Emotions: 3 Components of Emotion

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Emotions: 3 Components of Emotion

– emotions are subjective experiences accompanied by physiological, behavioural and cognitive changes

Physiological components of emotion:
– distinct changes in brain activation patterns
– neurotransmitter production
– Autonomic Nervous System activity

Cognitive reactions to emotions include:
– mental assessments/appraisals of what is happening
– expectations about the situation
– general thoughts about the experience
[note: cognitive experience can also bring about emotions – meaning the emotions arise as a result of particular thoughts]

Emotions produce different behavioural responses:
– body language
– facial expressions

What else do we know about emotions?
– they are ephemeral or temporary
– they can have clear beginnings & last for short durations [as opposed to moods]
– they can be positive or negative
– they can vary in intensity
– emotions are generally involuntary
– it is believed there are almost an infinite number of emotions (& degrees of emotion)
– Paul Ekman (researcher) has identified a special set of emotions or “universal emotions” common to all people’s of the world on the basis of consistent facial expressions
1) Happiness
– raised cheeks
– elevated corners in the mouth
– sometimes teeth are exposed
– sometimes there are wrinkles at the edges of the eyes
2) Sadness
– uplifted inner corner of the eyebrows
– downturned lips
3) Fear
– eyebrows are raised & drawn together
– wrinkles in middle of forehead
– eyes are open & intense
– mouth is open
– lips are drawn back tightly
4) Disgust
– raised cheeks
– a wrinkled nose
– brows are lowered
5) Anger
– penetrating stare
– eyelids are tense
– lips are pressed together
6) Surprise
– raised eyebrows
– wide-open eyes
– jaw dropped & wide open mouth

Charles Darwin believed the ability to express & understand emotion is innate & serves an adaptive purpose for humans – i.e. survival
[think/ponder how babies & the vision-impaired can express these emotions]

Source: Khan Academy @ https://www.khanacademy.org/science/health-and-medicine/executive-systems-of-the-brain/emotion-2014-03-27T18:40:38.294Z/v/three-components-of-emotion-and-the-universal-emotions

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