Today I went to see a movie "Inside Out," a Disney animation on emotion, and how emotions interact.
I think Disney depicted the emotions pretty well, still keeping the information understandable. I would recommend that anyone interested in affect and neuroscience see this movie. The movie gives a brief but accurate account of how emotions interact to cause our behavior. The movie also goes into long and short term memory and lost or forgotten memories and images.
One thing that the movie depicts is that we are not completely in charge of all our emotions but that emotions are based on circumstances as well as on past memories and experiences. The movie also pointed out that emotions are also based on future expectations, which in turn involve past and current experiences.
The characters of happiness and sadness are initially working separately, each thinking their ideas are the only important thoughts, and then unite to create a thought process that is more beneficial. The unity of the characters of happiness and sadness united the other emotions, joy, disgust, fear, anger which also evolved. Disney depicted the presence of happiness as the most important emotion but the other emotions, once united, as a very necessary contributor to a person's well being.
Sometimes I think that there are those who feel that we have control of our behavior by just understanding what is going on and what may be the correct way of doing things. In this schema it is hard to accept that our behavior and actions are controlled by electrical and chemical interactions that form an action potential to initiate stimulation and our actions, which is based on storage of past experiences and other past stimulation. [But] there is the expression "that which fires together wires together."
by Richard Nikla, LMHC