The secondary emotions are those that have a major cognitive component. In support of the James-Lange theory, there is at least some evidence that arousal is necessary for the experience of emotion, and that the patterns of arousal are different for different emotions.
Our bodies respond in the way that they do to the perception of a snake because snakes are dangerous, and so danger is what the mental state is representing a, p. One example, noted by Darwin in The Origin of Species, is the skull sutures in newborns: The sutures in the skulls of young mammals have been advanced as a beautiful adaptation for aiding parturition [that is, live birth], and no doubt they facilitate, or may be indispensable for this act; but as sutures occur in the skulls of young birds and reptiles, which have only to escape from a broken egg, we may infer that this structure has arisen from the laws of growth, and has been taken advantage of in the parturition of the higher animals p.
Human Nature, 1, — Rather, the individual has acquired the emotion from some sub-population of society or a peer-group that the individual identifies with b. C: American Ethnological Society. The idea is that because cognitions are such strong determinants of emotional states, the same state of physiological arousal could be labelled in many different ways, depending entirely on the label provided by the social situation.
Making this evaluation sometimes requires a subtle understanding of what the emotion-causing stimulus is. The third theorist in this group, Antonio Damasio, is also able to account for the intentionality of the mental state that is caused by feedback from the body.