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PSYC18 2009 – Psychology of Emotion Course website: www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~cupchik/psyc18.htm Textbook: Oatley, Keltner & Jenkins (2006, 2nd Ed.) Understanding.

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Presentation on theme: "PSYC18 2009 – Psychology of Emotion Course website: www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~cupchik/psyc18.htm Textbook: Oatley, Keltner & Jenkins (2006, 2nd Ed.) Understanding."— Presentation transcript:

1 PSYC – Psychology of Emotion Course website: Textbook: Oatley, Keltner & Jenkins (2006, 2nd Ed.) Understanding Emotions. ***Midterm Marks: If you have not already received your midterm mark, please Michelle with your full name and student # Professor: Gerald Cupchik Office: S634 Office Hours: Thursdays 10-11; 2-3 Phone: TA: Michelle Hilscher Office: S142C Office Hours: Thursdays am

2 Consider a contrast between the objective & subjective approaches in psychology. Positivism goes hand in hand with an objective approach in science. In language use, every word must have a single meaning specified by an operation or scientific definition. It is nomothetic or rule oriented and searches for general laws. Romanticism fits with a subjective approach. We find the language of romanticism in myths and in everyday speech. Precise and narrow language cannot capture the complexities of psychology and personal life. It is ideographic and concerned with individual meanings in life. Psychodynamics & the Experience Approach

3 For psychodynamic theorists, behaviours in everyday life can refer to many meanings at once. People are understood as behaving in ways that are intentional and purposive though this might be unconscious. The goal of the psychodynamic viewpoint is to interpret and not to predict. It does not try to explain which is the goal of mechanistic and behavioural psychology. Mapping out the multiple referents of behaviour is fundamentally different from identifying causal or determining antecedents.

4 Sigmund Freud ( ) believed in the Darwinian view of humans. The ultimate source of human meaning lies in biological instincts inherited through the process of natural selection.

5 From the Psychodynamic Viewpoint: 1. Emotion is a qualitatively different phenomenon from thought. 2. Emotion is motivational in life and is more powerful than thought most of the time. 3. Emotion, more than thought, refers to some additional invisible unconscious processes. 4. Emotion expresses those aspects of a person’s fundamental nature that are not readily apparent to the conscious mind.

6 From the Psychodynamic Viewpoint: So, every emotion is the manifest content of a complicated psychological process which is largely unconscious. * The unconscious origins of emotion are the latent content. * The manifest content expresses the latent content in some altered form.

7 Emotion goes beyond the immediate situation. People carry around with them latent concerns from situation to situation.

8 * Emotion is NOT a behaviour which is a function of the environment. * Emotion is NOT quite what it appears to be consciously. To understand an emotion one must seek out the latent content of the emotion and relate it to the fundamental nature of the person. Freud worked with the notion of instinct or drive. An instinct is genetically determined and, when operative, it produces a state of psychic tension or excitation. This tension prompts the person to act which leads to gratification and the cessation of excitation.

9 Homeostatic Model: Tension --> Motor Activity --> Cessation of Tension This model reflects the deterministic philosophy that Freud was trained in. The human organism is seen as a complex energy system. It derives its energy from food and expends it for various purposes including: circulation, respiration, perceiving, thinking and remembering. Energy that was directed to psychological work was called psychic energy. We start with an absolute amount of psychic energy which is given over to different activities.

10 The instinct concept links psychology and physiology. It is a psychological representation of an inner somatic source of excitation. 1. the bodily excitation is called a need 2. the psychological representation is a wish For example: consider the state of hunger. Physiological condition of nutritional deficit in the tissues of the body leads to --> Wish for food

11 Four Characteristics of an Instinct: 1. Source - bodily condition or need 2. Aim - to abolish the deficiency 3. Object - activity involved in satisfying the need 4. Impetus - force or strength determined by the intensity of the underlying need This is an internal tension reduction homeostatic model The source and aim are constant throughout life but the objects or means to satisfy the needs can change. This implies that psychic energy is displaceable from object to object.

12 All adult interests, preferences, tastes and habits are displacements of energy from original object choices. * The life instinct relates to survival and the form of its energy is called libido. Freud focused on the sexual aspect of this instinct. * The death instinct involves aggressive drives and was described after World War I. Freud arrived at his psychodynamic approach based on evidence from hysterical symptoms and actions performed under post- hypnotic suggestion.

13 Unconscious mental events can manifest themselves in behaviour. Ideas can be unconscious and very strong and this leads to the idea of “inadmissability to consciousness.” Unconscious ideas which can become conscious are called preconscious ideas. Those denied access are called unconscious.

14 Repression: Ideas charged with affect are repressed and the idea and affect are separated. The affect (1) can be inhibited, (2) remain in consciousness but attached to another idea or (3) it can undergo transformation into anxiety. These repressed ideas become organized into and expressed as fantasies. Consider the contrast between PRIMARY and SECONDARY mental processes.

15 Primary Process Thinking: Original or primary way that the psychic apparatus functioned. Principles: (1)Exemption from mutual contradiction - absence of any negatives or conditionals so mutually exclusive ideas can coexist. (2) Thinking by allusion or analogy is frequent and part of an object, memory or idea may stand for the whole or vice-versa. A visual representation may appear instead of a word or even a group of words (i.e., a paragraph) (3) No sense of time..no “before” or “after” (4) In terms of drive energy there is a tendency to: i. Immediate gratification and ii. To shift cathexis (i.e., attachment) from the original object or method of discharge when blocked to another route.

16 Two features of primary process thinking that are relevant for dream construction and symbols. (1) Displacement - representation of part by a whole or in the general substitution of one idea by another which is associatively connected with it. (2) Condensation - representation of several ideas or images by a single word or image. Secondary Process Thinking: Ordinary conscious thinking that is primarily verbal, following the usual laws of syntax and logic.

17 Freud later developed his Structural Model which contrasted the id, ego and superego. THE ID: The id consists of personal drives and appears from birth. Its energy functions for instinctual gratification and operates according to the pleasure principle - achieve pleasure and avoid pain. Reflex Action - energy is automatically discharged in motor action (in eating, drinking, sexual orgasm, and so on)

18 Wish Fulfilment - energy is used to produce an image of the instinctual object. It does not distinguish between subjective imagery and objective reality. The image is a memory of past gratification. In sum: We expend instinctual energy to eliminate needs… a tension reduction process.

19 THE EGO: The ego has no energy of its own but acquires neutralized drive energy from the id. It operates according to the reality principle which is the ability to distinguish between stimuli of the outer world and id impulses from the inner world. The ego emerges to satisfy needs of the id upon frustration of the id by the environment. It represents a kind of executive functioning that mediates between the id and the environment.

20 Model: drive reaches threshold — delay of discharge — detoured searching — satisfaction Ego Functions: motor control, sensory perception, library of memories, thinking and attention, and defensive functions like repression. The ego is first and foremost a bodily ego — double-touch concept.

21 THE SUPEREGO: The superego has two parts - (1) the conscience and (2) the ego ideal. There is a change from external to internal source of moral demands and self regulation. It exists in the form of a spoken word — we internalize our parent’s superegos. Shaped by identification with family and others.

22 Let’s relate these ideas back to the topic at hand - our emotions: * All behaviour has both id and ego - energy & direction * Dreams and emotions are relatively unbound and work more according to instinctual processes. However, the context of emotions is more varied than the content of instincts. Energy becomes attached to memory images but we cannot readily access these early memories. The latent content of our memory images can only be discerned by associations that these images arouse. While emotional experience is often situationally and perceptually cued, its meaning comes from individual interpretations of and reactions to the situation itself. But the energy comes from early memories. All emotions are alike in terms of energy.

23 Three Groups of Emotions: 1. Relational emotions point to something outside the self (e.g., love and hate). Theory of Ambivalence - virtually every relationship will have been accompanied by both pleasure and pain. The family plays a crucial role here. The kinds of emotions that become differentiated depends on the dynamics of the family. Examples of emotions - clinging dependency, affection, longing, fondness versus temporary resentment, anger, or long term hostility. Affection can develop in response to affection. Longing can develop in response to indifference.

24 Three Groups of Emotions: 2. Reflective emotions are directed back toward the self (e.g., pride and guilt). The superego plays an important role here. 3. Anxiety expresses felt danger with no identifiable directionality.  Paradigm of the birth experience - flood consciousness at the moment of birth with painful bodily sensations...catastrophic reaction to perceived danger.  Problem of separation from one’s mother. So anxiety is a danger signal. Fear is a later development than anxiety.

25 Aesthetic Experience Now let’s apply this model to aesthetic experience. Consider your emotional reactions to unique meanings that are embedded in or expressed by paintings, plays, stories, films and so on.

26 Aesthetic Experience You need a proper aesthetic distance from a work which balances personal relevance (engagement) and aesthetic understanding (detachment). If the unique meaning floods you with emotion, you won’t like the piece and will withdraw. An artwork, story or play that is personally valuable permits you to get out your emotions without being overwhelmed by them.

27 Existential Phenomenology and Emotion The emotions experienced in a particular situation remind us of or resonate with earlier life experiences. In other words, they represent the tip of the iceberg. Looking back at the psychodynamic approach we see that it introduced the importance of reactions to the unique symbolic meaning (i.e., content or subject matter) of situations for individuals or members of groups.

28 Existential Phenomenology and Emotion However, when the emotional reaction is too powerful, it will be repressed by the ego and, as a consequence, the person might not quite know what is causing their bad feelings. The goal of therapy is to help the person gain access to both the feelings and their historic cause. This is usually accompanied by a catharsis, the release of emotion that was pent up in the unconscious. We contrast phenomenology with the positivist outlook on the world.

29 Positivist Outlook So what is known is relative to the knower, the knower’s own meanings and measurement tools. So knowing is a human activity of identifying, relating, measuring and interpreting data that are selected and defined by the knower according to the criterion that he or she selects. We never know from scratch. “Objective” knowledge is situated in prior understanding. What is real can be measured, calculated or controlled. Consider the paradox that in its quest for the physical entity that exists separate and completely independent of our conception of it, physical science has been led to a submicroscopic entity that is so dependent on our conception of it that existence can only be indirectly inferred & we encounter limits in our attempt to measure it.

30 Phenomenology Defined as “the science of experience”. Phenomenology looks at the effect of prior understanding on human experience, including knowing. Phenomena are not univocal but “appear” in a multiplicity of ways. Edmund Husserl ( ) argued that phenomenology begins with the direct description of experience. We have direct experience prior to thinking about it. We must begin with an understanding of “the situation”.

31 In this case, we examine the situation in relation to emotion. For example, fear is: (1) physiological change and... (2) cognitive appraisal and... (3) avoidance behaviour but... (4) first and foremost it is fear. It remains fear during and after scientific inquiry. Its essential being is its being fear. It means fear for us. The neurological, cognitive and behavioural analyses are related to each other because they all refer to the structure we call “fear”.

32 Why has science overlooked this experiential ontology (defined as the science of being)? By limiting fear to one aspect of its being, the physiologist discovers more about fear. The new discovery might be mistaken as the “essence” of fear. For Husserl, we have an “intentional” relation to our environment which makes it intelligible. We don’t experience the environment as an unrelated series of meaningless data to be subsequently made intelligible and related to one another. As Gestalt psychology has argued independently, we experience formal wholes, not disconnected data.

33 We have an understanding when we have a sense for the essence of a thing or event. These meanings are not introspected but are intuited. Introspection means to “look within” and is modelled on observation...and detachment. According to phenomenology, ideas and feelings are grasped without distance; they are intuited. You understand directly and immediately. You see a person “as angry”. Intuiting permits us to experience things are intelligible whole and not just as data. Each of these “wholes” is identified and understood against a spatio- temporal “horizon” or “field”.

34 To understand is to situate! The human environment is always first of all “a situation” - an organized hierarchy of wholes. Isolated and meaningless data are always the results of analytical abstraction from an original and organized whole. For Husserl, we experience phenomena as a whole because the act of experiencing is holistic. Don’t confuse the part or mechanism of experience with the experience itself. Phenomenology maintains that sensing and judging occur simultaneously.

35 To understand is to situate! The human environment is always first of all “a situation” - an organized hierarchy of wholes. Isolated and meaningless data are always the results of analytical abstraction from an original and organized whole. For Husserl, we experience phenomena as a whole because the act of experiencing is holistic. Don’t confuse the part or mechanism of experience with the experience itself. Phenomenology maintains that sensing and judging occur simultaneously.


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