PSYC 325 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Emotion, Learned Helplessness, Adrenal Gland

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Psyc 325 Ch 10 emotion, learning and memory
Emotion=cluster of three distinct but interrelated phenomena: physiological response (heart rate,
respiration), overt behavior (facial expression) and conscious feelings (subjective).
Small set of universal emotions: hard wired at birth= happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust,
surprise.
Display rules- appropriate ways to display emotions in different social context
Arousal (flight or fight response)= body’s way to prepare you to face a challenge or threat. Either by
fighting or running away. BP increase, blood flow increase to provide energy, etc. these body changes
mediated by autonomic nervous system (ANS): the collection of nerves and structure that control
internal organs and glands.
It sends signal to the adrenal gland which release stress hormones eg: epinephrine (adrenaline) and
glucocorticoids (Cortisol).
*happy and surprise can also cause physiological arousal similar to stress
theories of emotions
-James lange theory of emotion: conscious feeling of emotion occur when the mind senses the
physiological response associated with fear or arousal.
-Somatic theories of emotion: physiological response to stimuli comes first and these determine or
induce emotions
-Cannon Bard theory of emotion: stimuli simultaneously evoke both emotion and arousal
-two factor theory of emotion: combination of cognitive appraisal and perception of biological change
together determine our experience of emotion. *high bridge study
non human animals
-fear response: gorilla display piloerection (body hair stands) make itself look bigger and more
threatening . more extreme, they may urinate and defecate.
-laughter in rats, dogs and apes=social expression of joy
Focus on fear
-conditioned emotional response: learning to predict danger
when rat given shock, it freeze (by staying still in response to danger can help avoid predator/
allocate full attention to sensory input). The freezing is not learned, its innate. UR-freeze evoked by
US-shock, also evoke URs-increase BP and heart rate. If the shock US is repeatedly present with CS-
tone/light, the animal learn the CS US association then produce CR= conditioned emotional response:
its fast and long lasting /hard to distinguish
-conditioned escape: learn to make particular response in order to escape aversive stimulus. Learn
very fast.
-learning to avoid danger altogether (Conditioned avoidance):
animal learn to make particular response to avoid and prevent arrival of aversive stimulus. Animal
will make the avoidance response even the US not deliver.-> propose 2 factor theory to explain
avoidance learning: involve interaction btw classical and operant conditioning . the first stage is
classical conditioning because tone is paired with shock, it became warning signal and become CS
that evoke fear CR to prepare upcoming US(shock). Then operant conditioning occur because the
avoidance response (lever pressing) is reinforced because to avoid the tone and thus the shock. * but
the avoidance still exist once the outcome not presented.
….therefore another explanation : cognitive expectancy theory: animal learn the outcome of
responding and of not responding and then make a decision to respond or not based on comparison
btw 2 expected outcome.
*integrated theory maybe?
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