evolutionary significance of emotions !!

Brian Scott brians at eol.ca
Tue Feb 15 02:00:08 EST 2000

ashwin kelkar wrote:
> what is so good about feeling bad ??
> emotions are hard wired into our brains whay are bad emotions selected
> for ? feeling bad about anything may not increase anyone's chances of
> survival so why did emotions like hurt, sadness, etc. evolove as all of
> these are relative terms why consider them in cognition at all. so why
> select them ? if all they do is make the conscious mind unhappy. i
> believe that all thoughts originate either consciously or sub-
> consciouly to make the conscious mind happy so why did bad emotions get
> selected for ?
> Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
> Before you buy.

Perhaps being rewarded by your mate for giving her an Valentine's day
(or wedding anniversary?) gift makes you feel good, thus encouraging
such behaviors in the future, strengthening the mutual bond and
ultimately increasing your chances of mating.  On the other hand,
forgetting to give your mate a valentine's gift may result in some kind
of punishment by your mate which (hopefully) makes you feel bad and
discourages such behaviors (i.e. forgetting Valentine's day or your
wedding anniversary) in the future.  Therefore, feeling bad may act to
discourage behaviors which may ultimately reduce your reproductive
fitness.  Another example may be accidentally leaving your offspring in
the middle of the savannah to be eaten by lions.  Feeling bad after
losing your offspring in this way may help to discourage you from doing
it again with your other offspring.  


Brian Scott         
brians at eol.ca
brians at interlog.com

"In other studies you go as far as others have gone before you, and
there is nothing more to know; but in scientific pursuit there is
continual food for discovery and wonder."  -  Victor Frankenstein
(from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, 1818)

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