Psychological Meaning of Emotions – Term Paper

What makes us humans

There are two distinct characteristics that make us, humans, incredibly unique from every other living organism. The first, and probably the main one is our brain- it is not that we possess gray matter between our ears and every other living organism does not, rather it is that human beings have the capacity to think, make decisions and understand that these decisions have consequences. The second thing that sets us apart is emotion. In psychology, emotion is expounded as an intricate state of feeling that amounts to physical and psychological transformations which affect thought and conduct (Cherry- 2016). 

Emotion, according to Matsumoto (1996) can be thought of as being classified into two; latent content and manifest content. Latent content, simply put, is the concealed psychological meaning of emotion associated with manifest content while manifest content, on the other hand, is the actual event or situation. 

Essay on feelings and emotions

I would like to think of myself as a very outgoing person. I prefer being outdoors to being glued to a screen, be it a mobile phone, computer or television set. During one my return to school journeys, there was an unfortunate accident that caused a massive traffic jam on the highway leading to my home town. Because of this, the bus I was meant to board to school was behind schedule to arrive at the terminal by about an hour. Seeing no harm in passing the time actively while we waited, some of my classmates and I decided to have a drink at a nearby restaurant and shoot some pool. While we were having fun and talking about the holiday that was, the accident site was cleared out, our bus arrived and departed without us. Ironically, five minutes after the bus left, we came back to the terminal only to find, to our surprise, space where about forty people had been standing waiting for the bus. Knowing that I did not have enough money with me for another ticket on a later bus, it was apparent to me that I would have to call my parents and let them know what had happened. I was paralyzed with fear- my father was well known in our family, both nuclear and extended, to have an Irish temper. I also felt ashamed and guilty that I had missed my bus because of beer, knowing full well that my parents were devout Christians who did not condone alcohol. I felt a surge of anger boil within me. I was angry at myself for allowing my better judgment to be misleading and overtaken by my need to socialize.  

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My friends, however, seemed very relaxed and blissfully unaffected by our predicament. In fact, they were thinking of going to another bar, despite the fact that the tickets were non-refundable. I felt disgusted by their unapologetic nature and their failure to take the time to consider the situation that alcohol had landed us in, in the first place. My responses were dissimilar to my friends’ responses. I was going through a flurry of emotions, thinking about the repercussions of my actions while most of them seemed happy and unfazed. 

The other’s responses were unexpected and surprising to me. Although we were in no hurry to get to school, I expected them to be at the very least angry that the bus had left us behind after being an hour late to arrive without any prior warning. Also, the tickets were quite expensive- I expected a reaction to losing this money, that was not quite so relaxed and care free. All of their reactions indeed surprised me.;

References ;

Cherry K (2016)- Theories of Emotion- Retrieved from;