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Lecture 9

LECTURE 9.docx

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Gerald Cupchik

LECTURE 9 - This lecture is about Symbolic value of life experiences (important lecture) - Action model: arousal+cognition=emotion (coping, adaptation, appraising, choosing appropriate response) Vs. - Reaction (emotional experience): what we think the situation is. In this reaction approach, peripheral is key point. You’re in a situation that means something to you and you have a high speed reaction to it. And emotion is a combination of meaning of situation to you + bodily reaction to it. o E.g. in PTSD, when they remember similar situation, memories are brought up and bodily responses come up and they cannot break out of the feedback loop. Psychodynamics and Experience Approach - Positivism goes hand in hand with an objective approach in science. In language use, every word must have a single meaning specified by an operation or scientific definition. It is nomothetic or rule oriented and searches for general laws. - Romanticism fits with a subjective approach. We find the language of romanticism in myths and in everyday speech. Precise and narrow language cannot capture the complexities of psychology and personal life. It is ideographic and concerned with individual meanings in life. o Romantic approach to life: people are in real lives they struggle with tensions in real life, emotion is actual part of real life and is something we need to accept and understand. o Situations take on symbolic meaning for us. Subjective reality: emotion cannot be reduced to formuli - For psychodynamic theorists, behaviours in everyday life can refer to many meanings at once. People are understood as behaving in ways that are intentional and purposive though this might be unconscious. o One person is a doctor because he wants to save people; the other just wants to make money. We have intentions behind our choices - The goal of the psychodynamic viewpoint is to interpret and not to predict. It does not try to explain which is the goal of mechanistic and behavioural psychology. o When you interpret, it is different than deciding if it is good or bad. Psychodynamic is about depth and individual case oriented. Thus cannot be scientifically formulated. Psychodynamic is where you accept legitimacy of emotion and understand there’s no simple understanding of life. - Freud believed in Darwinian view of humans. The ultimate source of human meaning lies in biological instincts inherited through the process of natural selection - From psychodynamic viewpoint: 1. Emotion is a qualitatively diff phenomenon from thought 2. Emotion is motivational in life and is more powerful than thought most of the time 3. Emotion, more than thought, refers to some additional invisible unconscious processes 4. Emotion expresses those aspects of a person’s fundamental nature that are not readily apparent to the conscious mind a. When we talk normally, we’re talking on the surface but our deeper levels are not so apparent - Every emotion is the manifest content of a complicated psychological process which is largely unconscious o Unconscious origins of emotion are the latent content o Manifest content is a symbolic clue of what’s going on in the unconscious - Emotion goes beyond the immediate situation. People carry around with them latent concerns from situation to situation o Every powerful emotional experience you feel today are echoes of earlier similar emotional episodes o We have powerful situations we’ve all grown up in as kids (powerless) that cannot be clearly analyzed. So from early situations that become symbolic and leave symbolic residues o When you have a situation that you feel discomfort interacting in, it can be taken as a sign to look closer at it because it probably has latent meaning - Emotion is NOT a behaviour which is a function of the environment - Emotion is NOT quite what it appears to be consciously - To understand an emotion one must seek out the latent content and relate it to the nature of the person - Freud worked with notion of instinct/drive. An instinct is genetically determined & produces state of psychic tension or excitation which prompts the person to act -> leads to gratification and end of excitation - Homeostatic model: tension -> motor activity -> cessation of tension - This is the biological model underlying psychological model - Model reflects deterministic philosophy that Freud was trained in. Human is seen as a complex energy system. It derives energy from food and expands it for various purposes including: circulation, respiration, perceiving, thinking and remembering - Energy that was directed to psychological work was called psychic energy. We start with an absolute amount of psychic energy which is given over to different activity. - The body becomes the evaluation of psychological feelings of being pleasant or unpleasant - The instinct concept links psychology and physiology. It is a psychological representation of an inner somatic source of excitation 1. The bodily excitation is called a need 2. The psychological representation is a wish - Affect is the most general level of bodily response that links the body to the mind - 4 characteristics of an instinct 1. Source: bodily condition or need 2. Aim: to abolish deficiency 3. Object: activity involved in satisfying the need 4. Impetus: force or strength determine by the intensity of the underlying need - The source and aim are constant throughout life but the objects or means to satisfy the needs can change. This implies that psychic energy is displaceable from object to object. - Needs can change but they’re the same need. E.g. as a kid you want pa
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