Chapter 9 – Textbook Notes
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
•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
•Cognitive & physical aspects of emotional states processed in distinct neural circuits but
these circuits work together to produce a perception of emotion.
•Behaviours (both internal & external)
•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
•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
•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
•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
•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.
•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.
•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
•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
•Cognition comes after the physiological sensation
•Emotionally provocative stimuli automatically & unconsciously evoke physiological
•Individual monitors these sensations which then evoke conscious thoughts consistent w/ the
•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
•Quadriplegics report feeling a decrease in the intensity of their emotions
•Cognitive aspect of emotional states occurred too quickly to result from monitoring
•Cognitive aspects could be experienced even when individuals could not sense any
•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
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
•Cortex – cognition
•Hypothalamus – physiological responses
•Brain takes signals from the periphery & interprets & translates them into emotional states
•Similar physiological sensations could produce different feels depending on the context of
•In a classic experiment, they manipulated physiological arousal to determine whether or not
the same state of arousal could be affected by situational variables.
•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
•Informed Condition – side effects include pounding heart, etc
•Misinformed Condition – side effects include itch, headaches
•Uninformed – told nothing
•Placed in anger vs. Happy situations
•James Lange Theory - Uninformed condition & misinformed condition should feel
same emotions due to identical physiological arousal (according to James Lange
•Cannon-Bard theory - should experience emotions appropriate to the situation they
•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
•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
•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
•means by which our brain evaluates novel situations on the basis of previous experience
•Previously learned associations between stimuli and emotional state
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. Produce: behaviours (both internal & external, motor responses, basic emotional states and are not learned verbal statements, facial expressions, and thoughts related to experiences. Ekman"s criteria for an emotional state to be basic: distinctive facial expression, distinctive physiological state. 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 . Emotions that we feel nowadays are somehow related to what was important in our evolutionary past.