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Lecture 11

Lecture 11.docx

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PSYC 2600
Elizabeth Nisbet

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Lecture 11 (ch.13) Emotion & Personality - Emotions include three components • Associated with distinct subjective feelings or affects • Accompanied by bodily changes, mostly in the nervous system • Accompanied by distinct action tendencies, or increases in probabilities of certain behaviors - People differ in emotional reactions, even to the same event, so emotions are useful in making distinctions between persons - Emotions are your experience, they may look or feel differently than someone else - Palms of hands sweating, heart racing, breathing heavier – physiological changes Emotion & Personality - Issues in Emotion Research • Emotional States Versus Emotional Traits • Categorical Versus Dimensional Approach to Emotions Emotional States Versus Emotional Traits - Emotional states: Transitory, depend more on the situation than on a specific person - Emotional traits: Pattern of emotional reactions that a person consistently experiences across a variety of life situations - People have different emotions than other people to the same situation - The same person can experience different emotions in the same situation at different times Categorical Versus Dimensional Approach to Emotions - Categorical approach • Focus on identifying a small number of primary and distinct emotions • Lack of consensus about regarding which emotions are primary • Lack of consensus is attributable to different criteria used for defining an emotion as primary - Primary = emotions that everyone in the world can experience - Lack of consensus – some say need physiological pattern, brain pattern, something innate that you don’t have to learn Categorical Versus DimensionalApproach to Emotions - Dimensional approach • Based on empirical research (vs. theoretical criteria) • Emotions ratings, and statistical techniques to identify dimensions underlying ratings • Consensus on two basic dimensions: Pleasant/Unpleasant and HighArousal/Low Arousal • Two-dimensional model suggests every emotion can be described as a combination of pleasantness/unpleasantness and arousal (high/low) TheAffect Circumplex - Categorizes emotions - Seeing how different emotions are similarly experienced Outdoor Walk Studies - University students – “impressions of campus” - Completed well-being measures (trait well-being) • Depression (CESD) • Subjective Happiness • Positive affect • Vitality - Random assignment to indoor (n = 68) or outdoor (n = 71) walk - Temperature range: 5-15 °C, M = 8.43 ° C - Post-walk State Well-Being • “How do you feel right now?” - Positive and Negative affect - Vitality - Results....***** - Can we manipulate mood based on someone’s environmental experience? • Do moods differ in different environments?  Ex. tunnel vs. outside - Measured person’s trait happiness before the walk, then measured their state happiness after the walk (their current emotions) - People who walked inside had more negative emotions; so environment has as affect on emotions Content Versus Style of Emotional Life - Content refers to the specific kinds of emotions that a person experiences (what) • Positive, negative, high, low - Style refers to how emotions are experienced (how) • Really intense vs. really low - Content and style have trait-like properties (stable over time and situations, meaningful for making distinctions between people) - Students happy 65%, neutral 15%, unhappy 20% Content of Emotional Life - Pleasant emotions: Happiness and life satisfaction • Researchers have defined happiness in two complimentary ways:  (1) Judgement that life is satisfying (cognitive)  (2) Predominance of positive relative to negative emotions (affective) - Affect = mood Content of Emotional Life - Self-report and non-self-report measures of happiness correlate with self-report scores on social desirability • Part of being happy is to have positive illusions about the self, an inflated view of the self as a good, able, desirable person - Survey measures of happiness and well-being predict other aspects of people’s lives we would expect to relate to being happy • Compared to unhappy people, happy people are less abusive, less hostile, report fewer diseases, are more helpful, creative, energetic, forgiving, and trusting • Thus, self-reports of happiness are valid and trustworthy - Is happiness related to important life outcomes? • Correlation between wanting to fit in and happiness  Could be related to a positive self-image of yourself - Everybody has an optimistic bias, a bit of a self-enhancing view where you think positively about yourself - Idea in society that happiness is valued - When people score high on happiness it predicts certain things (ex. health, relationships, trust, social skills) Who’s happy? - Not one age when people are happiest, but at different ages, different things are responsible for making us happy - No differences in happiness for gender - Married people report being happy – but it could be marriage causes happiness or just that people who enter into marriage are happier people - No differences in religion or ethnicity Content of Emotional Life - What we know about happy people • National differences in subjective well-being  People in poorer countries are less happy  People in countries that provide citizens fewer civil and political rights are less happy  Differences in economic development of nations may be a key source of differences in happiness of countries - Differences in subjective well-being for country-level happiness - Economic development = access to health care / education, etc. • So poor countries may not be unhappy because they’re poor, but may be because they have less access to certain things (less opportunities to meet basic needs) Does Money Make People Happy? - Wealthier countries have higher levels of life satisfaction, but national wealth is confounded with many SWB variables (health care, education) - Address confounds by looking at relationship between income and happiness within countries - In very poor countries, economic status predicts happiness; however, once people can afford necessities, increasing financial status isn’t related to well-being - Just because people have more money, they don’t report being happier - After basic needs are met, increases in money does not increase happiness - When people base their happiness on material things it actually leads more to depression – you go nowhere – always striving for more, but then adapt, and need more money to feel the same level of happiness – hedonic treadmill Does Money Make People Happy? - Within affluent societies, economic growth not accompanied by rise in life satisfaction - How can poverty be associated with many problems, and yet income is unrelated to happiness? - Answer may lie in threshold of income, below which a person is unlikely to be happy; once above threshold, more income doesn’t produce more happiness - Absence of health and wealth bring misery, but the presence of health and wealth does not guarantee happiness Happiness and $ - How $$ can make us happy (Elizabeth Dunn’s research) - People who spend money on others makes them feel happier than spending money on themselves • It doesn’t matter who much money - But people predict spending more money and spending on themselves will make them happier, but that’s not what research shows Other ways to measure well-being - Redefining progress - Gallup - (Un)Happy Planet Index • Your happiness compared to the environment - Consumerism and Affluenza • Acquiring material things makes you happy - Voluntary Simplicity (Brown & Kasser) • Living without electronics, more simply, makes you happier Personality! - Extraversion It
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