Education free essay: Biological and Cognitive Aspects of Emotion in Influencing Survival
Biological and Cognitive Aspects of Emotion in Influencing Survival
Emotions form part of animal survival mechanism which is a complex stimuli detection, processing and response system with an accurate behavior determinant display. With a complex form of life with advanced environmental factors influencing survival emotions are perhaps an important element in social life than the physical factors. As social animals encounter the complexity of social interactions, complex systems dependent on such aspects as emotions are vital and irreplaceable in the survival mechanism. Biological and cognitive aspects of emotions illustrate the complexity of the system tying communication with social stimuli and survival (Broonen, Dias and Rott, 2002). Without the understanding of the detailed mechanism of the emotion system in the social forms of life, it would be difficult to explain certain survival and motivation aspects of such a complex system.
Cognitive Aspects of Emotional Response
Psychological explanations of emotion attach meaning to the interpretation of events in the life of the individual in developing a specific cause of action. According to Lazarus (1991), it is important acknowledge the importance of knowledge of various stimuli in the determination of the appropriate reaction in the future. The author however reckons that knowledge or past experience with similar or related stimuli is not a sufficient response marker for specific action in the emotional system. The assumption made with regard to the necessitation of an extra factor besides knowledge is the observation of emotional response in infants, perhaps on the first encounter with a specific emotional stimulus. In such a case, if knowledge is the main determinant of emotional response, there would be no response at all, which is ostensibly not the case. Additionally, the emotional response on patients suffering from acute mental conditions upon administration of certain drugs is a unique explanation of the mechanism thereon. This implies that despite the presence of the cognitive aspect of emotional responses, there must be another system to complement the system since cognition might not offer emotional solution to survival responses at all instances of stimuli encounter.
Cognitive emotional response by the subject is occasioned by deliberate reaction contributed by the awareness of the resultant impact upon contact. Conscious reaction to certain emotional stimuli depends on past environmental interaction that is inscribed on the interpretation of environmental needs, resulting in a particular response from an informed past interaction. Emotional appraisal in the cognitive aspect of interpretation of stimuli depends on the creation of meaning to various emotional stimuli, which is a function of the environmental interaction achieved up to the particular stage in life. While it may be possible to obtain meaning from automatic biological interpretations, cognitive interpretations judge the likely outcomes of contact with the stimuli from similar encounters. According to Lazarus (1991), there are several cognitive emotional appraisal mechanisms based on the consciousness state that the animal is in, which also depend on the type of the stimulus in consideration. Other cognitive processes of emotional system include attribution and construal, which are dependent on the primary emotional interpretation. A complex information processing process is involved in the cognitive system as opposed to the biological consideration that applies biological processes mediated by biomolecules against the backdrop of biological factors.
Biological Aspects of Emotional Response
Biological analysis of emotion includes the non-cognitive and rather non-sympathetic interventions that occur at the molecular biology level. According to Izard (1993), the cognitive system operates on a much more refined behind-the-scenes process that is equally complex and cascaded in long intertwined reactions. The systems involved in the biological setting defined by the state of the body of the subject under consideration. Determinants such as genetic factors play an important role in the expression of emotional responses from the activation to the actual expression. A complex relationship between expressions of emotional responses can be traced from neuro-endocrine system which mediates several biocommunication systems within the body of an animal resulting in manifestation of certain behaviors.
According to ResearchPaperStar.com (2009), while expression of behavior may be attributed to cognitive abilities of the subject, finer explanations rely on biological processes that trigger emotional reactions. As an illustration, when animals are exposed to harsh environmental conditions, hormonal reactions are accelerated to block certain biological processes likely to affect state of health hence endanger life. In harsh environments, hormones such as cortisol and serotonin accumulate triggering stress that is in turn manifested in form of emotional response. The complexity of the emotion system illustrates that there are more than one interaction which involves neurosystem, hormonal system, motor system and experiential processes (Ackerman et al, n.d). Such biological aspects of emotion present the animal with an opportunity to react and cope with undesirable environment.
In terms of Darwinian evolution interpretation of emotion, animals detect the stimuli in their environment and the effective response determines the comfort with which it approaches life within the specific environment. Detection of unfavorable emotional environment assists animals to move in search of better environment. Psychological impact of negative emotions such as anger and hate can create a social problem within the environment that the animals live in. Darwinian evolutionary explanation of the preparedness of animals to cope with emotional distress point at the possibility of animals developing coping mechanism to adverse impact thereon. With sufficient cognitive abilities to detect emotional changes, animals are equipped with a rare adaptation mechanism since they can avoid adverse stimuli and are therefore capable of living a longer life. On the other hand, detection of pleasant emotional stimuli facilitates motivational attraction towards such influence and contributes to a better life.
Animals subjected to negative emotional environment are affected adversely including health and fertility is equally lowered. Adaptation in animals in compromised emotional environment may entail in extreme instances the acceptance of unavoidable emotional stimuli for purposes of maintaining a healthy status as well as remaining fertile. Exposure to repetitive emotional stimuli may facilitate coming to terms with the displeasure and absorb the adverse impact without going down. This is the process through which emotional adaptation takes place in animals, enabling them to cope with difficulties in the environment in which they live. Ontogenic and phylogenetic evaluations display a connection between patterns of emotional response and evolutionary adaptation to various emotional stimuli across generations (NIH, 1994).
Ackerman, B., Fine, S., Izard, C. & Schoff, K. (n.d) “Self-Organization of Discrete Emotions, Emotion Patterns and Emotion-Cognition Relations,” Retrieved from: http://assets.cambridge.org/97805216/40893/sample/9780521640893ws.pdf
Broonen, J., Dias, G. F. & Rott, G. (2002) Cognition, motivation and emotion: dynamics in the academic environment. Lisbon, Portugal: Fedora Psyche
Izard, C. E. (1993) “Four Systems for Emotion Activation: Cognitive and Non-cognitive Processes,” Psychological Review, 100(1):68-90
Lazarus, R. S. (1991) “Cognition and Motivation in Emotion,” American Psychologist. 46(4):352-367
NIH (1994) “Basic Research in Emotion,” NIH Guide, 23(16) 29 April 1994
ResearchPaperStar.com (2009) “Does the Biological Aspect Affect the Emotional Intelligence?” Retrieved from: http://static.researchpaperstar.com/data/8.en/8/graduate_research_paper_2.pdf
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