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Posted on April 1st, 2012, by

Today we can name a few historical theories that deal with the notion of emotions and their correlation with human behavior. One of the most famous theories is the James-Lange theory. This theory was proposed by two scientists, William James and Carl Lange at the beginning of the 20th century. This theory indicated that people’s emotions have a physical nature. Moreover, it states that at first changes occur in the organism on the physical and psychosomatic level and only then these changes are transformed into emotions. Emotions are feelings that are the result of the psychological transformations. Physical response to the situation causes peculiar emotions: for example, the person starts trembling and feels fear, or starts crying and feels pain or sorrow.

Another historical theory, known as the Cannon-Bard theory, presents an absolutely different approach to emotions.

This theory was founded by Walter Cannon and later it was developed by Phillip Bard. These scientists speak about stimuli-response reactions. They state that physical reaction and emotion appear at the same time. Our senses perceive stimuli which provoke emotions and the stimuli give signals to the sympathetic nervous system. In such a way, emotions and psychical reactions arose at the same time simultaneously.

These two theories explain emotional reactions and human behavior in different ways. The first theory concentrates on the physical reactions of the body that cause emotions, while the second theory shows that physical reactions and emotions appear at the same time and condition people’s behavior. These theories were proposed at the beginning of the 20th century but even today it is impossible to give a definite answer to process of emotions formation and their influence on our behavior.

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