In M. Arnold, the intuitive evaluation of the object acts as a cognitive determinant of emotions. Emotion, like action, follows this assessment. “First I see something, then I imagine that this “something” is dangerous – and as soon as I imagine it, I get scared and run.” Thus, according to Arnold, we are afraid because we have decided as if we are threatened. She believes that as soon as a person directly and intuitively concludes that this or that subject is worth mastering, he immediately feels the attractiveness of this subject. As soon as a person intuitively concludes that something threatens him, he immediately feels that it has acquired a repulsive character and that it must be avoided. The emerging tendency to act, being expressed in various bodily changes, is experienced as an emotion. Assessment, according to Arnold, is characterized by immediacy, immediacy, and unintentionality, that is, intuitiveness.
In the concept of R. Lazarus, the idea of cognitive determination of emotions is also central. He believes that cognitive mediation is a necessary condition for the appearance of emotions. However, he criticizes M. Arnold for the fact that the concept of “estimate” remains subjective in her opinion and is not connected with the facts that are subject to direct observation, which leads to ignoring the question of the conditions for determining the estimate. In addition, Lazarus disagrees with Arnold about the fact that the evaluation is recognized by her as sensual (emotional) in nature. Two provisions are central to Lazarus’ concept:
- each emotional reaction, regardless of its content, is a special function of cognition or evaluation;
- The emotional response is some syndrome, each of the components of which reflects some important point in the overall reaction.
The central concept of Lazarus’ concept is “threat”, which is understood as an assessment of the situation based on the prevention of a future collision (confrontation) with harm, and the prevention is based on signals evaluated using cognitive processes. In essence, Lazarus considers affective reactions, not only experiences, because for him, emotion, judging from the first and especially the last work, is a syndrome that includes three main groups of symptoms – subjective experiences, physiological changes, and motor reactions.