Chapter 2: approaches to understanding emotions
Humans are descended from other species: we are not only closer to animals than had been
thought, but we ourselves are animals.
Observed emotional expressions in nonhuman species, as well as in adult and infant humans
(normal and abnormal)
One of the first to use questionnaires
One of the first to use photographs of naturalistic and posed expressions to make scientific points
2 questions that guide emotion researchers today
How are emotions expression in humans and other animals?
Where do our emotions come from?
Concluded that emotional expressions derive largely from habits that in our evolutionary or
individual past had once been useful. These are based on reflex like mechanisms. Some actions
occur in modern humans whether they are useful or not, and are triggered involuntarily in
circumstances analogous to those that had triggered the original habits
Emotional expressions showed the continuity of adult human behavioural mechanisms with those
of lower animals and with those of infancy
He thought emotional expressions were like vestigial parts of our bodies.
Darwin suggested that patterns of adult affection, of taking those whom we love in our arms, are
based on patterns of parents hugging young infants.
Emotions links us to our past, both to the past of our species and to our own infancy
Movements of expression in the face and body, are of much importance for our welfare
Serve as the first means of communication between the mother and her infant; she smiles
approval, and thus encourages her child on the right path, or frowns disapproval. We readily
perceive sympathy in others by their expression
When we perceive the object of fear, a bear, “the exciting fact” as he put it, then the emotion is the
perception of changes of our body as we react to that fact.
What we feel is our heart beating, our skin cold, our posture frozen, or our legs carrying us
away as fast as possible
The core of an emotion is the pattern of bodily responses