Three Components of Emotion – Emotion (PSY)

by Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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    00:00 Okay, let's get into how we really respond to the world around us.

    00:05 So typically we were talking about is emotion.

    00:07 And we are going to walk through the three main components of what makes up emotion.

    00:12 So emotion is made up of three main components.

    00:15 The first being the physiological component.

    00:18 How does your body react to a stressor? The second is the behavioral component or our action in response to that stressor.

    00:26 And third is the cognitive component.

    00:28 Or mentally how is that we react to that stressor.

    00:32 So collectively these three together will create the emotion that we impart.

    00:36 So the first component I'm going to look at is physiological arousal.

    00:41 Physiological arousal refers how does your body's internal state changes in response to that stressor.

    00:48 So when you think of arousal, a lot of times you might think of say, sexual arousal.

    00:53 What we're talking about here is a larger umbrella term looking at the physiological arousal.

    00:59 A sexual arousal would fall underneath that.

    01:01 But we're talking about things as well as that.

    01:04 The second are the behavior reactions to the emotion.

    01:08 Which includes how we express our behavior.

    01:10 And then finally the cognitive aspect involves how we're going to interpret a situation that's in front of us.

    01:16 Those three together will shape our emotion.

    01:20 So as I walk through an example for you.

    01:22 So, two different scenarios, I'm going to walk through how each component is going to react and respond to that scenario.

    01:30 So scenario number 1.

    01:32 You are going for a walk.

    01:35 And you had to take a shortcut to the forest.

    01:38 Now, as you're walking through the forest.

    01:41 you are faced in front a large man-eating brown hairy bear.

    01:48 Okay, so what's going to happen to you physiologically.

    01:51 Physiologically you are going to have increased heart rate.

    01:54 You are going to see an increase in blood pressure.

    01:56 Your breathing might increase.

    01:58 You might start to sweat profusely.

    02:00 Typically reactions to a bear that you might have, right.

    02:03 Behaviorally what's going to happen, you are going to start swearing, right.

    02:08 I love swearing.

    02:09 I swear my brains out.

    02:10 You are going to arms in the air and you are going to have a complete behavior melt down.

    02:15 Cognitively what's happening in the brain, how are you assessing the situation.

    02:19 Like most people you are saying.

    02:21 "Oh, my god! This bear is going to kill me." "What should I do?" And you've heard this term before when you're faced with a situation like that, as you say "My life flashed before my eyes." And that's exactly what happens as you start thinking of all the important things.

    02:34 You think about your childhood.

    02:36 You think about your mother.

    02:37 You think about that little red bike that you wish you had.

    02:40 All of this happens very quickly.

    02:42 And that's your brain interpreting the situation of this man-eating brown hairy bear.

    02:47 Now, you put those collectively, the physiological components.

    02:51 The behavioral component and the cognitive component and that's going to equal crying, I'm scared.

    02:57 That is the emotion fear.

    02:59 Now let's take a look at another scenario.

    03:02 You are preparing for the MCAT exam.

    03:04 You write the MCAT exam and you ace you MCAT exam.

    03:07 And now you're so excited.

    03:08 Your mother is so excited for you that she's going throw for you a surprise party.

    03:12 Now you walk in the door.

    03:15 And you open the door, and everybody's there screaming, everybody's there.

    03:20 You have your mom, your two friends, your parents, your cousins and everyone is there to celebrate in your success.

    03:25 Now physiologically what's happening.

    03:27 Well, the first thing that's going to happen is increased heart rate, increased blood pressure.

    03:31 Your breathing is going to become more shallow.

    03:33 And you have sweating.

    03:35 As these look very similar to the physiological response that you had the bear attack.

    03:39 So there's some commonalities there.

    03:42 Behavioral what's going to happen, same thing.

    03:44 You might start swearing as soon as you walk in.

    03:47 Holy shish kabob! And you might also have your arms in the air.

    03:51 Or you may cover your face because you are alarmed, right.

    03:55 So that is some of that arousal we're talking about.

    03:57 And the behavior that you're reacting to that arousal.

    04:00 Now what differentiates this scenario with the bear scenario, is the fact that cognitively you are going to interpret the situation a little bit differently.

    04:09 So initially you might be assessed as a dangerous situation.

    04:14 A lot like the bear for you.

    04:16 But now you realize that your friends are here.

    04:19 Your mom is there.

    04:21 You love your mom.

    04:22 And so now you transition into something like, "Oh, I'm surprised and I'm very excited." And you begin to enjoy in the party that they have for you.

    04:30 Okay, so just to summarize, three components, two of the threes, so physiological and behavioral would be the same, for the bear attack or the party your mum threw for you.

    04:40 Like cognitively you see some difference is there.

    04:43 And now results in two different emotions.

    04:45 Fear versus happiness and excitement.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Three Components of Emotion – Emotion (PSY) by Tarry Ahuja, PhD is from the course Responding to the World.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Meditating
    2. Taking a test
    3. Cliff diving
    4. Attending a graduation party
    5. Lying to someone
    1. Physiological, behavioral, and cognitive components
    2. Physiological and psychological components
    3. Internal and external components
    4. Active and passive components
    5. Innate and acquired components
    1. Cognitive component
    2. Physiological component
    3. Psychological component
    4. Universal emotions
    5. Innate emotions

    Author of lecture Three Components of Emotion – Emotion (PSY)

     Tarry Ahuja, PhD

    Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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