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    Theories of Emotion: James-Lange, Cannon-Bard, and Others

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    Please explain and compare and contrast the James-Lange theory of emotion with the Cannon-Bard theory of emotion. How do these two theories compare with the cognitive theories of emotion (the two-factor and the cognitive-mediational theories of emotion)?

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    Solution Preview

    In order to compare and contrast the James-Lange and Cannon-Bard theories of emotion, as well as understand their relation to cognitive theories of emotion, it is helpful to first explain them in terms of the interactions between their components: an emotion-arousing stimulus (i.e., stimulus), a response of physiological arousal (i.e., arousal), a response of cognitive appraisal (i.e., cognition), and the subjective experience of emotion (i.e., emotion).

    According to the James-Lange theory, initially proposed by James (1884) and around the same time also by Lange (see James 1894 and Lange & James, 1922), the stimulus leads to the arousal that leads to the emotion. The sound of a gun shot, for example, leads to the physiological responses like rapid heart rate and trembling that lead to the subjective experience of fear. According to the Cannon-Bard theory, proposed first by Cannon (1927) and later extended by Bard (1929), the ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution covers the following theories of emotion: the James-Lange theory, the Cannon-Bard theory, the two-factor theory, and the cognitive-mediational theory. It begins by defining them and explaining them in terms of the interactions between their components: an emotion-arousing stimulus (i.e., stimulus), a response of physiological arousal (i.e., arousal), a response of cognitive appraisal (i.e., cognition), and the subjective experience of emotion (i.e., emotion). A common example of a person's emotional reaction to the sound of a gun shot is used to illustrate the components and steps involved in each theory. It concludes with a detailed discussion in which the theories are comprehensively compared and contrasted. References are provided.

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