The Laws of Emotion – 2

We continue our discussion with the laws of emotion (from N Frijda’s book on Laws of Emotion)

The Law of Apparent Reality:

In the first law (in the previous post) we saw that an individual’s perception of the event is more important than the event itself. This law of apparent reality says that the meaning of the events are appraised as “real”. It says unless an individual sees/feels the event or the meaning of the event is true or at least believes it to be true it elicits no emotions. Also, it adds that the intensity of the emotion corresponds directly to the degree which the individual feels it is real. The reality refers to a more popular phenomenon in psychology called as time discounting – people, in general, prefer immediate rewards than larger rewards at a later time.

This law gives few more very important insights which we discuss in the following.

Knowing means less than seeing

Consider a person who is water phobic. We can not explain to him/her how to swim and ask him/her not to get freighten since he/she has the life support always in case some problem arises. Whenever he/she sees a water body he/she gets fearful and wants to turn his/her eyes off or even run away from that place. What it tells in general is knowing is less than seeing.

Words mean less than tone of voice

Imagine a girl telling the guy who is following her in sweet and friendly voice that do n’t follow me! Will it work in reality? Of course not. In reality the tone of the voice is more important than the words used.

Feeling means more than knowing

We might get to know some news that something has happened somewhere but unless it affects us directly it will not concern us much. For example, Frijda in his book says Chernobyl disaster was felt in Europe only after the imposition of restriction on consumption of milk. This shows that feeling means more than knowing.

Weakness of reason against the strength of passion

If an individual is very passionate in work he will not think about his health. He might work day in and day out not bothering about sleep which might affect him in the later stage of his life. Reasoning becomes weak when we consider passion.