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Chapter 10 Notes.doc

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G Cupchik

Chapter 10 – Emotions and Cognition - Case of Eadward Muybridge and his lack of a functioning orbitofrontal cortex, resulting in lack of judgement and was no longer rational. - People with these kinds of damages do not appreciate or abide by morals, norms and conventions - Most striking qualities of emotions is how they influence our reasoning. Philosopher Jean Paul Sartre referred to this as magical transformation by the emotions of how we see the world. “jaundiced eyes” or “rose-coloured glasses” Historical perspectives on the interplay between passion and reason - Third century BCE (Epicureans and Stoics) was that to lead a good life, emotions should be extirpated altogether - Philosophers have assumed that emotions are lower, less sophisticated, more primitive ways of perceiving the world especially when juxtaposed with loftier forms of reason - Literature on emotion-related appraisal suggests that emotions are often the product of rather complex beliefs about real events in the world - 1) Are emotions based on substantive beliefs? 2) Do emotions help individuals function effectively in the social world? 3)Do emotions guide cognitive processes like perception, attention, memory and judgment in principled, organized and constructive ways? Or do they interfere and disrupt cognitive processes? Emotions as prioritizers of thoughts, goals, and actions - Idea that emotions guide cognitive processes in rational, adaptive fashion emerged as cognitive science in 1960s - Simon (1967) argued that emotions would be necessary in any intelligent being because emotions set priorities among the many different goals - E.g. Ticks do not need emotions as they function on reflexes - E.g. Gods do not need emotions because they can anticipate everything, no need for priorities - Our world is different and complex. We act with purposes but our actions don’t always produce what we anticipate. We have limitations to resources and knowledge. Sometimes we need encouragement, to switch goals. Emotions signal for us: what to do next? Prompt us, create and urge and a readiness. - It is not so much that emotions are irrational, rather that when we have no fully rational solution because we do not know enough, they offer bridges toward rationality - Oatley and Johnson-Laird (1987, 1996) proposed that emotions have 2 kinds of signaling in the nervous system o 1) Primary appraisal, organizational, because it rather simply sets the brain into a ready state Chapter 10 – Emotions and Cognition o 2) Secondary appraisal, informational, info carried enables us to make mental models of events and their possible causes and implications o The two can be dissociated: accounts for why we can have emotions with no objects or know something but not care about it o E.g. Fear as it spreads through the brain and body. Organizational part interrupts ongoing action and readies physiological mechanisms. Directs attention to environment for any sign of danger or safety. The informational part of fear is about the thing we are frightened of Three perspectives on the effects of emotions on cognitive functioning - How do emotions guide thought processes? - Emotion congruence o Gordon Bower (1981): moods and emotions are associative networks in the mind. In memory, there are pathways devoted to each emotion, storing past experiences, images, related concepts, labels and interpretations. When emotion is felt, all the associations become more accessible for use. We should be better able to learn material that is congruent with our current emotion. o Bower (1981): Participants hypnotized to feel happy or sad and then read two stories about two students doing well and doing poorly. After calling them the next day, the students that were happy remembered more about the student that did well and the students that were sad remembered more about the student that did poorly o Mood-dependent effects do occur in memory and other cognitive functions, but not in terms of a mechanism that affects all processes of percept ion and memory in the same way. Effects depend on the tasks that participants perform, on the moods that are induced and on who the participants are (e.g. identifying a rose will not be mood dependent but asking participants to remember an event based on the rose may evoke emotions) o Affect Infusion Model of Joseph Forgas (1995): emotions infuse into a cognitive task, and influence memory and judgement depending on the extent to which the tasks depends on complex and constructive processing or on matters that depart from prototypes - Feelings as Information o This perspective assumes that emotions themselves are informative when we make judgments. o Two assumptions:  1) Emotions provide us with a rapid signal triggered by something in the environment Chapter 10 – Emotions and Cognition  2) Many judgments we make are often too complex to review all the relevant evidence (one can seldom act with full rationality. Seldom can we fully think through all relevant evidence and principles to arrive at justified position. o Emotions are heuristics: guesses that work better than chance, short cuts to making judgments or taking action o Schwarz and Clore (1983): effects of bright sunny days and gloomy overcast days on emotional lives  1 condition: participants simply rated their life satisfaction  2 condition: how’s the weather down there  People will use their emotions as heuristics in making judgments, except when they attribute those feelings to a specific source. However, once again, effects are not uniform and depend strongly on the nature of the task being performed - Processing Style o Different emotions promote different processing styles. This perspective would suggest that when you feel guilty or angry, grateful or enthusiastic, that you are engaging in qualitatively different forms of reasoning o Positive mood facilitates use of already existing knowledge structures, such as heuristics & stereotypes o Negative moods (esp. sadness) facilitates more analytical thought and attention to situational details  If people feel sad, less likely (than angry)to rely on stereotypes when making social judgments  Stereotypes are automatic, effort-saving tools for judging others o Alice Isen (1987) suggested that happiness prompts people to think in ways that are flexible and creative  Priming participants to be in happy or neutral mood and then having them solve a problem  Happy mood seems to enable the imagination to explore further with fewer constraints and assumptions. o Happiness has been found to prompt people to aim for higher goal o Barbara Frederickson has argued that the overarching function of positive emotions is to broaden and build our resources. Positive emotions broaden our thought repertoires, enabling more creative and flexible thought Chapter 10 – Emotions and Cognition Effects of moods and emotions on cognitive functioning - Perceptual effects o Niedenthal and Setterlund (1994) suggest that happiness and sadness have emotion- conguent effects upon selective perception (experiment: playing happy/sad classical music to prime, lexical decision task) Showed that our current moods and feelings lead us to selectively perceive emotion-congruent objects and events. Why emotions and moods can persist: because built into our experience is a tendency to perceive emotion-congruent objects and events, thus prolonging our experience - Attentional qualities of emotions o Emotions affect attention, range from largely unconscious processes of filtering incoming information to conscious preoccupation (worrying) o Anxiety narrows attention, when people are fearful or anxious, they focus mainly on what they are afraid of, or on safety from this thing. Will disregard almost everything else. o Matthews (1993): threatening words vs. neutral words, dot appears and measures participants’ reaction time to press a button o Matthews (1994): participants have to pay attention to one ear or the other but may get distracted with other ear if the other ear has words that are threatening like “death” or “blood” o Stroop Test (1935): Colour of word and what the word said did not correspond. Can be
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