Compare contrast: evolutionary vs. culture aspect of emotion.
1. NS can change anatomical and psychological aspect over time.
NS happens when:
a. withinspecies competition (food, territory, mate).
b. Withinspecies differences (individual difference in terms of physical, anatomical, behavioral, emotion. *Phenotypically difference that are genotype
c. Phenotype tied to genotype.
Environment favors some heritable variations over others.
2. . Emotional expressions are adaptations.
they are actions that helped our ancestors survive.
they coincided with emotions our ancestors felt.
Functional by reducing the risk of actually doing the action.
Communicate intention and internal state.
Ex: crying ▯ bio function of protecting the eyes from dust, smoke.
Disgust ▯ the facial actions that go with the feeling of disgust are socially useful of communicating the message that something is danger/unpleasant.
In the past, action that went with disgust were vomiting.
Lip biting ▯emotion of regret, appeal. In the chimps, it was grooming, about social bonding. Now it’s evolved to contain more socially complex
3. Evolution and culture
Primitive urges shape culture.
e.g., language (emotional goal assist cultural changes)
Culture controls primitive urges. (certain institutions encourage impulses such as kindness.)
Culture changes but sometimes our bodies and minds can’t keep up… there are limits to evolutionary adaptation (hardwired to love sugar, not evolved
to consider it as a threat; products of the modern world cause new problems at the emotional level).
▯ ew challenges: virtual meeting rooms, how to be dominant.
Undeniably, emotions are evolutionarily significant S▯ upports evolutionary perspective.
Fear: avoid direct threat.
Disgust: avoid disease and contamination.
Sadness: motivate us to replace a partner who has passed away.
Anger: to engage in response in our interest.
Happiness: tell us things are going according to plan, social bonding.
Surprise: serves our attention, brings novel, unexpected things to our attention. (Conscious decisions).
▯ omplex emotions (relying on interactions with another person) that promote social bonding: jealousy, guilt, love g ▯ oal to reproduce and propagate our
An evolutionary perspective implies:
Emotions are the same across generation and across culture.
Yet, a wealth of evidence shows: emotion, emotional expressions, emotional disorders differ by generation and by culture.
*Evolutionary perspective is limiting:
emphasize on valence (is it +/, good/bad to me). Ex: sadness: negative, opp to happiness.
Lacks diversity and variability: Sadness in breakup is different from losing a job.
Passive: suggest that emotions are triggered by environment, yet we are often the author of our emotions. … Need a broader definition.
What is Culture?
Andre Malraux (French novelist):
“… the sum of all the forms of art, of love, and of thought, which in the course of centuries, have enabled man to be less enslaved”.
Matsumoto & Juang (psychology version):
“a unique meaning and information system, shared by a group and transmitted across generations, that allows the group to meet basic needs of survival,
pursue happiness and wellbeing, and derive meaning from life” (p. 12).
1. Objective, explicit elements. (concrete, product of culture).
Eg: architecture, clothes, food, art.
2. Subjective, implicit elements.
Eg: ideas, theories, psychological processes.
Psychological processes can be:
Etics (universal) Emics (culturespecific, different across generation)
General emotionality Different antecedents (same trigger leading to different emotional experience.
6 basic felt emotions. Different intensity of emotion:
*Hypercognize: emphasize through language, experience it more intensely.
*Hypocognize: not emphasized, less intense.
Different expression of emotions.
Some emotions are specific to some cultures only.
Western attitude towards emotions.
Keltner, Oatley, Jenkins’ assessment of Western culture: implicit ambivalent attitude about emotions. (sometimes we value emotions, yet other times
we distrust them).
“We make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions.” A ▯ ntiemotion.
Linked to enlightenment. “There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours.”▯Proemotion. Linked to
▯Either emotional or rational, can’t be both. The view that we should prefer reasons over emotions.
Nonwestern attitudes towards emotions.
Separation between emotions & cognitions?
Idealizing of one over the others?
Facial expression recognition is universal for 6 basics.
Ekman, Sorenson & Friesen.
1. Preliterate tribes of New Guinea.
No experience with Western media. Tested with American showing the 6 basic emotions. Successfully recognize American facial expressions
underlying the basic emotions.
2. Photographed New Guinean expressions: Americans successfully recognized the basic emotions too.
Thus, there is continuity in emotional recognition for the 6 basics.
Emotion antecedents are universal for the 6 basics.
Trigger of emotions, are they crossculturally same?
Boucher & Brandt: US, Malaysia. Describe what elicits the 6 basics.. ex: what scares you, what disgusts you. Sadness (losing a loved one), fear (snake),
disgust (open sore).
Psychological themes that elicit universal emotions: elicitation of universal emotions.
Theme Core emotion Culturally dependent aspect
1. Accomplishing goal Happiness Accompanied by pride/guilt.
2. Fail to accomplish goal Negative emotions. Intensity, type of – emotion.
3. Being kept from something you desire/want. Negative emotions. Intensity, type, choice of expressing.
4. Sickened/repulsed Disgust /
5. Sensing danger by unexpected Fear /
6.Acknowledging something new/novel Surprise The next emotion after surprise. Fearful or curious.
The way emotion is experienced.
Osgood, May & Miron: 30 cultures, found crosscultural similarities in structure of emotion.
1. Valence (positive or negative emotions).
2. Potency (how intense/salient it is)
3. Activity (how emotion make you feel: feel that you have control/active, or overwhelmed/passive).
Etics to Emics…
What crosscultural differences are observed when we:
1. Conceptualize emotions? (defined)
2. Experience emotions?
3. Express emotions?
Defining difference is not a neutral activity.
Recall nepotism…(we naturally tends to favor our ingroup over outgroup)
Historically, we always go beyond this judgment.
Tendency to say what i