Psych 261 Chapter 12 Psych 261 Physiological Psychology Kalat: Biological Psychology 10th Edition Chapter 12

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16 Oct 2011
Psych 261 Chapter 12
Emotional Behaviours
-people’s definition of emotion is a conscious feeling that’s unobservable
-thus: scientists focus on emotional behaviours that are observable
Module 12.1
What is emotion?
-emotion: 3 components: cognition, feelings, and actions: where feelings are most central
-ex: you can have cognition and action, but feeling is the necessary aspect
Emotions, autonomic arousal, and the James-Lange theory
-emotion: leads to increased autonomic NS activity
-ex. A mix of sympathetic (fight v flight) and parasympathetic activity
-James-Lange theory: emotional events lead to cognition to action to feelings
-thus: the behavior causes feeling
-if true then decreased autonomic/skeletal response leads to decreased emotion;
-and increased response leads to increased emotion
Is physiological arousal necessary for emotions?
-ex. Paralyzed people: feel emotion just as well as before their paralysis
-but: paralysis doesn’t affect ANS so they still have emotion input from that
-ex. Pure autonomic failure: ANS can’t regulate responses (BP etc.)
-people with PAF still have same emotions as others but report less emotional response
Is physiological arousal sufficient for emotions
-if you increase sympathetic response without one having an explanation (such as exercise)
-leads to the person attributing it to emotion (ex fear)
-ex. Increased breathing leads to a panic attack, repeated panic attacks + worry over another->disorder
-Study: found smiling sensation increased happiness, frowning sensation decrease happiness
-ex: mobius syndrome: unable to move facial muscles to form a smile but still experience happiness
Brain Areas associated with Emotion
-some brain areas activate some emotions more strongly
Attempts to localize specific emotions
-limbic system: critical part of emotions; frontal and temporal cortices also play role
-insular cortex: shows increased activation with disgust emotion (but also associated with taste, fright)
-other emotions activate various parts of the brain, not centralized
Contributions of the left and right hemispheres
-left: associated with behavioural activation system (BAS)
-low to moderate autonomic arousal and approach tendency (ex. Happiness, anger)
-right: associated with behavioural inhibition system (BIS)
-increased attention, arousal, decreased action; increased activity in fear and disgust emotions
-increased left hemisphere activity associated with outgoing, happier
-increased right hemisphere activity associated with sadder people;
-but also: right hemisphere people are more response to emotional stimuli, expressions
The Functions of Emotions
-clear function for some emotions; ex. For fear (flight) and anger (fight); others are more ambiguous
-idea: emotions are a useful guide to making quick decisions (ex. Gut feeling)
Emotions and moral decisions
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