The Emotional Response

We encounter and react to situations every day, and those responses are dictated by emotional and stress responses. Researchers have developed three main theories of emotion, and these could be summarized by saying we experience a stimulus and the associated emotions at the same time (Cannon-Bard), changes in the body cause emotions (James-Lange), or cognitive factors interact with both emotions and changes in the body (Schachter and Singer). There is research that supports and contradicts all three of these theories, and they do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Consider these theories and apply them to a recent situation in your own life. You will then describe the brain basis of an emotion. Finally, you will consider stress resilience and how an individual might become more resilient to stressors.

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To prepare:

Paying particular attention to how the three models of emotion differ and how the stress response functions.
Be prepared to use the models of emotion to analyze a personal emotional response to a stimulus.

Summarize the three models of emotion (James-Lange, Cannon-Bard, and Schachter and Singer) and clearly differentiate between them.
Give a personal example of an instance where you had an emotional response to a stimulus. Explain which of the three models best explains your response and why, justifying your answer with support from the literature.
Select one of the basic emotions identified in the text and describe the brain regions associated with that emotion.
Emotional responses often involve stress responses as well. Consider the effects of stress resiliency and give at least one example of how a person might increase their resilience to a stressful situation.

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