior. Strong emotion can cause you to require actions you would possibly not normally perform or to avoid situations you enjoy. Why exactly we do have emotions? What causes us to possess these feelings? Researchers, philosophers, and psychologists have introduced different theories of emotion to elucidate how and why behind human emotions.

Here we understand the three major theories of emotion, including James-Lange, Cannon-Bard, and Schachter-Singer’s theory of emotion.

James-Lange Theory of Emotion

One of the early theories of emotion proposed by researchers was known as the James-Lange theory of emotion. The name “James-Lange” had been proposed by the name of psychologists William James and Carl Lange.

The James-Lange theory of emotion submits that emotions occur due to physiological reactions to events. In other words, this theory proposes that folks have a physiological answer to environmental stimuli and their understanding of that physical answer then leads to an emotional adventure. Your emotional response depends upon how you define those physical reactions. Hence, this theory clarifies that an occasion causes physiological arousal then we interpret or make meaning of this arousal. Only after interpretation of that arousal, we will experience emotion.

For instance, imagine that you simply are walking through a dark parking garage toward your vehicle. You notice a dark figure trailing behind you and your heart begins to race. Consistent with the James-Lange theory of emotion, you then interpret your physical reactions to the stimulus as a fear. Therefore, you are feeling frightened and rush to your vehicle as quickly as you’ll.

People experience situations and events that end in physiological reactions like muscular tension, pulse increase, perspiration, dryness of the mouth, and lots of others, which are created by the autonomic nervous system. The James Lange theory of emotion suggests that emotions are the results of these physiological responses and not their causes.

See, these two interpretations.

Common Sense: Perception of the angry dog – Feeling of Fear – Physiological reactions

James-Lange: Perception of the angry dog – Physiological reactions – Feeling of Fear

Thus, as per James-Lange Theory: Event – Arousal – Interpretation – Emotion

Cannon-Bard Theory of Emotion

The second of theories of emotion is that the Cannon-Bard theory of emotion. Walter B. Cannon and his grad student, Philip Bard, developed the idea in 1927. it had been established as an alternative to the James-Lange theory of emotion. Cannon-Bard’s theory says that feelings are the results of physical reactions to the stimulating event.

Consistent with this theory, emotions and bodily changes don’t share a cause-and-effect relationship. Rather, they occur simultaneously, following an interesting event.

For instance, when an individual sees a toxic snake, he/she feels afraid, and his/her muscles are tensed at an equivalent time, preparing to run far away from a dangerous animal. One can observe the person’s emotion supported by the physiological signal that his/her body displays.

Cannon-Bard proposes that both of those reactions originate simultaneously within the thalamus of the brain. this is often a little brain structure liable for receiving sensory information. It relays it to the acceptable area of the brain for processing. When a triggering event occurs, the thalamus might send signals to the amygdala.

The amygdala is liable for processing strong emotions, like fear, pleasure, and anger. it’d also send signals to the cerebral mantle, which controls conscious thought. Signals sent from the thalamus to the autonomic systema nervosum and skeletal muscles control physical reactions. These include sweating, shaking, or tense muscles. Thus, sometimes Cannon-Bard theory is mentioned because of the “thalamic theory of emotion.”

Schachter-Singer Theory of Emotion

The third of the theories of emotion is Schachter-Singer’s theory of emotion, which may be a cognitive approach to understanding how emotional states are determined by cognitive factors. From the late 1950s, the so-called cognitive revolution grew so notable among psychologists.

Following this trend, Stanely Schachter and Jerome Singer intended that there are cognitive factors that influence the numerous states of emotions, moods, and feelings. They took descriptions of the physiologically based theories like James-Lange theory and Cannon-Bard theories of emotion and got to the end that the varied instinctive or physiological patterns don’t match the big variety of emotional states of people. Schachter and Singer formally introduced the idea in 1962.

Consistent with this theory, the element of reasoning plays a crucial role in how we experience emotions. The Schachter-SInger theory suggests that when an occasion causes physiological arousal, we attempt to find the rationale for this arousal. Then we experience the label emotion.

For instance, you’re sitting within the darkroom all by yourself, and every one of a sudden, you hear a breathing sound behind you. Your pulse increases and you start to shake. Upon noticing these physical reactions, you realize that they are available from the very fact that you simply are on their lonesome within the darkroom. you think that that you simply could also be in peril, and you are feeling the emotion of fear.

The shortcut of Schachter-Singer theory is that: Event – Arousal – Reasoning – Emotion

Schachter-Singer theory of emotion

The underlying principle of this theory is that we perceive the planet through a lens of thoughts that are developed supported by what we learn when growing up. If we learned that we are capable and competent as children, we’ll see ourselves as capable and competent adults. These thoughts trigger emotions and these emotions trigger certain behaviors. Because we are capable and competent adults, we’ll confidently combat our money matters.

Comparison of These Three Theories of Emotion

TheoryInitial ReactionSecondary Reaction
James-LangePhysical reaction.Emotional occurs.
Cannon-BardEmotions occur at the same time-as the physical response.
Schachter-SingerPhysical and emotional reactions
occurs at the same time.
Situation-search environment.

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