James Lange theory of emotion

One prominent theory in modern psychology is known as the James Lange theoryof emotion proposed by two independent psychologists William James and Carl Lange, great scholars of the 19th century.

A human being is a complex model that can’t be fully comprehended by anyone. We could perceive one portion and then fail to understand the other act done by it. From the start, many people put forth their understanding of the human psyche, nature, feelings, and emotions it carries.

Many theories came out and some happened to be extremely relevant to how a mass majority of humans behave in daily life.

Deep psychological reactions

As per their findings and proposed theory, emotions occur as deep psychological reactions to different situations and events that happen around us.

They debunked the idea that emotions trigger our bodily reactions and stated that our emotions are the cause of our physiological body reactions. They have their own logic and reasons behind proposing this theory. So here we will only discuss the perspective of James Lange’s theory. They suggest that the higher and extreme our physiological input is, the extreme its reaction would be.

Importance of emotions

Emotions occur when our brain receives signals based on this physiological input via the nervous system. As per the scholars, how is it even possible that you exhibit an emotion of fear without any physiological hints like fast heartbeats, low breathing, trembling of limbs and lips which send a signal to the brain?

What emotional anger would you experience without clenching teeth, burning in the chest with rage and anger?

It indeed is impossible to show something without first feeling it from deep inside. And for this reason, they were of the idea that emotions aren’t primary rather secondary to a physiological response.

Disputes over the theory

Many came out after them who rejected this theory and proposed different theories which they find suitable and logical as per their research. But for many others, James Lange's theory is still valid now.

According to a research paper on the autonomic nervous system, James Lange theory of emotion is hard to disapprove of. Because their theory strongly correlates with how a human psyche works and how we react to different situations and events that occur around us.

More about James Lange theory of emotion

To get to know more about emotions which run deep in our veins and soul, how we react to certain incidents, what happens in our nervous system which sends signals to our brain to act accordingly, and how it all relates to James Lange theory of emotion, you should investigate further.

It still remains a good practice to know how things work, especially when it is something like our body. We should know bodily functions, actions, and reactions of it because only after knowing these details we would be able to control our emotions and not let them control us.


Aristotle's list of emotions

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Emotional insecurity from James Lange theory of emotion

What Wikipedia says about the theory

Home page from James Lange theory of emotion