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Research Paper on James-Lange Theory

A research paper on the James-Lange Theory will want to address its strengths and weaknesses. The antiquated theory is no longer supported but there are some interesting elements that still hold true today. Your research paper will not be complete without fully exploring the pros and cons of this theory. Have Paper Masters help you flush out the James-Lange Theory for you Psychology class today.

The James-Lange Theory in psychology holds that all emotions are the result of some external stimulus, producing a physiological response. Two 19th century psychologists, American William James and the Danish physician Carl Lange independently developed the theory. Under the James-Lang Theory, emotion is a secondary response, indirectly caused by the physiological reaction.

James-Lange Theory

James VS Lange

William James put forth his version of the theory despite his acknowledgment that it went against common sense. In 1884, he published “What is an emotion?” in which he stated that emotion was the result of a sequence of events. For example, James held that when a person sees a bear, the first reaction is the physiological response, such as trembling, followed by the emotion (fear) and running away. Lange, on the other hand, stated that the vasomotor changes in the person are the emotion. His work made James’ theories applicable to real life situations and testable under scientific methods.


Disproving the Theory

Numerous scientists have attempted to disprove the James-Lange Theory. For example, the Canon-Bard Theory is the exact opposite, that physiological changes in the human body are the result of emotion. The following are the two most common arguments your research paper will want to explore against the James-Lange Theory:

  1. More modern scientific testing has demonstrated that there is more than the physiological response when a person is experiencing an emotion.
  2. The experience of emotion is a subjective event, and that testing relies on the subject’s perception of the various experience emotions.

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