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Chapter 6

TEXTBOOK Chapter 6 - Emotion

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Emily Impett

Notes From Reading: C HAPTER 6:EMOTION (195-232) Introduction - Emotions are important guides of thought and action - Once set in motion, emotions wield powerful influences on what people perceive, how they reason, what they deem right and wrong, and what matters to them - Emotions can also aid reason and are vital to healthy relationships, sound functioning, and effective pursuit of the good life Characterizing Emotion - Emotions – Brief, specific psychological and physiological responses that help humans meet goals, many of which are social o Brief = seconds or minutes; facial expression = 1 and 5 seconds o Physiological responses (i.e. sweaty palms, the blush) last dozens of seconds or minutes - Emotions are specific (I.e., you feel emotions about specific people and events) - The focus of an emotional experience is called “intentional object” o When you’re angry, you have a clear sense of what you’re angry about - Emotions help individuals achieve their social goals o Emotions motivate us to act in specific way that affect our social relationships o Gratitude motivates us to reward others, guilt motives us to make amends, The Components of Emotion - William James argued that the essence of an emotion is its bodily response o Shifts in our heart rate, in our sweaty palms, or blush, and in our muscle tension and movements of viscera - Charles Darwin said that emotions are defined by their accompanying expressive behaviors, their gestures, facial muscle movements, vocalizations, and postural movements o These help signal to others the nature of the individual’s internal state - Appraisal Processes – The ways people evaluate events and objects in their environment based on their relation to current goals o There is a consensus that emotions arise as a result of appraisal processes - Core-Related Themes – Distinct themes, such as danger or offense or fairness, that define the core of each emotion - Primary Appraisal Stage – An initial, automatic positive or negative evaluation of ongoing events based on whether they are congruent or incongruent with an individuals goals o Triggered by stimuli of significance to our survival – smiling and angry faces, snakes, pleasant and unpleasant sounds, bad odors, loud sounds - Secondary Appraisal Stage – A subsequent evaluation in which people determine why they feel the way they do about an event, consider possible ways to responding to the events, and weight future consequences of different courses of action o Individual takes stock of the situation and figures out who is responsible for the event, whether it is consistent with social norms, how fair it is - Appraisal processes get our emotions going - We express our emotions with facial expression, voice, postures, and physical touch, as well as in language, art, poetry, and music - Sympathy is signaled in vocalization and patterns of touch  To what extent are emotions universal, and to what extend do they vary across cultures? Universality and Cultural Specificity of Emotion - Evolutionary approach: assumes that the many components of emotion – facial expression, vocalization, physiological response – enable adaptive responses to the threats to survival and opportunities faced by all humans o Emotions of fear enable adaptive responses to threats to survival o Emotions of love, compassion, and jealousy maintain reproductive relationships Notes From Reading: C HAPTER 6:E MOTION (195-232) - Cultural approach: assumes that emotions are strongly influenced by values, roles, institutions, and socialization practices and that these very across different cultures o People in different cultures express their emotions in very different ways Darwin and Emotional Expression - Principle of Serviceable Habits – Charles Darwin’s thesis that emotional expressions are remnants of full-blown behaviors that helped our primate and mammalian predecessors meet important goals in the past - Hypothesized that emotional expression posits universality o Since all humans have the same 30-40 facial muscles used to communicate similar emotions in our evolutionary past, people should communicate and perceive emotion in a similar fashion - Second prediction concerns the similarity between our emotional expression and that of our primate and mammalian ancestors o With shared evolutionary history with primates and mammals, our emotional expressions should resemble the emotional expressions of other species - Darwin argued that blind individuals, lacking the rich visual input a culture provides in how to display emotion, will still show similar expressions as sighted individuals o Tendency to express emotions in particular ways is encoded in the human nervous system The Universality of Facial Expression - Cross-Cultural Research on Emotional Expression o To test Darwin’s universality hypothesis, Ekman and Friesen took more than 3,000 photos of people well trained in expression (i.e. actors) as they portrayed anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise according to Darwin’s descriptions of expression  Researchers presented photos of 6 emotions to people in Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and United Sates  Participants had to match and select from 6 emotion terms to the photo that best matches the term  Results: accuracy rates were between 80-90% for 6 emotions; the rate of randomly selecting was 16.7%  Limitation: participants have seen Western media o They then went out to find a culture that had not been exposed to Western culture and they went to Papua New Guinea to study the Fore  Similarly, Ekman devised an emotion-appropriate story for each of the 6 emotions then asked participants, both adults and children, to match the story to an expression  Achieved accuracy rate between 80-90% o Limitations: free response critique – the researchers provides the terms with which participants labeled the facial expressions. If given a chance to label the faces in their own words (with free responses), perhaps people from different cultures would choose different terms that reflect culture-specific concepts - Emotional Expression in Other Animals o Our closest primate relatives, chimpanzees, have facial musculatures very similar to our own o Initial studies of people in embarrassing situations have identified distinct nonverbal display of embarrassment (similar displays in other mammals) o Embarrassment signals remorse for social transgressions, prompting forgiveness and reconciliation when people violate social norms - Emotional Expression Among the Blind o Pride beings together Darwin’s ideas about universality, cross-species similarities, and the expressions made by those without eyesight Notes From Reading: C HAPTER 6:EMOTION (195-232) o Signaled with dominance-related behaviors: expansive posture, head movements up and back, arms thrusts upward o In a study that carefully analyzed the emotional expressions of sighted and blind Olympic athletes just after they won or lost a just competition showed that after victory o Both sighted and blind athletes alike threw their arms in the air with chest out as an expression of pride; when they lost, they dropped their heads and slumped their shoulders in a display of shame and dejection. - All of these research are consistent with Darwin’s thesis that human emotion evolved out of the aptterns of expressive behavior in our mammalian relatives Cultural Specificity of Emotion - Emotion Accents – Culturally specific ways that individuals from different cultures express particular emotions, such as the tongue bites as an expression of embarrassment in India - Culture and Focal Emotions o Focal Emotions – Emotions that are especially common within a particular culture o I.e., Anger appears to be a more focal emotion in honor-based cultures o Shame and embarrassment would be more focal emotions in more interdependent cultures o Hypercognize – To represent a particular emotion with numerous words and concepts o Members of interdependent cultures might also be expected to express shame and embarrassment in more intense, nonverbal behavior displays - Culture and Ideal Emotions o Valuation theory reasons that cultures vary in the emotions they value or idealize o Emotions that promote specific cultural values and ideals are cherished more which play a more prominent role in the social lives of individuals o Display Rules – Culturally specific rules that govern how and when and to whom people express emotion o People can de-intensify and intensify or mask or neutralize emotions o People from more interdependent cultures de-intensify their outward expression of excitement and also temper their experience of positive emotion with negative ones  What is the role of emotions in social relationships? Emotions and Social Relationships - Emotions are profoundly social and help coordinate social interactions - Emotions help guide judgments and decisions that are made in the service of important social goals Emotions in Friendship and Intimate Relationship - People with Asperger’s syndrome don’t communicate emotion as readily in the face and voice, and they prove to be less effective in reading the emotions of others - Touch and Closeness o Individuals from interdependent cultures are better able to communicate emotion through touch o Touch provides rewards to others; the right kind of touch stimulates specific cells under the skin that trigger activation in the orbitofrontal cortex (brain region representing reward) o
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