Psychology Topics > Emotion Introduction If you ask someone to describe what an emotion is, they might say it is a feeling, sentiment, reaction, passion, excitement, or sensation. An emotion is a subjective state of being that we often describe as our feelings. Developed by William James and Carl Lange in the 19th century, the theory hypothesizes that physiological stimuli (arousal) causes the autonomic nervous system to react which in turn causes individuals to experience emotion.
Old debates over emotion have recently risen again. Emotions also influence a range of other psychological processes (e.g. attention, memory, motivation). Do animals have emotions?

This review takes a historical perspective on concepts in the psychology of motivation and emotion, and surveys recent developments, debates and applications. However, the way in which emotions distort our perception and recollection of reality has implications beyond the study of psychology. The words emotion and mood are sometimes used interchangeably, but psychologists use these words to …

Different theories exist regarding how and why people experience emotion.
Emotion involves feeling, thinking, activation of the nervous system, physiological changes, and behavioral changes such as facial expressions. Emotion is a complex, subjective experience accompanied by biological and behavioral changes. In The Psychology of Emotions, author Carroll E. Izard provides a timely overview that focuses on the relevance of emotions to our daily lives as he addresses these and other fundamental questions on the activation, expression, experience, and functions of emotions.

... Emotion and Memory in Personality Jefferson A. For example, are emotions necessarily subjective feelings? Emotion is an important field of psychology, because emotions constantly affect us in everyday life, for example, in interactions with others, or in decision making. Our motives give us our aims and the drive to achieve them. The James-Lange Theory of Emotion is one of the earliest emotion theories of modern psychology. The word 'motivation' shares its root with 'emotion': both come from the Latin motere, to move. The role that emotions play in our ability to encode and recall information may seem an inevitable, uncontrollable aspect of everyday life.