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Psychology 1: General Psychology

Module 16

Emotion

 

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Psychology 1: General Psychology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J. Marie Hicks, Ph.D. Adjunct Psychology Instructor marie.hicks@rccd.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

INTRODUCTION

Emotional experience

 

Four components of emotion

 

First, interpret

 

Second, experience subjective feeling

 

Third, experience physiological response

 

Fourth, show observable behaviors

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emotional experience

Four components of emotion

First, interpret or appraise some stimulus in terms of your well-being

Second, experience a subjective feeling, such as fear or happiness

Third, experience physiological responses, such as changes in heart rate or breathing

Fourth, show observable behaviors, such as smiling or crying

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PERIPHERAL THEORIES

Studying emotions

Peripheral theory

Cognitive appraisal theory

Affective neuroscience

approach

James-Lange theory

 

Facial-feedback theory

The theory that feedback from instinctive facial responses (movement of muscles) is interpreted by brain as different emotions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Studying emotions

Peripheral theory

emphasizes how physiological changes in the body give rise to emotional feelings

Cognitive appraisal theory

emphasizes how interpretations or appraisals of situations result in emotional feelings

Affective neuroscience approach

studies the underlying neural bases of mood and emotion by focusing on the brain’s neural circuits that evaluate stimuli and produce or contribute to experiencing/expressing different emotional states

James-Lange theory

Says that our brain interprets specific physiological changes as feelings or emotions and that a different physiological pattern underlies each emotion

Facial-feedback theory

Says that the sensations or feedback from the movement of your facial muscles and skin are interpreted by your brain as different emotions

The free expression by outward signs of an emotion intensifies it. On the other hand, the repression, as far as this is possible, of all outward signs softens our emotions… Even the simulation of an emotion tends to arouse it in our minds. -Charles Darwin[1]

Charles Darwin was among the first to suggest that physiological changes caused by an emotion had a direct impact on, rather than being just the consequence of that emotion.

Refuse to express a passion, and it dies – William James[2]

Following on this idea, William James proposed that contrary to common belief, awareness of bodily changes activated by a stimulus “is the emotion”.[3] If no bodily changes are felt, there is only an intellectual thought, devoid of emotional warmth.

This proved difficult to test, and apart from studies of people with severely impaired emotional functioning, and some animal research, little evidence was available. The facial feedback hypothesis, “that skeletal muscle feedback from facial expressions plays a causal role in regulating emotional experience and behaviour”[4] developed almost a century after Darwin

While James included the influence of all bodily changes on the creation of an emotion, “including among them visceral, muscular, and cutaneous effects”,[5]modern research mainly focuses on the effects of facial muscular activity. One of the first to do so, Tomkins wrote in 1962: “…the face expresses affect, both to others and the self, via feedback, which is more rapid and more complex than any stimulation of which the slower moving visceral organs are capable”.[6]

Two versions of the facial feedback hypothesis appeared, although “these distinctions have not always been consistent”.[7]

The weak version, introduced by Darwin, sees the feedback intensify or reduce an emotion already present. McCanne & Anderson (1987) instructed participants to suppress or increase the zygomatic or corrugator muscle while imagining pleasant or unpleasant scenes. Subsequent alteration of the emotional response was shown to have occurred.

The strong version implies that facial feedback by itself can create the whole emotion

 

 

3

COGNITIVE APPRAISAL THEORY

Cognitive appraisal theory

Says that your interpretation, appraisal, thought, or memory of a situation, object, or event can contribute to, or result in, your experiencing different emotional states

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

AFFECTIVE NEUROSCIENCE APPROACH

Four qualities of emotions

First…

Second…

Third…

Fourth…

 

Affective neuroscience approach

Underlying neural bases of mood and emotion

Emotional director and memorizer

Amygdala

Brain circuits for emotion

Thalamus

Amygdala

Prefrontal cortex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four qualities of emotions

First expressed in stereotypical facial expressions, such as showing a fearful expression (open mouth, raised eyebrows), and accompanied by distinctive physiological responses

Second less controllable than we might like and may not respond to reason

Third influences many cognitive processes, such as making decisions, developing personal relationships, and selecting goals

Fourth hard-wired in the brain

Affective neuroscience approach

Studies the underlying neural bases of mood and emotion

Focuses on the brain’s neural circuits that evaluate stimuli and produce or contribute to experiencing and expressing different emotional states

Emotional director and memorizer

Physical survival depends on a brain structure about the size and shape of an almond called the amygdala

Amygdala

Located in the tip of the brain’s temporal lobe and receives input from all the senses

Monitors and evaluates whether stimuli have positive or negative emotional significance for our well-being and survival

Involved in storing memories with emotional content

Brain circuits for emotion

Thalamus

functions as a major relay station for all the senses (except smell)

Amygdala

recognizes threats almost immediately

Prefrontal cortex

involved in complex cognitive functions, such as making decisions, planning, and reasoning

 

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UNIVERSAL FACIAL EXPRESSIONS & FUNCTIONS OF EMOTIONS

Universal emotional expressions

Cross culture expressions (seven)

ANGER, happiness/joy, sadness, fear,

surprise, disgust, contempt

 

Social signals

Facial expressions

 

Evolutionary theory of emotions

Safety or Survival, attention, and memory

 

Arousal & motivation

 

 

Yerkes-Dodson law

difficult tasks

most tasks

easy tasks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Universal emotional expressions

Number of specific inherited facial patterns or expressions that signal inherited facial patterns or expressions that show specific feelings or emotional states, such as a smile signaling a happy state

Number of expressions (seven)

Cross culture

Anger, sadness

Happiness, fear

Surprise, disgust

Contempt

Social signals

Facial expressions

accompany emotions

may send social signals about how we feel as well as provide social signals about what we’re gong to do

Survival, attention, and memory

Evolutionary theory of emotions

says that one function of emotions is to help us evaluate objects, people, and situations in terms of how good or bad they are for our well-being and survival

Arousal and motivation

Yerkes-Dodson law

says performance on a task is an interaction between the level of physiological arousal and the difficulty of the task

difficult tasks

low arousal results in better performance

most tasks

moderate arousal helps performance

easy tasks

high arousal may facilitate performance

7

HAPPINESS

Positive emotions

Happiness

indicated by smiling and laughing

Reward/pleasure center

includes NA, VTA, and dopamine

 

Long-term happiness

Adaptation level theory

 

Happiness set point

personal level for being happy is half genetic and half environmental

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive emotions

Happiness

indicated by smiling and laughing

can result from

momentary pleasures, such as funny commercials

short-term joys, such as, a great date

long-term satisfaction, such as an enjoyable relationship

Reward/pleasure center

includes several areas

nucleus accumbens

ventral tegmental area

several neurotransmitters, especially dopamine

Long-term happiness

Adaptation level theory

says that we quickly become accustomed to receiving some good fortune (money, job, car, degree)

we take the good fortune for granted within a short period of time

impact of good fortune fades and contributes less to our long-term level of happiness

Happiness set point

each person has a set point for experiencing a certain level of happiness

some more and some less

personal level for being happy is half genetic and half environmental

 

8

CULTURAL DIVERSITY

Display rules

specific cultural norms or rules regarding emotion

Perceiving emotions

depends on culture

five emotions

 

 

 

 

 

 

Display rules

specific cultural norms or rules regulate how, when, and where a person expresses emotions and how much emotional expression is appropriate

Perceiving emotions

depends on culture

five emotions

surprise

anger

happiness

disgust

sadness

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RESEARCH FOCUS & APPLICATIONS

What is emotional intelligence?

The ability to express and control our own emotions, but most particularly the ability to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others.

 

1. Perceiving emotions

2. Reasoning with emotions

3. Understanding emotions

4. Managing emotions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is emotional intelligence?

The ability to express and control our own emotions is important, but so is our ability to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others.

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic.

Salovey and Mayer proposed a model that identified four different factors of emotional intelligence: the perception of emotion, the ability reason using emotions, the ability to understand emotion and the ability to manage emotions.

Perceiving Emotions: The first step in understanding emotions is to accurately perceive them. In many cases, this might involve understanding nonverbal signals such as body language and facial expressions.

Reasoning With Emotions: The next step involves using emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. Emotions help prioritize what we pay attention and react to; we respond emotionally to things that garner our attention.

Understanding Emotions: The emotions that we perceive can carry a wide variety of meanings. If someone is expressing angry emotions, the observer must interpret the cause of their anger and what it might mean. For example, if your boss is acting angry, it might mean that he is dissatisfied with your work; or it could be because he got a speeding ticket on his way to work that morning or that he’s been fighting with his wife.

Managing Emotions: The ability to manage emotions effectively is a key part of emotional intelligence. Regulating emotions, responding appropriately and responding to the emotions of others are all important aspect of emotional management.

According to Salovey and Mayer, the four branches of their model are, “arranged from more basic psychological processes to higher, more psychologically integrated processes. For example, the lowest level branch concerns the (relatively) simple abilities of perceiving and expressing emotion. In contrast, the highest level branch concerns the conscious, reflective regulation of emotion” (1997).

Lie detector (polygraph) tests

based on theory that, if a person tells a lie, he or she will feel some emotion, such as guilt or fear

guilt or fear will be accompanied by involuntary physiological responses

difficult to suppress or control; can be measured

Galvanic skin response

changes in sweating of the fingers (or palms)

accompany emotional experiences and are independent of perspiration under normal temperature

Control question technique

Lie detection procedure in which the examiner asks two kinds of questions designed to elicit large emotional responses

Person answers only “yes” or “no”

If guilty, expected to show a greater emotional response to critical questions than neutral questions

10

RESEARCH FOCUS & APPLICATIONS

Use of emotional intelligence…

 

Lie detector (polygraph) tests

 

Galvanic skin response

 

Control question technique

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emotional intelligence

Lie detector (polygraph) tests

based on theory that, if a person tells a lie, he or she will feel some emotion, such as guilt or fear

guilt or fear will be accompanied by involuntary physiological responses

difficult to suppress or control; can be measured

Galvanic skin response

changes in sweating of the fingers (or palms)

accompany emotional experiences and are independent of perspiration under normal temperature

Control question technique

Lie detection procedure in which the examiner asks two kinds of questions designed to elicit large emotional responses

Person answers only “yes” or “no”

If guilty, expected to show a greater emotional response to critical questions than neutral questions

11

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