The Cannon-Bard Theory of emotions Human’s emotions represent the psychological process of the ive reflection of the most common humans attitude toward the objects and phenomena of reality, toward other people, and toward him/herself. Numerous physiological changes in the body are accompanied by some emotional states. Throughout the history of the psychological knowledge there were a great number of attempts to connect to the physiological changes in the body with certain emotions. There exist a lot of psychological theories of emotions based on different grounds for example James-Lange, Cannon-Bard, Schachter-Singer and the Opponent-Process theories. We agree with the Cannon-Bard theory of emotions most because only this theory gives a convincing explanation to how our emotions look like from the medical point of view and where they go after the fact of emotional experience. So what are the main features of this theory and what is its origin? We have to point out that the theory under the study is not totally perfect, but it is necessary to know it for better understanding of the essence of different emotional states. Walter Cannon shows a strong disagreement with original theory of James Lange basing his considerations on the fact that there is too small range of the vegetative signs. Further the psychologist Philipp Bard proved the theory of the simultaneity of the physiological and subjective manifestations of the emotions. We find this theory very useful because it has shown the relationship between emotional and motor areas and contributed to the understanding of the nature of sensory emotions. The development of these representations, supported by the data given by the physiological researches, led to the conclusion that during the perception of the events that cause emotions, nerve impulses come first to the thalamus, where the excitement is split, part of it goes to the cerebral cortex, giving rise to the subjective experience of emotion, and the other half goes to the hypothalamus which controls the physiological changes in the body. Generally the theory developed by W. Cannon and J. Bard proves that emotionally significant events independently cause emotional experience and physiological responses (Cardinal, 2003). It is the unique one that describes the relation between the mentioned processes and phenomena. The central issue studied by this theory is the emotional experience and the visceral changes in the human’s brain. Criticizing the James – Lange’s theory, Cannon, first of all, noted the fact that the changes in the internal organs do not occur before and after the emotional experiences. In addition, the emotions do not disappear when the cortical or other neural connections with the internal organs are interrupted. visceral changes accompanying emotions may also occur in the non-emotional states. finally the internal organs appear to be relatively insensitive. Recognizing that the emotions are accompanied by visceral changes, Cannon denied their feedback to bodily sensations, which is the essence of the James – Lange theory. Moreover, the authors of the theory under the study claim that there is a connection between different emotions and particular physiological signals. W. Cannon found that the identical visceral reactions occur regardless of the specifics of emotional experiences. For example, such emotions as the anger and fear are characterized by the same visceral reaction. So we can say that different biochemical shifts in the organisms occur simultaneously with the emotional experiences. But the theory has its drawbacks, for example W. Cannon failed to explain the qualitative features of emotional states. In conclusion we should say that the Cannon-Bard theory is one of the most interesting and full theories that gives an irrefragable explanation for the connection between the human’s emotional experiences and the neuropsychological processes within the organism, but still it is not perfect. In the given paper we’ve chosen the Cannon-Bard theory we agree with most and discovered the main features of the given theory.Works citedCardinal, Rudolf N. Emotion and Motivation. NST Psychology 2003.
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