I chose this question because of its links tochemistry and psychology, both subjects that I find very intriguing, and becausethe reality of the mind is linked to this, which is a topic we have covered inlessons. The topic of the mind and emotions is one that has been pondered bymany thinkers and philosophers for centuries. In order to simplify the questionasked in this essay, I will first define what I mean by ‘real’ and what Idefine as an ’emotion’. This will add clarity to this essay and help me to forman adequate conclusion. When I use the term ‘real’, I mean that the emotionsare the result of chemicals being released intothe brain, and therefore tangible and measurable. For the purposes of this essay, an emotion shall be defined as a subjectivestate of mind or ‘feeling’ that affects a person’s thoughts and actions.
Asthis topic is linked to the mind, there are many theories and models about theemotions put forward by experts in many different fields of study, for example, psychology, chemistry andphilosophy. Famous writers such as Descartes and Darwin amongst others havewritten on this subject. Though their theories are quite similar, thedifferences are what count. I will evaluate and decide which theory has themost accurate grounding in my opinion by the evidence given by my sources.There are three categories of theories: psychological, neurological andcognitive. The Psychological theories propose that changes in the body areresponsible for the existence of emotions, neurological theories suggest thatemotions are caused by activity in the brain, and finally cognitive theoriesimply that thoughts and other mental activities are what control the emotions.Theory 1: Evolutionary Theory of EmotionsCharles Darwin proposed that emotions have beenevolved to aid humans and animals in surviving and reproducing.
These are veryimportant factors for a species exceed as a whole. To provide an example, loveand affection make people want to reproduce. Fear compels people be morecautious and to flee when a danger is too great. Emotions can motivate peopleto adapt to stimuli in different situations. The emotions are crucial to thesurvival of a species as they are what Govern instincts and help a species to defendthemselves in harsh conditions and adapt to a changing ecosystem and environment.This is a scientific approach and scientists have discovered that the emotionsare caused by the release of chemicals inside the brain.
The majority of thesetheories are discussing why the chemicals are released. Chemicals such asdopamine are released when person A meets a good-looking person B of theopposite gender, making person A feel attracted to person B, and potentiallyending in reproduction, resulting in a stronger, more developed and longerliving species.Theory 2: The James-Lange Theoryof EmotionsTheJames-Lange theory is a well-known psychological theory of emotion. Initiallyproposed by psychologists Carl Lange and William James, this theory suggeststhat your emotions are a product of psychological reactions to a stimulus. Forexample, you are walking through a forest in the dead of night and hearsomething a quite a distance off. Your body starts trembling, your heart beatsfaster and you start to sweat. This theory suggests the opposite to common ideasthat you are trembling because you are afraid, but this, in fact, suggests thatyou are afraid, because you are trembling.
The idea of emotions being linked topsychological responses is very big in this area of philosophy. The theorieslinked to physical states do not have a definitive conclusion yet, as therewill always be people who disagree with other people’s ideas.Theory3: The Cannon-Bard Theory of EmotionsThis isanother well-known psychological theory, initially thought of by Walter Cannonbecause he disagreed with the James-Lange theory on a few different terms.First, he proposed that someone can have a psychological reaction to somethingwithout feeling the linked emotion. For example, you are sweating because you gettinghot, not because you are frightened.
Cannon also suggests that emotionalresponses occur much too fast to be caused by physical states, for example, youwould start feeling fear long before you start trembling or your heart startsbeating faster. Walter proposed his theories in the 1920s, and his work wasadded to by Philip bard in the 1930s. He suggested that emotions andpsychological reactions are experienced at the same time and from that, he decreed that emotions are the result of animpulse being sent to the brain as the result of sensing of a stimulus. Theory4: The Schechter-Singer Theory of EmotionsTheSchechter-Singer theory is an example of a cognitive theory. Also known as thetwo-factor theory, this theory suggests that the psychological response happensbefore you experience the emotion, and then thereason for the response has to be identified to label and experience itas an emotion. In short, a response triggered by a stimulus is logicallyinterpreted and labelled as being caused by something,resulting in the emotion linked to that thing. The Schechter-Singer theory isbased off both the James-Lange theory and the Cannon-Bard theory, although theyseem to contradict. The Schechter-Singer theory, like the James-Lange theory,suggests that emotions are caused by psychological reactions, but also suggeststhat similar psychological reactions can result in many different emotions.
For example, if you have a fast heartbeat and sweatyhands during an important maths test, you will probably identify your emotionas anxiety. If you have the same physical responses on a third date with theopposite gender, you might see those responses as love or affection. This theoryis an answer to both the Cannon-Bard Theory and the Schechter-Singer theory, asit uses elements of both, but leaves nothing out of either.Theory5: The Cognitive Appraisal Theory of EmotionsThecognitive appraisal theory is a theory suggesting that one must subconsciously thinkabout experiencing an emotion before experiencing that emotion. This theory wascreated by Richard Lazarus, a pioneer in the subject of emotion. According tohis theory, there are two parts to experiencing an emotion. The two parts arequite simple, but are what make this an important theory in the community oftheories.
The two parts are: first, your sensory organs must sense a stimulus.Then a thought occurs, and that leads tothe experience of an emotion and a psychological response. For example, you areout in the woods, (again) and you come across a big bear. A thought goes throughyour head and then you feel fear and start to tremble. The thought that occurscould be linked to instincts and reflexes, as they are thoughts that aren’t consciouslycreated by that person.Theory6: The Facial-Feedback Theory of EmotionsTheFacial-Feedback theory states that facial expressions are linked with emotions.Charles Darwin and William James both noted that psychological reactions werelinked to causing emotions, rather than being caused by reactions. Supportersof this theory suggested that the facial muscles had a direct link withemotions, for example, people who are forced to smile at boring occasions aremore likely to enjoy it than those who have a neutral or frowning facial expression.
Other Theories:Othertheories include theories such as Descartes’ and Plutchik’s theories that allemotions branch out from a small number of distinct emotions such as fear,hate, love and happiness. These emotions combine and dilute to form moreacutely specific emotions as shown in Plutchik’s “wheel of emotions”. Scientistsagree with Darwin and say that the emotions are the result of unconscious thoughtssending impulses to release chemicals called neurotransmitters that affect the waythat the brain processes information, the amount of which could be measured anda subject’s emotion could be determined by research, and emotions could becreated by electrically stimulating parts of the brain to produce more of acertain neurotransmitter, therefore forcing an emotion upon a subject. Descartesand Plutchik were right in the sense all emotions originate from a few, simpleemotions, but were unaware of what caused this or how it happened.
Conclusion:Inmy opinion, I think that the cognitive appraisaltheory is the most accurate and is what I will side with. I think it is themost accurate because I believe that emotions come from chemicals being releasedinto the brain, and for that to happen, athought must occur. Emotions cannot exist without thoughts to provoke them. To concludeI will say that I think that emotions are real, tangible, and can be measuredand created by surgery. The reality of emotionBibliography:· https://www.verywell.com/theories-of-emotion(for the theories)· https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/emotion/(for more useful information)· Help from my family