Mental States What Is A Mental State Essay

Length: 8 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Psychology Type: Essay Paper: #51921477 Related Topics: Positive And Negative Reinforcement, Grieving Process, Once Upon A Time, Positive Reinforcement
Excerpt from Essay :

Mental States

What is a mental state (Are all mental states the same)? Explain why we attribute states to others and what evidence we use. Discuss different types of mental states and explain how they relate to behavior and the world.

A mental state is when an individual is using their cognitive and emotional abilities, to respond to various forms of stimuli that they are receiving (from the outside world). In general, most people will often stay within various forms of mental states. (Mental Health 2011) This is because the majority, of individuals will remain in similar kinds of emotional patterns. Meaning; that these emotions and feelings will follow the same basic trends as the overall mood of the person.

For example, someone who is feeling depressed will more than likely remain in similar kind of emotional state. This is because, they have developed a neuro associative connection between: the various areas in the brain and how the body responds to information that it is receiving. As they have conditioned themselves to remain in these kinds of mental states to support for their views. This means that someone who is constantly feeling depressed emotional states will continue to do so. Until something, causes a change in their attitude. At which point, they may experience temporary improvements in their emotions. However, because they do not: understand what is taking place and have such strong neuro associative connections towards others emotional states; means that they will inevitably fall back into their original patterns. (Robbins 1991, pp. 538 -- 551)

Conversely, when someone is in constantly in empowering mental states, they will develop psychological connections that will constantly uplift them. Over the course of time, this will become the basic emotional patterns that they are subconsciously embracing. As, they are seeking out: those emotions that can support these trends. In this aspect, all mental states are not the same. The reason why is because, they will depend upon: past experiences of the individual, genetics and what they are telling themselves subconsciously. (Robbins 1991, pp. 538 -- 551)

The main factor surrounding why we are studying these attributes, is to gain a greater understanding of their personality. This is important, because knowing the complexities of these emotions, means that we can more effectively communicate with someone. Once this occurs, there is the possibility that we can be able to see this person alter their mental state (based upon: the effective communication that is taking place). (Robbins 1991, pp. 538 -- 551)

The basic evidence that we use to analyze these changes are: through a shift in the behaviors and attitudes of the individual. These two areas are obvious, as some kind of changes have taken place in the underlying mental state of the person. As, they will exhibit the opposite forms of behavior, while showing different emotions (through: their body language and other forms of non-verbal communication). This is important, because it is illustrating the basic tools that will be used, to see if we are having an impact at: changing the underlying mental state of the person. As this will allow us to effectively communicate with them and to see if they agree with the new information they are receiving. This is accomplished by: a change in their attitude, behavior and mood. (Robbins 1991, pp. 538 -- 551)

The two different types of mental states that relate to various forms of behavior include: representational and qualitative states. A representational state is when we are using various feelings of images, to represent the emotions that we are feeling. The basic idea is transfer these emotions to our physical body, so that they are reflecting the way we are acting. As, these sentiments are clearly expressed to the world in our behavior.

For example, someone that is an athlete and is proud of this fact will often engage in actions to: support feelings of appreciation for their physique. As they will often wear clothes that will highlight various parts of their body that are attractive (such as:...


This is important, because it showing how this person is in a representational state, as they want to transfer these positive feelings they have about themselves to the rest of the world. Once this occurs, it means that an individual will constantly engage in actions that will support these objectives and the underlying emotions. (Different Kinds of Mental States 2010)

A qualitative emotional state is when someone will represent specific emotions, based upon various events that are occurring in their lives. This is usually built off of: the experiences and the influences of social factors (on how someone should be reacting towards a particular event).

For example, when someone dies, a person is expected to go through a long period of grieving. As they need time to overcome the various emotional burdens that they are feeling from the loss. In this aspect, the individual will more than likely engage in these kinds of emotional states, due to the fact that it is expected of them. At which point, various events and emotions will trigger basic reactions that are in line with these different norms. This is important, because it shows the impact that group and social influences will have upon the emotions of an individual. (Different Kinds of Mental States 2010)

Digging further into the various Mental States of an Individual

It is also important to note that there are other factors that will also have an effect on the overall emotional states of a person these include: experiential, cognitive, and motivational. Experiential states are when you are looking at the specific facial reactions that someone is having towards various stimuli that they are receiving. Like what discussed earlier with reading someone's body language, the experiential state of thinking will be reflected in the way that someone shows various emotions towards certain events.

For example, when you see someone who is smiling and excited, you will deduce that they are in a very positive frame of mind. The reason why, is because of: the joy they are showing on their faces and the actions that they are taking to support these feelings. This is important, because understanding this mental state will help to provide greater insights as to: understanding someone's emotions and personality. (Seitz 2008)

In this aspect, comprehending these behaviors will help you be able to: see how someone is reacting to various situations. At the same time, it will assist in knowing the kind of mental state that someone is in (based upon these different reactions). At which point, you can have a greater understanding, as to how this person is reacting to: various events and stimuli from the world around them. Once this occurs, it provides specific insights as to what emotions are influencing someone based upon: the information that they are receiving. (Corrderio 2009, pg. 746)

The cognitive state is when you are looking at the process surrounding the actions that an individual is engaging in. As, you are examining the: overall feelings of the person and what they are telling themselves mentally to influence their behavior. This is important, because understanding this basic thought process will help to: understand the thinking patterns of the individual and what factors will be influencing them in the future. (Corrderio 2009, pg. 746)

For example, someone who is suffering from constant bouts of depression will more than likely experience: consistent thought patterns that are affecting their behavior. If you can understand this kind of thinking, you will have an effect on knowing how this person is interacting with the world around them. As you have identified the pattern and the influence that it is having on their behavior. Once this occurs, it means that you can be able to: introduce possible pattern interrupts and new ways of thinking, to change how a person is looking at various forms of stimuli. (Corrderio 2009, pg. 746)

In this aspect, various cognitive factors will have an influence on how someone is interacting with the world around them. This is because these patterns that they are exhibiting; will become a part of the personality of the individual. As a result, these trends will have an influence upon the behavior of the individual, by shaping how they are consistently reacting to: various events and stimuli. Over the course of time, this will subconsciously become the personality of: an individual and it will define who they are. This is significant, because understanding these trends and how to possibly interrupt the negative ones, can have an impact upon how someone is interacting with the world around them.

As far as motivational theories are concerned, they will help to support other mental states that an individual is in. This is because, they can serve as a basic foundation for giving a person different reasons for engaging in particular actions. At the heart of this kind of thinking, is what is known as positive motivationalism. Simply put, this is when you are…

Sources Used in Documents:


All About the Positive Effects of Motivation, 2011, Psyche Game. Available from: <> [11 April 2011].

Different Kinds of Mental States, 2010, Harvard University. Available from: <> [11 April 2011].

Mental Health, 2011, The Free Dictionary. Available from: <> [11 April 2011].

Corrderio, J, 2009, Enterprise Information System, Springer, New York.

Cite this Document:

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