Presentation on theme: "Fear, Anxiety & Disgust Class 22. Final Exam Date and Time Date:Tuesday, May 14 Time:11:45-2:45."— Presentation transcript:
Fear, Anxiety & Disgust Class 22
Final Exam Date and Time Date:Tuesday, May 14 Time:11:45-2:45
Hearing and Not Hearing Danger Signals: December 7, 1941
Signal Detection: Where to err? Danger Present Danger Not Present Sound Alarm Hit False Positive Don’t Alarm False Negative Hit X
Why Humans “Favor” False Alarms Humans faced signal detection dilemma for millennia Evolved in a highly dangerous world Evolutionary lessons “learned” by psyche are that: 1. Defenses must activate quickly 2. Must activate at hint of threat, not at certainty 3. Threat registered with minimal cues Le Doux's "Fear Loop": Direct link: auditory nuclei to amygdala. Bypasses thalamo-cortical path. Threat doesn’t require high-level analyses
Problem of Attention 1. Where to point the "radar dish", to best detect threat? 2. Timing: How do look at the right place AT THE RIGHT TIME to find threats? 3. How do we do anything else, if we're focusing only on threat?
Gross characteristics Fine characteristics Unconscious, voluntary Conscious, directed Can’t suppress/distract Can suppress/distract Parallel (several modes at once). Sequential (only one mode at a time). Does not require effort Effortful Can’t be observed by selfCan be observed by self (introspection). Automatic Controlled Automatic vs. Controlled Info. Processing
Gavin de Becker "Gift of Fear" Examples Unexpected Apprehension: Woman at drive- up ATM: Flash of fear due to suddenness, speed, closeness. Dark Humor: Package without return address "I'm going back to my office before the bomb goes off." Bomb went off--Unibomer. Joke allows for socially safe way to express fear.
Automatic Processing and Threat Detection Automatic, non-conscious mental activity gives us early warning system for detecting threat Implication: You can know and not know something at the same time--not know it consciously, know it unconsciously Ohman studies: show how this occurs Basic technique: Backward masking
1. Present picture of threatening stimulus very quickly (30 milliseconds) 2. Immediately after threat pix is shown, show a non-threatening picture. The second picture is a mask, blocks first picture from consciousness. 3. Reaction to first (masked) picture indicates unconscious processing Backward Masking
1. Pre-select: Snake phobic, not spider phobic Spider phobic, not snake phobic Have no fear of spiders or snakes 2. Targets: photos of snakes, spiders, flowers, mushrooms 3. Masks: Cut-up/reassembled target photos 4. Show target photo for 30 milliseconds. 5. Show mask for 100 milliseconds 6. Later, show target without mask 7. Outcome measure: GSR—a measure of anxiety. 8. All subjects exposed to photos of snakes, spiders, flowers, mushrooms in masked and, later, un-masked condition. Automatic Processing of Fearful Stimuli (Ohman & Soares, 1994)
Automatic Processing of Fearful Stimuli: Results of Masked Stimuli Only Masked Stims
Anxiety Primes Attention to Anxious Stimuli Subjects: Trait anxious vs. normal controls Auditory shadowing task * Attended ear – listens to story * Dis-attended ear -- threat words (kill, hate, disease) -- Neutral words (juice, table, leaf) Visual probes: Press “J” for names, “F” for foods Question: Is Reaction Time (RT) for visual probes affected by threat/neutral words?
Idealized Results of Shadowing Study Implication: Trait anxiety heightened sensitivity to threat.
Disgust vs. Other Basic Emotions DisgustOther Basic Emotions Appears cross culturallyXX Has characteristic facial expression XX Defined by cultureX Strong cognitive componentX Based on source experience— Ingestion X Based on a particular body area—mouth X
YUM! and YUCK! Are Culturally Influenced
Classes of Food Rejection 1. Distaste —based on sensory factors; smell, appearance, taste 2. Danger —Harmful, but could taste, smell good. 3. Inappropriate —Not edible substance. Have minimal nutritional value, almost always inorganic. 4. Disgust— a. Based the thoughts and images it creates. b. Also presume they would taste bad. c. Have the capacity to contaminate d. Usually are animals or animal products—feces # 1
Oral Nature of Disgust Disgust based on idea of oral incorporation into the self Mouth point of entry to digestive tract Mouth is emotionally highly-charged border between self/non-self Things in mouth more disgusting than things that get past mouth Which is more disgusting: A. ___ Cockroach in your mouth B. ___ Cockroach in your stomach X
“Inside” vs. “Outside” and Disgust Things become disgusting when they cross the self/non-self boundary: "Ego alien"--Allport Waste Saliva Chewed food "bolus" Exceptions:tears; loved ones' "products" Meaning of incorporation: You are what you eat. Transmission of disgusting “essences”
A Tale of Two Tribes Tribe A hunts wild boar Tribe B hunts sea turtles Which tribe is more: Fierce Steady Noisy Introverted Tribe A Tribe B Tribe A Tribe B
Disgust and Omnivore's Dilemma Advantage: Wider range of foods, flexibility in terms of opportunities Disadvantage: More chances of ingesting harmful things Role of Disgust? Helps quickly develop internal, automatic code for “good” vs. “bad” foods. Omnivore? Eats plants and animals
Classification of Disgusting Things Disgust derives largely from things associated with animals Body waste Decayed animal matter Carnivorous animals Scavengers Animals that look like humans Pets Almost all animals are considered disgusting food sources Food prepared to disguise animal nature
Why Animal Aversion? Rot easily Produce feces Embody emotionally charged ideas Closer to humans; evokes cannibalism taboo Need to maintain boundary between selves and animals: mortality fears
Psychosocial Aspects of Disgust Psychological contamination, trace elements Sympathetic magic: Fudge "reshaped" Disgust generalizes, Pavlovian conditioning study
Disgust and Human Development Disgust not present in infancy Freud: babies proud of waste Experiments: Kids < 2 years highly disgust tolerant Imitation dog poop62% Whole dried fish58% Grasshopper31% Human hair08% Task of preschool development--contamination sensitivity Kids < 8 reject, but on basis of taste not contamination Why 8+ to reject based on contamination? Ability for abstract thinking: digestion as process, understand particulate-->infection, understand time
What are these people thinking?
Disgust as the Basis for Morals: I Skunk Rat Louse Garbage Filth Pig Does ethical/moral sense arise from disgust? What words used to describe immoral or unethical behavior? DisgustingNauseating RevoltingLeft bad taste in my mouth Turns my stomach What words used to describe immoral or unethical people?
Disgust as Basis for Morals, II * Common link: -- Disgust occurs at prospect of bringing something harmful into ones self. -- Disgust serves to expel things that are dangerous and that contaminate. -- Moral revulsion serves to keep self, and social network, “pure”, free of behaviors that corrupt or thatcontaminate.