Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 6

Theories of em otion

Emotion
Sophisticated & subtle, epitome of what make us human Yet human emotions very similar to the responses other animals display Emotions we have and how we express them reflect our social envt, but it also seems likely that emotions were shaped by natural selection over time Affect Types: emotion, mood, temperament, sensation (ie, pain) Can be understood as either states or processes: State (being angry or afraid): a type of mental state that interacts with other mental states & causes certain behaviors Emotion Process: Early part: interval/activity bet perception of the stimulus & the triggering of the bodily (or emotion) response Later part: bodily response (ie, changes in rate, skin conductance, facial expression) What about subjective awareness of the emotion & behavior often part of the emotion response? - ie, fighting, running away, hugging another Features that distinguish emotion from moods Response to an internal or external stimulus (belief, memory) Have intentional content: are about something, often the stimulus itself. Moods typically not about anything, & sometime do not appear to be caused by a specific stimulus Have a brief duration (secs or mins). Moods last longer. Less agreement about other features that emotions may (or may not) have Attempt to provide a historical analysis: explains why emotions are present in humans today by referring to natural selection Evolution: change over generational time; occurs bec of natural selection, chance, genetic drift, or trait genetically linked with some other trait Adaptation: trait produced by natl selection; challenge to establish emotion as an adaptation. So true for psychological traits. No fossil records But adaptation theories still developed because: Humans have emotions. Most non-human animals display emotion-like responses. Likely presence of emotion-like behaviors in a common ancestor Emotions serve an impt function. Certain emotions may have been selected to deal with particular problems & challenges organisms regularly encounter occurred. Although still present in humans today, they may no longer be useful, and may even be counterproductive (2) Emotions are adaptations shared by all animals Selection occurred earlier (Cambrian era, 600M years ago). Adaptations shared by wider set of species. Robert Plutchik: 8 basic emotions found in all organisms (1980, 1984) Types of animal behaviors; Emotion describes behaviors in humans Same behaviors not found in all species. Basic fxnl patterns remain same in all animals up to & including humans (but more complex) Other emotions: Combos of 2-3 basic emotions: anger + disgust = contempt; fear + sadness = despair One of these 8 experienced at a greater / milder intensity annoyance < anger < rage Emotions similar to traits such as DNA or lungs in air breathing animals: arose once & have been conserved ever since Basic adaptations needed by all organisms in struggle for survival
Table 2. Emotions associated with adaptation behaviors that are st results of natural selection. 1 emotion listed = basic emotion. nd 2 = greater intensity emotion

Evolutionary Theories

3 Evolutionary Positions
(1) Emotions the result of natural selection that occurred in early hominids
Table 1. Problems early hominids may have encountered & emotions that may have been selected in response

Emotions were selected for in early hominids Suggest selection occurred in response to problems that arose because of the social environment (sometime after human lineage diverged from great apes, 5-8M yrs ago through appearance of homo sapiens, 150,000 yrs ago) Each emotion should be understood as a set of programs that guide cognitive, physiological, & behavioral processes when a specific type of problem is encountered Cosmides & Tooby: sexual jealousy, adaptation that occurred in our hunger-gatherer ancestors (2000) Stress that these emotions are responses that enhanced fitness when selection

(3) Emotions are historical, but not adaptations Simply traits present in a certain range of species; shared ancestry Paul Griffiths Theory (1997, 2004) Psychological Category: affect program emotions (surprise, anger, fear, sadness, joy, & disgust) APE: basically same as other traits studied & classified by evolutionary biology (ie, human arm, unique features but can be homologized w/ everything - chimpanzee arm to a cetacean fin) Sadness: an a.p.e.; occurs in all humans & in other related species; trait may differ slightly from species to species, but is a single trait as all occurrences can be traced back to a common ancestor Suggests this method of classification will identify emotions carried out by similar mechanisms in different species Other emotions belong to diff categories: higher-cognitive emotions & socially constructed emotions A single term (ie, anger) can have instances that belong to diff categories Rather than simply focusing on functions of emotions, this analysis more useful for psychology & neuropsychology because these sciences are interested in identifying the mechanisms that drive behavior (2004)

Social & Cultural Theories


Emotions as products of cultures and societies (social constructions) & are acquired or learned by individuals through experience Theorists acknowledge emotions are natural phenomena but social influence is so significant emotions best understood from this perspective (1) Discrepancies of emotion words in different languages

a. Motivations for the Social Approach

Theories of em otion
If individuals experience emotions they have terms for (& vice versa), then people in different cultures have & experience different emotions fago - Ifaluk island in the Pacific compassion/love/sadness; unlike any single western emotion amae - Jap, feeling of dependency upon anothers love; similar to feeling children have towards moms, but experienced by adults There are several cultures in which anger & sadness are not distinguished as separate, discrete emotions (2) Emotions typically occur in social settings & during interpersonal transactions: many caused by other people & social relationships May be best understood as interactions between people than simply as one individuals response to a particular stimulus Brian Parkinson et al: emotions emerge directly through interaction. many emotions have relational rather than personal meanings (1996) Rom Harr: language, social practices & other elements of culture have significant role in formation of emotions; based on what they are exposed to & experience, either directly or indirectly (1986, 1995) Example: Accidie - negative emotion; boredom, dejection, even disgust with fulfilling ones religious duty, the major spiritual failing to which those who should have been dutiful succumbed, to feel it at all was a sin in the Middle Ages; emotion no longer exists because our emotions are defined against the background of a different moral order (3) Emotions & their expression regulated by social norms, values, & expectations: influence appropriate objects of emotion (what events should make a person angry, happy, jealous, and so on) James Averill & rules for anger: once rules are specified by society (implicitly or nd explicitly), they become 2 nature so we follow them without any deliberate effort Claire Armon-Jones: emotions reinforce societys norms & values other purposes: regulation of socially undesirable behavior, promotion of attitudes which reflect & endorse the interrelated religious, political, moral, aesthetic and social practices of a society emotion responses may not adhere with moral rules or values (taking pleasure in creating graffiti or taking pride in hurting people): emotion has been learned, in a way inconsistent with what larger society endorses; but from a sub-population of society or a peer-group the individual identifies with (1986) James Averill: socially constituted syndrome that includes ones appraisal of the situation and interpreted as a passion than as an action (1980) TSR & syndromes are generated by social norms & expectations (govern an individuals emotions) Syndrome: indicates that each emotion (like fear, anger or embarrassment), covers a variety of elements Collection of all appropriate responses of a particular emotion (any of which may at certain times constitute an emotion response, but none of which are necessary for that emotion syndrome) + beliefs about nature of the eliciting stimuli & perhaps some natural (non-social) elements All components linked together for an individual by principles of organization (what allow the various elements to be construed coherently as one particular emotion (1982) Grief is a syndrome. Individual who understands grief may at diff times have the ff grief responses: shock, crying, refusing to cry, declining to eat, neglecting basic responsibilities, and so on. Conditions individual understands should elicit grief also part of this: death of a loved one, loss of a valuable object, setback at work, rainy days,... Mental constructs bring these parts together into one coherent whole: we construe all these various elements as grief; we label both response at a funeral & response to our fave baseball team losing as grief, even if two responses have nothing in common Understanding of this grief syndrome allows us to judge when others are experiencing grief & whether anothers grief is genuine, severe, mild, so on Emotions as TSR distinct from a syndrome but shows the same phenomena: the eliciting conditions + the responses for an emotion Averills Theory: TSR are roles that individuals adopt when they choose to play a particular part in a situation as it unfolds. Emotional responses are interpreted by the agent as passive responses to particular situations, not as active choices. TSR are rule-governed ways of performing a social role, & so individuals adopt a role that is consistent with what a given situation calls for Grief response appropriate at a funeral, but diff grief responses are appropriate at burial or at service before burial. To have an emotion response consistent with social norms & expectations, individual must understand the context Syndromes: to classify emotions & demarcate them from each other TSR: for explaining how emotion responses relate to the society as well as the specific social context Considering an emotion as a syndrome, individual has a variety of choices for the emotion response. Imposes rules that dictate which response is appropriate for the situation. Possible responses for anger may include pouting, yelling, hitting, or no overt behavior at all. Baseball game, player may adopt a social role that includes pushing the umpire or yelling (anger response). Social norms and expectations dictate that pouting in this situation not appropriate Internal approach: attempts to provide a desc. of the emotion process itself Emotion process begins with the perception of a stimulus, some cases stimulus may be internal (a thought, a memory) Focus on early part of the emotion process (the specific emotion that occurs is determined during this part of the process) evaluation of the stimulus: occurrence of an emotion depends on how the individual understands or sees the stimulus evaluative component means that an emotion is not a simple & direct response to a stimulus; differ from reflexes (ie, startle response or eye-blink response) which are direct responses to certain kinds of stimuli Disagreement about how simple or complex the early part of the emotion process might be, led to competing cognitive and non-cognitive theories Contend that early part of the emotion process includes the manipulation of info & should be understood as a cognitive process. In contrast to theories that state generation of the emotion response is a direct & automatic result of perceiving the stimulus 2 Observations: (1) Diff individuals will respond to same event with diff emotions, or the same individual may at diff times respond differently to the same stimulus One may be relieved to be laid-off, while a co-worker greets same news with dread. Or one young woman may be excited to be laid-off, but several years later find being laid-off frightening. Ira Roseman & Craig Smith: psychologists, both individual & temporal variability in reaction to an event are difficult to explain with theories that claim stimulus

Theories of the Emotion Process


b. Emotions Are Transitory Social Roles (TSR): Averill


a. Cognitive Theories

Theories of em otion
events directly cause emotional response (2001) (2) Wide range of seemingly unrelated events that cause the same emotion None share any physical feature or property, but all can cause the same response. Roseman & Smith: Sadness may be elicited by the death of a parent, the birth of a child, divorce, declining sensory capacity, not being accepted to medical school, or the crash of ones computer hard drive: these examples pose problems for theories claiming that emotions are unconditioned responses to evolutionary specified stimulus events or are learned via generalization or association (2001) CT propose that way in which the individual evaluates the stimulus determines the emotion that is elicited: every individual has beliefs, goals, personal tendencies, and desires in place before the emotion causing event is encountered; in light of these factors that individual evaluates the event; Diff emotions will occur depending on whether an individual evaluates being laid-off as consistent with her current goals or inconsistent with them Some JTs more accommodating: allow that bodily response is properly considered part of the emotion, effect of the judgments made Causal-Evaluative Theory (William Lyons): Advocates that X is to be deemed an emotional state if & only if it is a physiologically abnormal state caused by the subject of that states evaluation of his situation. Causal order is impt, emotion is a psychosomatic state (bodily state caused by an evaluative attitude) Bodily response: considered part of emotion process; emotion determined by cognitive activity (judgment or evaluation) that occurs

ii. Cognitive Appraisal Theories Developed by psychologists: emphasize idea that the way in which an individual evaluates or appraises the stimulus determines the emotion Unlike JTs, do not rely on the resources of folk psychology (beliefs, judgments) More detailed analysis of diff types of appraisals involved in emotion process Ira Rosemans Model (1984): One of the first cognitive appraisal theories; simpler than more recent ones Similar models: Roseman, Antoniou, and Jose [1996], Roseman [2001], Lazarus [1991], and Scherer [1993, 2001]. Basic theoretical framework is same for all cognitive appraisal theories. Main differences concern the exact appraisals that are used in this process. appraisal components and different values each component can take

i. Judgment Theories Cognitive position developed by philosophers Robert Solomon: emotion is a basic judgment about our Selves & our place in our world, projection of the values & ideals, structures & mythologies, accdg to which we live & through which we experience our lives (1993) Judging: mental ability that individuals use when they acknowledge a particular experience or the existence of a particular state of the world Central idea as it is something one actively does, rather than something that happens to the individual. To have an emotion, indl must judge (evaluate/acknowledge) that events are a certain way Anger Solomon: what constitutes anger is my judging that I have been insulted and offended (1977) Martha Nussbaum: more detailed, that there has been some damage to me or to something or someone close to me; that damage is not trivial but significant; that it was done by someone, willingly, that it would be right for the perpetrator of the damage to be punished (2004) Sometimes treats judgments & beliefs interchangeably and sometimes the case that a series of judgments constitute the emotion Nussbaum points out how diff beliefs are related to the emotion: each element of this set of beliefs necessary for anger to be present: if I should discover that not x but y had done damage, or that it was not done willingly, or that it was not serious, we could expect my anger to modify itself accordingly or recede. A change in an individuals beliefs (way of seeing the world) entails a different emotion, or none at all One can make judgments that are not emotions (wall is red, icy road is dangerous). How do we distinguish judgments that are emotions? Judgment must be based on a certain set of beliefs. If those beliefs are present, then the emotion will occur; if they are not, then it wont Be more specific about the nature of the judgment itself: judgments related to emotions are self-involved & relatively intense evaluative judgments; judgments & objects that constitute our emotions are those which are especially important & meaningful to us, concerning matters in which we have invested our Selves JTs claim emotion is a cognitive process, but not a conscious or a deliberative process. More like spontaneous judgments ( passivity). The judgment that Ive been insulted & offended does not necessarily require any conscious mental effort on my part Bodily response: JTs state that judgments are necessary for an emotion; various bodily responses will accompany emotion, but many do not consider them an integral part of the emotion process (Nussbaum on grieving)
3

5 appraisal Components that can produce 14 discrete emotions Motivational State Appraisal (appetitive, aversive): Distinguishes between states that individual views as desirable (appetitive) & as undesirable (aversive) Not an evaluation of whether event itself is ( + ) or ( - ); but of whether event includes some impt aspect that is perceived as a goal or as a punishment. Something perceived as a punishment that is avoided is positive event, but still includes an evaluation of a punishment Ex: Relief is a positive emotion but includes an evaluation that some impt aspect of the event is aversive. Sorrow, a negative emotion, includes an evaluation that some impt aspect of the event is appetitive Situational State Appraisal (motive-consistent, motive-inconsistent): Whether desirable or undesirable quality of event is present or absent Motive-consistent: Appraisal that something desirable is present and appraisal that something undesirable is absent

Theories of em otion
Motive-inconsistent: something desirable is absent, something undesirable is present Situational state for both joy and relief is motive-consistent. Joy (desirable state, present) and relief (undesirable state, absent) Probability Appraisal (certain, uncertain, unknown): Whether event is definite (certain), only possible (uncertain), or of unknown probability. An outcome of uncertainty contributes to hope instead of joy or relief, which both involve an appraisal that the event is certain (that is, the outcome of the event has been determined) Possibility that event can be appraised as having an unknown probability added by Roseman to account for surprise, often considered a basic emotion. For this appraisal, unknown differs from uncertain in that unknown is the value that is assigned when the distinction between motive-consistent versus motiveinconsistent cannot be made. When the distinction can be made, the value is assigned certain or uncertain Power (Strong, Weak): Individuals perception of his or her strength or weakness in a situation These values distinguish, shame (weak) and regret (strong), as well as dislike (weak) and anger (strong). Roseman suggests a situation that would be likely to cause an evaluation of weakness rather than strength: consider someone being robbed at gunpoint. Will this person, quite unjustly treated but quite weak, be feeling anger? I contend that he would not, though he would probably feel some negative emotion towards his assailant (dislike) Agency Appraisal (Self-caused, Other-caused, Circumstance-caused): Evaluation is made whether event was caused by the individual, by another, or merely a result of the situation (lacking an agent) Usually determines to whom or towards what the emotion is directed. Making this evaluation sometimes requires a subtle understanding of what the emotion-causing stimulus is. Consider an individual who is presented with a gift by a friend. If individual focuses on gift & having just received it (general state of affairs), his emotion is joy. If focus is on friend who has given gift (on another person), emotion is liking Basic Idea: when a stimulus is encountered it is appraised along these 5 dimensions; each appraisal component assigned one of its possible values, together these values determine which emotion response will be generated. Arrows point to diff values each appraisal component can take. Each emotion type takes the values that its placement in the chart indicates. When emotion is placed such that it lines up with more than one value for an appraisal component (e.g., anger can be uncertain or certain), any of those values can be assigned for that emotion. Joy: situational state = motive-consistent, motivational state = appetitive, agency = circumstance-caused, probability = certain, power = weak / strong Notice that diff emotions all use same appraisal components & many emotions take same values for several of the components. Anger & regret take the same values for all appraisals except for agency (regret = self-caused, anger = other-caused) Just like JTs, CATs say these appraisals dont have to be deliberate, or even something of which the individual is consciously aware Consider: Someone accidentally spilling a glass of water on you: agency appraisal would most likely be circumstance-caused VS intentionally throwing the glass of water on you: agency appraisal would be other-caused Different emotions would be elicited. Most have had an experience like this and can see that determining these values would not take any conscious effort. Values are set outside of conscious awareness. Unlike some JTs, all CATs agree appraisals are followed by a bodily response & considered part of emotion process. Roseman suggests once appraisals have been made, a response with the ff parts is set in motion: 1. thoughts, images & subjective feeling assocd w/ each discrete emotion 2. patterns of bodily response 3. facial expressions, vocal signals, & postural cues that communicate to others which emotion one is feeling 4. behavioral component: comprises actions (running or fighting) often associated with particular emotions 5. goals to which particular emotions give rise: avoiding some situation (when frightened) or inflicting harm upon someone (when angered)

b. Non-Cognitive Theories
Claim that judgments or appraisals are not part of the emotion process Disagreement between cognitive & non-cognitive positions primarily entails the early part of the emotion process: what intervenes between the perception of a stimulus and the emotion response? NC position: emotion response directly follows perception of a relevant stimulus. Instead of any sort of evaluation or judgment about the stimulus, the early part of the emotion process is reflex-like In many ways a development of the folk psychological view: emotions are separate from rational or cognitive operations of the mind: cognitive operations are cold & logical, whereas emotions are hot, irrational & largely uncontrollable responses to certain events Motivated by skepticism about the cognitive theories. NC theorists deny that propositional attitudes & the conceptual knowledge they require (ie, anger is the judgment that I have been wronged) are necessary for emotions A theory of emotion should apply to infants & non-human animals, which do not have cognitive capabilities described in the JTs or the CATs

i. Approach 1: Some Emotions Are Non-Cognitive: Ekman & Griffiths Explains the NC process, but claims only some emotions are non-cognitive Paul Ekman: developed std description of the non-cognitive process (1977) Ekmans Model: 2 mechanisms that directly interface with each other: Automatic Appraisal Mechanism: necessary; selectively attends to stimuli (external or internal) which activates the affect programme Quick: interval bet stimulus & emotional response sometimes extraordinarily short, capable of operating with great speed Automatic: happens without awareness; attends to some stimuli, determines that they pertain to emotion & which emotion, then activates the appropriate part of the affect programme (1977) Able to detect certain stimuli (elicitors): elicitors can vary by culture, or from individual to individual. On a more general level, there are similarities among the elicitors for each emotion Ex: Disgust elicitors share characteristic of being noxious rather than painful; fear elicitors share the characteristic of portending harm or pain. One of the common characteristics of some of the elicitors of happiness is release from accumulated pressure, tension, discomfort, etc. Loss of something to which one is intimately attached might be a common characteristic of sadness elicitors. Interference with ongoing activity might be characteristic of some anger elicitors (1977, pp. 6061). nd Affect Programme: 2 mechanism; governs various elements of emotion response: skeletal muscle response, facial response, vocal response, & central & ANS responses; stores patterns for these complex organized responses. when set off, directs their occurrence Paul Griffiths Affect Program: incorporated Ekmans account into his own theory of the emotions (1997); but 2 mechanisms as single system (AP) There is a separate affect program for each of several emotions: surprise, fear,

Theories of em otion
anger, disgust, sadness, & joy (1997). (Griffiths identifies this class of emotions, the affect programs, historically) Elicitor: includes a biased learning mechanism, which allows it to easily learn some things, but makes it difficult for it to learn others (easier to acquire fear of snakes than flowers); this system has some form of memory, storing info about classes of stimuli previously assessed as meriting emotional response APs have features that Fodor identified for modular processes: when appropriate stimulus is presented to system, triggering of the response is mandatory; once it begins, cannot be interfered with or stopped APs are also encapsulated: cut off from other mental processes Ekman: difficulty experienced when trying to interfere with the operation of the affect programme, the speed of its operation, its capability to initiate responses that are hard to halt voluntarily, is what is meant by out-of-control quality to the subjective experiences of some emotions Ekman & Griffiths: believe this system accounts for a significant # of emotions that humans experience. Neither think it describes all emotions. Ekman says AAM is one kind of appraisal mechanism, but also believes that cognitive appraisals are sometimes utilized Griffiths defends view that vernacular term emotion does not pick out a single psychological class. In addition to the AP emotions, suggests some emotions are cognitively mediated & some are socially constructed

c. Somatic Feedback Theories


Vary in importance they place on the bodily changes that typically occur during the emotion process JT Nussbaum dismissive of bodily changes CATs: bodily response a legitimate part of the process and has to be included in any complete description of the emotions NCTs: bodily changes part of the emotion process All CTs maintain that the cognitive activity determines the specific emotion produced (sadness, anger, fear, and so forth) & NCTs not very different in this regard. Ekmans AAM and Robinsons affective appraisals are both supposed to determine which emotion is generated Further question: unique set of bodily changes for each emotion? Klaus Scherer: cognitive appraisal, answer is affirmative: claims that each appraisal component directs specific bodily changes (2001) Griffiths: likely that each affect program emotion has a unique bodily response profile (1997) Robinson: skeptical that diff emotions can be distinguished by any of the features of the bodily response, except perhaps the facial expression Somatic feedback theorists vs CT & NCT: claim bodily responses are unique for each emotion & that it is in virtue of the unique patterns of somatic activity that emotions are differentiated One set of bodily changes for sadness, one set for anger, one for happiness, and so on: there is some evidence, although except for facial expressions, the current evidence is not very strong It is the feedback that mind (or brain) gets from body that makes the event an emotion SFTs suggest that once bodily response has been generated (change in heart rate, blood pressure, facial expression), mind registers these bodily activities. This mental state (caused by the bodily changes) is the emotion William James (1884): bodily changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact (emotion causing event) & our feeling of the same changes as they occur is the emotion Overlaps with NCTs as when stimulus is perceived, bodily response is triggered automatically or reflexively When the appropriate type of stimulus is perceived (bear), this automatically causes a bodily response (trembling, raised heart rate), & the individuals awareness of this bodily response is the fear Consequence: without a bodily response there cannot be an emotion. James Illustration in a Thought Expt: If we fancy some strong emotion, & then try to abstract from our consciousness of it all the feelings of its characteristic bodily symptoms, we find we have nothing left behind, no mind-stuff out of which emotion can be constituted, that a cold & neutral state of intellectual perception is all that remains Jesse Prinz: expanded upon James theory Emotion: the mental state caused by feedback from body. Distinction bet what this mental state registers & what it represents. An emotion registers bodily response, but represents simple info concerning what each emotion is about (fear represents danger, sadness represents the loss of something valued, anger represents having been demeaned) Suggests that bodily response is primarily result of a non-cognitive process

ii. Approach 2: All Emotions Are Non-Cognitive: Robinson Describes the non-cognitive process in a very similar way, but says all emotions are non-cognitive Emotion process is always a non-cognitive one System like one described by Ekman & Griffiths accounts for all occurrences of emotion Zajonc (1980, 1984): important defense of the non-cognitive position Jenefer Robinson: (2005) similar to James (1884) & Prinz (2004a) Robinsons Exclusively Non-Cognitive Theory: Cognitive processes that occur in an emotion-causing situation are in addition to non-cognitive core process. Emotion might be caused by cognitive activity, but this is cognitive activity that precedes the non-cognitive emotion process Sometimes an individuals fear is in response to cognitively complex info such as value of ones investments suddenly dropping. Here, a cognitive process will determine that current situation is dangerous, then an affective appraisal will be made of this specific info and a fear response will be triggered There is a set of inbuilt affective appraisal mechanisms (in primitive species & neonates: automatically attuned to particular stimuli). As human beings learn & develop, can also take as input more complex stimuli, including complex judgments or thoughts (2004) Emotions are non-cognitive while acknowledging that humans can have emotions in response to complex events Used to explain how an individual can be cognitively aware that he or she has been unjustly treated, or been unexpectedly rewarded, but not experience any emotion (anger, sadness, happiness) which happens. For example, the cognitive appraisal may indicate that individual has been unjustly treated, but affective appraisal will not evaluate this as worthy of an emotion response Also suggests that non-cognitive process may be followed by cognitive activity that labels an emotion response that reflects individuals thoughts & beliefs. Noncognitive process might generate an anger response, then subsequent cognitive monitoring of the response & the situation causes emotion to be labeled as jealousy. So individual will take herself to be experiencing jealousy, even though actual emotion process was one specific to anger (2004, 2005)

Figure 1. Illustration of Prinzs Somatic Feedback Theory. There is no mental evaluation or appraisal that snake is

Theories of em otion
dangerous. Perception of the snake triggers bodily changes. Fear is the mental state caused by feedback from the body (perception of the bodily changes). This mental state registers the bodily changes, but represents meaningful, albeit simple, info. The bodily changes that occur in response to perceiving a snake can be explained as an adaptation. Our bodies respond in the way that they do to the perception of a snake because snakes are dangerous. So mental state represents danger.

Conclusion
Unlikely that any single theory will prevail anytime soon, especially since not all of these theories are in direct competition with each other Evolutionary theory & a theory that describes emotion process can easily complement each other = Griffiths theory of the Affect Program Emotions Some theories are simply inconsistent cognitive & non-cognitive; natural expectation is that one of these positions will eventually be eliminated Many theories fall somewhere in between, agreeing about some features of emotion, while disagreeing about others: being familiar with research is central to analyzing and critiquing the theories Empirical evidence exists & continues to be collected (40 years): vast amt of data collected by cognitive & social psychologists, neuroscientists, anthropologists, and ethologists theorizing about emotions an interesting challenge; problem that remains for the theorist of emotion is accounting for all of the available empirical evidence

Advantage of Prinzs theory over James: has a plausible account of the intentionality of emotions into a somatic feedback theory, the mental state (the emotion) is caused by bodily activity, but, rather than being about the bodily activity, the emotion is about something else, these simple pieces of info that the mental state represents Antonio Damasio: also able to account for the intentionality of the mental state that is caused by feedback from the body (1994) What James and Prinz call the emotion, Damasio refers to as a feeling Differs from Prinzs; takes it that the emotion process does include cognitive evaluations, at least for most emotions Theory: a typical case begins with thoughts & evaluations about the stimulus, and this mental activity triggers a bodily responsethis process Damasio calls emotion. A mental representation of the bodily activity is then generated in the brains somatosensory corticesthis is the feeling (occurs in juxtaposition to the thoughts & evaluations about the stimulus that triggered the bodily changes in the first place)

Gregory Johnson gregory.s.johnson@drexel.edu Drexel University

Figure 2. Damasios somatic feedback theory. The part of this process that includes (B) and (C) is what Damsio calls the emotion. The mental representation of the activity in the body, (D), Damasio calls the feeling. Since (B) and (D) co-occur, the feeling will be accompanied by the information that triggered the bodily response.

Feelings: crucial in helping us make decisions & choose our actions Bills brother-in-law has just offered to let him in on a risky, but possibly lucrative business venture. Bill realizes there are many aspects of the situation to consider, but thought of losing a lot of money causes a bodily response. Feedback from Bills body juxtaposed with thought of being tangled up in a losing venture with brotherin-law. This negative feeling informs Bills choice of behavior, & he declines offer without pondering all of the costs & benefits. Bill could have considered the situation more thoroughly, but acting on this kind of feeling is, according to Damasio, often the way in which actions are chosen As-If Loop in brain: (as-if the body were active) an impt feature Prinz adopted; mental representations that constitute feelings can occur Bills way, or the brain areas that evaluate the stimulus (the amygdala & the prefrontal cortices) can directly signal the somatosensory cortices instead of triggering bodily activity. Somatosensory cortices will respond as if bodily activity was actually occurring. This will generate a feeling more quickly & efficiently, though it may not feel the same as a genuine bodily response. The consequence is that there can be a feeling even if the body is not involved. Possibility that there is an as-if loop in the brain allows somatic feedback theorists to explain how individuals who cannot receive the typical feedback from the body can still have feelings (or in Prinzs language, emotions), for instance, those individuals who have suffered spinal cord injuries