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COM 225 (34)

Forming and Managing Emotions

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COM 225
Bonnie Mc Cracken

Forming & Managing Emotions Monday, March 3, 2014 9:09 AM Why study emotions? •When we intelligently manage and competently communicate emotional experiences, our relationship satisfaction and overall life happiness increases Defining Emotion •Emotion- an intense reaction to an event the involves: • Interpreting event meaning (running a race, associated with accomplishment) • Becoming physiologically aroused (smiling, face getting red, etc.) • Labeling the experience as emotional (Labeling theory, sad, happy, jealous) • Managing reactions (Hiding) • Communicating through emotional displays and disclosures • Highlights 5 key features: • Reactive- triggered by our perception of outside events • Physiological arousal- increased heart rate, blood pressure, and adrenaline release • Labeling- our awareness of arousal and assessment of the situation causes you to label your experience • Manage the experience/ expressions in acceptable ways based on norms (historical, cultural, relational, and situational) • Verbal/Nonverbal displays (word choice, facial expressions, posture, gestures) Communicative nature of emotions •Emotion-sharing- we share between 75-95% of emotional experiences o Disclosing emotions, talking about them, pondering/reflecting o Connects us to others o Collaboratively work together to heal experiences (e.g. grief, anger) •Emotional contagion- when the experience of emotion spreads from one person to another o Our brain is wired to pick up subtle clues from one another o Positive- spread of joy (laughter) o Negative- spread of anger •Feelings- short-tern emotional reactions to events that generate limited arousal o Typically do not trigger attempts to manage experience or expression o Last few seconds/ minutes o Common feelings include gratitude, concern, pleasure, relief, resentment, fear, etc. •Moods- low-intensity states not caused by particular events o Last longer than emotions and feelings o "Slow-flowing emotional currents" in everyday life o Powerfully influences our perception of the world and how we communicate Universality of Facial Expressions •Regardless of skin color, culture, and geographic origin, all humans display the same basic facial expressions of emotion (sadness, happiness, contempt, anger, fear) •Primary emotions- emotions that involve unique and consistent behavioral displays across cultures (Ekman, 1972) o Happy (Joy) o Surprise o Disgust o Anger o Fear o Sadness • While facial expressions of emotion are universal and instinctive, cross-cultural variations do exist o Chinese culture- shame and sad love (concerning attachment to formal lovers) o Hindu philosophy suggests other primary emotions, including: sexual passion, amusement, perseverance, wonder, and serenity • Display rules- humans have conscious control over facial expressions, and will moderate their facial expressions in context, based on cultural norms o Traditional Chinese culture- intense emotions are considered dangerous and cause illness o Mexican culture- open expression and deep discussion of emotions and feeling provide some of life's greatest rewards and satisfaction Facial Expressions & Nervous System • There are 2 aspects (central & peripheral) to your nervous system o Central-
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