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3.2C OGNITIVE LEVEL OF ANALYSIS : C OGNITION AND EMOTION 3.3 A N INTEGRATIVE LOOK AT HAPPINESS Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness 21:20 min.

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Presentation on theme: "3.2C OGNITIVE LEVEL OF ANALYSIS : C OGNITION AND EMOTION 3.3 A N INTEGRATIVE LOOK AT HAPPINESS Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness 21:20 min."— Presentation transcript:

1 3.2C OGNITIVE LEVEL OF ANALYSIS : C OGNITION AND EMOTION 3.3 A N INTEGRATIVE LOOK AT HAPPINESS Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness 21:20 min.


3 W HAT ARE THE 3 PRINCIPLES THAT DEFINE THE COGNITIVE LEVEL OF ANALYSIS ? 1.Human beings are information processors 2. The mind can be studies scientifically 3. Cognition processes are influenced by social and cultural factors

4 E XPLAIN HOW PRINCIPLES THAT DEFINE THE COGNITIVE LEVEL OF ANALYSIS MAY BE DEMONSTRATED IN RESEARCH Cognition and Emotion: Daniel Goleman: Why aren't we more compassionate?Daniel Goleman: Why aren't we more compassionate?

5 R ESEARCH IN C OGNITION AND E MOTION THAT DEMONSTRATE THE 3 PRINCIPLES OF CLA: LeDoux – Biological Factors in Emotion Lazarus and Folkman (1984) - Appraisal Brown and Kulik – flashbuld memory Schachter and Singer – two factor theory of emotion.


7 R ESEARCH M ETHODS U SED 1.PET 2. fMRI 3. MRI 4. EEG 5. Case Studies 6. Experimental 7. Correlation studies 8. Interviews 9. observations



10 D ISCUSS THE EXTENT TO WHICH COGNITIVE AND BIOLOGICAL FACTORS INTERACT IN EMOTION ? VideoVideo : The Science of Stress Physiology Emotions Fight Flight (3:33)

11 E MOTIONS AND M EMORY Where were you when the planes hit the Twin Towers? Where were you when the Sandy Hook shooting took place? Why do we remember some events but not others? We appear to remember those events that involve emotions Emotions are physical signals which react to external stimuli.

12 E MOTIONS CONSIST OF 3 COMPONENTS Physiological changes, such as arousal of the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system that are not conscious The person’s own subjective feeling of an emotion Associated behavior, i.e. smiling or running away. Cognitive appraisal is an interpretation Physiological stimuli (fight or flight) and cognitive appraisal (based upon experience) results in a decision about what to do.

13 B IOLOGICAL F ACTORS IN EMOTION Amygdala – brains emotional center. Stress hormones i.e. adrenaline are released when strong emotions are evoked. LeDoux, The Emotional Brain (1999) 1. short route: thalamus to amygdala 2. long route: neocortex and hippocampus before emotional response Flexibility in responses

14 T HE S CHACHTER -S INGER T WO -F ACTOR T HEORY OF E MOTION Video The theory posits that the experience of particular emotions is dependent on cognitive labels exerting a “steering function” over general physiological arousal. Hypothesized: in the absence of an “appropriate explanation” for arousal participants could be manipulated into experiencing an emotion by manipulating aspects of the available “cognitive circumstance.”

15 F OLLOWING THE IMPLICATIONS OF THEIR THEORY S CHACHTER AND S INGER ALSO PROVIDED THREE IMPORTANT ANCILLARY PROPOSITIONS : (1) In the event that an individual has no causal explanation for an arousal state he or she will label arousal in terms of available cognitions. (2) In the event that an individual has appropriate explanation for arousal alternative cognitive labeling will be unlikely. (3) Under identical “cognitive circumstances” an individual will only respond with emotional experience to the degree that he or she is physiologically excited. Interactive Activity:

16 T HE P ROCEDURE The experiment was “cast in the framework of a study of the effects of Vitamin supplements on vision.” [3] Researchers told all 184 participants, all male college students, that they would be receiving injections of the vitamin compound “Suproxin.” In reality the injected compound was ½cc of either epinephrine or saline (placebo) solution, creating experimental and control conditions respectively.

17 participants who received the epinephrine were assigned to one of three conditions “Informed” participants were made aware of the injection’s potential side effects (e.g. increased heart rate, shakiness, etc.), thus giving an “appropriate explanation” of arousal.” “Ignorant” participants were not given any information regarding potential side effects and thus no explanation for arousal. “Misinformed”. participants were made aware of fabricated side effects. (in order to control for effects of introspective anxiety in the face of side effects). The final variable manipulated was the “cognitive circumstance.”

18 P ROCEDURE C ONT., Participants were left alone for 20 minutes with paired stooges (blind to participant condition) who were trained to act in either a “euphoric” or “angry” manner. Emotional state was then experimentally measured via one-way mirror assessments (semiprivate index) of the participants’ behavior relative to the stooge. The results of the experiment confirmed Schachter and Singer’s original hypothesis. In both the “euphoric” and “angry” conditions participants in the “Ignorant” and “Misinformed” conditions consistently showed significantly higher scores on both activity indices and self report scales than those in the Informed and Placebo conditions. (refer pg 18/19 of original study)

19 C OGNITIVE F ACTORS IN EMOTION : APPRAISAL Lazarus: Appraisal are evaluations related to how the situations will impact an individual's well being. Positive emotions emerge if appraisal is benefitical Negative emotions emerge if appraisal is harm Cognitive appraisal is important to how people react to emotional stress AND that stress is not only physiological. People actively interpret and evaluate what is happening around them. An individuals experience of stress can be moderted.

20 L AZARUS : M ODERATING INDIVIDUAL APPRAISAL OF STRESS Characteristics that influence stress perception: Motivation Beliefs about one’s self and the world Environmental variables, such as the nature of the danger or the social networks Strategies for stressful situations: Problem-focused coping: aims to fix the problem causing the stress Emotion-focused coping: handles the emotions rather than changes the problem. e.g. escape, self control, seeking social support or attempting to seek a positive appraisal of the situation.

21 S PEISMAN ET AL (1964) PG 90 Read Speisman – regarding film on genital surgery. Aim: to investigate if peoples emotional reaction to the unpleasant film could be manipulated. Procedure: film was presented with three different soundtracks 1. trauma condition 2. denial condition 3. intellectualization condition It may not be the event itself that elicits the emotional response, but rather the individuals appraisal of those events.

22 E MOTION AND COGNITIVE PROCESS : FLASHBULB THEORY FLASHBULB Brown and Kulik (1977) – Flashbulb memory – vivid and detailed memories of highly emotional events that appear to be recorded in the brain as though with the help of a camera’s flash. Suggests that there is a neural pathway that triggers an emotional arousal because the event is unexpected or extremely important. Emotional events are better remembered than less emotional events.(amygdala???) Neisser (1985) challenges People do not know an event is important until after, so perhaps it is rehearsal and reconsideration of the event. Story telling.

23 Post event information and current attitudes and emotions influence memory. Breckler (1984) : Bias in memory Peoples current attitudes toward blood donation impacted their memories about how they felt when they donated blood in the past. Holmber and Holmes (1994) men whose marriages had become less happy over time tended to recall early interactions in the marriage being more negative than they had originally been reported.


25 3.3 A N INTEGRATIVE LOOK AT HAPPINESS Lyubomirsky (2001): humans have an inborn set point for happiness. It accounts for 50% of our overall perceived happiness, 10% is due to circumstance and 40% is influenced by others.

26 C OGNITIVE FACTORS IN HAPPINESS : BELIEFS ABOUT HAPPINESS Social Comparison Theory: people learn about and assess themselves by comparisons with others. Happiness is stimulated by having more than the other guy. But how long does this feeling of happiness last? Level of aspiration theory: Reaching certain goals? People assess what they can gain and how likely it is that they will achieve their goal. Expectations are influenced by previous experience, and by desire. But how long does this feeling of happiness last?

27 D OES M ONEY B UY H APPINESS ? Myers and Dieners (1995): no direct link between an increase in wealth and happiness Hagarty (2003): happiness was correlated with equality of distribution of wealth (US and seven other countries) Comparing yourself to someone who is more fortunate- upward comparison – leads to dissatisfaction. People believe they will be happier in the future then in the present

28 Johnson and Kruger (2006) happiness is being satisfied with one’s salary – the size of the salary does not matter, it is the perception. Illusory correlation – making faulty associations between variables. Conway, di Fazio and Mayman (1999) Research – Money brings happiness? Method: questionnaires – judge high status individuals with a lot of money and low- status individuals with no money. Population: 159 young men and women Results: false belief that wealthy individuals would be happier, less angry, less depressed and experience less fear in daily life.

29 C ASE S TUDY : C HALLENGING ESTABLISHED BELIEFS OF HAPPINESS Lori and Reba Schappel – conjoined at he head for 40 years. Share blood supply and brain tissue. Lori use to work in a hospital Reba is a country singer

30 R EFLECTING ON HAPPINESS What is happiness to you? Is it based upon emotion or reason? Do Reba and Lori really know what happiness is?

31 S OCIAL FACTORS ABOUT HAPPINESS According to the Dalai Lama, Happiness is determines more by the state of one’s mind that by the external conditions, as long as basic survival needs are met. If people base their happiness on wealth, they will lose their happiness if they lose their money.

32 G ROSS N ATIONAL H APPINESS King of Bhutan – introduced the term Gross National Happiness – a measure of growth and happiness. The ultimate purpose of life is inner happiness “Knowing your limitations; Knowing how much is enough”

33 T HE HAPPIEST P EOPLE IN THE WORLD ? The Danes Denmark has the highest level of income equality Prosperous economy Well functioning democracy Winning the 1992 EU championship in football didn’t hurt. Danes do not have high expectations of the future, they are realistic

34 N ATIONAL HAPPINESS RANKING (W ASHINGTON POST S EPT. 2013) map-of-the-worlds-happiest-and-least-happy-countries/

35 S HOULD THE GOVERNMENT PUT MORE FOCUS ON MAKING PEOPLE HAPPIER VS WEALTHIER ? Should happiness be the measure of a counties well being? BBC survey found 81% of the population think the government should focus on making people happier rather than wealthier. Happiness was associated with health levels (correlation 0.62), followed by wealth (0.52) then education (0.51) Positive psychology: conducts research that looks to promote human happiness and well-being Experience of positive emotions is also associated with: trust, safety, and lack of corruption

36 B IOLOGICAL FACTORS IN HAPPINESS People adapt to their environment: habituation – we become use to the way things are. We adjust to noise or disabilities or even lose the excitement of a new car – things that once shined bright, begin to pale. Humans have an inner voice of dissatisfaction that prompts them to strive for more. Humans tend to notice trouble Tend to focus on the negative aspects Survival technique???

37 G ENETICS Happiness Twin Study - compared happiness scores among sets of identiacal and fraternal twins who grew up together or apart. Mostly white and born in Minnesota. Identical twins are very similar in their happiness scores (raised together or apart) Fraternal twins do not show same pattern Conclusion: each individual has a genetic set point, or innate baseline of happiness, and that 50% of peoples happiness is genetically determined. Refer pg 99 for more information. Pros and cons?

38 S ONJA L YUBOMIRSKY, T HE H OW OF H APPINESS (2007) What do you think are characteristics or the recipe for happiness? Devote a lot of time to friends and family Can easily express gratitude for what they have Often the first to offer help to people in need Optimistic outlook on the future Enjoy pleasures of life and live in the present Spend time doing physical exercise Committed to lifelong goal and ambitions such as fighting fraud Cope well in times of crisis

39 E XTENDED E SSAY I DEAS ….. Does culture matter in happiness? To what extent is it possible to increase one’s happiness level? Why is there a difference in peoples beliefs about happiness and what psychology research shows?


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