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Lecture 8

PSYB30H3 Lecture 8: PSYB30 LEC 8 - CHAP 13
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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB30H3
Professor
Lisa Fiksenbaum
Semester
Winter

Description
PSYB30 LEC 8 Chapter 13: Emotion and Personality ● Emotions ○ Has 3 components: ■ Emotions have distinct subjective feelings, or affects, associated with them ■ Emotions accompanied by bodily changes → nervous system ● Changes in breathing, heart rate, muscle tension, face/bodily expressions ■ Emotions accompanied by distinct action tendencies → increases in probabilities of certain behaviours ● Action tendency (activity) associated w/ fear = fight or flight ○ Ppl differ from e/o in their emotional reactions ○ Charles Darwin ■ Functional analysis of emotions and emotional expressions ■ Focuses on “why” of the emotions/expressions ■ Whether they increase fitness of individuals ■ Concluded emotional expressions communicate info from one animal to other about what’s likely to happen Issues in Emotion Research → Emotional States Versus Emotional Traits ● Emotional states = transitory ○ Depend on more on the situation a person is in than the specific person ○ States have a specific cause -- >that cause originates outside of the person (typically) ● Emotions as traits ○ Often characterize ppl by stating what emotions they frequently express ○ Consistencies in a person’s emotional life → Categorical vs Dimensional Approach to Emotion ● Categorical approach → those who think that primary emotions are the key ○ Anger, joy, anxiety, sadness ○ Ekman ■ requires that a primary emotion have a distinct facial expression that is recognized across cultures ○ Izard ■ Primary emotions distinguished by their unique motivational properties ■ Emotions guide behaviours by motivating a person to take specific adaptive actions ○ Relies on conceptual distinctions among emotions ● Dimensional approach → researchers collect data by having subjects rate themselves on variety of emotions ○ Use factor analysis to identify basic dimensions underlying the ratings ○ Ppl categorize emotion using 2 primary dimensions ■ How pleasant/unpleasant the emotion is ■ How high/low on arousal the emotion is ○ How ppl experience their emotions Content vs Style of Emotional Life ● Content → specific kind of emotion that person experiences ○ Example: saying someone is cheerful ● Style → way in which an emotion is experienced ○ Example : to say that a person’s emotions change frequently → Content of Emotional Life ● Typical emotions person is likely to experience over time ● Pleasant emotions ○ Major pleasant disposition = happiness -- >associated feelings of being satisfied w/ life ○ Scientists started study on happiness (subjective well being) in mid-70s ○ Happiness tends to be measured in self-report measures → subjective ■ Ppl who score high on social desirability also score high on seld-reported happiness scales ○ Two components : life satisfaction and hedonistic balance ○ Part of being happy is to have positive illusions about the self ● Reciprocal causality → causality can flow in both directions ● Costa and McCrae ○ Proposed personality might have something to do w. Disposing certain ppl to be happy ○ Used existing info at the time to theorize that 2 personality traits that influence happiness = extraversion and neuroticism ■ Having high extraversion and low neuroticism may contribute much more to happiness than demographic characteristics ○ Across several studies the best predictor of responsiveness to (+) mood induction = extraversion ■ Best predictor of responsiveness to (-) mood induction = neuroticism ● Unpleasant Emotions ○ Trait anxiety and Neuroticism ■ Ppl who exhibit neuroticism are vulnerable to (-) emotions ■ Individuals high on neuroticism tend to overreact to unpleasant events ● Take longer to return to normal state after being upset ● Frequently experience episodes of irritation ○ Eysenck’s Biological Theory ■ Argues that neuroticism has a biological basis ● Due primarily to a tendency of the limbic system in the brain to become easily activated ● Limbic system → responsible for emotion and fight/flight reaction
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