• Question: How does differnt emotions affect the human mind's capability?

    Asked by unknownpupil to Jemma, John, Lisa, Sam, Pete on 28 May 2012. This question was also asked by adityaking, dache.
    • Photo: Jemma Ransom

      Jemma Ransom answered on 28 May 2012:

      Hi @unkownpupil, another great question,

      So I think the best example I can give of emotions’ effect on the mind is the disease depression. Depressed people tend to have impaired memory and don’t look after themselves as well as healthy individuals. In this sense it could be viewed that very negative emotions are bad for the brain.

      The opposite of this can perhaps be de,omstrated by the fight or flight reaction. When the body experience an insult, for instance if you were being chased by a lion, the fear and anxiety associated with this often makes the mind react more quickly, so emotions can also enhance the brains capability.


    • Photo: John Perry

      John Perry answered on 29 May 2012:


      great question. I’ve been told by my better half that I don’t have emotions but I’ll try to answer it anyway!

      To start, think about what an emotion is. It would be classified as “psychophysiological”. It’s ‘physiological’ because it requires a physical response – being chased by a lion would certainly create a respone. Our nervous system would release the hormone, adrenaline, which would speed up our heart. The ‘psycho’ part is the psychological response – I perceive this physical increase in heart rate as something good or bad.

      In Jemma’s example of being chased by a lion, I would perceive my increased heart rate as the emotion ‘fear’ and this would affect my mind because I would panic and not be able to think straight.

      I could experience the same physical changes (increase in heart rate etc) if I was to do a bungee jump though. This time I perceive (psychology bit) the same symptoms as the emotion ‘excitement’ and enjoy it.

      So emotions are basically labels that we used to explain our physical and psychological state at any one time.

      There, sorry for the long-winded answer!


    • Photo: Sam Carr

      Sam Carr answered on 31 May 2012:

      When I was in school like you…I liked a girl. I liked her a lot…so much that I wrote her a letter. She wrote back. We struck up a little romance…arranged to meet after school. On the day I knew we were meeting my emotions were all over the place. I had butterflies, a racing heart, clammy palms…you know, the classic stuff.

      Now, all day I was unable to concentrate on my school work. I was unable to concentrate on conversations with my friends. I had only one thing on my mind. Now the key issue in relation to your question is whether it was the “emotions” themselves that interfered with my focus…or the THOUGHTS the emotions bring with them. Maybe the powerful butterflies and increased heart rate and generally anxious state simply REMIND me that I have a BIG event coming up and BECAUSE of that I start to THINK about that event. In this case it would not be the emotions themselves that mess up my focus…but the thoughts I have ABOUT the emotions.