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Lecture 6: Emotion and Cognition
June 7, 2011
•You can be blind to something right in front of you if you’re not looking for it
•When we talk to a person, we’re not talking to person really, more of an
You do not perceive the person
We do not perceive bottom up sensory
•By orienting yourself toward something you gain the ability to experience that
Cost: inhibit other experiences—imposing on reality
•Taking a particular emotional frame conditions an emotional direction and
inhibits various other ways of experiencing the world
Emotion is what you are.
•Emotional processes are also cognitive and physiological processes as well
•Moments that have very substantial weight in our lives usually involve strong
sense of emotion.
Out of control of emotion
•Economic motivations are the basis of who we are.
•We make decisions as though economic reasoning is human nature
Extrinsically motivated: locked into other people’s expectations
•Even if homoeconomicus “wins” and they succeed in life, it doesn’t necessarily
make them happy
People are not rational utility calculators
•If so, problems like depression, anxiety, smoking, drinking, energy
inefficiency, etc. would not exist
•What goes on in the brain is entirely interdependent to what goes on in the
body as well
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Warmth vs. cold is an embodied metaphor
Social acceptance or rejection
Example: memories of social rejection lower estimations of
Example: being excluded from a gamecraving hot food
•Emotional experience is built up on pain systems
People feel physical pain when they are in an emotionally negative
Emotion and Cognition are interwoven
•We try to persuade and reason with each other believe that people are
rational when that is typically not the case
•Unconscious, emotional war
•Example: “framing effects” top down process
The mind processes thing in accordance to the frame you develop
Change wording that provides same logical information shifts
emotional toneshifts thinking patterns to be consistent with tone
Example: the words “tax” vs. “offset”
“tax” negative, heavy emotional weightskepticism
“offset”not much emotional weightmore easily accepted,
Example: Why are we fighting a “War on Terror” ?
Is it really a war?
“war” is a heavy emotional wordprimes people connected to
fear, patriotism, obedience, superiority, etc.
Criticizes social discourse
Sets off line of reasoning and then action
Us vs. Them (in-group morally superior to out-group)
Our thoughts are built on past associative networks
Example: the model of the family. How do people conceptualize the
model of the family?
Prominent father figure model
•Justice and logic ethics
•Strong merit system
Nuturant, egalitarian model
•Communication, trust, love, respectpeople are social,
•Boundaries of behaviour based on empathy for others
•Interdependence and carebasis of rationality
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