What is OpenPSYC?

OpenPSYC is a free online resource for students in Introduction to Psychology courses. Use the links on the right to learn more about the site, visit a course module or search by keyword.

Two-Factor Theory of Emotion

There have been several theories of how emotions are produced and experienced, but for this class, I would like to focus on just one. Two psychologists, Shachter and Singer, theorized that emotions come from a two-stage process. Read about their theory and some of the classic research that demonstrates the concept here:

Fear Goggles http://scienceblogs.com/mixingmemory/2006/11/23/fear-goggles/
From this article, you should be able to explain the process of experiencing and emotion in terms of two distinct stages: the arousal and the interpretation. You should also be able to explain how the second stage can lead to experiencing the ‘wrong’ emotion and describe the bridge study as a good example of this. Mistaking one emotion for another is known as the misattribution of arousal, and we will talk more about this during our class meeting.