The Cannon-Bard theory of emotion states that stimulating events trigger feelings and physical reactions that occur at the same time. For example, seeing a snake might prompt both the feeling of fear an emotional response and a racing heartbeat a physical reaction. Cannon-Bard suggests that both of these reactions occur simultaneously and independently.
However, one can find precursors to the word emotion dating back to the earliest known recordings of language. In order to compare and contrast these theories of emotion, it is helpful to first explain them in terms of the interactions between their components: According to the James-Lange theory, initially proposed by James and around the same time also by Lange, the stimulus leads to the arousal that leads to the emotion.
The sound of a gun shot, for example, leads to the physiological responses like rapid heart rate and trembling that lead to the subjective experience of fear.
On the other hand, according to the Cannon-Bard theory, proposed first by Cannon and later extended by Bard, the stimulus leads to both the arousal and the emotion.
The sound of a gun shot, for example, leads both to the physiological responses like rapid heart rate and trembling and to the subjective experience of fear. The two most well-known cognitive theories are the two-factor and the cognitive-mediational theories of emotion.
According to the two-factor theory, proposed by Schachter and Singer, the stimulus leads to the arousal that is labeled using the cognition that leads to the emotion. The sound of a gunshot, for example, leads to physiological responses like rapid heart rate and trembling that are interpreted as fear by subjective experience.
According to the cognitive-mediational theory, proposed by Lazarus, the stimulus leads to a personal meaning derived from cognition, leading to both arousal and the emotion. The sound of a gunshot, for example, is interpreted as something potentially dangerous and leads to both physiological responseslike a rapid heart rate and trembling, and the subjective experience of fear.
Finally, according to facial feedback theory, emotion is the experience of changes in our facial muscles. In other words, when we smilewe then experience pleasure, or happiness. When we frown, we then experience sadness.
It is the changes in our facial muscles that cue our brains and provide the basis of our emotions. Just as there are an unlimited number of muscle configurations in our face, so too are there a seemingly unlimited number of emotions.
For example, the sound of a gunshot, causes your eyes to widen and your teeth to clench, and your brain interprets these facial changes as the expression of fear.
Therefore, you experience the emotion of fear. By breaking them down in this way, one can already notice the differences and similarities between the different theories, as one can clearly identify the components that exist in each theory and the order in which they occur.
As can be seen from the above, the James-Lange and Cannon-Bard theories are fundamentally similar in that they both involve the same three components, but they are different in how they handle the timing of when arousal and emotion occur.
They both differ from the two cognitive theories in that they do not explicitly acknowledge any role of cognition. Regarding the similarities, the sequence of the three components in both the James-Lange and two-factor theories, as well as in both the Cannon-Bard and cognitive-mediational theories, is the same.
The fundamental difference between the two theories comprising each pair is the addition of a cognition component at some point in the sequence.Cannon’s doctoral student, Philip Bard ( – ) agreed with this idea and continued developing, together with Cannon, their theory called Cannon-Bard Theory.
Cannon-Bard Theory declares that the experience of emotion does not merely rely on bodily inputs and how the body responds to stimuli. Both of these occur at the same time autonomously. According to the theory when an emotion is felt, a physiological arousal occurs and the person uses the immediate environment to search for emotional cues to label the physiological arousal. This can sometimes cause misinterpretations of emotions based on the body's physiological state.
The Cannon-Bard theory eventually became discredited too because it did not withstand experimental scrutiny. The thalamus may be involved in some emotional regulation, but it’s not the brain’s. Event ==> Simultaneous arousal and emotion In neurobiological terms, the thalamus receives a signal and relays this both to the amygdala, which is connected with emotion.
The body then gets signals via the autonomic nervous system to tense muscles, etc. Cannon and Bard argued that the thalamus was responsible for emotions and the responses, but the research evidence is in contradiction to this.
Theory: A theory of emotion stating that emotions and physiological reactions occur simultaneously in response to stimuli and independent of each other. After Cannon criticized the James-Lange theory, he and Bard came out another theory of emotion.
The Cannon-Bard theory is a theory that the human physiological reaction and their emotion are thought to be occurred at the same time (Bard, ; Cannon, , as cited in Ciccarelli & White, ).