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5.5: Summary

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    We hope that this chapter gave you an overview and answered the question we posed at the beginning. As one can see this young field of cognitive is wide and not yet completely researched. Many different theories were proposed to explain emotions and motivation like the James-Lange Theory which claims that bodily changes lead to emotional experiences. This theory led to the Two-Factor-Theory which in contrast says that bodily changes only support emotional experiences. Whereas the newest theory (Somatic marker) states that somatic markers support decision making. While analyzing emotions, one has to distinguish between conscious emotions, like a feeling, and unconscious aspects, like the detection of threat. Presently, researchers distinguish six basic emotions that are independent from cultural aspects. In comparison to this basic emotions other emotions also comprehend social awareness. So, emotions are not only important for our survival but for our social live, too. Reading faces helps us to communicate and interpret behaviour of other people. Many disorders impair this ability leaving the afflicted person with an inability to integrate himself into the social community. Another important part in understanding emotions is awareness; we only pay attention on new things in order to avoid getting unimportant information. Moods also affect our memory - we can remember things better if we are in the same mood as in the situation before and if the things we want to remember are connoted in the same way as our current mood. We also outlined the topic of motivation which is crucial to initiate and uphold our mental and corporal activities. Motivation consists of two parts: drives (biological needs) and motives (primarily social and psychological mechanisms). One important theory is the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs; it states that higher motivations are only aspired if lower needs are satisfied. As this chapter only dealt with mood and memory, the next chapter deals with memory and language.

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