Emotions are a central part of the experience of being human. People's feelings and moods affect their behavior, choices, and perspectives in myriad ways. The physical and psychological mechanisms behind emotions are correspondingly complex, and many different theories of emotion have been proposed to explain them. What are these theories, and are they supported by biology, psychology, physiology, or even common sense?
Cannon-Bard Theory of EmotionShow moreShow less
The Cannon-Bard theory argues that physiological and emotional responses occur together.
Refuting the notion that emotions are based on physiology, the Cannon-Bard theory argues that physiological symptoms and emotional states are not necessarily linked. During exercise, a person may experience many of the same physiological symptoms as when they are afraid, such as an elevated heart rate, sweating, and trembling. Although the physiological responses are the same, exercise and frightening events do not evoke the same emotions. The lack of one-to-one causal relationships between emotions and physiology suggests that their connection is more complex than a simple cause and effect mechanism.