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Chapter 6

Social Psychology Chapter 6 Summary.docx

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McGill University
PSYC 215
John Lydon

Social Psychology Chapter 6 Summary Emotion - Sympathy breakthroughs: during war, for ex, when a face-to-face encounter cannot be met with violence b/c the person feels too much sympathy for the other - Emotions wield powerful influence on what people perceive, how they reason , what they deem right and wrong and what matter to them: adversary becomes fellow human being - Any situation can be construed in multiple ways and can call forth a variety of actions - Emotions are magical transformations in that they powerfully and immediately shift the individual to specific ways of thinking and acting - Emotions disrupt sound reasoning and make people behave irrationally but can also aid reason and are vital to healthy relationships, sound functioning and effective pursuit of a good life Characterizing Emotion - Emotion: brief, specific, social oriented states w/ psychological and physiological that help humans meet goals, many of which are social - Emotions help us navigate our social environment and motivate us to act in specific ways that affect important relationships. Like gratitude motivates us towards rewarding others The Components of Emotions - Emotions have many different components - Appraisal process: ways people evaluate events and objects in their environment based on their relation to current goals - Appraisals trigger different emotions known as core relational themes (distinct themes, such as danger or offense or fairness, that define the core of each emotion - For ex: appraisals of loss trigger sadness - Primary appraisal stage: an initial, automatic positive or negative evaluation of ongoing events based on whether they are congruent or incongruent with an individual’s goals—triggered by stimuli like smiling and angry faces - Secondary appraisal stage: subsequent evaluation in which people determine why they feel the way they do about an event, consider possible ways of responding and weighing future consequences of alternative courses of action  determines feelings of anger, sadness guilt etc. - We see our lives through emotion-tinted lens, selectively perceiving emotion-congruent events Universality and Cultural Specificity of Emotion - To what extent are emotional responses universal and how do they vary across cultures? - An evolutionary approach assumes many components of emotion enable adaptive responses to the threats to survival and opportunities faced by all humans—components of emotion are universal - A cultural approach assumes emotions are influenced by values, roles, institutions and socialization practices that vary across cultures thus components of emotion vary across culture Felt and False Smiles - 2 muscles in a smile: zygomatic major muscle (pulling lip corners upward) and orbicularis oculi (surrounds the eye and in contracting causes crow’s feet to form, upper cheek to raise and pouch to form under lower eyelid - Duchene smile: smile involving action of orbicularis oculi is a real smile Darwin and Emotional Expression - Principle of serviceable habits: Darwin’s thesis that emotional expressions are remnants of full- flown behaviours that helped our primate and mammalian predecessors meet important goals in the past - 3 hypotheses about emotional expression: 1.) it’s universal (since all humans have 30 to 40 facial muscles and have used these muscles to communicate similar emotions in our evolutionary past, we should all communicate similarly 2.) B/c of shared evolutionary history with primates and mammals our emotional expressions should resemble emotional expressions of other species 3.) Blind individuals show similar expressions as sighted ones The Universality of Facial Expression Cross-Cultural Research on Emotional Expression - Paul Ekman and Wallace Friesen did an experiment taking more than 3000 photos portraying anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise and asked participants across 5 cultures and found their accuracy was quite high; flaw: participants had seen Western film thus they could have learned how to identify emotion from this - So he found a culture not in touch w/ Westerners and they yielded the same results with only a higher chance for guessing by chance - Problem: researchers provided the terms instead of allowing people to label the faces in their own words - But when using their own words there’s still a high degree of similarity Emotional Expression in Other Animals - Chimps have facial musculatures very similar to our own - Human displays of embarrassment resemble appeasement displays in other mammals - Embarrassment signals remorse for social transgression - Individuals who display greater embarrassment or blushing in social interactions are more likely to be trusted, cooperated with and given resources by a stranger Emotional Expression among the Blind - Jessica Tracy and her colleagues observed blind and sighted athletes who displayed the same behaviour when victorious and when defeated; constant across cultures therefore shame and pride displays are universal Cultural Specificity of Emotion - Emotion accents: culturally specific ways that individuals from different cultures express particular emotions, such as the tongue bite as an expression of embarrassment in India Culture and focal Emotions - Focal emotions: emotions that are especially common within a particular culture - For ex: Mexico is a proud culture - Interdependent cultures have more self-conscious emotions like embarrassment - Hypercognize: to represent a particular emotion w/ numerous words and concepts - There are more words to describe emotions that are focal emotions. China (interdependent culture) has at least 113 words describing shame and embarrassment suggesting hyper-cognized self-conscious emotions are highly focal in daily conversations - Emotions that promote a culture ideal are more cherished and valued - Jeanne Tsai in her affect valuation theory says cultures vary in emotions they value and idealize - Ekman proposed that cultures vary in their display rules (culturally specific rules that govern when and how emotions can be expressed) - People can intensify, mask or neutralize their emotions - People from interdependent countries will supress their excitement more than people from independent countries; they de-intensify their emotions - Iraneus Eibl-Eibesfeldt said emotions are the grammar of social interaction Emotions in Friendships and Intimate Relationships - Touch is an important part of relationships and can communicate one’s emotions very well— especially for those in a high-touch culture - Touch builds closeness by: providing rewards, s
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