Psychology of Emotion - Lecture 1
Three Personal Themes
1. adapting to our worlds
2. finding meaning [finding meaning] in our worlds [fundamental concept of adjustment]
3. finding beauty in our worlds and expressing ourselves in our worlds
Where are we now?
-in our lives?
-in our work?
-in our science?
Locating ourselves in space/time, and in history…
The “Powers of 10” series of videos, available on YouTube, help us gain perspective regarding
orders of magnitude.
The video first zooms out from a picnic scene and then, in the second part, zooms in toward
-point of video, to put us where we are, realization of nature of our life
Time in this video is not shown in a linear way, but in a logarithmic one.
Travelling through orders of magnitude means that time is slowing down by a factor of ten each
In a linear movie, our presence on earth would simply not appear. - realization of where we are,
culturally speaking, where are we?
Humans have been here for the last million years as compared to 4500 million years for the
In a movie of 5 minutes, humans would only appear in the last 0.06 seconds if viewed linearly.
Concept of “Thrownness”: we are thrown into a particular 'world' at a particular time
What do I mean by the word “world”?
Consider the following three worlds:
Umwelt: surrounding physical/organic world ; how we merge/separate with the world
Mitwelt: world with others ; nature of the world with others, we can feel alienated or belong
Eigenwelt: world with oneself ; you can have more than one world to yourself for example: you
have a life and one side is traditionally and other side is with the modern world
1 Psychology of Emotion - Lecture 1
Where are we now?
First, imagine yourself back during the Cave Dweller era.
Time moved very, very slowly.
Ice Ages would come and go.
Strange people would appear and disappear
- painting of visual ideas: cave paintings externalizing your mind artists are always a step
ahead of science
During the Middle Ages, life changed very slowly. values changed very slowly and so meaning
would change very slowly
Jump forward now to the 19th century and what Baudelaire (1821-1867) called the “Age of
Discontinuity” when life began to change more and more quickly
This is primarily because of: rapid developments in technology
Think about film…
the frames melt together.
Think about the internet…
McLuhan’s “global village”… we are everywhere now, so time and space sort of collapse.
How do we situate ourselves during an age that moves so quickly?
Here is the critical question:
Which is moving faster; you or the world around you?
The experience of time will be a function of:
Time slows down if: I change faster and the situation changes slowly
Time speeds up if: situation changes quickly and I change slowly
A big transition for psychology around 1500 c.e.
In Western European society, before the Renaissance (1250 - 1500 c.e.), the Self was diminished
in favour of: the authority of church and kings.