Textbook Notes (270,000)
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Chapter 9

Chapter 9 - Detailed Textbook Notes


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB65H3
Professor
Ted Petit
Chapter
9

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Chapter 9 – Textbook Notes
EMOTION
What is Emotion?
Emotions often localized emotions to various internal organs such as the liver & heart
Plato: head – reason, liver – desire, and heart-anger
Aristotle – distinction between emotions & passions; emotion occurred when intellect is
engaged
Emotional States
2 components
FEELING – cognitive experience
EMOTION - physical/physiological component (changes in heart rate, blood pressure)
But humans have to monitor these changes in their bodies in relation to cognitive states
in order to differentiate between physiological arousal that is characteristic of two
different emotions
Cognitive & physical aspects of emotional states processed in distinct neural circuits but
these circuits work together to produce a perception of emotion.
Produce...
Behaviours (both internal & external)
Motor responses
verbal statements, facial expressions, and thoughts related to experiences
Emotional state of others affects us too: we react emotionally & experience feels to.
Basic Emotional States
Darwin - 1st to recognize the significance of emotional states – occur innately in children
and are not learned
But he failed to look at cross-cultural studies, and did not suggest emotions are localized
in brain
Ekman & Friesen Study (1971) – Cross cultural study on the universality of basic
emotional states/facial expressions, involving the Fore tribe.
Could match phtoos of proper facial expressions to stories that induced a particular
emotional state
Could also make facial expressions similar to those of Europeans
Replicated in a variety of cultures
Conclusion: there are universal basic emotions that occur in all humans
Ekman's Criteria for an emotional state to be basic
Distinctive facial expression
Distinctive physiological state
Facial expressions & physiological states that co-occur
Immediate onset of facial expression & physiological state – only lasting for breif
duration
Distinctive eliciting stimuli
Automatic appraisal of eliciting stimuli (snake)
Similar expressions of emotional states in the related primates.
But, there is the problem of attributing emotions to non-linguistic individuals
because they can't confirm what they're feeling.
Still some controversy as to which emotions fall under “basic”.
The Adaptive Value of Emotional States
They must have some sort of adaptive value right
What about emotional states triggered by phobias?
Emotions that we feel nowadays are somehow related to what was important in our

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evolutionary past
Survival
Common phobias & fears are elicited by stimuli that are relevant to survival
We have evolved mechinisms to produce fear of dangerous stimuli that were
important to our ancestors during evolutionary history.
Reproductive success
Social anxiety – being accepted by others is important and was especially important
in our evolutionary past where it contributed to reproductive success.
Secondary emotions (shame & pride) – no facial expressions but are private and
relate to status or loss of status.
Predictive function
Emotional states in others signal negative vs. Positive situations so one could
approach positive & avoid negative
Usually pple mimic what they see
Facial expressions also serve as predictive
Communication
Distinct facial expressions are adaptations to communicate emotional state to others
to facilitate a solution to the problem that caused the initial emotional state
Theories of Emotional States
Any attempt to understand emotional states must be able to account for the means by which
external stimuli acquire the ability to induce emotional states & how emotions (physiological) &
feelings (cognitive) interact to produce an emotional state.
A valid theory should be able to descrive the neural substrates of the cognitive, affective, &
physiological components of the emotional state & describe how these areas of the brain interact
to produce emotional state.
Unfortunately most of these theories only attempt to explain the interaction between feelings
(cognitive) and emotions (physiological); each in a different way
James-Lange Theory
Cognition comes after the physiological sensation
Emotionally provocative stimuli automatically & unconsciously evoke physiological
responses.
Individual monitors these sensations which then evoke conscious thoughts consistent w/ the
experience.
Evidence
People appraise the situation depending on their facial expressions sometimes
Instructing pple to contract muscles of the arms or face results in changes in their
affective experience.
Quadriplegics report feeling a decrease in the intensity of their emotions
Cannon-Bard
Cognitive aspect of emotional states occurred too quickly to result from monitoring
physiological responses.
Cognitive aspects could be experienced even when individuals could not sense any
physiological change.
Experiment: animals with transected spinal cord could not experience physiological changes
but still produced facial expressions & vocalizations contrary to quadriplegics finding.
Even with an absense of facial expressions, people can still feel emotions.
Some physiological states could apply to more than one emotional state or circumstance, but
we tend to appraise it according to context (nausea & sweating due to flu and not fear) - So
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there's a need for cognitive interpretation
Stimulus activates thalamus which then activates both the cortex (cognition) and the
hypothalamus which released hormones involved in the physiological response
Stimulus
Thalamus
Cortex – cognition
Hypothalamus – physiological responses
Schachter-Singer Theory
Brain takes signals from the periphery & interprets & translates them into emotional states
Similar physiological sensations could produce different feels depending on the context of
the event
In a classic experiment, they manipulated physiological arousal to determine whether or not
the same state of arousal could be affected by situational variables.
Experiment
Told that experiments would test effects of a vitamin on vision
Really they received an injection of adrenaline (arouses the autonomic nervous system)
Adrenaline vs Placebo
Adrenaline
Informed Condition – side effects include pounding heart, etc
Misinformed Condition – side effects include itch, headaches
Uninformed – told nothing
Placed in anger vs. Happy situations
Predictions
James Lange Theory - Uninformed condition & misinformed condition should feel
same emotions due to identical physiological arousal (according to James Lange
Theory)
Cannon-Bard theory - should experience emotions appropriate to the situation they
are in
Schachter-Singer Theory: Physiological arousal in misinformed and informed would
be interpreted according to context. Informed condition would so NO EMOTION
because they are informed of the reason for physiological arrousal therefore no need
to cognitively appraise the situation
Schachter-Singer Theory confirms the role of cognitive appraisal and that cognitive
processes are important in the production of emotional states.
Degree of arousal is correlated with the degree to which an individual experiences an
emotional state.
Bridge – Attraction study – attributing arrousal due to high bridge to attraction of woman.
Somatic Marker Theory
Proposed by Damasio
Theory formed on the basis of a patient named Elliot
Removal of tumor in the meninges above his frontal lobes = severe change in his personality
A change in Elliot's ability to experience emotional states – incapable of making rational
choices
Although Elliot could describe how he should feel when he saw emotionally provocative
pictures, he no longer had an autonomic arousal to these pictures – could no longer
experience emotions.
Somatic markers
means by which our brain evaluates novel situations on the basis of previous experience
Previously learned associations between stimuli and emotional state
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