Lucas' Blog

The Cause and Effect of Emotions

Last night, I was reading from a book called, “The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy” by Donald Robertson. I came something profound that I decided to share with you.

This is, ‘Seneca’s Model of Cognitive Mediation’:

A. The Raw Affect

This is an involuntary emotional reaction (usual also physical) in response to a shock. i.e. Jerking your head back when being poked in the eye.

This is a reaction we can’t totally control.

B. The Irrational Judgement

An irrational judgement is made which adds to the raw affect.

i.e. “I ought to be avenged for having been poked in the eye.” or, “That man ought to be punished for poking me in the eye.”

C. The Consequence

The raw affect, now kicked a level deeper by the irrational judgement, grows in strength and overwhelms the mind resulting in temporary loss of reason.

This series of events happens so fast that most of us don’t notice that it happens.

We go our whole lives thinking that “A” causes “C” because “C” seems to show up almost immediately after “A” does. We don’t realize that “A” X “B” = “C”.

Our irrational judgement has at least as much to do with our emotional troubles as the raw affect does.