2 Answers

  1. Gestures, changes in heartbeat, breathing, skin resistance (which changes due to perspiration), really change during emotions. But they also change for other reasons, such as physical activity. Therefore, there is no absolute compliance: such a paramentment has changed and it corresponds to such and such an emotion. In addition, even if it is possible to compare the emotions of the same person in the same physical state, it turns out that the heart, breathing and skin resistance reflect the intensity of the emotion more than other parameters. This is suitable for building a lie detection system, but it is not suitable for diagnosing emotions, for example, in the process of psychotherapy.

    Gestures and other movements of an adult are strongly controlled by the human mind, but emotions are not. Therefore, gestures can also not be a reliable indicator of emotions. However, changing the amount of hand gestures can also be a sign of the intensity of the experience.

    Ekman and Friesen describe patterns of arousal of certain facial muscles when experiencing emotions. This, as far as I know, is the most reliable indicator at the moment. But here it is important to remember that facial expressions are also controlled consciously. However, this control is activated a few milliseconds after the beginning of an expressive movement, so by recording the first movements, you can tell what a person is experiencing. Ekman conducts special trainings where he teaches people to notice and understand other people's emotional expressions without using special equipment (muscle activity sensors).

    Thanks to a functional tomogram of the brain, it is possible to record the activity of the human brain, including structures associated with emotions. But, unfortunately, at this stage, tomography is a rather slow process (slower than changing emotions), and the quality of emotions is still taken out of context. That is, if they show a snake and activate the amygdala, they assume fear, not anger, in the sense of the situation. In addition, this method is not at all suitable for use in everyday life.

    In everyday life, the best way to understand what another person is doing is to use imitation. Try to repeat the facial expression or posture of another person, and with a certain level of sensitivity to yourself, after a while you will be able to feel some emotional state, which is very likely to repeat the state of the other. Despite the fact that this technique is often used in practice: in acting, in psychological counseling, etc., there is still little scientific research of this kind. But the embodiment approach has only just begun its development and, for sure, in the near future science will bring us new reliable knowledge.

    As for intention, it is a much more complex process, which in an adult is associated with emotions, but not always in an obvious way. One person, angry, will shout, another will try to fight, a third will bite their nails, and someone will go to the gym altogether.

  2. All the processes listed in the question are scientifically proven. For a more detailed study of this issue, it is enough to read the works of Rubinstein, Vygotsky, Luria, Zeigarnik, Kholodnaya, Galperin, Elkonin, Tikhomirov, in general, representatives of Russian psychology, which actively studied this topic.

    In the event of a change in the emotional background, all body systems react: cardiovascular, respiratory, excretory, digestive, central nervous system, ANS, etc. Depending on whether the parasympathetic or sympathetic nervous system is activated, the reaction of the entire body is determined.

    If the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, then conditional inhibition processes begin in the body. That is, a state of relaxation. The digestive system is activated, the pupil narrows, the heart rate decreases, sweating does not change. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated during moments of rest, when we rest lying down in a hammock, for example.

    When the sympathetic nervous system is activated, the body reacts in the opposite way, that is, it mobilizes. Digestion slows down, the heart rate increases, the pupil dilates, and the entire body prepares for action. The sympathetic nervous system comes into action when stress occurs, for example, during an exam.

    In general, according to physiological manifestations, you can roughly determine what kind of reaction – active or passive, but unfortunately there is no emotional background behind this.

    As for the “intention” – no. Body language, in the sense in which you mean it, in no way reflects the intention, but only reflects the processes of life that accompany the following of this intention.

    (Intention is the orientation of a person's mental activity to solve a problem, that is, a kind of internal orientation of consciousness in the current situation)

    However, there are indeed elements of body language that reflect a person's intention. For example, gestures are illustrators, gestures are symbols that have a specific meaning defined by the culture in which a person thinks and expresses himself.

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