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G Cupchik

PSYC18 Chapter 5 – Bodily changes and Emotion - Autonomic nervous system - If you took away the physiological sensations such as heart palpitations, trembling, muscle tensions, etc, what would happen? James argued that you would be left with a purely intellectual state. Emotion = absent. The autonomic nervous system - Neural signals from the cortex communicate with the limbic system and the hypothalamus - Most general function is to maintain the internal condition of the body, to enable adaptive response to varying environmental events - Parasympathetic brach helps with restorative processes, reducing heart rate and blood pressure and increasing digestive processes - Sympathetic branch increase heartrate, blood pressure, shuts down digestive processes to help individual engage in physically demanding actions - Maintains inner environment of body by controling digestion, body fluids, blood flow and temperature - The parasympathetic and sympathetic branches o Parasympathetic: incorporates nerves that originate in two different parts of the spinal cord: vagus nerve (top of spinal cord) and in the sacral region (bottom of spinal cord)  Decreases heart rate and blood pressure. Facilitates blood flow. Essential to sexual response. o Sympathetic system: a dozen different neural pathways originating at several sites on the spinal cord  Increases heart rate abd blood pressure, shuts down digestive system. Creates goosebumps. Prepares for fight-or-flight response. - Support for James’ claims regarding autonomic specificity and emotion: o 1) dozen distinct autonomic pathways, so different emotions could potentially be involved with distinct pathways o 2) One can imagine many different ways in which the autonomic system could combine - Cannon’s critique of autonomic specificity o Proposed that bodily changes are produced by the brain, quite different emotions involved exactly the same general activation of the sympathetic nervous system  Arousal response includes release of the hormone adrenaline  Body prepares for action (3 Fs): Fight, flight and sexual behaviour o 1) Changes in heart rate, breathing, sweat responses, etc, are too diffuse and non- specific to account for distinct varieties of emotional experience  The nuances are thus found in the brain, not the body o 2) Autonomic responses are too slow to account for the rapidity with which we experience emotion o 3) The main actions of autonomic nervous system actually occur in a variety of other states such as fevers, cold exposure or asphyxia. o 4) Sensitivity to change in autonomic nervous system is not refined enough to result in the many emotional states we experience: People are only moderately attuned to their heart rate activity or to other bodily responses PSYC18 Chapter 5 – Bodily changes and Emotion A Two-factor theory of emotion - Shift emphasis from bodily responses to emotional situations - Schachter and Singer: Injecting adrenaline - Theory has had two lasting influences upon the field of emotion o 1) theory added interest in appraisal o 2) When physiological arousal or an anxiety state does not have obvious source, people label it to what is happening in current situation - misattribution of arousal: arousal from one source can be attributed to another, salient source in environment - Evidence for autonomic specificity in emotion o Ekman noticed that moving his facial muscles seemed to change how he felt, made directed facial action task  1) Large increase of heart rate occurred for fear, anger and sadness but almost none for disgust  2) Galvanic Skin response (sweat activity) found to be greater for fear and disgust than for anger and sadness.  3) Finger temperature was greater for anger than fear (perhaps to aid combat) - The blush o Associated with several states: modesty, embarassment, shyness and shame o Negative self-focused attention, we blush when we are the objects and recipients of undesirable social attention: attention that is potentially damaging to our self- concept o Is the blush distinct from the autonomic response of ot
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