Lazarus Theory Of Emotions

The American psychologist Richard S. Lazarus (1922- ) proposed a cognitive theory of emotions that makes the concept of appraisal the keystone for analyzing and synthesizing the events that occur in an emotional episode (cf., theory of induced emotion - holds that the perception of emotional behavior or expression is sufficient to excite the same emotion in the person who perceives it). Lazarus argues that each emotion one experiences is based on a specific kind of cognitive appraisal that is accompanied by motor, behavioral, and physiological changes. Lazarus and his associates found that the appraisal of an event or situation - and, therefore, a person's emotional reaction - could be manipulated experimen tally. According to Lazarus, appraisal falls into various categories: primary - initial evaluation leading to an incipient emotional response; secondary - an evaluation of one's relation to the environment leading to an altered emotional response; and reappraisal -evaluation of the significance of the secondary appraisal, or a psychological attempt to cope with stress in the situation. Reappraisal may not be based on the facts at hand but may be a "defensive reappraisal" where the person attempts to express a more compatible, friendly, or sympathetic point of view toward the situation or events. In Lazarus' approach, the notion of coping (in the reappraisal phase) functions as a mediator between events in the environment and one's emotional reaction. Thus, an individual may cope with a situation by reflecting on it, but it is the appraisal of one's conclusion (and not the reflection itself) that may alter the person's subsequent emotion. For example, you may feel uneasy over something that you have done or said long before you actually think about it, and subsequently you decide that you have behaved badly. See also ARNOLD'S THEORY OF EMOTIONS; COGNITIVE THEORIES OF EMOTIONS; EMOTIONS, THEORIES AND LAWS OF; SCHACHTER-SINGER'S THEORY OF EMOTIONS.

Conquering Fear In The 21th Century

Conquering Fear In The 21th Century

The Ultimate Guide To Overcoming Fear And Getting Breakthroughs. Fear is without doubt among the strongest and most influential emotional responses we have, and it may act as both a protective and destructive force depending upon the situation.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment