Book Definition: The proposal that an emotion-provoking stimulus produces a physical response that, in turn, produces an emotion. (p.307)

History


  • This theory was proposed in the early days of psychology, just over a century ago by William James. It was simultaneously proposed by the Danish psychologist Carl Lange.

In Your Own Words


  • Emotions are caused by how our body reacts to a stimulus.
  • Physiological reaction happens first, then the emotion.
  • Stimulus-> physical response-> emotion
  • Emotions are responses to an onset of physical arousal.
  • Emotions are produced by physical responses.
  • The action causes the emotion.
  • Emotions caused by how our body reacts to something.

Examples/Functions



Emotion
because
Physical responce
Sad
because
we cry
Angry
because
we strike
Afraid
because
we tremble
Happy
because
we smile or laugh
Love
because
our heart beats quickly
Anxious
because
we twitch
Angry
because
we shake
Tired
because
we yawn
Disgust
because
we cringe
Suprised
because
our jaw drops
Grief
because
we cry
Scared
because
our hair rises

Additional Resources



Research


  • In an odd experiment, they used rats and subjected them to fear conditioning to see how the importance of the amygdala's brain processes result in behaviors related to experiencing fear. By shocking the rats after every time they heard a sound and would try to figure out where the sound was coming from, the next time they heard the sound they would tense up and show the same fear response when they heard the sound multiple times after. With this experiment, they determined that the amygdala detects and organizes responses to natural dangers, and in turn learns about the threats and the stimuli that predict their occurrence.