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Emotion Chapter 11 William G. Huitt Last revised: May 2005.

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1 Emotion Chapter 11 William G. Huitt Last revised: May 2005

2 Summary A human being is inherently –biological. –conditioned by the environment. –gathering data about the world through the senses and organizing that data

3 What and Why of Emotions A subjective sensation experienced as a type of psycho-physiological arousal Result from the interaction of –perception of environmental stimuli –neural & hormonal responses to perceptions (feelings) –a cognitive appraisal of the situation arousing the state –an outward expression of the state

4 What is the Value of Emotion? Emotions –determine personal viability –prepare us for action –shape our behavior (emotions are reinforcing) –regulate social interaction –facilitate communication nonverbally –facilitate adult-child relations and thus development –make life worth living by adding value to experience –allow us to respond flexibly to our environment (approaching good, avoiding bad)

5 What is the Value of Emotion? Emotions –largely a conscious phenomena –involve more bodily manifestations than other conscious states –vary along a number of dimensions: intensity, type, origin, arousal, value, self-regulation, etc. –are reputed to be “antagonists of rationality.” –have a central place in moral education and moral life through conscience, empathy, and many specific moral emotions such as shame, guilt, and remorse; inextrictably linked to moral virtues See de Sousa, R. (2003). Emotion. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy at

6 Theories of Emotions Theories of emotion –James-Lange theory of emotion The theory that emotional feelings result when an individual becomes aware of a physiological response to an emotion-provoking stimulus

7 Theories of Emotions

8 Theories of emotion –James-Lange theory of emotion The theory that emotional feelings result when an individual becomes aware of a physiological response to an emotion-provoking stimulus Requires separate and distinct physiological activity for each emotion

9 Theories of Emotions Theories of emotion –Cannon-Bard theory of emotion The theory that an emotion-provoking stimulus is transmitted simultaneously to the cortex, providing the feeling of emotion, and to the sympathetic nervous system, causing the physiological arousal

10 Theories of Emotions

11 Theories of emotion –Cannon-Bard theory of emotion The theory that an emotion-provoking stimulus is transmitted simultaneously to the cortex, providing the feeling of emotion, and to the sympathetic nervous system, causing the physiological arousal Cognitive labeling and action would follow consciousness of feeling and physiological arousal

12 Theories of Emotions Theories of emotion –Schachter-Singer theory of emotion A two-stage theory stating that for an emotion to occur, there must be (1) physiological arousal and (2) an explanation for the arousal

13 Theories of Emotions

14 Theories of emotion –Schachter-Singer theory of emotion A two-stage theory stating that for an emotion to occur, there must be (1) physiological arousal and (2) an explanation for the arousal Accounts for subjective interpretation Does not account for specific physiological states associated with some emotions

15 Theories of Emotions Theories of emotion –Lazarus theory of emotion The theory that an emotion-provoking stimulus triggers a cognitive appraisal, which is followed by the emotion and the physiological arousal Three aspects of appraisal –Primary (relevance) –Secondary (options) –Reappraisal (anything changed)

16 Three Ways to Measure Emotion Body/Physical –blood pressure –heart rate –adrenaline levels –muscle activity when smiling, frowning, etc. –neural images –posture –tears, –perspiration –lie detector readings

17 Three Ways to Measure Emotion Thoughts (observed indirectly through) –spoken and written words on rating scales –answers to open-ended questions on surveys and during interviews –responses to projective instruments, sentence stems, etc. –self-assessments or perceptions regarding the behavior and intentions of others –other cognitive operations such as rational/logical thinking

18 Three Ways to Measure Emotion Behavior –facial expressions –activity level –alertness –screaming –laughing –smiling –aggression –approach/avoidance –attention/distraction –insomnia –anhedonia

19 Emotion and the Brain Emotion associated with the limbic system The brain structure most closely associated with fear is the amygdala When the emotion of fear first materializes, much of the brain’s processing is nonconscious

20 Researchers using electro- encephalographs to track mood changes have found that reductions in both anxiety and depression are associated with a shift in electrical activity from the left to the right side of the brain Emotion and the Brain

21 Basic Emotions Paul Ekman and Carroll Izard –Insist that there are a limited number of basic emotions Basic emotions –Emotions that are found in all cultures, that are reflected in the same facial expressions across cultures, and that emerge in children according to their biological timetable Ekman –Suggested considering emotions as families –The anger family might range from annoyed to irritated, angry, livid, and, finally, enraged –If perceived as a family, anger should also include various forms of its expression

22 Plutchik Three-dimensional Circumplex Model

23 Protypical Behavior

24 Expression of Emotion Range of emotion –Ekman and Friesen Claim there are subtle distinctions in the facial expression of a single emotion that convey its intensity Development of facial expressions –Like the motor skills of crawling and walking, facial expressions of emotions develop according to a biological timetable of maturation –Consistency of emotional development across individual infants and across cultures supports the idea that emotional expression is inborn

25 Expression of Emotion Universality of facial expressions –Charles Darwin First to study the relationship between emotions and facial expressions Believed that the facial expression of emotion was an aid to survival because it enabled people to communicate their internal states and react to emergencies before they developed language Maintained that most emotions, and the facial expressions that convey them, are genetically inherited and characteristic of the entire human species Concluded that facial expressions were similar across cultures

26 Expression of Emotion Universality of facial expressions –Scherer and Wallbott Found very extensive overlap in the patterns of emotional experiences reported across cultures in 37 different counties on 5 continents Also found important cultural differences in the ways emotions are elicited and regulated and in how they are shared socially

27 Expression of Emotion Cultural rules for displaying emotion –Display rule Cultural rules that dictate how emotions should be expressed and when and where their expression is appropriate –Often, a society’s display rules require people to give evidence of certain emotions that they may not actually feel or to disguise their true feelings –Cole Found that 3-year-old girls, when given an unattractive gift, smiled nevertheless They had already learned a display rule and signaled an emotion they very likely did not feel

28 Expression of Emotion Cultural rules for displaying emotion –Davis Found that among first to third graders, girls were better able to hide disappointment than boys were –Not only can emotions be displayed but not felt, they can also be felt but not displayed –Most of us learn display rules very early and abide by them most of the time

29 Experiencing Emotion Facial-feedback hypothesis –Sylvan Tomkins Claimed that the facial expression itself – that is, the movement of the facial muscles producing the expression – triggers both the physiological arousal and the conscious feeling associated with the emotion –Facial-feedback hypothesis The idea that the muscular movements involved in certain facial expressions trigger the corresponding emotions

30 Experiencing Emotion Facial-feedback hypothesis –Ekman and colleagues Documented the effects of facial expressions on physiological indicators of emotion using 16 participants Reported that a distinctive physiological response pattern emerged for the emotions of fear, sadness, anger, and disgust, whether the participants relived one of their emotional experiences or simply made the corresponding facial expression Researcher found that both anger and fear accelerate heart rate, but fear produces colder fingers than does anger

31 Experiencing Emotion Facial-feedback hypothesis –Izard Believes that learning to self-regulate emotional expression can help in controlling emotions Proposes that this approach to the regulation of emotion might be a useful adjunct to psychotherapy Gender differences in experiencing emotion –David Buss Has reported that women are far more likely to feel anger when their partner is sexually aggressive Men experience greater anger than women when their partner withholds sex

32 Experiencing Emotion Gender differences in experiencing emotion –Research by evolutionary psychologists also suggests clear and consistent differences between the sexes concerning feelings of jealousy Men, more than women, experience jealousy over evidence or suspicions of sexual infidelity A women is more likely than a man to be jealous of her partner’s emotional attachment and commitment to another and over the attention, time, and resources diverted from the relationship

33 Experiencing Emotion Emotion and cognition –Emotion allows us to detect risk more quickly than we could with rational thought alone –It is possible that the anger-optimism link arises from confidence, whether justified or not, in concrete measures directed towards people who are perceived as potentially threatening

34 Fostering Emotional Functioning Emotional understanding –discern one’s own emotional states –discern other’s emotional states –properly use emotional vocabulary.

35 Fostering Emotional Functioning Emotional expression –use of gestures to display emotional messages nonverbally –demonstrate empathy by connecting one’s emotions to those of others –display both self-conscious as well as complex social emotions –Distinguishing between experiencing an emotion and action

36 Fostering Emotional Functioning Emotional regulation and management –coping with both pleasurable and aversive/distressing emotions –regulation of those situations that elicit emotions –ability to use an experience to strategically organize the experience in terms of setting goals and learning to motivate oneself and others

37 Triangular Theory of Love Robert Sternberg’s theory that three components – intimacy, passion, and decision/commitment – singly and in various combinations produce seven different kinds of love: 1.Liking (I) 2.Infatuated love (P) 3.Empty love (C) 4.Romantic love (I, P) 5.Fatuous love (C, P) 6.Companionate love (C, I) 7.Consummate love (I, C, P)


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