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  • Subject area(s): Philosophy
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  • Published on: 21st September 2019
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Emotions and Attraction are directly linked and are easily manipulated. The brain is divided into 3 major regions. These regions are the cortex, limbic system, and the brainstem which determine the process how memories are created. Memory also differentiates one from another. For example, a person's individuality in large, is based off past joy, gilt and or anger over painful recollections. Researchers have determined there to be 3 stages of our brain that processes memories, all which are interrelated. These stages consist of working memory, short-term memory and long-term memory. The working memory is a newer understanding of short-term memory. It is the immediate, very brief recording of sensory information but, it also includes conscious, active processing of incoming auditory and visual-spatial information, and of information retrieved from long-term memory. Encoding is the brain's way of processing information into the memory system and it all starts with attention. Attention is regulated by the thalamus and the frontal lobe which triggers neurons to fire more frequently. This makes the experience more intense which likely increases the chance that the event has been encoded into a memory. Another determination is emotion. Emotion is derived from the amygdala. The amygdala is located in the limbic region where emotions, especially fear, sadness and anger are generated. When emotion tends to increase, the emotional portion of an event is processed. That being said, the experiences one has with a particular person and the emotions that are evoked during those experiences, are likely the perception a person has been perceived. For example, when relationships are over, romantic or not,  generally, people want to erase the past attachment to another person by discarding keepsakes, gifts, photographs, and anything that could potentially trigger past emotions of love or memories that have now become tainted.

Comparatively, emotions are influenced by gender. The ability to correctly interpret people's nonverbal behavior is important for positive interpersonal interactions (P.C. Schmid and M. Schmid Mast 2011). It enables one to respond and display certain behaviors in an appropriate manor, given the current situation. Which, can help to prevent social indiscretion. Typically, women do a better job correctly deciphering others' nonverbal behavior. This is because women are more emotionally expressive. Judith Hall conducted 125 different experiments focusing on gender differences in nonverbal communications. She was interested in how people perceive and interact with one another. One of her longstanding focusses in her lab was looking at gender differences in nonverbal communications. Her findings were that woman are better at interpreting nonverbal cues and it could be linked to mother-child dyad's communicative behavior during the first year of life. Woman's nonverbal literacy helps to explain their emotional sensitivity.  Facial expressions are another factor affecting feelings and how we communicate. Culturally, there are no differences in facial expressions. However, when it comes to males and female's expression varies. For example, researchers manipulated a gender-neutral face. People were more likely to see it as a male when it wore an angry expression, and a female when it wore a smile (Exploring psy). This outcome occurred because anger is perceived as more of a masculine emotion.

Furthermore, physical attraction is as shallow as some might think. Evolutionary theorists argue physical attractiveness distinguishes biological information. This information includes insight on a person's genetic quality, heath and reproductive potential. But, reproductive potential, capabilities and resilience can not be directly linked to observations. This leaves the human selection process based solely on attractiveness. This state of attraction one feels for

another is based off of physical attributes and occurs unknowingly. Studies show men tend to be more attracted to women who are shorter than they are, have a youthful appearance, have full lips, have symmetrical facial features, and a low waist to hip ratio. Women on the other hand tend to be attracted to men who are taller than they are, have facial symmetry, broad shoulders and a relatively v-shaped torso. In contrast, physical attraction has evolved over the years. This because of social and cultural influences. One's perception of attraction is different culturally. For example, the ideal western physical attributes a woman looks for in a man remained similar aside from height. As for men, they now desire women with larger butts and higher body index in general. Whereas the eastern perception of beauty is typically faceted around tiny features.

Correspondingly, The Law of Attraction is the belief that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts a person brings positive or negative experiences into their life. The belief is based on the idea that people and their thoughts are both made from "pure energy", and that through the process of "like energy attracting like energy" a person can improve their own health, wealth and personal relationships. This theory was derived from the New Thought philosophy which grew out of the teaching of Phineas Quimby. Quimby was diagnosed with tuberculosis and medical treatment was of no aid. He decided to go about his day regardless of his dwindling health and came to what prompted his study “mind over body”. Though The Law of Attraction has no scientific basis and has been dubbed a pseudoscience, I still feel the general idea holds true. Personally, I am keen on the ideology that the energy you put out is the energy you will attract. I practice karma yoga and meditate on a regular basis. I feel strongly that if you carry yourself with confidence, you will attract someone with a similar level of confidence.

However, a theory set forth by psychologist Albert Bandura called reciprocal determinism, is an ideology backed by pensive research and experimentation. The theory states that a person's behavior both influences and is influenced by personal factors and the social environment. In Bandura's theory, he takes into account the possibility of one being conditioned through use of consequences. The basic idea is that behavior is controlled or determined by the individual, through cognitive processes, and by the environment, through external social stimulus events.

 It is also expressed that behavior consist of environmental and individual parts that interlink together in order to function. An example would be a child who doesn't like school therefore acts out. When confronted, the child admits not liking the administrators. This results in administrators of the school not liking the child around and creates an uncomfortable environment which is controlled by the child. That being said, I understand how The Law of Attraction is flawed because its lack of research and evidence to back it up but I feel as though the theory of reciprocal determinism isn't perfect either. I understand the importance of the environment and how it can have a direct effect on a person's behavior and the energy that is generated. But, still feel the environment doesn't always determine one's behavior and that each person is in control of their behavior and attract the energy they give off.

In conclusion, emotions and attraction are directly connected. Gender and culture have influence over emotions and attraction. As we evolve our social needs and desires will evolve as well. What society perceives beautiful now, may be different in a few years. This goes for all cultures. Social trends seem to be the biggest factor affecting what society thinks is beautiful. What will never change is the importance of nonverbal interpretations. Even though reciprocal determinism is the more accepted theory, I still side more with the Law of Attraction.

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