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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 - Emotion.doc

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McGill University
PSYC 100
Kevin Hamilton

Emotion: • Emotion and motivation are closely related aspects of behaviour: • Emotions are usually triggered by external stimuli • Motivation is often rooted in something internal (e.g cognition, survival instincts) • Emotion is often a source of motivation Types of Emotions: • Early concepts of emotional dimensions and intensity • James & Lange (1884) • Different patterns of autonomic activity underlie different emotions  sympathetic autonomic nervous system is arousing  parasympathetic autonomic nervous system is calming • Emotions follow (come after) physiological arousal • Cannon & Bard (1927) • All emotions have the same physiology • Emotion and physiological arousal happen simultaneously • Cognitive interpretation produces specific emotional state • Their ideas disappeared over time and are now starting to reappear in a different form • Plutchik (1927-2006) • Evolutionary theory of emotion 1  “basic” emotions are biologically primitive and apply to all animals, including humans  Have evolved in order to increase the survival and reproductive fitness of the animal • Eight primary emotions  Anger  Surprise  Fear  Anticipation  Sadness  Trust  Disgust  Joy • All other emotions are mixed or derivative states • Emotional dimensions and intensity displayed in the emotion solid (Plutchik, 1980) • His views are not far off from modern psychology • Today, Paul Ekman argues that there are seven primary emotions and that they manifest in facial expression: • Anger • Disgust • Happiness • Sadness • Fear • Contempt • Surprise 2 • Ekman wanted to know whether facial expression changes as society develops or is it universal and unchanged. His study results showed that the same emotional expression is found in people in the entire world. • Rules of display (or display rules) are a social group’s informal norms about when, where, and how one should express emotions, thereby creating variation in the expressions of emotions, which help determine one’s cultural and social identity. Purpose of Emotions: • Primary emotions are related to motivational states designed to enhance the likelihood of survival in all animals • Often we are motivated towards or away from a situation because of positive or negative emotions • Emotions communicate inner states both through facial expression and body language (80% of communication is non- verbal – E. T. Hall) • Body language can also convey emotions Characteristics of Emotions: • Subjective experience (affective state or feeling) • Bodily reaction: positioning, gestures, verbal influences (raised voice, crying), trembling, facial expression • Associated thoughts and beliefs (cognitions): • joy = accomplishment, acceptance • despair = failure, non-acceptance 3 • Global effect: negative or positive emotion can colour your outlook on the world • Associated actions and tendencies: anger = aggression Principle components of emotion: biological & psychological (cognitive) Biological component: • Physiological changes associated with autonomic nervous system activation through sympathetic division - arousal (except despair) • Release of epinephrine and norepinephrine increase levels of arousal • Debate over unitary physiological or multidimensional physiological effects • General sympathetic NS arousal but some physiological differences with some emotions (anger – body surface becomes warmer; fear – body surface becomes cold) • Some people are able to get aroused faster • Tonic immobility: a state (the third type of emotional reaction other than aro
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