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PSYC18H3 (274)
Chapter 1

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Michelle Hilscher

PSYCHC18 Chapter 1 Introduction Many thinkers have argued that our emotions are base and destructive, and that the more noble reaches of human nature are achieved when our passions are controlled by our reason. The Wests most prominent early theorists of emotions, the Epicureans and Stoics, whose influence has continued for more than 2,000 years, thought that emotions are irrational and damaging. Nineteenth-century founders Charles Darwin: the evolutionary approach The accepted theory was that god had given humans special facial muscles that allowed them to express uniquely human sentiments unknown to animals. Darwin observed emotional expressions in nonhuman species, as well as in adult and infant humans. In his book on emotions, Darwin asked two broad questions that guide emotion researchers today. First, how are emotions expressed in humans and other animals? In table 1.1 we present a taxonomy of some of the expressions Darwin described. The second question Darwin addressed is where do our emotions come from? Darwin concluded that emotional expressions derive largely from habits that in our evolutionary or individual past had once been useful. He thought emotional expressions were like vestigial parts of our bodies. Darwin traced expressions to infancy: crying, he argued, is the vestige of screaming in infancy, though in adulthood it is partly inhibited. Darwins most interesting suggestions is that patterns of adult affections, of taking those whom we love in our arms, are based on patterns of parents hugging young infants. See table 1.1 William James: the bodily approach William James argued against the commonsense idea that when we feel an emotion it impels us to a certain kind of activity that if we were to meet a bear in the woods we would feel frightened www.notesolution.com
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