Schacter and Singer used their experiment to test their two-factor theory of emotion.
They see emotion as the result of an interaction of two factors:
- A state of arousal.
- A cognitive appraisal of the situation the person is in at the time.
In other words, it is not the nature of the physiological arousal itself that identifies the emotion but our
cognitive interpretation of it. So, if someone cannot explain why they are experiencing physiological arousal, they will associate it with
something in their current environment and label their feelings based on this.
For this reason this theory is also referred to as the cognitive labelling theory.