x More typical to portray emotions as disruptive, and harmful influences resulting in destructive
behavior to be mastered by rational thought.
x Accounts influenced by theory of evolution, tend to describe emotions in terms of functions in
ways that increase the chances of survival and reproduction.
x Emotions are adaptations
x 1st aspect of adaptation ; emotions enable rapid orientation to events in the environment.
o They interrupt ongoing processes and direct attention to significant threats and
opportunities. Æ advantage in survival and reproduction.
o Emotions like fear & anger also shut down basic physiological processes.
x 2nd general function is organization.
o Emotions coordinate the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, muscle groups, facial
expression and experience. Æ enables more adaptive response to events in the
o Functions of different emotions
o Anger : set of coordinated responses taht help restore just relations with others
o Embarassement: form of appeasement
o Compassion: enhances the welfare of vulnerable individuals, esp when they have been
Functional analysis of different facets of emotion
Why do we experience our emotional states as powerful and overwhelming?
Emotion- related feelings are informative about specific social events or conditions that need to be acted
Î Challenges assumption that emotions have no rational basis.
Î Hypothesis instead: reflect important functional relationships with the environment.
Emotion related physiology
Emotions are states of readiness to act. The autonomic physiology associated with diff. emotions prepres
for specific kinds of action; fighting or flight.
x Emotions are communicated in facial expression, the voice, gaze, posture and touch.
x Emotional communication coordinates social interactions.
x Communication info about current emotions, intentions and dispositions