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[PSYC12H3] - Final Exam Guide - Everything you need to know! (123 pages long)


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC12H3
Professor
Michael Inzlicht
Study Guide
Final

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UTSC
PSYC12H3
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Chapter 1
Approaches to Understanding Emotions
What is an Emotion? First Ideas
- An emotion is a psychological state or process that mediates between our concerns (or goals)
and events of our world.
- Emotions are rational in that they help us deal adaptively with concerns specific to our current
context. They are local to the concern that has achieved priority, and the emotion makes it
urgent.
- Emotions are the source of our values and help us form and engage in our relationships.
- Although emotions come to us individually, most of our important emotions don’t’ just occur to
us individually. They mediate our relationships.
Nineteenth-Century Founders
Charles Darwin: The Evolutionary Approach
- Darwin proposed that emotional expression derive largely from habits that in our evolutionary
or individual past had once been useful. Emotional expressions are based on reflex-like
mechanisms, and some of them occur whether they are useful or not. They can be triggered
involuntarily in circumstances analogous to those that had triggered the original habits.
- For Darwin, expressions showed the continuity of adult human emotions with those of lower
animals and with those of infancy. Our emotions link us to our past: to the past of our species
and to our own infancy.
- Darwin thought that emotions have useful functions, they help us navigate our social
interactions.
William James: The Physiological Approach
- James’ idea is about the nature of emotional experience. He stressed the way I which emotions
move us bodily.
- First, James concentrated on experience, and argued that this experience is embodied. He
proposed that our experience of many emotions, from fear to joy, involves changes of the
autonomic nervous system as well as changes from movements of muscles and joints.
- Second, James proposed that emotions give “colour and warmth” to experience.
Sigmund Freud: The Psychotherapeutic Approach
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- Sigmund Freud proposed that certain events can be so damaging that they leave emotional
scars that can shape the rest of our lives
- Freud was one of the first to argue that emotions are at the core of many mental illnesses.
- Like Darwin, Freud thought that an emotion in the present could derive from one in the past.
- Freud developed a method called psychoanalysis
Philosophical and Literary Approaches
Aristotle and the Ethics of Emotions
- We are responsible for our emotions because we are responsible for our beliefs.
- Our experience depends on our judgment.
- We are moved to feel sympathy for people (or pity) and to fear for ourselves.
- We can experience what Aristotle called katharsis of our emotions, this term is widely
mistranslated as purgation or purification, as if one goes to the theater to rid oneself of toxic
emotions, or to elevate them. But as philosopher Martha Nussbaum argues, for Aristotle
katharsis meant neither purgation nor purification, it meant clarification—the clearing away of
obstacle to understanding.
- Not long after Aristotle’s death, two important schools of philosophy grew up. The first was
Epicureanism, based on the teachings of Epicurus, who lived near Athens in a community of like-
minded friends. The second was Stoicicm, it got its name from stoa, where the philosophers of
this school taught; the stoa was a colonmade, a bit like a cloister, that ran alongside the
marketplace in Athens.
- The Epicureans developed ideas of natural human sociality that influences both the American
and French revolutions. The idea that human beings have a right to the pursuit of happiness is
distinctively Epicurean, as the idea of living naturally, in harmony with an environment of which
we are stewards.
- The ideas of the Stoics are thought to have influenced the acceptance of Christianity by the
Romans following the conversion of the emperor Constantine.
- The Epicureans taught that one should live in a simple way and enjoy simple pleasures, like food
and friendship, rather than chasing after things that make one anxious, like wealth, or are
unnatural, like luxuries, or are ephemeral, like fame.
- The Stoics were more radical than the Epicureans. They thought that because emotions derive
from desires, to free oneself from crippling and destructive emotions, one should extirpate
almost all desires. The only values that are outside the vagaries of chance or the control of
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