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Introduction to Emotion Physiological Arousal:  Comes before emotion (James-Lange theory)  Comes with emotion (Cannon-Bard theory)  Becomes an emotion.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Emotion Physiological Arousal:  Comes before emotion (James-Lange theory)  Comes with emotion (Cannon-Bard theory)  Becomes an emotion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Emotion Physiological Arousal:  Comes before emotion (James-Lange theory)  Comes with emotion (Cannon-Bard theory)  Becomes an emotion when cognitive appraisal/label is added (Shacter-Singer two-factor theory) Emotions and the brain: Sometimes cognition is bypassed in emotional reactions Emotions and the body: The Autonomic Nervous system Emotions with different brain and body response patterns

2 Someone cuts you off on the road. You may feel the emotion of anger. Emotions are a mix of: Bodily arousal: sweat, pounding heart Emotion: Arousal, Behavior, and Cognition Expressive behavior: yelling, accelerating Conscious experience: (thoughts, especially the labeling of the emotion) What a bad driver! I am angry, even scared; better calm down. How do these components of emotion interact and relate to each other?  Do our thoughts trigger our emotions, or are they a product of our emotions?  How are the bodily signs triggered?  How do we decide which emotion we’re feeling? An emotion is a full body/mind/behavior response to a situation.

3 James-Lange Theory: body before thoughts Cannon-Bard Theory: body with thoughts Singer-Schachter/Two- factor theory: body plus thoughts/label Zajonc, LeDoux, Lazarus: body/brain without conscious thoughts  Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or did they evolve together?  Which happens first, the body changes that go with an emotion, or the thoughts (conscious awareness and labeling of an emotion), or do they happen together? Theories of Emotion: The Arousal and Cognition “Chicken and Egg” Debates

4  Our body arousal happens first, and then the cognitive awareness and label for the feeling: “I’m angry.”  According to this theory, if something makes us smile, we may then feel happy. James-Lange Theory: Body Before Thoughts William James ( ): “We feel afraid because we tremble, sorry because we cry.” The James-Lange theory states that emotion is our conscious awareness of our physiological responses to stimuli.

5  Human body responses run parallel to the cognitive responses rather than causing them. Cannon-Bard Theory: Simultaneous Body Response and Cognitive Experience The Cannon-Bard theory asserts that we have a conscious/cognitive experience of an emotion at the same time as our body is responding, not afterward. Adjusting the Cannon-Bard Theory  Emotions are not just a separate mental experience. When our body responses are blocked, emotions do not feel as intense.  Our cognitions influence our emotions in many ways, including our interpretations of stimuli: “Is that a threat? Then I’m afraid.”

6 I face a stranger, and my heart is pounding. Is it fear? Excitement? Anger? Lust? Or did I have too much caffeine? The label completes the emotion. Schachter-Singer “Two-factor” Theory: Emotion = Body Plus a Cognitive Label The Schachter-Singer “two-factor” theory suggests that emotions do not exist until we add a label to whatever body sensations we are feeling. In a study by Stanley Schachter and Jerome Singer in 1962, subjects experienced a spillover effect when arousal was caused by injections of what turned out to be adrenaline. The subjects interpreted their agitation to whatever emotion the others in the room appeared to be feeling; the emotional label “spilled over” from others.

7 Robert Zajonc, Joseph LeDoux, and Richard Lazarus: Emotions without Awareness/Cognition Theory: some emotional reactions, especially fears, likes, and dislikes, develop in a “low road” through the brain, skipping conscious thought. In one study, people showed an amygdala response to certain images (above, left) without being aware of the image or their reaction.

8 When Appraisal Affects Emotion Schachter and Singer highlighted the role of appraisal in labeling emotions: “this agitation is fear.” Richard Lazarus noted “top- down” cognitive appraisal of stimuli (is that a threat, or something I would enjoy?) influences emotion.

9 Summary: Theories of Emotion

10  Emotion can include the appraisal of the stimulus such as, is it a threat or not? Theories of Emotion Avoiding the highway today without identifying or explaining any fear is an example of the “low road” of emotion.


12 Embodied Emotion: The role of the autonomic nervous system  The physiological arousal felt during various emotions is orchestrated by the sympathetic nervous system, which triggers activity and changes in various organs.  Later, the parasympathetic division calms down the body.

13 Physiological Similarities Physiological responses related to the emotions of fear, anger, love, and boredom are very similar. Excitement and fear involve a similar physiological arousal. M. Grecco/ Stock Boston

14 Cognition and Emotion What is the connection between how we think (cognition) and how we feel (emotion)? Can we change our emotions by changing our thinking?

15 Embodied Emotion: How Do Emotions Differ in Body Signs?  It is difficult to see differences in emotions from tracking heart rate, breathing, and perspiration.  There is also a large overlap in the patterns of brain activity across emotions.  There are some small differences; for example, fear triggers more amygdala activity than anger. A general brain pattern: hemispheric differences Positive “approach” emotions (joy, love, goal- seeking) correlate with left frontal lobe activity. Negative “withdrawal” emotions (disgust, fear, anger, depression) correlate with right hemisphere activity.

16 Physiological Differences Physical responses, like finger temperature and movement of facial muscles, change during fear, rage, and joy. The amygdala shows differences in activation during the emotions of anger and rage. Activity of the left hemisphere (happy) is different from the right (depressed) for emotions.

17 Expressed and Experienced Emotion See if you can tell what emotions others are feeling, showing, and expressing about these topics:  Detecting emotions in others  Gender, emotion, nonverbal behavior  Culture and expressed emotions  Using context to read emotions  Are there universally recognized emotions?  Do facial expressions affect feelings?

18  Are there universal forms of emotional expression seen on human faces across all cultures?  Are there differences by individual, culture, or gender in how emotions are expressed?  What is the relationship between emotional expression and the inner experience of emotion?  What emotion do we see in these faces and body positions?  If these emotions are hard to read, is it because it’s a different culture from your own, or because it’s a performance?

19 Culture and Emotional Expression Facial expression such as happiness and fear are common throughout the world. (Universal language) Americans are more likely than Asians to openly display their feelings by their facial expressions. Children’s facial expressions – even those of blind children who have never seen a face– are also universal. To effectively manage emotions, people would be best advised to control their facial expressions.

20 Detecting Emotion in Others  People read a great deal of emotional content in the eyes (“the window to the soul”) and the faces.  Introverts are better at detecting emotions; extroverts have emotions that are easier to read.  We are primed to quickly detect negative emotions, and even negative emotion words.  Those who have been abused are biased toward seeing fearful faces as angry, as in the test below. These faces morph from fear to anger. Raise your hand when you first see anger under the red box.

21 Detecting Lies and Fakes  Polygraphs (detecting physiological arousal) fail sometimes at correctly identifying when people are lying.  Visible signs of lying: eye blinks decrease, and other facial movements change. Brain signs of lying: In which image is Paul Ekman “lying” with a fake smile?  A real smile uses involuntary muscles around the eyes.

22 Emotion-Lie Detectors  Polygraph  machine commonly used in attempts to detect lies  measures several of the physiological responses accompanying emotion  perspiration  cardiovascular  breathing changes

23 Emotion--Lie Detectors  Is 70% accuracy good?  Assume 5% of 1000 employees actually guilty  test all employees  285 will be wrongly accused  What about 95% accuracy?  Assume 1 in 1000 employees actually guilty  test all employees (including 999 innocents)  50 wrongly declared guilty  1 of 51 testing positive are guilty (~2%)

24 Emotion--Lie Detectors Guilty knowledge test--typically used to assess a suspect’s responses to details of a crime.

25 Gender and Emotional Expression and Detection  Women seem to have greater and more complex emotional expression.  Women are also more skilled at detecting emotions in others.  However, this is an overgeneralization. People tend to attribute women’s emotionality to their dispositions, and attribute men’s emotions to their circumstances. We also see some emotions as being more “male,” changing our perception of a gender-neutral face based on the emotion (below): How about now? Male or female?

26 Gender, Emotion, & Nonverbal Behavior Females are better at reading people’s emotional cues. Women are also far more likely than men to describe themselves as empathic (identifying with others). Women also react more visibly to films displaying emotions. Women and men also differ in the emotions they express best. Women recalled being happy nearly 2/3's of the time, but they were able to spot it less than half the time when observing men. Men, however slightly surpassed women in conveying their anger.

27 Culture and Emotional Expression: Are There Universally Recognized Emotions?  There seem to be some universally understood facial expressions.  People of various cultures agree on the emotional labels for the expressions on the faces on the right.  People in other studies did have more accuracy judging emotions from their own culture.

28 Emotion Detection and Context Cues  What emotions do you see below? How can you tell what emotions he is feeling?  Because the faces are exactly the same, our detection of emotion must be based on context: the situation, gestures, and the tears.

29 Linking Emotions and Expressive Behaviors: Facial Feedback  The facial feedback effect: facial position and muscle changes can alter which emotion we feel.  In one study, people whose faces were moved into smiling or frowning positions experienced a change in mood.  Fake a relaxed smile, and you might feel better!  It’s not just about faces. In one experiment, extending a 1) middle finger or 2) thumb while reading led to seeing characters with 1) hostility or 2) positive attitude. The guy at the top, though forced into a smiling position, ended up feeling happier than the other guy.

30 The Effects of Facial Expression If facial expressions are manipulated, like furrowing brows, people feel sad while looking at sad pictures. Attaching two golf tees to the face and making their tips touch causes the brow to furrow.

31 The Effects of Facial Expressions When people mimicked expressions of emotion, they experienced those emotions.

32 Analyzing Emotion Analysis of emotions are carried on different levels.

33 Fear Fear can torment us, rob us of sleep, and preoccupy our thinking. However, fear can be adaptive – it makes us run away from danger, it brings us closer as groups, and it protects us from injury and harm.

34 Learning Fear We learn fear in two ways, either through conditioning and/or through observation.

35 The Biology of Fear Some fears are easier to learn than others. The amygdala in the brain associates emotions like fear with certain situations.

36 The Biology of Fear The amygdala plays a key role in associating various emotions, including fear, with certain situations.

37 The Biology of Fear Rabbits fail to react with fear to a signal of impending shock if they have suffered damage to the amygdala

38 Anger Anger “carries the mind away,” (Virgil, B.C.), but “makes any coward brave,” (Cato B.C.).

39 Causes of Anger 1.People generally become angry with friends and loved ones who commit wrongdoings, especially if they are willful, unjustified, and avoidable. 2.People are also angered by foul odors, high temperatures, traffic jams, and aches and pains.

40 Anger (Rage) Anger is most often evoked by events that not only are frustrating or insulting but also are interpreted as willful, unjustified, and avoidable. Blowing off steam may be temporarily calming, but in the long run it does not reduce anger. Expressing anger can actually cause more anger.

41 Catharsis Hypothesis Venting anger through action or fantasy ---- achieves an emotional release or “catharsis.” Opposing Theory-- Expressing anger breeds more anger, and through reinforcement it is habit-forming. Catharsis emotional release catharsis hypothesis “releasing” aggressive energy (through action or fantasy) relieves aggressive urges

42 Cultural & Gender Differences 1. Boys respond to anger by moving away from that situation, while girls talk to their friends or listen to music. 2. Anger breeds prejudice. The 9/11 attacks led to an intolerance towards immigrants and Muslims. 3. The expression of anger is more encouraged in cultures that do not promote group behavior than in cultures that do promote group behavior. Wolfgang Kaehler

43 Feel-Good, Do-Good Phenomenon When we feel happy we are more willing to help others.

44 Emotional Ups and Downs Our positive moods rise to a maximum within 6-7 hours after waking up. Negative moods stay more or less the same throughout the day.

45 Emotional Ups and Downs Over the long run, our emotional ups and downs tend to balance. Although grave diseases can bring individuals emotionally down, most people adapt. Courtesy of Anna Putt

46 Subjective Well-Being Subjective well-being is the self-perceived feeling of happiness or satisfaction with life. Research on new positive psychology is on the rise.

47 Happiness & Satisfaction Subjective well-being (happiness + satisfaction) measured in 82 countries shows Puerto Rico and Mexico (poorer countries) at the top of the list.

48 Wealth and Well-being Many people in the West believe that if they were wealthier, they would be happier. However, data suggests that they would only be happy temporarily.

49 Wealth and Well-being 1. In affluent societies, people with more money are happier than people who struggle for their basic needs. 2. People in rich countries are happier than people in poor countries. 3. A sudden rise in financial conditions makes people happy. However, people who live in poverty or in slums are also satisfied with their life.

50 Does Money Buy Happiness? Wealth is like health: Its utter absence can breed misery, yet having it is no guarantee of happiness.

51 Experienced Emotion The Adaptation-Level Principle: Happiness is Relative to Our Prior Experience If our current condition– income, grade point average, or social prestige, for example– increases, we feel an initial surge of pleasure. We then adapt to this new level of achievement, come to consider it as normal, and require something even better to give us another surge of happiness.

52 Experienced Emotion  Adaptation-Level Phenomenon  tendency to form judgments relative to a “neutral” level  brightness of lights  volume of sound  level of income  defined by our prior experience

53 Relative Deprivation  Relative Deprivation  perception that one is worse off relative to those with whom one compares oneself

54 Happiness People who are happy perceive the world as being safer. They are able to make decisions easily, are more cooperative, rate job applicants more favorably, and live healthier, energized, and more satisfied lives.

55 Happiness is... Researchers Have Found That Happy People Tend to Have high self-esteem (in individualistic countries) Be optimistic, outgoing, and agreeable Have close friendships or a satisfying marriage Have work and leisure that engage their skills Have a meaningful religious faith Sleep well and exercise However, Happiness Seems Not Much Related to Other Factors, Such as Age Gender (women are more often depressed, but also more often joyful) Education levels Parenthood (having children or not) Physical attractiveness Money

56 How to be Happier 1.Realize that enduring happiness doesn’t come from financial success. 2.Take control of your time 3.Act happy 4.Seek work and leisure that engages your skills. 5.Join the “movement” movement 6.Give your body the sleep it wants 7.Give priority to close relationships 8.Focus beyond self 9.Be grateful 10.Nurture your spiritual self

57 Close Up: Opponent-Process Theory of Emotion Opponent process theory--every initial emotional reaction triggers an opposing emotion that diminishes the intensity of the initial emotional reaction.

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