Emotion and Motivation: removal of Eliot‟s frontal lobe tissue left him unable to experience emotion.
10.1 How do we experience emotions? Emotions (affect): feelings involving subjective evaluation, physiological
processes, cognitive beliefs. Immediate, specific responses to enviro events, trigger changes in thought/ behavior.
Moods: diffuse, long-lasting emotional states, influence thought/behavior, vague sense of feeling certain ways.
Emotions have subjective component: we know we are experiencing emotions because we feel them.
Overemotional - mood disorders (depression, panic attack), alexithymia (no subjective component of
emotions) – physiological messages associated w/ emotions do not reach brain centers that interpret emotion.
o Distinguishing between types of emotions: primary: evolutionarily adaptive, across cultures, assoc. w/
specific physical states (anger, fear, sadness, disgust, happiness, surprise/contempt). Secondary:
blends of primary (remorse, guilt, submission, anticipation). Circumplex: valence ~ negative/positive,
activation ~ arousal: physiological activation / increased autonomic response.
o Negative/positive affect: independent, simultaneous. Pos activation states assoc. w/ more dopamine,
neg activation assoc. w/ less norepinephrine. Crying relieves stress via PNS activation, social function.
Emotions have physiological component
o James-Lange: person‟s interpretation of physical changes person feels emotion. Physical changes
occur in distinct patterns, translate to specific emotions, when we perceive patterns of bodily
responses, we feel emotion. Different primary emotions produce different patterns of brain activation
o Facial feedback: if you mold muscles to mimic emotional state, you activate associated emotion. Facial
expressions trigger experience of emotions.
o Cannon-bard: mind and body experience emotions independently; information from emotion-
producing stimulus is processed in subcortical structures, as result, we experience emotion and
physical reaction at same time (many emotions produce similar bodily responses, make it difficult to
determine which emotion we are experiencing)
o Amygdala: limbic system consists of brain structures that border cerebral cortex. Amygdala processes
emotional significance of stimuli, generates immediate emotional/behavioral reactions, evolved to
protect us from danger, important for emotional learning, people with damage do not develop
conditioned fear responses. Information reaches amygdala via two paths: “quick and dirty” system
processes sensory info instantly, through thalamus to amygdala for priority processing. Second path is
slower but more deliberate and thorough evaluations, sensory info travels from thalamus to cortex,
scrutinized, passed to amygdala. Fast system prepares animals to respond when slower path confirms.
Emotional events increase activity in amygdala, which is likely to improve long-term memory for the
event. Modifies how hippocampus consolidates memory, especially fear. Emotions such as fear
strengthen memories, adaptively helps us remember harmful situations.
o Prefrontal cortex: greater activation of R prefrontal cortex associated with neg affect, greater activation
of L hemisphere associated with positive affect – cerebral asymmetry. People dominant in one
hemisphere will have biased emotions. L-hemisphere dominant respond most positively to pleasant
scenes, people who are R-hemisphere dominant respond most negatively to unpleasant scenes.
Emotions have cognitive component
Schachter-Singer two-factor: situation physiological response and a cognitive interpretation/emotion label.
People search for source of arousal (cognitive explanation). Whatever the person believes caused emotion will
determine how the person labels emotion.
misattribution of arousal; misidentify source of arousal – e.g., standing on a rickety bridge. Excitation transfer:
residual physiological arousal caused by one event transferred to new stimulus
We regulate emotional states: circumstances require us to harness emotional responses via different strategies to help
prevent / prepare / deal with events. Focus attention on certain aspects of situations, or directly alter emotional
reactions to events by reappraising those events in more neutral terms.
Humor: increases positive affectstate of pleasurable, relaxed excitation. Laughter stimulates endocrine
secretion, improves immune system, stimulates release of hormones, dopamine, serotonin, endorphins. Good
short, long-term health effects, helps distance from negative emotions, strengthen connections to other people. Thought suppression and rumination: attempt to not feel or respond to emotion at all, may lead to rebound
Distraction: doing or thinking something other than troubling activity or thought.
10.2 How are emotions adaptive?
Facial expressions communicate emotion: adaptive info. mouth/eyes, context
Facial expressions across cultures are recognized; responses innate – same in blind people (not learned)
Display rules differ across cultures/sexes: display rules: learned via socialization that dictates which emotions are
appropriate. Difficult to tell if sex differences in emotional expression reflect learned patterns of or bio differences.
Emotions serve cognitive functions: cannot separate emotion/cognition, because we instantly evaluate things w/ affect
Decision making: anticipate future emotional states, serve as source of info, guide in decision making to help
making decisions quickly. Emotions: heuristic guides, feedback for quick decisions. When emotions/cognition
in conflict, emotions have stronger impact. Affect-as-information: use current moods to judge/appraise, even if
we do not know source of moods. If made aware of source of mood, feelings have less influence
Somatic markers: bodily reactions that arise from emotional evaluation of action‟s consequences. Gut
feeling. People with damage to frontal lobe show absence of somatic marker.
Emotions strengthen interpersonal relations: emotional expressions are powerful nonverbal communications
Guilt strengthens social bonds: discourages from doing things that harm relationships, encourage behaviors
that strengthen relationships, demonstrate that people care about partners, used to manipulate. Guilt is a unique
negative emotion that is highly influenced by social environment.
Embarrassment/blushing: rectifies interpersonal awkwardness, restores bonds, submission/ affiliation w/
group, recognize unintentional error elicits forgiveness, repairing relationships. only in humans, not necessary
10.3 How does motivation energize, direct, sustain behavior? Emotions: primary source of motivation. Motivational
states: energizing (activate behaviors), directive (guide behaviors toward satisfying goals), helps persist until we
achieve goals, differ in strength. Motivation: factors that energize, direct, or sustain behavior.
Multiple factors motivate behavior: need: state of bio/social deficiencygoal-directed behaviors, failure to satisfy
psyc/physical impairment. Need hierarchy: Maslow‟s arrangement of needs; basic survival before higher; humanistic
psyc views people as striving toward fulfillment, focus on person. Self-actualization: achieved when personal dreams
/ aspirations attained. Not much empirical support, more useful indicator of what might be true of people‟s behavior.
Drives/incentives: drive: psyc state creates arousal, motivates organism to satisfy need. Homeostasis:
tendency for bodily functions to maintain equilibrium. When animal deprived of need, drive increases in
proportion. If behavior consistently reduces drive, becomes a habit. Incentives: external objects / goals that
motivate behaviors, not always consciously aware of them
Yerkes-Dodson: performance increases w/ arousal to optimal point, then decreases, inverted U.
Pleasure: Freud proposed that drives satisfied according to pleasure principle - drives people to seek pleasure
/avoid pain (hedonism). Pleasure motivates behavior, and pleasure adaptive because it indicates safety.
Some behaviors motivated for own sake: extrinsic motivation: perform activity because o