PSYC 2600 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Hedonic Treadmill, Tom Cruise, Positive Illusions

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16 Aug 2016
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Thursday, August 4th, 2016
PSYC 2600 – Emotion and Personality
Ch. 13:
-Approaches to emotion
-Happiness & well-being
-Emotion & attention
-Trait anger
-Affect intensity
Emotion & Personality:
-Emotions include 3 components:
1. Distinct subjective feelings or affects
oHappy, sad, angry
2. Bodily changes, mostly in nervous system
oHeart rate, sweating, heavy breathing
3. Distinct action tendencies, or increases in probabilities of certain behaviours
oTom Cruise jumping on a couch
-Individual differences – appraisals
-Issues in Emotion Research
oEmotional states vs. emotional traits
oCategorical vs. dimensional approach to emotions
Categorical Approach:
-Small # of primary & distinct emotions – which emotions are primary?
-Lack of consensus attributable to diff criteria for defining emotion as primary
oFacial expression
oMotivational property
oApproach/avoidance
Dimensional Approach:
-Based on empirical research (vs. theoretical criteria)
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-Ratings, & factor analysis
-Consensus on 2 basic dimensions
oPleasant/unpleasant, high arousal/low arousal
Pleasantness/unpleasantness & arousal?
The Affect Circumplex: *diagram in lecture slide*
Content vs. Style of Emotional Life:
-Content of emotional life
-Style of emotional life
-Interaction of content & style in emotional life
Content of Emotional Life:
-Pleasant emotions: happiness & life satisfaction
oDefining happiness:
1. Judgment that life = satisfying (cognitive)
2. Predominance of positive relative to negative emotions (affective)
oPositive illusions
Part of being happy = to have positive illusions about self (inflated view of
self as good, able, desirable person)
Who’s Happy?
-Age? Gender? Marital status? Religion? Ethnicity? Income? Hedonic treadmill?
Does Money Make People Happy?
-Wealthy countries vs. poor countries
-What about within countries?
oIn very poor countries, economic status predicts happiness; once ppl can afford
necessities, increasing financial status isn’t related to well-being
oWithin affluent societies, economic growth not accompanied by rise in life
satisfaction
-Poverty = problems, but income unrelated to happiness?
-Threshold of income
-Absence of health & wealth bring misery, but presence of health & wealth doesn’t
guarantee happiness
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