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Psychology (9,695)
PSYC18H3 (275)
Chapter 5

Book/ Chapter 5

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC18H3
Professor
Michelle Hilscher
Semester
Summer

Description
Chapter 5 William James turned the field of research on emotions on its head. Most writers until that time had argued that the experience of an emotion follows the perception of an emotionally exciting event. James altered this sequence locating the origins of emotional experience in the body. He contended that an emotionally exciting fact provokes bodily responses, which in turn lead to the experience of an emotion. My thesis, he said, is that the bodily changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact, and that our feeling of the same changes as they occur is the emotion. It is that every emotion, from anger to sympathy to the rapturous delight of hearing a favourite musician, involves a distinct bodily reverberation detected by the autonomic nervous system and by neural signals from the workings of our muscles. Jamess rather counterintuitive analysis points to five questions. Is there emotion-specific activation in the autonomous nervous system? Do bodily changes of heart rate, breathing, and the like support specific kinds of action such as fight or flight? To what extent is the experience of emotion based on activation of the autonomous nervous system? Do bodily changes produce the experience of emotion? Is the body really the primary organ of emotional experience? The autonomic nervous system The autonomic nervous system: The autonomic nervous systems most general function is to maintain the internal condition of the body, to enable adaptive response to varying environmental events. The parasympathetic branch helps with restorative processes, reducing heart rate and blood pressure and increasing digestive processes. The sympathetic branch increases heart rate, blood pressure, and cardiac output and shuts down digestive processes, to help the individual to engage in physically demanding actions. The autonomic nervous system is also closely associated with various behaviours with direct relevance to emotion, including defensive behaviour, sexual behaviour, and aggression. The parasympathetic and sympathetic branches www.notesolution.com
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