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Posted on July 27th, 2012, by

The significance of emotions in human life can hardly be underestimated. In fact, emotions produce a profound impact on the psychological state of an individual, his or her self-perception, self-esteem, and, to a significant extent, define a social behavior of an individual. At the same time, it is necessary to remember about King’s concept of civilized and uncivilized emotions, which vary consistently and produce quite a different, if not to say contrary, impact on an individual. On the other hand, whatever emotions are, an individual needs to be able to control his or her emotions and, thus, regulate his or her behavior and psychological state. This is particularly important in relation to uncivilized emotions, since they are particularly dangerous for an individual and his or her environment. Loosing self-control may lead to anti-social behavior of an individual being overwhelmed with uncivilized emotions.

First of all, it should be said that it is necessary to distinguish civilized and uncivilized emotions. In this respect, the difference between civilized and uncivilized emotions, according to King, is very significant, since civilized emotions basically meet the moral and ethical standards established in the society and do not provoke any kind of anti-social behavior or stressful psychological situations. Instead, emotions influence psychology of an individual, his or her mood, but they do not lead to negative outcomes as uncivilized emotions do. In fact, uncivilized emotions may be viewed as extreme emotions, which influence the psychological state and behavior of an individual consistently, to the extent that an individual loses control over him- or herself. In such a way, it is possible to estimate that civilized emotions are moderate emotions, which permit an individual to keep control over his or her behavior and psychological state. In stark contrast, uncivilized emotions lead to radical changes in the behavior and psychological state of an individual.

At the same time, it is important to underline that uncivilized emotions, according to King, are not necessarily negative emotions only. In fact, they could be both positive and negative. To put it more precisely, the uncivilized status of emotions may be defined not by their characteristic, either positive or negative emotions, but by their strength and the extent to which they meet the established standards. For instance, in the contemporary western society, it is absolutely unacceptable to demonstrate openly extremely positive emotions during a burial ceremony because funerals and death of an individual are traditionally associated with a grief and mourning. However, under the impact of a psychological stress, an individual’s behavior may be characterized by rapid changes of mood because of the rapid changes of extreme emotional states, which may vary from joy to grief. In such a way, an individual may behave inadequately in the result of the impact of uncivilized emotions that are emotions which gain control over an individual’s conscious and behavior making him or her unable to self-control.

In this respect, it is necessary to emphasize the fact that the development of uncivilized emotions may depend on psychological peculiarities of an individual. In fact, each individual is unique and it is impossible to find at least two individuals with the absolutely identical psychological characteristics and traits of character. Naturally, psychological characteristics make an individual more or less susceptible to the impact of uncivilized emotions and increase or decrease the risk of the development of uncivilized emotions. It is not a secret that psychological peculiarities vary consistently. For instance, phlegmatic people are less emotional and, therefore, they are less likely to have uncivilized emotions. Therefore, uncivilized emotions are extremely rare to occur to phlegmatic people. On the other hand, there are more emotional people, who have sanguine or choleric traits of character. Obviously, this sort of people is more susceptible to extreme emotional states. Consequently, they are more likely to have uncivilized emotions because of the peculiarities of their character. In fact, these people can hardly control their emotions a priori and, being very emotional, they can develop relatively easy uncivilized emotions, especially compared to phlegmatic people.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the development of civilized and uncivilized emotions may be determined by a variety of factors, both internal and external. At the same time, the effect of civilized and uncivilized emotions on an individual varies consistently. Basically, King concludes that uncivilized emotions, regardless the fact whether they are positive or negative, should be avoided because they produce a negative impact on an individual’s psychological state and his or her social behavior. In order to avoid negative effects of uncivilized emotions, an individual should learn to control his or her emotional state and keep his or her emotions civilized.

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