PSYC 215 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Reinforcement, Asian Americans, Status Quo Bias
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Textbook Chapter 6: Emotion and Affect
What Is Emotion
Emotion: a full-blown, conscious state that includes an evaluative reaction to some event.
Mood: a feeling state that is not entirely linked to some event.
Affect: a result of mapping all emotions into a single good-bad dimension (positive affect
and negative affect). Or it can be an emotion-based reaction that can occur outside of
Conscious Emotion vs. Automatic Affect
Conscious emotion: felt as a powerful, single (unified) feeling state.
Automatic affect: responses of liking or disliking, of good or bad feelings towards
something. It is automatic and very fast.
1. Conscious is to unconscious as ______ is to ______.
a. Affect; emotion
b. Affect; mood
c. Emotion; affect
d. Mood; affect
2. Affect is generally mapped onto ______dimensions.
a. Good and bad
b. Masculine and feminine
c. Specific and universal
d. Strong and weak
3. Affective reactions to things that are “good” and “bad” generally occur in the first
_____ of thoughts.
4. Fatima feels deep sadness because her dog died. What term most accurately
describes that Fatima is feeling?
d. All of the above
Emotions bridge the mind and the body; they have both mental and physical aspects. An
important area of connection involves the bodily response of arousal, which is linked to
most conscious emotions, though not necessarily to automatic affect. Arousal is a
physiological response that occurs within the body, including a faster heartbeat and faster
or heavier breathing.
James-Lange Theory of Emotion
Theory links the mental and physical aspects of emotion.
“The bodily changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact, and that our
feeling of the same changes as they occur is the emotion”.
Basically the bodily process of emotion came first, and then the mind’s perception
of these bodily reactions creates the subjective feelings of emotion.
This theory was hard to prove; one aspect was that different emotions must arise
from different bodily responses. But data suggested that the body’s response
seemed to be similar for all emotions. Also, tears for example were not just a sign of
This theory inspired the contemporary facial feedback hypothesis; feedback from
the face muscles evokes or magnified emotions.
o Experiment with the pen in the teeth vs. the lips.
Cannon-Bard Theory of Emotion
The thalamus plays a central role (relay station for nerve impulses). Information
from the emotional stimulus goes to the thalamus. From there, the information is
relayed both to the cerebral cortex (which produces the experience of emotion) and
to the hypothalamus and autonomic nervous system, which produces the increase in
Schachter-Singer Theory of Emotion
Greatly influences modern social psychology.
Proposed that emotion has two components:
o Physiological arousal: similar in all emotions
o Cognitive label: different for each emotion
The arousal is the mix of feelings that you get when your sympathetic nervous
system is activated (physiological feelings). Nervousness is arousal on it’s own; a
generic emotional state.
So in the theory, the arousal determines that there will be an emotion and how
strong it will be, while the cognitive label dictates which emotion will be felt.
Misattribution of Arousal
The Schachter-Singer Theory allows emotions to be miss-labelled and re-labelled.
Excitation transfer: the arousal from a first event transfers to the second event.
o Experiment: adrenaline/no adrenaline shots and exposure to a happy/angry
o Experiment: crossing the bridge
Subsequent investigations revealed that there is not just one single state underlying
all emotions. In the lab, arousal can be converted into either good or bad emotion,
but in real life the arousal seems to already come in a good or a bad state.
1. Which theory of emotion predicts that we are angry because we hit someone?
d. None of the above
2. Which theory of emotion predicts that arousal from an event can be mislabelled?
d. None of the above
3. Tyrone had a stressful day at the office, so he stopped at the gym on the way home
to work out. Even after he gets home, Tyrone still feels wound up. When his wife
remarks in passing that he forgot to take out the trash, Tyrone responds by yelling
and cursing at his wife. Tyrone’s overreaction to his wife’s comment illustrates
d. Excitation transfer
4. How many basic arousal states are there?
Some Important Emotions
Some emotions might serve basic biological needs.
o Feeling good right now: shared by animals and humans, or feeling many
positive emotions: humans only.
o One measure of happiness is affect balance: the frequency of positive
emotions minus the frequency of negative emotions.