The Science of Emotions
Emotions are said to be the world’s universal language. Science shows that a number of causes that determine our emotions including, but most definitely not limited to our circumstances, our biology and our expectations.
The issue with trying to understand the science of emotion, is that there is a mass gathering of theories and hypotheses that vary a great deal from one another to explain almost every aspect of understanding emotion. This includes the details of how an emotion should be defined; on where to draw the boundaries for what counts as an emotion and what does not; on which emotions matter; on how emotions are dissimilar from associated concepts like temper, prize, and inspiration; and on how numerous occurrences such as facial movements, physical changes, and mindsets should be preserved. In the science of emotion, psychologists and other scientists treat the different theories, the same way they treat the phenomena of emotion themselves- they create an understanding of them all.
Most psychologists identify Charles Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals in 1872 as the start of modern emotion research. In Darwin’s book, he states that recognizable behaviors are interpreted by members of the same, and potentially other species as indicative of mental states or predictive of readiness to act. Since his book, there has been an emergence of a science of emotion over the last century and the associated theoretical development based upon this notion. Despite the differences in many of the different theories that surround the conception of emotion, the majority of prominent models on the science of emotion incorporate the thought that emotions are an automatic syndrome of behavior and bodily reactions. Like Darwin posited, emotions are therefore the categories which within firm boundaries can be observed in nature, such as within the brain or body, and are therefore recognized by other’s human mind, not constructed. For example, human beings know an instance of anger, when they recognize it in another’s face, voice or body- or even feel it themselves.
However, understanding why you feel the way you feel, is much less clear. Due to the many years of research conducted by Dr. Pert and many others, the emotional brain can no longer be considered confined to the locations of the amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus. Rather, trained psychologists are working with countless millions of clients to unlock their emotional intelligence, understand why they feel the way they do, learn how to read body language and understand their own, and more. Working with those who understand the full science behind emotion can offer you a full-circle view of feelings ranging from despair to excitement, and reveals how to harness your own emotions to build a richer life.
Emotion has been obscured by such societal constructs such as learning, discipline, disorder and even disease. Emotion has also been eclipsed by our focus on behavior, intention, motivation and self-regulation. It is only when we begin to understand the science behind our emotions and reframe our life’s problems in the language of emotion, that can we find a way through them. Problems such as attention difficulties, anxiety problems, bullying and aggression have all been said to be able to be treated by understanding the emotion behind them. There is no doubt that the science of emotion will only continue to gain in importance as researchers continue to go beyond understanding the sensory and cognitive endowment of organisms for passive perception of understanding emotion to better understanding why and how the organism is motivated to act based upon these emotions.