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Published by: shaziafirdoos on Feb 07, 2011
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Emotions I

Why Emotions? Classification of Emotions Emotion and Reason

Why Emotions?



Emotions seem to “take control” on occasion, biasing our perceptions and motivating us to behave in particular ways. We sometimes do things that seem irrational when under the influence of the “passions,” and we tend to hold a person less accountable for such acts. So why do we have emotions? What are they for?

What Emotions Are For


Emotions are brain mechanisms that have evolved to promote the “right” behaviors under certain commonly encountered circumstances. Emotions add an evaluative dimension to experience, which turns out to be crucial for rational decision-making.


emotions we give different names may be the same emotion at various intensities. You feel disposed to behave in particular ways. Two such schemes were provided by Robert Plutchik and Richard Lazarus Plutchik’s Classification n n Eight primary emotions Each emotion has associated with it a n n Common stimulus Typical behavior n Each emotion can vary in intensity. depending on the emotion (e. etc. or “know” what happened. Other emotions are then viewed as combinations of the primary emotions. n n Cognitive reaction n Physiological reaction n n Behavioral reaction n Classifying the Emotions n n n Several attempts have been made to classify emotions. Internal changes occur involving the autonomic nervous system and hormones. 2 ..g.Components of an Emotion n Affect n This is subjective feeling: happiness. You recognize. anger. sadness. Such schemes try to identify “primary” or “basic” emotions. lashing out at someone when angry).

Guilt: Having transgressed a moral imperative. pushing away Plutchik’s Eight Primary Emotions (Last Four) Surprise Curiosity Acceptance A sudden. n 3 . incorporating Joy Reproduction. courting. Examples n Anger: Relational theme is a demeaning offense against me and mine. He associated each of these with a “relational theme” – a specific relationship or interaction between people and their environments. turning toward Exploration and searching Sharing. something of value Potential mate Orientation. novel stimulus A new place or environment A member of one’s own group.Plutchik’s Eight Primary Emotions (First Four) Anger Blocking of goaldirected behavior Threat or danger Destruction of Obstacle Protection Fear Sadness Disgust Loss of Search for help something valued and comfort Something gruesome or loathsome Rejection. taking in. mating Lazarus’ Classification n n n Richard Lazarus proposed a system of fifteen basic emotions.

n Examples: Attacking the boss for not giving you an expected raise.Emotion and Reason n Behavior promoted by emotions may not suit the current circumstances so that it appears irrational or produces undesirable effects. n Antonio Damasio proposed. based on clinical studies of brain-damaged individuals. Poor public -speaking performance due to evaluation apprehension. that solid decision-making requires input from emotional-evaluative systems. 4 .

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