PSYC18 Psychology of Emotion
Lecture 10, March 29/2012
1) William James – Search for Meaning:
- Emotion evoking bodily feedback creates feedback loop sustains emotion.
- Cognition and bodily reaction work together to create an experience, and the bodily reaction
sustains the experience (classic example of organic + noetic).
Emotion doesn’t last forever, but it becomes a self-sustaining system.
2) Psychodynamic From early on in our life, we have situations that become symbolic to us (family,
health threats), and that these early situations lay down foundation for emotion – all emotions
become echoes of these early experiences.
- If something happens early on as powerful experience, it becomes a paradigm situation to which
you are sensitive later on. E.g. early conflict makes one sensitive to conflict nowadays.
2 critical points for Psychodynamic Theory:
- Critical events happen early on, interpreted from perspective of child
- These are generally unresolved conflicts – carried around.
Ziegarnik Effect – need for completion (psychodynamic narrative is need for completion essentially).
Defense mechanisms are ways to avoid intensity of emotion – not effective however.
Value of therapy is the changing of unresolved issues into something that can be put onto table and
dealt in responsible manner.
3) Cognitive Psychology Focus is on precision
Psychodynamic Focus is on richness
Need a balance of the two
5) Comte – talked about positivism. Being positive that something happened because you saw it e.g.
Certainty that something occurred.
- Just because you can measure, calculate or control something – does not mean it is real. It can
be real for you, but not for others – does not imply real is true.
- Definitions of aggressive or abusive behaviour are difficult for example. The meaning of what is
taken as a measurement of real is different to different groups of people.
In order to show electron exists, we must use measuring technique that destroys it in the process.
Different cultures different notions of what is true. Moving from physical to social measurement
of something, that is a big step.
Truth is always relevant to the knower, but we take it for granted. Knowledge as true is taken for
granted, and it is positive knowledge because everyone in group takes it and treats it as true.
We can also be raised with medical biases about the true, and procedures about the truth (e.g. using
fig leaf vs. liquid nitrogen to treat foot corn).
- Medical science lives within epistemological framework.
If you want to understand a phenomena (e.g. divorce, loss of child, giving and receiving, health
response, etc.) then the logical thing to do is to get a group of people who lived in that reality, and get them to talk about their experience while listening carefully – but why doesn’t this happen in
our current modern psychology? Because the world of laboratory has replaced the world we know.
- Real knowledge must be trans-temporal.
- How universal are situations?
7) We have all had moments of fear or sadness.
In the one hand you want to be clear about your phenomena (knowledge of the situation)
8) Ontology – the science of being.
We give meaning to our world (intentional relation to our environment). We intend our worlds in
the sense that we confer meaning in our world, because that’s how we talk about how world is. We
have an intentional relation to world because it makes it intelligible to us.
9) Intuition – spontaneous understanding of something.
Apprehension – concept in psychology that goes back to 19 century – t