Lecture 8: Chapter 10

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Published on 13 Jul 2011
School
UTSC
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC18H3
PSYC18 Psychology of Emotion Lecture 8:
Outline:
1) Does Emotion Help or Hinder Thought?
2) Hypotheses to Explain How Emotion Shapes Thinking: Congruence, Heuristic & Processing
Style
3) There are many }Pv]]ÀW}Y
Does Emotion Help or Hinder Thought?
- A historical debate:
- Plato: Emotional experiences are distracting.
- Francis Bacon: Emotions can bias the scientist.
- British Enlightenment: Emotions lead to inaccurate conclusions.
- Aristotle: Emotions give us something to think about.
- Socrates: Emotions facilitate moral judgment.
- German Romanticism: Emotions should guide development. Thoughts get in the way.
Mainstream View:
- Emotion Hinders... }v]vP~}v[Æo}}Z}]}v
o Thinking Toolbox
o Demons of stupidity t emotions are poor source of info, emotions misguide
- Emotion Helps... gives you motivation to take on challenge (Logic + Emotion), complementary
Two-Pronged Approach to Advertising: Emotions Help Get the Message Across.
o Metaphors explicitly help to communicate the message (ex: needle in haystack)
- tZv][d}µPZDPU}Pv]]ÀZoovPvD}]Àz}µ}'WZEP]À]ÇX
o (ex: blood on t-shirt)
- So, Does Emotion Help or Hinder Thinking?
- Clearly This Conflict is Embedded in Everyday Life.
- Where Does This Controversy Crop up in Psychological Research?
- One good example: logical reasoning research
- Is syllogistic reasoning helped or hindered by emotion?
o Basic Structure:
o All A are B
o No C are B
o Therefore, no C are A <--True or False?
- What if we add words to this structure?
o All A are B
o No C are B
o Therefore, no C are A
- Becomes:
o All cats are mammals
o No lizards are mammals
o Therefore, no lizards are cats
- NEUTRAL content added
- Conclusion is TRUE
- Conclusion is BELIEVABLE
- KÁvÁ}Á]Z]((v}µ}uY
o All reptiles are cold-blooded
o No lizards are cold-blooded
o Therefore, no lizards are reptiles
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- NEUTRAL content added t not emotional
- Conclusion is TRUE
- Conclusion is UNBELIEVABLE (incongruent structure: lizards are reptiles)
o Focus on their beliefs and not the structure
- What about making the incongruity insulting?
o All intelligent individuals are educated
o No women are educated
o Therefore, no women are intelligent
- EMOTIONAL content added t people do worse on this task
- Conclusion is TRUE
- Conclusion is UNBELIEVABLE (and insulting)
In the case of INCONGRUITY do we reason logically or pay attention to our emotions?
- All intelligent individuals are educated
- No women are educated
- Therefore, no women are intelligent
1. If we reason logically:
o attend to structure, not beliefs about content
o high accuracy
2. If we pay attention to emotions:
o attend to beliefs about content
o does this impede a focus on structure?
o is this detrimental to accuracy?
o Rationalist vs. Anti-Rationalists
- Rationalists: (never get the right answer)
o Emotions hinder reasoning.
o If you pay attention to your emotions and beliefs you will make mistakes when solving
syllogisms.
o Why?
- Anti-Rationalists: ~}]vPZlUÁZ[Á}vPÁ]ZvvUu}]]o
o Emotions help reasoning.
o If you pay attention to your emotions and beliefs they will boost reasoning capacity
when solving syllogisms.
o Why?
- Anti-Rationalist Position Makes Sense
- ^P}}o]v]}µvvÁZZ}Z}v]Ç]vPX/vZvUZuÇ
disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing
Á]ZX_
Lord, Lepper, and Ross (1979)
- Scientists encountering new study
- ](](]Z]o](ÇuY they are less critical of paper they are reviewing
- if it does not fit their belief systuY more critical of methods/structure, negative emotion
- Emotion breeds skepticism. Skepticism breeds elaborated cognitive analysis
RECAP: Emotions Can be Helpful to Cognition
1. Emotions allow us to prioritize.
o which goal is more important?
o e.g., $ or health?
2. Emotions give us motivation to persevere.
o also tell us when/if to switch plans
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