Psy Beh 175S - Study Guide - Final - Essays.docx

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University of California - Irvine
Psychology and Social Behavior
Susan Charles

Cognition & Emotion Final Essay Questions 1. Can someone be in love with his/her spouse and still not be faithful? Based on what you read and what we discussed in class, what do you think? (Use science to justify your answer, and include physiology as well as other factors in your response) Yes, a person can be in love with their spouse and not be faithful to them if their love is a passionate love. Unlike romantic love- which emphasizes emotional attachment, intimacy, and long-term commitment- passionate love only motivates proximity seeking in order to initiate sexual activity. It is driven by gonadal estrogens and androgens, which serve to mediate sexual desire. The neurochemicals that play a role in bonding and attachment (Oxytocin, vasopressin, and endogenous opioids) are not involved in passionate love; these are associated with romantic love. Romantic love and passionate love have distinct physiological profiles, and while they are both defined as “love,” they serve two separate motivational functions. Studies have shown that these two types of love can exist independently of one another, which means it is possible to feel passionate love for a person without romantic love. Although passionate love has a tendency to transform into romantic love over time, if the couple were to become married during the passionate love phase, then unfaithfulness is a possibility. If the person feels passionate love towards their spouse, then their main objective is reproduction. They may lack the Oxytocin/ vasopressin levels that would compel them to stay faithful to their spouse. 2. From your reading, you learned that risky families are related to HPA or SAM dysfunction. Select one of these axes (either the HPA or SAM axis). Define it, explain how being in a risky family (define risky families) alters its activity, and discuss what emotional experiences and health outcomes are related to this dysregulation. The HPA axis allows the body to respond to stress by preparing for short-term demands. When triggered, the hypothalamus releases CRH, which causes the pituitary gland to secrete adrenocorticotropic hormone, which causes the adrenal cortex to release Cortisol. HPA functioning may be disrupted in children from risky families (defined as families high in conflict and aggression, or families that are cold/ unsupportive/ neglectful) due their constant exposure to stress repeatedly activating the system. In healthy individuals, Cortisol levels are typically highest in the morning and eventually decrease through the day. Children who were maltreated had elevated Cortisol levels in the afternoon, while maltreated and depressed children had lower Cortisol levels in the morning that rose in the afternoon. A study found that the stress felt by children from authoritarian (low warmth, high control) families may interfere with the HPA axis and lead to increased CRH and Cortisol levels. These dysregulations can have long-term effects, and have been associated with immune deficiencies, inhibited growth, delayed sexual maturity, damage to the hippocampus, cognitive impairment, and depression. 3. From your readings, name two emotion regulation strategies that vary in their effectiveness. Define each of them and compare them to one another. Situation selection is an antecedent-focused emotion regulation strategy that involves choosing one situation over another. This strategy is initiated before an individual experiences physiological and behavioral changes caused by their response tendencies. For instance, choosing to stay home and watch a movie instead of going to a party where you know you will run into people that you dislike is a form of situation selection. This is the most effective form of emotion regulation, as it allows individuals to avoid negative emotions completely by avoiding the situations that can lead to those negative emotions. Another form of emotion regulation is response modulation, which is a response-focused emotional regulation strategy. This strategy is initiated after a response has been fully elicited, and it attempts to influence the response in some way. Suppression is a type of response modulation, and it involves hiding any outward signs of emotion. This is not a very effective form of emotional regulation, as it does not actually change the individual’s emotional experience; it only changes outside perceptions of their emotions. An example of this is hiding your embarrassment after tripping and falling in front of a group of people. Hiding the embarrassment would not make you feel any less embarrassed. In fact, studies have shown that suppression can actually increase physiological reactivity and is cognitively costly. 4. How does emotion regulation change across adulthood? In your description, describe some aspects that improve with age, and other aspects that may decline with age. Base your responses on the reading. As adults age, their experienced emotions become more predictable, and negative emotions become more infrequent. Results regarding the negative affect in those over 60 are more inconsistent, but even if there are declines in positive affect, they are very slight. Overall, older adults report higher levels of well-being than younger adults. This may be due in part to the emphasis that older adults place on emotion-related goals, which- according to the socioemotional selectivity theory- is caused by their shrinking time horizons. They know that their time is limited, so they focus on emotion and meaning inste
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