Category: Analysis Essay

Abstract

The paper given is the comparison of two scholarly articles’ points of view on the issue of positive emotions in the people’s lives and their use. The two articles which have been chosen for the research are “What Good are Positive Emotions?”by Fredrickson (1998) and “The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?” by Lyubomirsky, King, and Diener (2005). The comparison has showed that the ideas in both articles complement each other. It means that the authors have a similar vision on what the positive emotions are, how they are born, how they function and what advantages they bring to the person. Furthermore, the additional information used for the comparison is supported by the later article by Fredrickson (2001), whose investigation shows the similar points of view with Lyubomirsky, King, and Diener (2005).

Keywords: positive emotions, use, success, article, comparison.

Positive Emotions

Emotions are inherent in both humans and animals. Emotions are known to appear in the process of the evolution of living beings, as vital adaptive mechanisms. They are believed to be necessary for the adaptation of the organism to the conditions and situations of its life. Emotions are needed to mobilize the body’s internal reserves. For instance, with their help, animals escape from danger, with their help they hunt. In humans, emotions are more complex. The more complex a living being is, the higher it takes on the evolutionary level, the richer is the range of all possible emotional states that it is capable of experiencing. This paper compares the views of Fredrickson (1998) and Lyubomirsky, King, and Diener (2005) toward the issue of positive emotions in the life of people. Therefore, the two works complement each other to a certain extent and provide the thoughtful arguments on the nature and use of positive emotions.

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The emotional world permeates all aspects of life. A person, in the process of growing up and gaining knowledge, begins to relate, one way or another, to the surrounding world and its components. S/he is not a dispassionate observer, but on the contrary, an active actor. According to the article, “What Good are Positive Emotions?”, by Fredrickson (1998), a person not only experiences the influence of other people and their actions, but also influences others. A person experiences what happens to him and is done to him/her; s/he relates in a certain way to what surrounds him/her. Experience is the attitude of a person to the environment, and it serves to form a sphere of feelings and emotions.

The spiritual aspects of a person’s life are filled with a multitude of successive experiences. Fredrickson (1998) also points to the fact that it can be sorrow, joy, admiration, surprise, contempt, sadness, fear, anxiety, anger, tenderness, grief, happiness and so on in the subjective relationship of man to reality. Positive emotions arise due to the fact that the goal was achieved, and vice versa, negative emotions and experiences arise as a result of obstacles in the implementation of the goal and satisfaction of needs. Emotions express the state of the subject and his relation to the object which can differ in polarity, i.e. have a positive and negative sign: fun-sadness, pleasure-displeasure and others. Despite their contradictory nature, human positive and negative emotions and feelings often form a complex unity: together with jealousy, passionate love gets along with burning hatred.

A similar, complementing point of view is found in the article “The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?”, issued by Lyubomirsky et al. (2005). The authors state that the emotional component is important not only as a component of the creative process, but also as an important element of social relations (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005). The degree of emotional expressiveness has a significant impact on the nature of interpersonal relationships. Excessive restraint leads to the fact that a person is perceived as cold, indifferent, arrogant. In some cases, this causes only surprise, while in others it engenders hostility and becomes an obstacle to the establishment of normal relations between people. Excessive or insufficient emotional expressiveness, its inadequacy to conditions is one of the most important sources of conflict in interpersonal relationships (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005). Thus, special attention should be given to emotional relationships between students in the group and between the teacher and students (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005). The scholars believe that a relaxed atmosphere in the classroom and positive emotions promote students’ cognitive activity (Lyubomirskyet al., 2005). With the prevalence of negative emotions and relationships in the team, the quality of training is significantly reduced.

The cognitive activity of a person, his/her interaction with the surrounding world, which s/he is conscious of, is an inalienable part of a person’s essence. Besides, the mental image, which kept in mind, reveals and reflects in the language other and equally important characteristics of a person (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005). Also, the process of speech-activity reveals an emotional person (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005). The language of positive emotions has limitless possibilities for conveying the most subtle nuances of feelings experienced, evaluating of what is happening through sensory experience, influencing the addre