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University of Mostar

Faculty of Philosophy
Psychology Department

The evolution of emotion
Essay

Student:
Ivana Bunoza
Professor:
Zoran Pervan
Mostar, July, 2016.
Emotions seem to role our everyday lives. We make decisions based on whether we are sad,
angry, happy, bored or frustrated. We choose activities and hobbies based on the emotions

contempt. fear. 2008). cognitive and behavioural reactions to internal and external events. When males are away from females for periods of time. in the main.a group of cores which lies deep within the brain. Ekman have also brought an evolutionary perspective to bear on human emotions. If you ask psychologists what is meant by the tearm "emotion". Humans with damage to the amygdala appear to be unable to recognise fear in the faces of others (Evans at al. but unlike fear and anger. this can cause trouble.they incite. all cultures associate these seven facial expressions with the same seven emotions (Pinel. because it leaves the way open for males who copulate with females. considers the possible adaptive function of the core ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ emotions (Buss.Positive emotions are love and happiness. which draws heavily on the work of Nesse. positive emotions serve to expand an individual's attentional focus and knowledge. suggests humans everywhere can recognize seven basic emotions: sadness. Hence. he felt scared and was forced to run. and anger is manifested by the urge to attack. Nevertheless. positive emotions may be the product of quite strong selection pressures. fear and anger. the amygdala sends messages to the autonomic nervous system which regulates the acitvity of the internal organs. causes the release of adrenalin into the bloodstream from the adrenal glands just above the kidneys. disgust. The emotion of fear is associated with increased activation of the amygdala. and they are belived to have evolved in order to allow us to respond appropriately to aversive stimuly. This adrenalin is the "fight or flight" cemical 1 . Love and happiness are essential for long-term bonds. Human relationships are. The following discussion. 1960). As a hunter. Negative emotions are sadness. Fear was one of the most important emotion to survive in hunter. monogamous and stable with the males playing a role in the provisioning and care of offspring. Those tendencyes are quite specific. women and men. a leading psychologist in emotions. anger.gatherer communities. Paul Ekman. sadness is a negative emotion for which it is difficult to imagine specific action tendency. 2002). It is possible that love and happiness evolutionary developed due to human need for monogamy. 2004). When he was in danger. it is likely to assume you will get as many definitions as the number of psychologysts you ask. Fredrickson and Ekman. many of these definitions would include physiological. Sadness creates the urge to withdraw from action. happiness and surprise (Ekman. Evolutionary. Fear is manifested by the urge to escape. When emotional events occur. in turn. man had to be careful about the predators that could kill him. According to his study. and it's concerned with emotions. as happens in hunter. This emotion was useful for both. The autonomic nervous system .gatherer communities. Amygdala is an important part of the limbic system.

On the main track in front of the train are five people. 2008). The repulsion of incest evolved to prevent inbreeding (Buss. and one of the limbic system. At the very least it would be a new experience for each of them. there is another interesting research related to the development of morality (Hauser at al. However. One night they are staying alone in a cabin near the beach. they say things like "I do not know. Imagine this scenario: a train driver has fainted. 2008) gives an example: "Julie and Mark are brother and sister. and it is able to affect the activity of the limbic system and. Another interesting question that evolutionary psychologists are trying to answer is what kind of moral emotions do people have. The orbitofrontal cortex integrates the information we receive from the outside world.What do you think about that? Was it OK for them to make love?" Most people will certainly say that it was wrong from Julie and Mark to commit an incest. but Mark uses a condom too. Denis is a passenger on that train. others refer to danger of inbreeding . and the orbitofrontal part of it receives information from the sensory systems and from the cortex of the frontal lobes. They decide that it would be interesting and fun if they tried making love. Haidt (2001. or that neither Julie nor Mark was harmed. but they decide not to do it again. An explanation why people find this wrong is that they have evolved moral emotions. which makes them feel even closer to each other. When in fear. prepares the body for the challenge. they have difficulties explaining it. It is not surprising then that the orbitofrontal cortex is very much involve in emotion (Workman at al. Some refer to psychological issues it may cause. Is it morally permissible for Denis to go left and kill one man in order to save five of them? 2 . but when they are mentioned that double birth control was used. I just know it is wrong". They both enjoy making love.They keep that night as a special secret. in turn. according to Buss.which prepares target organs such as skeletal muscles for action. The cortex itself is responsible for higher functions (such as consciousness). There is one person on the left hand track. just to be safe. 2004). I can not explain it. but when they are asked to explain their attitude. a part of the brain causes the hormone adrenaline to be released and this. Julie was already taking birth control pills. The main track has a side truck leading off to the left. according to Workman. Orbitofrontal cortex is also important for experiencing emotions. They are traveling together in France on summer vacation from college. 2014). 2007. in particular. the amygdala.

Emotion. etc. New York: Guilford Publications. permissible to use this healthy man organs to save five? This can be explained with the principle of double effect. Oxford: Oxford University Press Pinel. (2004).. P. each as a result of a different organ failing (heart.Most people would say yes. Keltner. It occurs when one violets social conventions. Evolutionary psychology. Embarrasment may have evolved to promote submission. Inc Ekman. LITERATURE: Buss. which states that it is permissible to do someone harm for the greater good. Positive emotions might serve the function of placing us in the appropriate psychological state to help build up social relationships. D. evolution and Rationality.P. (1960). liver. J.). and it also signals that you are motivated to repair the harm. Facial expression of emotion. Handbook of emotions. In the waiting room is a healthy man with fully functioning organs. therefore. Both. but only if that harm is a by product of the action. Inc Evans.J. To conclude. cutting deeper then embarrasment. Is it. (2014). and Cruse.. (2008). L. Shame is a similar moral emotion. Naklada Slap: Jastebarsko Workman. such as fear and anger may have evolved in order to place people in the correct psychological and physiological state to deal with aversive circumstances. Biološka psihologija. Evolutionary psychology. Reader. (2002). W. shame and embarrasment motivate the desire to hide and withdraw. negative states. But think about this: Five people are dying in hospital. D. not a means in itself. Pearson education. P. Cambridge University Press 3 . D. Guilt motivates confession and apologies.