Emotion in Psychology - Jamesian

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Unlike the Darwin perspective, the Jamesian one is focused on emotional experience - not emotional expressions. James agreed with Darwin that emotions serve to help ensure survival. However, James viewed emotions strictly as a function of the nervous system. He theorized that:

Emotional Experience "follows" Physiologic Change

Meaning for example, you are sad because you cry, not the other way around

BODILY CHANGES (tears) trigger EMOTIONS (saddness)

The researchers of the Jamesian perspective believe that there is a distinct autonomic nervous system (ANS) change associated with each emotion. This belief seems to be supported for at least a few emotions, specifically fear, anger, sadness, and happiness. Research also shows that neurological feedback from body posture, facial expressions and ANS changes can affect the intensity of the emotion being experienced. Basically the more you smile the happier you are. The taller you stand the more confident you will feel. If this is indeed true, which research seems to indicate it is, then by changing a person’s posture you can affect their mood. (Do we really need the research to figure this one out?)