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Chapter 7

PSYC18H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Orbicularis Oculi Muscle, Social Emotions, Dynamical System

Course Code
Gerald Cupchik

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PSYC18 – Chapter 7
Split brain operation: sever the corpus callosum
oPatients IQ, personality, language and ability to engage in meaningful
interactions are not diminished
Right hemisphere responds more readily to the emotional content of stimuli, while the
left is more ready to interpret experience in terms of language
Primary appraisal: unconscious, and automatic; reflexive
Secondary appraisal: potentially conscious, and thought-like
Appraisal and Emotion
Historical background and definitions
Chrysippus distinguished between initial movements that were automatic and and
secondary movements which involved mental thought
Stress produces vigilant attention and heightened activity in the sympathetic branch
of the ANS
Prolonged stress can lead to heart disease, cancer, and even cell death in the
Lazarus said that the differences between stresses lie in the emotions
He proposed that appraisals involve judgements of how good or bad an event is
Stein’s view holds that (1) an event, usually unexpected, is perceived that changes the
status of a valued goal; (2) beliefs are often challenged; this can cause bodily changes
and expressions to occur; (3) plans are formed about what to do about the event to
reinstate or modify the goal, and the likely results of the plans are considered
Automatic appraisals of good and bad
Viewed either happy or angry faces. A suboptimal subliminal condition showed them
for 4milliseconds. Subliminal had no idea whether they saw happy or angry. For
suboptimally presented faces, smiling faces led participants to express greater liking
for the Chinese ideographs. No such priming occurred for those who were aware of
the faces
Is the bad stronger than the good?
Our negative evaluations appear to be more potent than our positive ones
Appraisal theories and distinct emotions
Discrete approaches to appraisals: emphasize that unique appraisals give rise to
different emotions
Dimensional approaches to appraisals: focus on the many components of appraisals
that relate to different emotions
Discrete approaches to appraisal
According to Lazarus, primary involves appraisal of event in terms of its relevance to
goals evaluate whether the event is relevant to personal goals or not, then they
appraise ongoing events in terms of the extent to which the event is congruent or
incongruent with the person’s goals
Goal congruent events elicit positive events, and goal incongruent events produce
negative emotions
Then the individual appraises the event in terms of its relevance to more specific
goals, or issues for the ego

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Oatley believes that primary elicits a basic emotion and that each of the basic
emotions has the function of setting the brain into a mode adapted to deal with a
recurring situation not just of positive or negative but of a small number of basic
Each mode is a state of readiness with a distinct phenomenological tone, but no
necessary verbal meaning
Core relational theme: the essential meaning for each emotions; secondary appraisal
Dimensional approaches to appraisal
Ellsworth highlighted two reasons why we need to view appraisals from another
(1) similarities between emotions approaches to emotions as discrete, highlight the
differences between emotions in terms of their eliciting appraisals, but certain
emotions elicit similar feelings
(2) inability to account for transitions between emotions
Ellsworth has 8 dimensions of appraisal: attentions, anticipate effort, certainty,
control-coping, legitimacy, pleasantness, perceived obstacle, responsibility
Found that the combination of control and responsibility, called ‘agency’, was the
critical dimension that differentiate three negative emotions: anger, sadness, and guilt
Weiner and Graham found that some distinct emotions depend on attributions: the
explanations of the causes of events that people give
Critiques of appraisal research and new methods for studying appraisal
Several critiques for the retrospective, self-report study of appraisal
The evidence from studies like Ellsworth and Weiner are not causal they did not
document how appraisals cause emotion
The is reason to doubt whether the kinds of conscious assessments of appraisal that
Smith and Ellsworth gathered actually correspond emotion
Diary studies: people report on their daily emotional experiences in diary-like entries
less subject to the biases of retrospective, self-report methods
a second new approach is to identify appraisals as they occur, and ascertain whether
emotion-specific appraisals relate to other measures of emotional response
Cultural variation in appraisal
Certain studies point to a surprising degree of universality in the elicitors of emotion
Knowledge of emotion
People have a powerful tendency to confide their emotional experiences in others
called social sharing, and it occurs even for emotions such as guilt and shame
Emotion words
Emotion lexicon: an important component of emotion knowledge; vocabulary of
emotion words
Applying a label to an emotional experience helps identify the intentional object of
an experience: what the emotion is specifically about
Emotion words direct us to the focus of the experience shape diffuse experiences
into more specific emotional experiences
Many emotions have a metaphorical content.
Metaphors: concepts that people use to describe other concepts that are typically
more abstract or hard to describe

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Five metaphors that speakers of English frequently use to describe emotional
oEmotions are natural forces swept away by our emotions
oEmotions are opponents we struggle, and fight off emotions
oEmotions are diseases we are sick with ‘love’
oWe conceptualize our emotions are fluids in a container simmer with rage
oWe refer to emotions as animals, or living objects
Our emotion lexicon has structure there are 3 levels to our emotion knowledge
Superordinate level: knowledge is a basic distinction between positive and
Basic level: love, joy, surprise, anger, sadness, fear
Subordinate level: specific states; states that in fundamental ways share
properties of the basic emotion concept above them
Cultures vary in the number of words that represent emotion
Cultures vary in which states they represent with emotion terms
Cultures vary according to whether they hypoercognize an emotion
Concepts of emotion as prototypes
Prototypes: what we rely on to talk and understand
Script: people’s everyday prototype of an emotion refers to a characteristic outline
of a sequence of events
Paradigm scenarios: participants offer scripts of different emotions
Prototype perspective assumes that there are no sharp boundaries between emotion
categories; a prototype approach helps account for the varieties of experiences that are
represented by one category of emotion
Categorical properties of emotion knowledge
It appears that we do think about emotion in terms of categories with distinct
boundaries between one another
Measurement of experience
Adjective check-lists: method to assess positive and negative moods
“agree” “disagree” to statements 5-point scale
On a scale from 1-10, circle how blank applies to you
Specific emotions and core affect
Two forms at attempting to answer the fundamental elements of emotional experience:
(1) experience of certain basic emotions that include happy, sad, angry, fear, is taken
as irreducible (occur in free-floating form without any relation to external events); (2)
experience has sometimes been derived from more primitive elements that are not
themselves emotions (core affect valence and arousal)
Core affect is felt as more diffuse moods
Chapter 8 – Development of Emotions in Childhood
The emergence of emotions
Emotions in the first year of life
Emotional development is social development
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