Customer Service:
1-570-955-1438

Text Message for a Quote:
1-570-301-7456

Schachter's Two Factor Theory of Emotion

Over the course of the twentieth century a number of scholars have stepped forward to develop and articulate their theories of human behavior. Although many of these theories have been proven ineffective or incomplete, a number have remained in tact, but obscured by the larger processes of social science and psychology. Such is the case with Schachter’s Two Factor Theory of Emotion. Although this theory, and the empirical research behind it represent a prominent paradigm of human behavior, in many circles of research the theory has not been garnered must critical analysis.

Schachter's Two Factor Theory of Emotion

With the realization that Schachter’s Two Factor Theory of Emotion is a salient albeit obscure theory that accurately describes an integral part of human behavior, there is an impetus for the student to examine the development of the theory and how it can be applied in clinical practice. To this end, this investigation considers the current academic literature concerning Schachter’s Two Factor Theory of Emotion. By examining what has been written about the theory, its utility and efficacy, it will be possible to draw some conclusions about its use in a professional setting. Further through a careful examination of this theory a greater elucidation of the complexity of human behavior will be gleaned.

Before Schachter’s Two Factor Theory of Emotion can be applied to the process of clinical practice, a working definition and a complete understanding of the concepts involved with the process must be delineated. Seeking first to define the theory in general, Authors note that Schachter’s Two Factor Theory is predicated on the idea that human emotions are comprised of two fundamental parts: physiological arousal and cognitive recognition. According to these authors Schachter postulated that in order for an individual to experience an emotion some form of physical arousal must first occur—i.e. increased heartbeat, increased blood pressure, perspiration. Once physiological arousal occurs, the individual is then able to cognitively classify the emotion as it occurs.

Authors go on to argue that the assumptions made by Schachter are based on three critical underlying ideologies. These include:

  • Emotional states are not associated with unique arousal states. In other words, physiological reactions are nonspecific or diffuse in emotion.
  • The individual is acutely aware of nontrivial elevations in the level of diffuse physiological arousal he experiences, mainly through interoceptive cues.
  • Awareness of a heightened arousal state actuates evaluative needs in the individual; that is, it produces motivational pressures that act on an individual in such a state to understand and label his bodily feelings.

These three ideologies serve as the basis for the professional to better understand the unique connection between physiology and the development of emotions.

Related Research Paper Topics

Study of Human Behavior research papers discuss the study that focuses on several of the social sciences, principally psychology, sociology, economics, and anthropology.

Neuropsychology refers to the branch of science that examines the brain’s structures and its functions, specifically how those biological bases impact behavior and a person’s psychology.

Human Sexuality research papers examine human behavior in biology, psychology and society.

Psychoanalytic Theory Term Papers analyze human behavior, which is deterministic and governed largely by the subconscious, as well as biological drives, such as the human sex drive.

Dimensions of Behavior Research Papers look at a paper order for a psychology class, with specific questions that need to be in the project.

Behavioral Theory research papers look into the school of psychology originated by American scientist John Watson and furthered by the work of B.F. Skinner.

Cannon-Bard Theory of Emotion - Cannon-Bard Theory of Emotion research papers discuss the theory that maintains that emotions are the result of a physiological response to a stimulus.

Feeling Rules - Feeling rules research papers analyze the emotion norms and beliefs.

Socioemotional Development - Socioemotional Development research papers examine the theory that suggests that identity is developed throughout a person’s lifespan, and is characterized by a series of crises that an individual must resolve in order to move on.

Symbolic Interaction - Symbolic Interaction research papers examine the sociological understanding of emotion.

Intro to Psychology - Research papers on an introduction to psychology delve into the class that teaches students about the mind, human behavior, and the underlying motivations behind it all.

James-Lange Theory - James-Lange Theory research papers examine the theory that holds emotion as a secondary response, indirectly caused by a physiological reaction.