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PSYC 2740 (174)
Chapter 13

Chapter 13

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2740
Professor
Stephen Lewis
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 13 Emotion and Personality - emotions have distinct subjective feelings, or affects associated with them, they are accompanied by bodily changes, mostly in the nervous system and these produce associated changes in breathing, heart rate, muscle tension, blood chemistry and facial and bodily expressions - emotions are accompanied by distinct action tendencies, or increased in the probabilities of certain behaviours - a functional analysis of emotions and emotional expressions focuses on the why of emotions and expressions in terms of whether they increase the fitness of individuals Issues in Emotion Research - emotional states are transitory and depend more on the situation a person is in than on the specific person - a emotional trait is a pattern of emotional reactions that a person consistently experiences across a variety of life situations; this pattern of emotional experiences is stable over time and characteristic for each person - those who think that primary emotions are the key are said to take the categorical approach; hundreds of terms describe different categories of emotions but there are probably about 5 primary personality traits that underlie the huge list of trait adjectives - in the dimensional approach, researchers gather data by having subjects rate themselves on a wide variety of emotions, then apply statistical techniques (usually factor analysis) to identify the basic dimensions underlying the ratings; suggests that what we experience are various degrees of pleasantness and arousal and that every emotion we are capable of experiencing can be described as a combination of pleasantness and arousal Content vs. Style of Emotional Life - content is the specific kind of emotion that a person experiences, whereas style is the way in which an emotion is experienced - among college students, the average person reports being happy 65% of the time, neutral 15% of the time, and unhappy 20 of the time - researchers conceive of happiness in two ways: in terms of judgment that life is satisfying and in terms of the predominance of positive compared with negative emotions in ones life - part of being happy is to have positive illusions about the self, an inflated view of ones own characteristics as a good, able and desirable person as this caharacteristic appears to be part of emotional well-being - happy people are less abusive and hostile, less self-focused and report fewer instances of disease, they are more helpful and cooperative, have more social skills and are more creative and energetic - situations might become complex and involve reciprocal causality which refers to the idea that causality can flow in both directions - extraversion and neuroticism accounted for up to 3 times as much of the variation in happiness between people caompard with all of the common demographic variables put together - having high extraversion and low neuroticism may contribute much more to happiness than gender, ethnicity, age and all the other demographic characteristics - in studies of personality traits
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