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PSYC18 - Lecture 1.docx

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Michelle Hilscher

PSYC18 – Lecture 1 Prof’s Speech - Purple Slide 2 – Emotions in life… - A bit of a patchwork quilt - We experience emotions at different times and for different reasons - We experience emotions in response to things around us Slide 3 - Emotions in media - Fear in films o Terror vs. horror o The viewer is the author of his/her own fear in terror movies - Happy films o Disney – portrayal of myth of living happily ever after - Emotions are used in culture – i.e. advertising (i.e. McDonald’s) o Are emotions cheapened when they are being used to sell products? Slide 9 - Emotion and Logical Reasoning/How we Think - Do emotions make us less logical? - The right emotions give us the ability to make the right decisions; to be on the ball Slide 15 – Evolutionary Perspectives - Emotions are wired instincts that have adaptive values - Darwin – compared his children to animals to communicate his ideas Slide 16 – Sociocultural Perspectives - Emotions are socially constructed - The experiences we have lead us to feel emotions - Emotions are dynamic Slide 17 – Expression of Emotions - What is acceptable/appropriate in one’s expression of emotions? Slide 24 – A Short History of Emotions - Different questions addressed by historians: o 1. Has there always been emotions? o 2. Has the nature of the phenomenon changed? o 3. How do scholars try to explain emotions? Slide 25 – #1 (always emotions?) - Look at myths and old writings - Are emotions described in old writings? Yes o A. the epic of Gilgamesh  One of the earliest works of literature  Loneliness and grief are socially complex emotions which are present in the ancient writing o B. The Iliad  Emotions are not modern phenomena  Poem that portrays rage o C. Confucius and Mencius  Displayed compassion in writings o D. Greek mythology  The gods represent OR control emotions  Ares – God of War  Phena – protects others from harm  Dionysus – god of wine, all that is pleasant  Hera – embodies jealousy  Zeus – not emotional, contrasts other gods  Embodies control of emotions  Represents order and principle  Logical thinker Slide 27 - What religion to follow? o Dependent on social class o Olympian vs. Orphic mystery  Rich people – Olympian – follow model of emotions that says it’s okay to be emotional because there is no afterlife, live in the moment  Poor people – orphic – there is an afterlife, do not waste time experiencing positive emotions, work hard in this life (where they are poor) so that they can get to their next life where they will be able to relax Slide 28 - More generally with pre-scientific populations: - 1. Ascribed emotions to the heart not the brain. Why? o We are not able to feel the neurons in our brain, but we are able to feel our heart pumping - 2. Tendency towards animism and anthropomorphism o Animism: assumption that natural entities – animals, events in life, phenomena – have soul/spirit/god attached to them that feels emotions  Events happen because emotions happen – i.e. gods are angry, so they storm o Anthropomorphism: ascribing human qualities (emotions) to animals  Core way to understand the world  Emotional motives = continuous between humans and animals  Attachment – core basis for humans and animals Slide 29 - Why animism? o 1. Natural events need an explanation  Humans feel pressure to deal with uncertainty o 2. Science doesn’t exist yet o 3. Best explanation is one that is in familiar terms  Humans explain natural phenomenon in emotional terms because they are used in everyday life; they are familiar; they understand them - Adaptive value of this type of explanation? o Yes – highly adaptive o Nature becomes “humanized”  Renders tolerable what would otherwise not be o Communication is facilitated o Social behaviours and agency  Social behaviours are inspired by shared language Slide 30 – Early Greek Science (ca. 600 BC) - “What is the ultimate nature of the universe?” - Different ways of answering this question - Different methodologies, different views of emotion o Not relying on the assumption embodied gods; rely on new ideas - 1. Naturalism o Naturalists try to understand the world in an organic manner (i.e. biological systems)  Need to pay attention to all possible sources of information  Make systematic observations – how the world acts on you (i.e. hot/cold substance)  Rely on sensations  Look inwardly: how do you feel emotionally  Think of bodily sensations and emotions as sources of information - 2. Formalism o Formalists don’t look around; believe there are core mathematic principles that deduce everything  Believe that it is not a partnership between mind and body, but mind over body  Believe that only reasoning is appropriate  Ignore how you feel  Ignore emotional sensations Slide 31 – Philosophy underlying this early science - The naturalists and formalists agree: o There are two worlds: sensible world of the corruptible body + intelligible world of the immortal psyche o
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