Module 40: Introduction to Emotion
What are emotions?
- Mix of physiological arousal -- heart pounding
- Expressive behaviors -- quickened pace
- Consciously experienced thoughts -- kidnapping
- Feelings -- sense of fear
What are the different theories behind emotions?
- James-Lange theory -- our experience of emotion is our awareness of our physiological
responses to emotion-arousing stimuli
- Your feelings (of fear) follow your bodys responses (shaking with fright)
- Cannon-Bard theory -- an emotion-arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers physiological
responses and subjective experience of emotion
- Your heart is pounding as your experience fear
- Two-factor theory (Schachter-Singer theory) -- to experience emotion one must be physically
aroused and cognitively label the arousal
- Arousal is heart pounding and cognitive label is Im afraid, which then produces the
emotion of fear
What is the autonomic nervous system?
- Mobilizes your body for action and calms it when crisis is over -- prepared for fight or flee
- Sympathetic division (arousing) -- pupils dilate, decreases salivation, skin perspires,
increase respiration, heart accelerates, digestion inhibits, adrenal glands secrete stress
- Parasympathetic division (calming) -- pupils contract, increases salivation, skin dries,
decrease respiration, heart slows, digestion activates, adrenal glands decrease secretion
of stress hormones
- High arousal -- doing lots of easy task or few difficult tasks
Do different emotions have physiological similarities?
- Sexual arousal, fear, and anger feel different -- physiological traits can include increase
perspiration, faster breathing, faster heart rates
- Can be determined by looks -- their faces (use of different facial muscles)
- Fear causes more activity in amygdala
- Positive moods tend to trigger more left frontal lobe activity -- positive personalities like
What is a polygraph? What does it do?
- Lie detector -- detects lies through measuring several of physiological responses with emotion
like perspiration and cardiovascular and breathing changes
What is the connection between what we think and how we feel? In order to experience
emotions, must we consciously interpret and label them?
- Spillover effect -- our arousal response to one event spills over into our response to the next
event - Ex. In experience conducted by Schachter and Singer, injections of hormone epinephrine were
given to college men which causes arousal -- can make them experience very differently than
before (depends how we interpret and label emotions)
- Arousal fuels emotion, cognition channels it
Does cognition precede emotion? Or is it the other way around?
- Low road -- taking neural pathways that bypass cortex, runs from eye or ear via thalamus to
- Shortcut enables emotional response before we know
- Another example of dual processing -- Zajonc and LeDoux emphasized that some emotional
responses are immediate, before any conscious appraisal; Lazarus, Schachter, and Singer
emphasized that our appraisal and labeling of events also determine our emotional responses
Module 41: Expressed Emotion
How do people detect emotion?
- Through tone of voice, body language, facial expressions
- Eyes and mouth expresses the most -- eyes reading mostly anger and fear, mouth reading
- Introverts are better readers of emotions and extroverts are easier to read - Women are usually better detectors of emotions and lies -- case where the woman felt there
was something wrong with the young man, turns out he killed her
- Women are more likely to express empathy
- Anger is more likely perceived as men, whereas happiness is more women
Do facial expressions mean different things in different cultures?
- Six universal expressions: happiness, surprise, fear, sadness, anger, disgust
- Typically it can be understood easily
- Depends on surroundings too -- ex. Fear can be determined as pain if in a painful situation
What influences have an impact on emotion?
- Biological influences -- physiological arousal, evolutionary adaptiveness, brain pathways,
- Psychological influences -- cognitive labeling, gender differences
- Social-cultural influences -- expressiveness, presence of others, cultural expectations
Do our facial expressions influence our feelings?
- Facial feedback effect -- making an expression can trigger an emotion
- Smile warmly on the outside and you fell better on the inside
- Behavior feedback phenomenon -- walking looking down vs. walking with head held high
- Be more empathic by imitating anothers emotions
Module 42: Experienced Emotion
What are the two dimensions of emotion?
- Arousal -- low versus high
- Valence -- pleasant (positive) versus unpleasant (negative)
- High and pleasant -- elated, enthusiastic
- High and unpleasant -- fearful, angry
- Low and unpleasant -- sluggish, sad
- Low and pleasant -- relaxed