T Nation

The Origins of Emotion

Has anyone read this book or even heard of it? I’m interested.

[quote]�??Maternal love stops when a child is 33 months old. Mothers maximize their reproduction by focusing on the next child when the current child can feed itself. By 33 months, children can feed themselves if food is available. They can walk and their first set of teeth have completed eruption.�??

�??Men only love a woman for 42 months, which covers 9 months of gestation and 33 months of post-natal care. Both sexes maximize reproduction by starting a new reproductive cycle with a new partner when a child can feed itself.�??

�??Revenge encourages victims of rule breaking to always retaliate, whether it helps them or not. The more victims retaliate, the fewer rule breakers there are. The fewer rule breakers there are, the more efficient a group is.�??

�??Pride is triggered by higher rank, not high rank. Rookies feel pride, but veteran all-stars do not. Recent nursing graduates feel pride, but doctors nearing retirement do not.�??

�??Humiliation is triggered by lower rank, not low rank. The only criminals who feel humiliation are first-time offenders. Every CEO feels humiliation when they retire.�??

�??You feel affection when you see or hear features that separate humans from other primates, such as the sight of white eyes or the sound of talking.�??

�??When you maximize your happiness, you do what is best for the species.�??[/quote]

Opinions?

Bullshit?

Have you read it? I mean are their sources for your claim that it is bullshit?

Didn’t think so.

Anyone else?

[quote]meangenes wrote:
Have you read it? I mean are their sources for your claim that it is bullshit?

Didn’t think so.

Anyone else?[/quote]

Interesting - I like the piece about revenge, but a man can only love a woman for 42 months?

Due to differences in our ability to sense stimuli and our conscious awareness of them they are skewed from the reality of how someone else may perceive the exact same signals in the exact same circumstance. It is our perception as well as a chemical reaction to such stimuli that causes emotions. Emotions are nothing more than a conscious value judgment of one’s current state. They are the lens through which we perceive reality and hence can and do affect how we behave.

There are no such thing as normative emotional states. Emotions are not discrete. They operate on a continuum and no person experiences emotions the same way as another person.

Subjective value theory tells us the OP’s theory must be incorrect or else we would all value things the exact same way. How can this be the case?

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Due to differences in our ability to sense stimuli and our conscious awareness of them they are skewed from the reality of how someone else may perceive the exact same signals in the exact same circumstance. It is our perception as well as a chemical reaction to such stimuli that causes emotions. Emotions are nothing more than a conscious value judgment of one’s current state. They are the lens through which we perceive reality and hence can and do affect how we behave.

There are no such thing as normative emotional states. Emotions are not discrete. They operate on a continuum and no person experiences emotions the same way as another person.

Subjective value theory tells us the OP’s theory must be incorrect or else we would all value things the exact same way. How can this be the case? [/quote]

Edit: It’s not my theory.

I think I would be freaked out if I saw some guy with white eyes.

A sexy voice is a must. There is nothing worse than meeting a big o’ muscle bound boy and he opens his mouth and sounds like a girl. shivers

A deep sexy voice can make the mediocre guy look much better :smiley:

Seems to have nothing but bad reviews on Amazon. Sounds pretty shoddy. I am reading an interesting book right now though: Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend by Barbara Oakley.

Dispite the flippant title it does cover some interesting stuff on what personality disorders, etc. our genotypes predispose us for. Obviously a field of study in its infancy but one that has huge potential as knowledge accumulates and is carefully studied in cross field analysis

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Due to differences in our ability to sense stimuli and our conscious awareness of them they are skewed from the reality of how someone else may perceive the exact same signals in the exact same circumstance. It is our perception as well as a chemical reaction to such stimuli that causes emotions. Emotions are nothing more than a conscious value judgment of one’s current state. They are the lens through which we perceive reality and hence can and do affect how we behave.

There are no such thing as normative emotional states. Emotions are not discrete. They operate on a continuum and no person experiences emotions the same way as another person.

Subjective value theory tells us the OP’s theory must be incorrect or else we would all value things the exact same way. How can this be the case? [/quote]

Because evolution would have it that emotion developed first as a survival mechanism.

[quote]meangenes wrote:
Has anyone read this book or even heard of it? I’m interested.

�??Maternal love stops when a child is 33 months old. Mothers maximize their reproduction by focusing on the next child when the current child can feed itself. By 33 months, children can feed themselves if food is available. They can walk and their first set of teeth have completed eruption.�??

�??Men only love a woman for 42 months, which covers 9 months of gestation and 33 months of post-natal care. Both sexes maximize reproduction by starting a new reproductive cycle with a new partner when a child can feed itself.�??

�??Revenge encourages victims of rule breaking to always retaliate, whether it helps them or not. The more victims retaliate, the fewer rule breakers there are. The fewer rule breakers there are, the more efficient a group is.�??

�??Pride is triggered by higher rank, not high rank. Rookies feel pride, but veteran all-stars do not. Recent nursing graduates feel pride, but doctors nearing retirement do not.�??

�??Humiliation is triggered by lower rank, not low rank. The only criminals who feel humiliation are first-time offenders. Every CEO feels humiliation when they retire.�??

�??You feel affection when you see or hear features that separate humans from other primates, such as the sight of white eyes or the sound of talking.�??

�??When you maximize your happiness, you do what is best for the species.�??

Opinions? [/quote]

Some of those theories are probably right at least some of the time.

Seriously, just more generalizations that make you think, but aren’t very helpful in real life.

[quote]meangenes wrote:
Have you read it? I mean are their sources for your claim that it is bullshit?

Didn’t think so.

Anyone else?[/quote]

I’m 29 and my mom still loves me. I’ve loved a woman for muhuhuch longer than 42 months.
Revenge is beneficial for a social group? Look into the literature about culturally rooted vendetta (for example in eastern europe). Doesn’t sound very beneficial to me.

Emotions and human behavior are a tiny little bit more complex than this shallow “if A then B”-way of thinking would have it.

Humans are not animals. They are not determined by their genes. (And in fact even animals are not determined by their genes alone.) Humans make conscious choices and decisions. That’s what makes them human. Human behavior can not be explained by evolutionary mechanisms. Only human biology can.

So I’ll say it again: Bullshit. Simplistic evolutionary-psychology-bullshit, to be more precise.

[quote]Kreuzkuemmel wrote:
meangenes wrote:
Have you read it? I mean are their sources for your claim that it is bullshit?

Didn’t think so.

Anyone else?

I’m 29 and my mom still loves me. [/quote]

you sure about that?

Why buy the book if you can download it? I’m gonna browse through it, and hopefully, I find something that ain’t crap.

I think trying to explain human beings in a purely mechanistic way is fundamentally flawed. There is something about individual human behavior that defies predictability. Especially to the degree that the author seems to indicate.

I suppose it depends on how one defines terms, but I have been in love with the same woman for 7 years. And while the strength of that feeling has increased over that time, something about its nature has fundamentally changed, as well. So, if you want to define love as that feeling you have towards someone you’ve just started dating, that intense infatuation or eros type of love, then the author may have a point. But that hardly explains agape love; the type divorced from external conditions. So maybe this author is suffering from too narrow a view of what love is?

On another note: veteran all-stars do not feel pride? Since when? It seems to me that retired politicians, sports stars, authors, actors, etc are incredibly concerned with their legacies. If not pride, than what explains the dogged defense of past achievements that so many past greats, in all kinds of fields, exhibit?

I think one could take each of those points and find myriad examples that seem to stand in contradiction. Human emotion is far more complex than that; it just does not lend itself to neat little formulas.

[quote]IvanDmitritch wrote:
So maybe this author is suffering from too narrow a view of what love is?

Perhaps more precisely, the author seems to be describing human love in terms of animal instincts, apparently oblivious of the fact that humans–whether you believe in evolution or not–are radically different from animals in two fundamental aspects: our cognition and our emotions. These two things are the very factors that separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom (so does speech but that can go under “cognition”). You can study human biology with animal models but it is much more difficult, if not impossible, to study human emotion by using animal models for comparison. Simply put, we are not slaves to our emotions and instincts in the way that animals are. We control our behavior with our minds and animals do not, so you can’t make a comparison.

[quote]Birdman31 wrote:
IvanDmitritch wrote:
So maybe this author is suffering from too narrow a view of what love is?

Perhaps more precisely, the author seems to be describing human love in terms of animal instincts, apparently oblivious of the fact that humans–whether you believe in evolution or not–are radically different from animals in two fundamental aspects: our cognition and our emotions. These two things are the very factors that separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom (so does speech but that can go under “cognition”). You can study human biology with animal models but it is much more difficult, if not impossible, to study human emotion by using animal models for comparison. Simply put, we are not slaves to our emotions and instincts in the way that animals are. We control our behavior with our minds and animals do not, so you can’t make a comparison. [/quote]

Freud might have made a similar mistake a long time ago.