Emotions System -- Cause and Effect Relationships with Intelligence
(15) The emotions system is a higher-level property of intelligence, and the emotions experienced by an organism affect its intelligence in the way that it expresses itself. Both positive and negative emotions have aided the evolution of intelligence in the direction of increasing complexity. They motivate a great deal of our behavior much as do basic drives by causing humans, as well as animals, to be constantly seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. The memory-encoding process is also heavily influenced by the experiencing of emotion, as is the operation of the immune system. They also influence our basic instinct for survival. As a matter of fact, our entire perception of reality is very much dependent upon the experiencing of emotions. Because of the far-reaching effect that they have upon all of us, they are a very important attribute of intelligence.
Carroll Izard defines emotion to represent a complex phenomenon having neurophysiological, motor-expressive, and experiential components. He believes that the process of interacting components that produce emotions is an evolutionary biogenetic phenomenon.1
There is strong evidence indicating that the expressions of the fundamental emotions are hereditary and bear a close resemblance to the expressions of non-human animals, especially primates.2...There are at least ten fundamental emotions that have been identified, and which include: interest-excitement, enjoyment-joy, surprise-startle, distress-anguish, anger-rage, disgust-revulsion, contempt-scorn, fear-terror, shame/shyness-humiliation and guilt-remorse. Each emotion varies along a gradient of intensity indicated by each of two words.3
Interest provides motivation for both learning and creative behavior. It is the most commonly experienced positive emotion. It is important in the development of competence and intelligence. It can be a necessary amplifier of the instinct-for-survival drives. Izard has stated, "The emotion of interest can be invested in possibility and thus support investigation, exploration, and constructive activity.".4...It characterizes an infant's functioning from the beginning of life, and it is the focusing power of interest that makes possible perceptual learning and cognitive development. Interest may be focused on anything, and it facilitates human welfare by investing in intellectual, creative, and artistic activities.5
Joy is associated with a sense of confidence and a feeling of being loved. It seems to facilitate the survival instinct and the evolution of intelligence by increasing desire for continued life. It is a feeling which is difficult to elicit. One cannot produce it predictably with any specific behaviors. However, it often follows personal achievement or creation. The experience is so pleasant that it motivates an individual to actively seek it. As elusive as the feeling or emotional experience may be, it has been determined that the purest and most meaningful form is felt after some creative or socially beneficial act that was not done for the express purpose of obtaining joy. Joy is not the same as pleasantness or pleasure.6...It is somehow a motivational force facilitating growth or self-actualization.7...Joy facilitates and increases social responsiveness and altruism, and may help promote attachment, commitment or addiction to objects that have helped reduce drives or negative emotions.8...Maslow and Rogers maintain that openness and honestly are essential for realizing one's full potential and for experiencing joy.9...Bradburn showed that people who participate more socially and have more new and varied experiences are more apt to have positive affective experiences. He also determined that money and status "may enable one to increase his joys, but it cannot decrease his sorrows.".10
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