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Lecture 1

Psychology 2040A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Libido, Heritability, Harry Harlow

Course Code
J.Bruce Morton

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Lecture 1 Final Exam 2040
Introduction – thoughts about emotions in human psych etc
oPhilosophers view emotions skeptically
oPlato: emotions are like drugs  corrupt reason
oStoics: emotions need to be moderated
Believe you have to keep all emotions in check
Emotions: A Modern View
oThe case of Phineas Gage
A miner
Needed to use explosives to expose shit
Drill holes deep into bedrock and then insert explosives into bedrock
Tap with rod
Rod went thorugh his head, made a recovery
None of his perceptual or language abilities, or motor abilities were
But his relationships with people became unstable
He fell from being a leader in his industry, to being forced out of his job
oBrain injury disrupted his emotions, making a reasoned existence impossible
oEmotions now viewed as central to healthy social and cognitive functioning
oCouldn’t use somatic markers for a guide to make his own decisions (like we have
a gut feeling something isn’t right – he couldn’t feel that)
oHe couldn’t read his own feelings
What is an emotion
oAn emotion is an:
Automatic (you don’t have to think about whether your gonan be happy or
sad when something happens) , patterned response to an event that
Behavioural-facial expressions and
Universal ones (sad, happy etc)
Concious appraisal of the eliciting event
Interpretation of the event
Development of Emotional responses
oLanguage suggests we experience a variety of distinct emotions
oAre there distinct patterns associated with different emotions? YES
oIf so, are there some innate patterns? YES
oEkman and Izard: differential Emotions Theory
Basic emotions like sadness, surprise, digust, fear, happiness are innate
and universal
Not concerned with mixed emotions

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Use Facial Affect Coding System
Looks at facial muscles based on contractions
You can begin to tell what expression they are making / emotion
they are possessing
Cross cultural studies - what constitutes a happy face
There are similar faces used around the world
oEkman and Izard continued
Developmental Studies
Disgust and happiness
Tongue comes out as a reaction to poison
Early organized expression in utero
Newborns in sleep, fetuses in tummy
Is emotional expression enough???
Saarnia & Campos – need to examine whether emotions are expressed
meaningfully in appropriate contexts
oSaarni and Campos: Social context Approach
Emphasis on the functional development of emotion  do infants express
emotions in functionally appropriate ways?
If this more stringent criteria is adopted, newborn don’t seem as well
10 to 12 motn olds placed in contexts though to elicit 3 different basic
happiness: playing with an attractive toy
fear: exposure to a stranger
surprise: object disseapearnce/reappearcance
so they showed them a jack in the box and see what expression – predicted
2 conditions for discrete emotions
they predicted expression must occur more often than any non-
predicted emotion in response to a particular context
predicted expression must be displayed more often in its
appropriate elciting circumstance than in non predicted
For happiness, both conditions were met, more happiness, less fear
and surprise
For fear, stimuli meant to elicit fear elicited significantly more
non-fear emotions – more surprise
Stimuli thought to elicit surprise did elicit surprise more often than
non-predicted emotion
However, surprise elicted as often by fearful and happy contexts

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So basically, the surprise is just as likely to occur when expected as
fear and happiness put together (slide 41)
Conclusions they makes:
Infants may be born with the elements of emotional expression
However, it is only in the course of development that the elemnts
become functionally organized
If the elements of emotion need to be organized, what brings about
this organization??
Development organization of emotion expressions
1. Understanding intentions
oEternality of causation and emotional response to inoculation
Needle – no infant will like this
No idea why but are experiencing pain so it elicits distress in the infant
oInfants are developing a theory of mind and understanding other people
oMaking inferences about behaviours and mental states that are motivating people
in the world
oYoung infants exhibit sadness and distress
oOlder infants exhibit anger and distress
oUnderstand that something unpleasant is happening to them rather than just
2. Development of the self
oBeginning to recognize them self as the focus of social attention at 24 months
oLeads to self conscious emotions
oThese include pride, guilt and embarrassment
3. Emotion Regulation
oEmerges in infancy  self distraction
oPredicts compliance at 3 years
oLater in development is associated with social competence (grandparents come
with gifts and you hate it but you pretend you do because you dont want to hurt
their feelings is an example) 
o Cole, zahn-waxler and smith
Induced negative emotion in high, medium, and low risk boys and girls for
Experimenter either present or absent (okay to show your disappointed)
At the end of the experiment – a research assistant came out, said thank
you and gave them a wrapped gift and it turned out to be something really
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