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PSY311H5 (63)
Chapter 5

Chapter 5 - Emotions: Thoughts about Feelings

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Stuart Kamenetsky

NotesFromReadingCHAPTER5EMOTIONSTHOUGHTSABOUTFEELINGSPGS126155What Are EmotionsEmotions are complex They involve a subjective reaction to something in the environment are generally accompanied by some form of physiological arousal and are often communicated to others by some expression or action Primary Emotions Fear joy disgust surprise sadness and interest which emerge early in life and do not require introspection of selfreflectionSecondary or SelfConscious Emotions Pride shame guilt jealousy embarrassment and empathy which emerge in the second year of life and depend on a sense of self and the awareness of other peoples reactionsWhy Are Emotions ImportantEmotions are a way that children let other people know how they feelEmotions are linked to childrens social successEmotions are linked to childrens mental and physical healthChildren reared in environment in which positive emotions are rarely experienced often have problems managing stress and anxietyThe difficulty these children have modulating their reactions to stress is reflected in heightened levels of cortisol which can lead to physical problemsPerspectives on Emotional DevelopmentBiological PerspectiveDarwin said that emotional expressions are innate and universal rooted in human evolution and based on anatomical structures Studies show that basic emotions happiness sadness surprise fear anger and disgust are the same in different cultures Emotional expressions in infants are innate as well Studies of the brain showed that the left cerebral hemisphere controls the expression of the emotion of joy the right hemisphere controls the expression of fear Studies showed that MZ twins are more similar than DZ in the age at which they first smile the amount they smile the onset of their fear reactions to strangers and their general degree of emotional inhibitionEvidence consistently demonstrates that biology contributes to the expression of emotions and that childrens basic emotions are based on the constrained by biological features and processesLearning PerspectiveThe frequency with which children smile and laugh is related to their caregivers behaviourThe environment has modified the frequency and circumstances of childrens expressions of positive and negative emotions Ex If mother screams when she sees spider it conditions a fear response for the child Or fear of the doctor because every visit resulted in a painful needle shotFunctional PerspectiveThe purpose of emotions is to help people achieve their social and survival goals such as making a new friend or staying out of dangerEmotional signal provide feedback that guides other peoples behaviour Emotions function is that memories of past emotions shape how people respond to new situationsDevelopment of EmotionsPrimary EmotionsJoyIs reflected in infants smiling and laughterReflex Smile An upturned mouth seen in the newborn that is usually spontaneous and appears to depend on some internal stimulus or state rather than on something external such as another persons behaviour Yet it is in a sense has adaptive value for infancy by ensuring caregiver attention and stimulation keeps them nearby and becomes means of communication and aid to survival
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