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PS102 Study Guide - Final Guide: Electrodermal Activity, Group Cohesiveness, Dishabituation

Course Code
Carolyn Ensley
Study Guide

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Motivation & Emotion part II
Achievement: In Search of Excellence
-The achievement motive is the need to master difficult challenges, to outperform others, and to meet
high standards of excellence
Individual Differences in the Need for Achievement
-Subjects’ need for achievement can be measured effectively with the Thematic Apperception Test
-The TAT test is a projective test, one that requires subjects to respond to vague, ambiguous stimuli in
ways that may reveal personal motives and traits
-People who score higher in the need for achievement tend to work harder and more persistently on
tasks than people low in the need for achievement
-Subjects high in the need for achievement tend to select tasks of immediate difficulty
Situational Determinants of Achievement Behaviour
-The tendency to pursue achievement in a particular situation depends on the following factors:
-The strength of one’s motivation to achieve success
-One’s estimate of the probability of success for the task at hand
-The incentive value of success - rewards for success on the specific task
-The joint influence of these situational factors may explain why high achievers prefer tasks of
immediate difficulty
-A person’s fear of failure must also be considered to understand achievement behaviour
The Elements of Emotional Experience
-Emotion involves (1) a subjective conscious experience (the cognitive component) accompanied by (2)
bodily arousal (the physiological component) and by (3) characteristic over expressions (the behavioural
The Cognitive Component: Subjective Feelings
-People often have difficulty describing their emotions to others
-People’s cognitive appraisals of events in their lives are key determinants of the emotions they
-Research on affective forecasting efforts to predict one’s emotional reactions to future events –
demonstrates that people reliably mispredict their future feelings in response to good and bad events,
such as getting a promotion at work, taking a long-awaited vacation, getting a poor grade in an
important class, or being fired at work
-People tend to be reasonably accurate in anticipating whether events will generate positive or negative
The Physiological Component: Diffuse and Multifaceted
Autonomic Arousal
-Emotions are accompanied by visceral arousal Ex. A knot in your stomach
-Much of the discernible physiological arousal associated with emotion occurs through the actions of the
autonomic nervous system, which regulates the activity of glands, smooth muscles, and blood vessels
-One prominent part of emotional arousal is the galvanic skin response (GSR), an increase in the
electrical conductivity of the skin that occurs when sweat glands increase their activity

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-The connection between emotion and autonomic arousal provides the basis for the polygraph or lie
detector, a device that records autonomic fluctuations which a subject is questioned
Affective Neuroscience: Emotions and the Brain
-The autonomic responses that accompany emotions are ultimately controlled in the brain
-The hypothalamus, amygdala, and adjacent structures in the limbic system have long been viewed as
the seat of emotions
-The amygdala plays a central role in the acquisition of conditioned fears
-Other parts of the brain that affect emotion:
-Prefrontal cortex contributes to efforts to voluntarily control emotional reactions
-Front portion of the cingulate cortex implicated I the processing of pain-related emotional
-Neural circuit called the mesolimbic dopamine pathway plays a major role in the experience
of pleasurable emotions associated with rewarding events
-Mirror neurons appear to play a crucial role in the experience of the important emotion of
The Behavioural Component: Nonverbal Expressiveness
-Emotions are expressed in “body language”
-Subjects are generally successful in identifying six fundamental emotions: happiness, sadness, anger,
fear, surprise, and disgust
Culture and the Elements of Emotion
-Subjects are more accurate in recognizing emotions expressed by people from their own culture
-Cultural disparities have also been found in regard to nonverbal expressions of emotion
-Display rules are norms that regulate the appropriate expression of emotions
-These norms vary from one culture to another
Theories of Emotion
James-Lange Theory
-The conscious experience of emotion results from one’s perception of autonomic arousal
Cannon-Bard Theory
-Physiological arousal may occur without the experience of emotion
-People experiencing very different emotions, such as fear, joy, and anger, exhibit almost identical
patterns of autonomic arousal
Schacter’s Two Factor Theory
-The experience of emotion depends on two factors: (1) autonomic arousal and (2) cognitive
interpretation of that arousal
Evolutionary Theories of Emotion
-Emotions are largely innate reactions to certain stimuli
-Emotion evolved before thought
-People exhibit eight to ten primary emotions
-Evolutionary theorists propose that the many emotions people experience are produced by (1) blends
of primary emotions and (2) variations in intensity

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Human Development Across the Life Span
-Development the sequence of age-related changes that occur as a person progresses from
conception to death
Progress before Birth: Prenatal Development
-Conception occurs when fertilization creates a zygote a one-celled organism formed by the union of a
sperm and an egg
-The prenatal period extends from conception to birth, usually encompassing nine months of pregnancy
The Course of Prenatal Development
Germinal Stage
-The first phases of prenatal development, encompassing the first two weeks after conception
-During the implantation process, the placenta begins to form
-The placenta is a structure that allows oxygen and nutrients to pass into the fetus from the mother’s
bloodstream, and bodily wastes to pass out to the mother
Embryonic Stage
-The second stage of prenatal development, lasting from two weeks until the end of the second month
-Most of the vital organs and bodily systems begin to form in the developing organism, which is now
called an embryo
Fetal Stage
-The third stage of prenatal development, lasting from two months through birth
-The first two months of this stage bring rapid bodily growth, as muscles and bones begin to form
-Sex organs start to develop during the third month
-During the final three months, brain cells multiply at a brisk pace
-Between 22 and 26 weeks, the fetus reaches the age of viability the age at which a baby can survive
in the event of a premature birth
Environmental Factors and Prenatal Development
-A mother’s habits can have long-term health consequences
-Teratogens are any external agents, such as drugs or viruses, that can harm an embryo or fetus
Maternal Drug Use
-Most drugs consumed by a pregnant woman can pass through the membranes of the placenta
-Fetal alcohol syndrome is a collection of congenital (inborn) problems associated with excessive alcohol
use during pregnancy
-Fetal alcohol syndrome is the most common known cause of intellectual disability and it is related to an
increased incidence of difficulty in school, depression, suicide, drug problems, and criminal behaviour in
adolescence and adulthood
-Smoking appears to increase a mother’s risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, and prematurity, and newborn’s
risk for sudden infant death syndrome
Maternal Illness and Exposure to Toxins
-The fetus is largely defenceless against infections because its immune system matures relatively late in
the prenatal period
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