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PSY100- Oct 27, 2011.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Dan Dolderman

PSY100 EMOTIONS Emotion is what you are  Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind as you are learning about emotion, is that emotions involve your whole being – they are “emotional” processes but also “cognitive” and “physiological processes as well  One implication is that, what you do with your body and your mind IS the emotional experience you will end up having, the emotional life you will end up BEING  A second implication is that your life is very strongly determined by oyur emotions, and you are often “out of control” of these processes (eg. best times, stupidest mistakes, etc) Homoeconomicus  We are primarily rational, self interested creatures  However it has some problems; the most people think they are like this the more they chase financial gain which means well ideal with sadness, loneliness, etc  A host of issues: unfulfilled, not thriving in life, extrinsically motivations and “inauthentic”, defensive, tends to rigidly hold to views, negative emotions are frequent (anger, anxiety, boredom, etc)  Happy connection to money: economic well being has gone dramatically up, but happiness levels have been pretty much flat lined (hasn’t changed or gone anywhere)  the percentage of people that say they are very happy hasn’t gone anywhere (their level) o Economic growth doesn’t pan out o Very poor correlations between difference in wealth and peoples happiness o Relationship is very weak (about 1% of our happiness) o Only strong exception to this is a change (eg. winning a lottery, makes a change to happy level but then goes back to normal) o Only difference between money and wealth is if you look across the globe, then you get variation with happiness (powerful relationship); this shows difference between unstable countries with large desperate population and countries that have a functioning economy o Further increases in wealth do not increase wealth in well being of individuals  Not average wealth, but gap between rich and poor  Huge income disparity across the board not average wealth o Distribution of wealth is important to understand functioning of that society  If people were rational utility calculators, there would be almost no smoking, unsafe sex, drinking problems, laws, punishments, etc  If people were primarily motivated by $$$ and self interest, there would be almost no smoking, chess, snowmen, drinking problems, speeding etc  But the biggest problem with homo economicus is not ultimately real. Not a real depiction of how individuals work  We know it’s the neuron networks  Rationality is something that happens biologically Embodied Cognition  We cant separate emotions and rationality  “You make me feel all close and warm”  WARMTH vs cold is an embodied metaphor, signifying relationship closeness  EG. Memories of social rejections  lower estimates of room temperature  Eg. Being excluded from a game  craving hot food  Eg. Holding a hot or cold beverage  feeling closer/more distant from friends and loved one  We develop physiology over the feelings of hot and cold distinctions  These are all built on top of lower level systems (rejection = cold temperature etc)  Get people to play videogames and some people get the ball passed to them and they’re enjoying game, the ones that don’t get the ball passed they feel rejection and will want a hot beverage (to feel less excluded)  The people feeling a hot cup of water feel closer to their loved ones that holding a cold cup The misattribution of arousal  The Capilano bridge study o Scary bridge vs. non steady bridge (got phone number of female) o A higher proportion called the woman back on the scary bridge than non scary one o Individual differences? o When on a scary bridge, your on and off arousals are cranked up, and then you get convo with girl and how attracted are you to that person? You find them more attractive when you are aroused because of fear from the bridge o Fear turns to on and off arousal, which then gets put on the woman, and makes you feel attracted to them o Implications of this are profound because things around us that affect our arousal affect other things Falling in love…  Feel of falling in love  Pure chance? Or soul mate?  In beginning you do things that are arousing; dancing, movies, parties, etc  Does arousal and cognitive attribution of that arousal play a role in falling in love? o Eg. date with someone hot, why are you so hot and sweaty and aroused? o You can see how easily “one thing leads to another” start talking t someone, self dis closure, laughter or intoxication ensues, increasing arousal and… o Then connections when you tell each other deeper things (self disposing details about yourself, making yourself vulnerable, which is arousing, the sheer process of talking to someone about your details will make the person more arousing to too)  Has to do with pure chance sometimes and the interpretation of the situation Emotion and cognition are interwoven  The classic enlightenment picture of humans as rational, self interested calculators of utility has been thoroughly shattered by the past few decades of social science and biological research  We know this. But we often pretend it is not the case, and believe that people are rational o When we try and persuade someone is not the quality of arguments but their emotions o Eg. to get people to agree with us, we feel we have to convinced them, through rational argument, of our perspective o In realty though the debate is usually won emotionally, not rationally, UNCONSCIOUSLY Why are we fighting a “war on terror?” o Is it because we are really at war? o Could have been called a crime instead; responding to criminal act vs a war like act o War metaphor vs crime metaphor  This feels much differently  The cognitive emotional consequences of the word War is a very emotionally related war; this connects to things like fear, obedience, patriotism, the desire for protection and strong leader the feeling of moral justification  Changes the nature of public debate and attached emotions to decisions and proposals o Because our thoughts are built on past associative networks, “Adult” complex cognition is a process of creating variants on early metaphors eg. the family What’s your model of the family?  A patriarchal, strong daddy model, based on discipline, obedience, a persons worth being base don merit, self reliance, the belief that individuals are self interested units; an ethic of “justice” and belief in “logic” as the basis of rational decision making; emphasis paced on being “response for oneself” and self disciplined with dysfunction viewed as a failure of the individual o Connects directly to support for more conservative policies, strong military an police, fewer, privatized resources, aggressive foreign policy stances, gov shouldn’t mess with peoples lives but people should be responsible for themselves  Another family is a nurturant, egalitarian model, based on communication, respect and trust, love, boundaries for behaviour based on empathy for others, the belief that people are intrinsically social, emotional creatures o Connects directly to support for more progressive policies, focusing on collaboration and power sharing, community and individual empowerment, strong society safety net, publically owned resources, responsive gov regulating corporations so as to keep resources in the hands of the “people” Who is better at engaging audience? The consequences?  A cognitive science analysis reveals that much of todays political are not really about the issues being discussed, but that the discussions themselves are merely variations on underlying metaphor themes, themes that are based  Emotional manipulation (your own reasoning hijacked and filtering through emotional reasons based on if it maps your family or not) Fluency Effects  Our rational processing of info is affected by our emotions at the time  So anything tha
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