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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Psychology of Emotion.docx

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Psychology of Emotion Chapter 1 Notes Nineteenthcentury founderIn 1872 Charles Darwin the central gure in modern biology published the most important book on emotions yet writtenThe Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals 1872 and earlier he published The Origin of Species which had to do with the survival of the fittest His argument about emotion was both closer to common sense and more subtle than anything that we might commonsensically believe rather than believing that he probably thought emotion had to do with our survival as many people would believeAccepted theory was that God had given humans special facial muscles that allowed them to express uniquely human sentiments unknown to animals andA central tenet of Darwins theory however was that humans are descended from other species we are not only closer to animals than had been thought but we ourselves are animalsDarwin then began his research with crossculturing nonhuman species people from mental asylums adults and infantsDarwin asked two main questions 1 How are emotions expressed in humans and other species and 2 Where do our emotions comes from Darwin believed that emotions were vestigial parts of our bodyeg in our digestive system a small functionless organ the appendix and emotions are descended from prehumans ancestors to whom had use of this organEg sneering an expression in which we partially uncover the teeth on one side is a behavioral vestige of snarling and of preparing to bite This preparation was functionalin some distant ancestor but is so no longerDarwin also said crying is the vestige of screaming in infancy though in adulthood it is partly inhibitedInteresting patterns of adult affection is taking those whom we love in our arms are based on patterns of parents hugging young infants William James the bodily approachWilliam James argued against the commonsense idea that when we feel an emotion it impels us to a certain kind of activitythat if we were to meet a bear in the woods we would feel frightened and runInstead William James believed that 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 when we feel frightened James thought what we feel is our heart beating our skin cold our posture frozen and our legs carrying us away as fast as possible
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