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1. What is meant by ‘affective primacy’? 2. What is the Implicit Association Test (IAT)? If you haven’t already, take an IAT: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/

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Presentation on theme: "1. What is meant by ‘affective primacy’? 2. What is the Implicit Association Test (IAT)? If you haven’t already, take an IAT: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/"— Presentation transcript:

1 1. What is meant by ‘affective primacy’? 2. What is the Implicit Association Test (IAT)? If you haven’t already, take an IAT: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/ 3. How do psychopaths, discussed in this chapter, compare with Damasio’s patients with damage to their vm prefrontal cortex, discussed in chapter 2? 4. How do autistic individuals compare with Damasio’s patients? 5. What is the philosopher’s ‘trolley problem’? What is the utilitarian solution? What is the deontological solution? 6. The old saw about how to avoid argument (e.g., with your spouse) was “count to 10 before you say (or do) something”. What would Haidt give us a reason this may work (at least some of the time)? Chapt 3. Elephants Rule

2 1.What is meant by affective primacy? Erin, Clemente, Chi-yun, Anne-Lise, Maleny, GoEun 2. What is the Implicit Association Test (IAT)? Matt, Kevin, Ana, Adam, Than-Thao 3. How do psychopaths, discussed in this chapter, compare with Damasio’s patients with damage to their vm prefrontal cortex, discussed in chapter 2? Jessica, Andy, Erika, In Kee, Nguyen 4. How do autistic individuals compare with Damasio’s patients? Juliann, Adelle, Megan, Tatiana 5. What is the philosopher’s ‘trolley problem’? What is the utilitarian solution? What is the deontological solution? Noralie & C.J. (re seminar paper) 6. The old saw about how to avoid argument (e.g., with your spouse) was “count to 10 before you say (or do) something”. What would Haidt give us a reason this may work (at least some of the time)? Vikki, Charles, Jasmine, Patricia

3 Brains evaluate everything in terms of potential threat or benefit to the self, and then adjust behavior accordingly. “Animal brains make such appraisals thousands of times a day with no need for conscious reasoning” to answer the fundamental question of animal life: Approach or avoid? Wilhelm Wundt: “affective primacy” – small flashes of positive or negative feeling that prepare us to approach or avoid something. Every emotion (such as happiness or disgust) includes an affective reaction, although most affective reactions are too fleeting and subtle to be called emotions.Tightly integrated with perception so that we find ourselves liking or disliking something the instant we notice it, sometimes even before we know what it is. 1. BRAINS EVALUATE INSTANTLY AND CONSTANTLY

4 Zajonc dual-process model: Affect or “feeling” first It has primacy both because it happens first (it is part of perception and is therefore extremely fast) and because it is more powerful (it is closely linked to motivation, and therefore it strongly influences behavior). Thinking second It is an evolutionarily newer ability, rooted in language and not closely related to motivation. In other words, thinking is the rider; affect is the elephant. 1. BRAINS EVALUATE INSTANTLY AND CONSTANTLY

5 2. SOCIAL AND POLITICAL JUDGMENTS ARE PARTICULARLY INTUITIVE Take the IAT! flower–happiness hate–sunshine love–cancer cockroach–lonely  2 nd and 3 rd judgments made more slowly than 1 st and 4 th because of inappropriate affect flash from first word = affective priming

6 3. OUR BODIES GUIDE OUR JUDGMENTS Insular Cortex: involved in olfactory signalling and disgust reactions generally. Series of experiments showing effects on moral judgments of bad smells, terms established as negative through hypnosis, being near or far from hand sanitizer, having washed your hands 4. PSYCHOPATHS REASON BUT DON’T FEEL Psychopaths: defined by what they do—impulsive antisocial behavior, beginning in childhood what they lack – moral emotions – they feel no compassion, guilt, shame, or even embarrassment, which makes it easy for them to lie to or hurt others Rider works just fine, but there is no underlying moral compass (elephant).

7 5. BABIES FEEL BUT DON’T REASON Violation-of expectation (VOE) paradigm – permitted testing of very young babies. They’re not so blank slate! Helper and hinderer experiments of Bloom (video).

8 Damasio’s studies of brain-damaged patients show that the emotional areas of the brain are the right places to be looking for the foundations of morality, because losing them interferes with moral competence. Question: do they become more active just before someone makes a moral judgment or decision? Utilitarianism: you should always aim to bring about the greatest total good, even if a few people get hurt along the way – go ahead and push. Deontology (from Greek ‘duty’) – people have duties to respect the rights of individuals, and we must not harm people in our pursuit of other goals, even moral goals such as saving lives. Greene: we go on our gut feeling – that is the true basis of deontological reasoning – utilitarian judgments are more cool and calculating (the rider at work) 6. AFFECTIVE REACTIONS ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME IN THE BRAIN

9 Greene et al compared stories that involved direct personal harm (though for a good reason) vs. ones that involved impersonal harm. Subjects had to press one of two buttons to indicate whether or not it was appropriate for a person to take the course of action described—for example, to push the man or throw the switch. Results: When people read stories involving personal harm, they showed greater activity in several regions of the brain related to emotional processing. Across many stories, the relative strength of these emotional reactions predicted the average moral judgment. Greene (quote from another study): “We have strong feelings that tell us in clear and uncertain terms that some things simply cannot be done and that other things simply must be done. But it’s not obvious how to make sense of these feelings, and so we, with the help of some especially creative philosophers, make up a rationally appealing story [about rights]”. 6. AFFECTIVE REACTIONS ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME IN THE BRAIN

10 The Trolley Dilemma

11 Fig. 2. Schematic representation of the timing and anatomical localization of brain microstates in response to accidental harm (top left) in the right posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS)/temporoparietal junction (62–140 ms) and to intentional harm (bottom left) in the right amygdala/temporal pole (122–180 ms) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (182–304 ms). Stimulus exemplars of the 2 classes of stimuli (intentional and accidental harmful actions) are shown at right. Three transverse brain sections show the estimated localization of the intracranial brain generators of the 3 main microstates.


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