James-Lange Theory versus Cannon-Bard Theory

Comaprison between James-Lange Theory and Cannon-Bard Theory

Often during the development period of early adulthood (intimacy versus isolation stage of Erickson’s), boys and girls start to form intimate relationships. We know they are in love when they show emotions and acknowledge the physiological signs of love inside them. When a boy and girl see each other, are they falling in love with one another because of physiological signs of love and liking each other or is it because of their physiological signs that they are falling for each other?

James Lange theory suggests that emotions result from physiological changes, which is preceded by stimuli. However, Cannon Bard theory contends that both physiological changes and emotion result simultaneously from stimuli. In both theories, a stimulus has to be present first to initiate the physiological and emotional reactions. That’s the difference between the two.

So, James-Lange theory would suggests that the emotion of love results from physiological changes that came after the boy and girl saw each other. But Cannon-Bard theory would content that both the emotion of love as well as the physiological changes came simultaneously after the two saw each other. Stimuli in both cases can be the presentation of the other person’s face.


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