On the Distinction between feeling and Physiological Response in emotions and the need to classify emotions
Emotions are most likely the most intriguing of all mental processes and involve two stages of feeling and response. Needless to say, they are. There might be overt or covert reactions to feelings but there is’always’ a response and a related feeling. This means there’s first a response in the body and if there is perception of the response, emotions are experienced. The body reacts and produces a feedback and just then we perceive the emotions based on the theory. This theory would suggest that emotion is a physiological response followed by the understanding of such responses.
There are lots of studies on the neurological or physiological facets of emotion and the majority of these studies have suggested that the limbic system consisting the hypothalamus, the hippocampus and other structures are responsible for perception and expression of emotions. There are lots of categorizations of emotions and these highlight emotions brought on by internal body states like hunger or pain and emotions brought on by external stimuli as in the case of anger or anxiety. Emotions could be positive and negative as we understand as the positive emotions are happiness and love, compassion, affection, curiosity, bliss and the negative emotions are jealousy, hatred, grief, anxiety, frustration etc.. Cognitive (based on cognitive activity like judgment), Affective (based on explanations of emotions or emotional experiences) and Somatic (based on physiological experiences).
If feelings are based on a psychological part of feeling and a physical or bodily element of bodily reaction, it’s generally a question of which comes first, the feeling or the response? I’d suggest that emotions based on internal stimuli could initially involve a sense or a psychological condition, which would then cause a physical response. Depression for example could lead to insomnia and other physical reactions. Emotions based on external stimuli as in anger may first involve a physiological reaction as when there’s a heated debate we believe a faster heart beat and other physiological reactions. These bodily changes then create the psychological component of anger. Feeling is thus a psychological part of emotion and the physical reaction is a physical part of reaction. Emotions are thus more complicated than feelings and have two different components. By way of instance emotions like romantic love would include a feeling component of overpowering affection and a physical need or response linked to physical desire. Straightforward affections as consideration for a relative is more of a sense and don’t involve physical reactions. It’s necessary in psychology to clearly differentiate between emotions and feelings and much more research will be asked to determine simple feelings from complicated emotions. An emotion is always necessarily accompanied by significant physiological reactions.
The distinction between emotions and physiological reactions in containing emotions could help us identify both of these essential components for each emotion. For instance anger is a complicated emotion comprising of a sense of irritability and a physiological reaction of rapid heartbeats, reddened face, etc.. An emotion of stress has a fear component and a physiological reaction of perspiration or trembling etc.. Psychological studies have generally overlooked the feeling element in emotions and also highlighted on physiological reactions instead of identifying sense as a different and essential feature of emotion. Recent research in consciousness have attempted to understand what feeling is and it’s imperative to recognize the emotions and the related feeling and response components.
I’ll offer a brief table here supplying the feeling and physiological reaction elements of emotions.
Anxiety – Stress (feeling component), rapid heartbeats (bodily response )
Love – Affection (feeling element ), physical/sexual need (bodily response )
Lust – requiring (feeling element ), physical/sexual need (bodily response )
Jealousy – Controlling (feeling element ), bodily needs/violence etc. (bodily response )
The list may be potentially quite long though it’s critical to differentiate the physical and feeling response components for the recognized emotion. How can this distinction assist psychology? I’d suggest that such a differentiation of sense and physiological reaction enable psychologists to work towards identification of the primary psychological problem based on if the feelings have preceded or followed bodily responses. Internalized emotions will consequently always start with a feeling and it’s the feeling that needs to be handled first. This is of course an extremely challenging perspective and research workers could continue to argue on whether pain entails feeling initially or a bodily reaction . Internalized emotions are also enduring and this is because the origin or the foundation of these emotions is the feeling that may continue for quite a long time. Grief or love (internalized emotions) would last more than anger or anger (externalized emotions). Bodily reactions are naturally short lived as our body has limited resources with which to respond.
Generally theories of emotions are divided into the cognitive theories, affective theories and somatic theories and neurological theories of emotions are usually somatic and totally based on bodily responses. Affective theories with an emphasis on feeling haven’t been developed extensively as the emphasis on physiological reactions and cognitive elements has always been of greater significance in psychology. It’s with the introduction of consciousness studies, that the notion of feeling came back in the film.
The wider picture on the psychology of emotions would incorporate the actual purpose of emotions. Emotions could have a lot of functions. Emotions discharge our excess internal energy – As creativity Aids in releasing our surplus energy in a positive manner, anger or love aids discharging bodily energy and could thus be good for health Emotions help us to fulfil our demands through guided physical responses – the emotion of fascination such as fulfils our need for knowledge Emotions include the codes and subconscious and conscious components to our social interaction, communication and basic life procedure. Emotions enrich our lives if they are consciously expressed or unconsciously perceived.
The last part of the discussion is that the expression of emotion that like communicating can be callous and unconscious or overt and deliberate or conscious. Emotional expressions differ according to people and some are more expressive and dramatic than others. Usually highly creative people are also more emotionally expressive as imagination is a form of emotional expression and highly creative individuals simply express themselves through their creative work. Individuals given to more lavish or dramatic emotions are well suited to the arts, drama and other forms of creative self expression. Such people should be encouraged to channel their energies towards creative outcome as opposed to using their dramatic emotional expressiveness in everyday situations that could be stressful for the emotionally expressive people they socialize with. So if you’re given to extravagant emotional expression of anger or jealousy, then this could be channelled towards competitiveness and active participation in sports. Intense need to express love or want could be channelled towards the fine arts like poetry or painting. Emotional expressions aren’t emotions per se but are like keys to your cupboard and with no expression (either covert or overt) there might be no identification of these emotions.
Ultimately feelings are complicated and understanding emotions, psychological components and psychological expressions would require additional research and it would be required to identify all possible emotions and related feeling and physiological reactions as also accompanying kinds of emotional expressions. Maybe it would be good to treat emotionally disturbed patients with a kind of affective psychotherapy.