I'm a researcher into the emotions. For 20+ years I have sought to find out what emotions are and why. I insist that they have a basis--a foundation--and I believe I have found that foundation.
Personality has often been confused with emotions, I believe (cf. Tim LaHaye's Four Temperaments theory based on the original Greek Humours--Sanguine (blood), Melancholy (black bile), Phlegmatic (phlegm) and Choleric (bile). These are easily translatable into four emotions: Happy, Sad, Indifferent (Proud, really) and Mad, respectively. And emotions tend to be characteristic of us--even chronic at times. The question to me was, what do they mean? Here is my contribution.
When we are Happy, we are wanting air--space--and seeking cooperation to get it. When we are sad, we are wanting food & water--energy--and we are seeking cooperation to get it. When we are indifferent(Proud), we are wanting air--space--but this time we are protective of that air--space--which is why we close ourselves in. When we are angry, we are wanting food & water--energy--but this time we are protecting that food & water--energy--which is why we fight.
Characteristically or chronically Happy people can be found in or coming from crowded or overpopulated situations. Sad people can be found in or coming from situations of relative poverty. Indifferent(proud) people can be found in or coming from environments of extreme overcrowding or overpopulation--think of Japanese or Norwegian peoples for example. Mad people can be found in or coming from environments of true hardship.
Is there anyone out there who understands these things?
This could have been a hub. A lot of effort for we wee plebes.
I'm sorry--I'm new to this, and don't really understand what it means to have a hub. What I do know is that I'm obligated to try to get my ideas out there after 20-some years of work on them. Nice to meet you, by the way; I'm Bill
Funny how you found the forums before you found a hub on HubPages.
Thanks for cluing me in on the status of the four-humours-idea. I'm wanting such feedback, among other things. However, at the same time, perhaps I need to stress that this is not about personality-types--that certainly is obsolete, or should be, in my opinion. Looking simplistic doesn't mean being simplistic, incidentally. Truth can still come in otherwise deceptively simple forms. That's what early discoveries in science were often like, and psychology has yet to keep up with this.
It is obsolete for any purpose because t is simply not true that the balance of these alleged substances affects people in any way. And some of these substances arguably don't exist.
I don't believe in the four humours either--I should have clarified that before --I thought that this was only an ancient concept--are their others who are seriously advancing this idea in the modern age?). I understand now that the basic needs and our collective vs. individual perspectives are the primary factors accounting for emotion. That's what I'm mainly pushing and would like feedback on. What do you think about this?
I would encourage you to write your thoughts on the matter in the form of a hub, Greyhorse. Usually people who research things like to share what they are onto because it's helpful. It hurts my feelings when people withhold from me what things they have discovered in all their years of guided practice -- especially someone with 20 years or more of study on such a difficult topic like the emotions.
I would venture to say that after so long of a time working in that field, you'd perhaps attempt to go one to college, obtain a doctorate and begin to share you expertise, even get paid for it and who knows -- win a Nobel Prize.
Go for it, Greyhorse, what have you got to lose but the fear of producing a hub! YOU MIGHT EVEN FEEL THE THRILL OF EMOTION THAT COMES FROM ACCOMPLISHMENT!!!
I am here for you if you need any assistance setting up your capsules and making a start here on HubPages!
I have no idea what any one's talking about here... and I just wanted to go on record with that note.
I appreciate your confusion (if I may call it that?), Beth. What i offer is alien to the modern mind, and we tend to take our emotional lives completely for granted. I anticipated this from the start, but there appears to be no way around this. and you have my sympathies.
Well Brandon seemed a bit peeved and I thought maybe there was something not being said that I was missing.
Believe me, Brandon--I'm interested in nothing less than getting my work on emotions out there--truth to tell, I guess I've been so closeted with this for so long that the outside world had to be put on hold and consequently leaving me having to start from scratch pretty much.
What do you think of my thesis--anything not clear enough?
From working in psychology and education 20+ years, I find that none of the systems (4 temperaments, body types, or otherwise) for classifying emotions is correct. I stand by research and my experience that Happiness does not come from overcrowding or overpopulation, for example.
The classic research and my work show that one too many living beings added into a set number of square or cubic inches (cage) or square feet (e.g. room, house, city) leads to the start of stress-induced behaviors: violence toward others, self mutilation, changes in sexual behaviors, channges in eating (starving or becoming obese), avoidance behaviors - rats begin grooming or sleeping, people sleep or mentally zone out - and a few other behaviors. One good example is that my city has another 40 additional cars placed onto streets every day and the angry behaviors on the road here are becoming overwhelming.
Some theories suggest that emotions are the result of chemical responses in the brain, and that sounds right to me; and, that does not make emotions any less real or less valuable.
But do I gather correctly from you that environment (and upbringing) are also significant factors in understanding the source of emotions? In my book, emotion is action and action is emotion. Incidentally, I was impressed with the observation of a Unitarian minister to the effect that "we are not so much thinking creatures who feel as we are feeling creatures who may or may not think".
Also, I'm only too well aware that definitions are vitally important where emotions are concerned in order to get away and clear from conventional and, frankly, heavily biased, understandings of such things as Happiness. Would you agree?
In childhood, more so than later; but I think environment and upbringing can be left behind.
I agree with that statement.
- and I believe that emotions breed actions; each emotion can result in a spectrum of actions and thinking can lead to a choice among actions.
I agree that useful definitions are needed.
Although I can appreciate the more technical aspects of research into emotions (which are mainly above my pay-grade), my main focus is on achieving an understanding of the emotions which is immediately useful to anyone and everyone, which is why environmental factors are particularly important to me. Seeing these things for myself for the first time allowed me to be able to really begin to empathize with others and see that we are all in the same boat, which abstraction and technical details couldn't help me with. Does that make sense?
As for definitions, Happiness has suffered the worst in this respect. We believe it to be an or the ideal, which, if truth be told, cannot logically be, because all emotions are equal members of a set, and to be investigated as such.
Do we have goals in life? Well and good, but Happiness as an emotional state cannot be one of those goals, because emotions, strictly-speaking, serve specific functions in life. Different situations and circumstances require the use of different functional emotional states--so we have Sadness, Indifference (Pride) and anger as well, which must be given their due. Agreed?
I have never thought of happiness as a goal and agree that all emotions are worthy and have purpose.
I grew up in relative isolation which, for reasons I wont go into here, became exacerbated after I graduated from high school. Consequently, dealing with others was extremely difficult for me--principally because I was raised to believe that the freedom of conscious self-awareness meant that behavior was without a foundation and literally anything could be expected of those around me at any time. For example, I wasn't given any reasons as to why arguments between others didn't immediately escalate to fist-fights. Along the way to working out a real basis for emotions and behavior, I learned that we really are all in the same boat, which gave me what I needed to be able to empathize and sympathize with others--a very stabilizing influence in my world which I believe desperately needs to be communicated to others.
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