To define emotion, you need theoretical perspectives and these are:
JamesLange Theory of Emotions
A theory proposed by William James and Carl Lange, that emotions were our physiological responses to stimuli in
our worlds. When we speak of emotions, we mean the physiological sensations that come bundled with our
thoughts. If we didn’t have such sensations, we would feel emotionless.
• These responses were products of our autonomic nervous system.
– The autonomic components changes the activity of autonomic nervous system
– The hormonal responses reinforce the autonomic responses.
– Example of this: U are hiking in a forest, then you stumble on a bear, what will happen ( you heart
starts pounding while you are running away and experiencing emotion called fear in this case. He will
ask you what is the definition of fear. The bear is an external stimulus that can sees as the cause of the
fear BUT it is NOT the SOURCE of the feeling of the fear. The feeling comes from the physiological
response of the target stimuli which is the bear thus our autonomic nervous system ( change in heart
rate, breathing, etc). this research is currently supported like Anthonio damashio: supports this
hypothesis based on the neurological testing. Relationship among many of these is interrelated, we don’t
have to subjectively percieve it but rather we are born with it.
TwoFactor Theory of Emotions
• A theory proposed by Schacter and Singer argued that emotions were our interpretation of our
• Often it is clear how we interpret our physiological responses, and this is why in many situations the
interpretation part doesn’t seem necessary.
• But there are sometimes situations where the source of our feelings isn’t so clear to us. In these situations
there is evidence for the TwoFactor theory.
• Example: You are attending a long distance race. The bear or runing, cause us to run. During runningà
same heart beat/breathing/other but it is considered as an excitement. But when you see the bearà you get
the same response but you call it fear.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Study:
• Either an attractive female research assistant or an average-looking male research assistant approached
young male participants, either just as they stepped off of the Capilano Suspension Bridge, or when they
were standing on the wooden platform at the base of the park.
• They were asked to complete a questionnaire.
• One of the dependent measures was the percentage of participants who later called up the research assistant,
apparently to find out the results of the study (see Dutton &Aron, 1970) ( were given the phone number so
if you are good looking female, they guys might actually call you to find out)
Results: percentage of calling RA Male vs the female RA
• Male participants were especially likely to call back the RA (research assistance) if she was female and they
had met her on the bridge. Why?
• Apparently, the men misattributed their arousal from the bridge to be due to their attraction to the RA
( they thought their heart is beating because of this)
• The same physiological arousal can be interpreted to indicate two very different emotions.
• If one focuses on the physiological sensation associated with emotions, there is much similarity across
• However, if one focuses on the interpretation of those sensations, there is more evidence for emotional
variability across cultures ( since your interpretation depends on our culture) Chapter 14
Facial Expressions of Emotions
• What facial expressions correspond with what emotions? Originally Darwin noted that facial expressions
from other animals seemed to parallel those made by humans (i.e., people living in Victorian England).
• (Emotion develops through evolutionary history. Since our origin is the same, we can tell what others
animals are feeling ( it is not random). If we see similarity btw humans and other closely related species,
then we might say the universality of the crime. You can guess if dog is pissed, and some of chimps are
similar emotions to use)
2 Studies of the Universality of Facial Expression
Ekman, Sorenson, and Friesen (1969) and Ekman and Friesen (1971)
There are culturally universal basic emotions. Such emotions strongly correspond to their facial expressions ( these
include, fear, happy, sad, etc)
• Procedure: Paul Ekman and colleagues followed up on Darwin’s suggestion and explored how similarly
people made facial expressions for emotions around the world.
• They initially found much similarity across industrialized countries with how people recognized posed
• However, given that it is possible that people from industrialized countries have such similar facial
expressions because they have learned them from each other, Ekman decided to test people from a culture
with almost _no interaction with Westerners. He went to investigate the Fore of New Guinea. So he
showed that different emotions (angry, disgust, happy, sad, shock, fear)
• Results: If no idea about what emotion, then they would have gotten 1/6 gotten right ( by chance) 0.1666.
But compare to these values. These values are very high it indicated that our understanding of cultural
emotions is universal. On average, in these 5 cultures the emotions are same (even though some variation
exists btw different culture)
• Questions: May be the cultures are not different and because of that they are getting different results.
Fore Tribe, Papua New Guinea
• Procedure: In one of Ekman’s studies with the Fore(these are people that have NOT exposure to the west
or other what so ever as they are very primitive people), participants were asked to show their face if a
number of different kinds of emotioneliciting events had happened to them.
• Results: there was similarity thus we can conclude that these six basic emotions are similar around the
world (Happiness, Fear, Sadness, Surprise, Disgust, Anger) (exam). Ekman proposed that these are a set
of “basic emotion ” which are reflexively reproduced and recognized across the human species.
Other Universal Expressions?
• Some other emotions are considered by some researchers to also have universal expressions, although the
international evidence is not yet as compelling. Such as expression of Contempt, Shame, Interest, Pride.
Research on Pride
• Jessica Tracy proposes that there is a universally recognized expression of pride. Rather than being
restricted to the face, the pride pose involves much of body (expanded posture, head back, slight smile. A
lot of people recognize these)
Burkina Faso, Africa
Can this expression be observed outside of western culture? She targeted small tribe in Burkina faso.
Procedure: given different emotion including the pride one.
Results: 57% of the participant selected the word pride for this ( 8 options in total so chance in 12%. So 57
doesn’t look high but it does seem to be universal)
Study two: blind judo players: Compare to care when they lost, the number of times they expanded, raised
their hand. Thus means this is innate since you have never seen this.
In sum, the pride expression is universally recognized and produced around the world, even among those born
blind. Expressions of some emotions are not confined to the face, but can involve bodily posture as well. Chapter 14
Display rules culturally specific rules that govern how and when and to whom we express emotion
Ritualized displays – highly stylized ways of expressing particular emotions
Displays rules: show picture of white model and Japanese model:
Results: Interdependent culture: show weaker facial expressions may be because their culture tells them to not to
be over emotions in public. The white girl is a model and have strong expressions The Japanese girl even she was a
friend but still did not express herself too much ( very ritualized)
Cultural Control of Emotional Expression: Display Rules’’
• Private Condition: Both Americans and Japanese show the same negative facial expressions
• Public Condition: Japanese were less likely to express negative emotions
Ingroup Familiarity matters. Specially something like Emotional perception which his is culturally learned. For
example, if you show Chinese and Canadian a harper smiling, face. Canadians say Harper is smiling. For Chine