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Carl Lange and Psychology: Theory, Overview

Instructor: Chevette Alston

Dr. Alston has taught intro psychology, child psychology, and developmental psychology at 2-year and 4-year schools.

This lesson briefly discusses Carl Georg Lange and his contributions to the field of psychology. Lange was best known for his theory of emotion, which is often paired with William James's work as the James-Lange theory of emotion.

Carl Georg Lange

Carl G. Lange
Carl G. Lange

Vordingbor, Denmark (12/4/1834 - 04/29/1900)

Carl Lange was known for his research and contributions to the fields of neurology, psychiatry, and psychology. His early work includes aphasia, bulbar palsy, tabes dorsalis, and spinal cord injuries. In psychology, aphasia is known as a disturbance in the ability to form and comprehend language and occurs for a variety of reasons. An example of this disorder would be a person forgetting a commonly known word due to stroke or brain injury.

James-Lange Theory of Emotion

In psychology, Carl Lange is better known for his theory about emotion. Lange's theory was that emotions are influenced by physiological reactions to stimuli. His work was later paired with that of American psychologist William James. Their similar theories were coupled to create the James-Lange theory of emotion. This theory proposes that physical arousal occurs when a stimulus is presented and is followed by emotion when the brain reacts to the nervous system. For example, the heart rate increases when we see a snake and a fear or startle response is the emotion that follows.

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