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Ha Duong

Components of Emotion


There are four basic components of emotions:

  1. The  physiological  aspect, which involves active changes in the body physically, e.g., tachycardia, tachypnoea, dilated pupils, etc.
  2. The cognitive component, which emphasizes the importance of thoughts, beliefs, and expectations in determining the type and intensity of emotional response.
  3. The behavioral  component, which involves the various forms of expressions that emotions may take , e.g., facial expressions, bodily postures, gestures, and tone of voice which changes with anger, joy, fear, sorrow, etc.
  4. The social  and cultural  component, which shape subjective experience that includes elements of pleasure, or displeasure, intensity of feeling, etc. What one individual experiences as intensely as pleasurable may be boring for another.


Emotion and Brain


Emotion is also associated with a release of brain hormones. As seen in the diagram above, the release of hormone facilitates problem solution or forms synapse weights tuning. Thus, if one feels fear, he is fleeing away, not solving problems.

Emotion and Needs


Emotion drives one to fulfill his needs. Some needs are innate, some rise from problems one stumbles at. 

Emotion also relates with the system of will-power in human person. Its point of reference is a goal from where one is thinking and gathering information. With a little willpower and lots of satisfaction from achieving the goals, emotion converts the goals into wants.

Example: Disgust


This picture illustrates how the components of emotion are in action. Disgust, for example, serves three purposes:

  1. Avoid or vomit infected things (physiological).
  2. Communicate to other that the food is bad (social and cultural).
  3. Learn to avoid infections (cognitive).

In other words disgust serves one's interests and community interests. To do so, the brain activates vomiting reflex and facial expression reflex (behavioral).

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