Chapter 7 ± Appraisal, Knowledge and Experience
x 1961 ± patient with epilepsy had an operation to separate the left side of the cortex to the right to stop the spread of
epileptic disturbances called split brain operation.
o In the corpus callosum, a large bundle of nerve fibers connecting the left and right sides of the cortex, which is
ability to engage in meaningful interactions are not diminished.
o However, each side remains ignorant of what the other has seen.
o Right hemisphere responds more readily to the emotional content of stimuli, where left is more ready to interpret
experience in terms of language **
x Case Study interview
o Hemisphere processed emotional content of the file about fire safety, triggering anxiety and agitation
o Takes part in the interview using the left hemisphere (language), however she does not consciously know why
VKHIHHOVDVVKHGRHV«IHDUIXOVWLPXOXVSURFHVVed only in the right cortex.
x Primary appraisal ± unconscious, automatic, something like a reflex
x Secondary appraisal ± potentially conscious, thought-like, gives rise to specific emotions, somewhat controlled.
Appraisal and emotion
x Events to prompt emotions, they must be evaluated, or appraisedLQUHODWLRQWRWKHLQGLYLGXDO¶VJRDOV
Historical background and definitions
x Chrysippus, distinguished between what he called first movements of emotions, which are automatic, and second
movements which are mental, and involve judgment and decision
o Such an idea maps exactly to primary and secondary appraisals, providing framework for the rest of the
x Lazarus and stress
o looked at stress, a condition in which personal challenges exceed the inGLYLGXDO¶VFDSDFLWLHVDQGUHVRXUFHV
o Produces vigilant attention and heightened activity in the sympathetic branch of the ANS
quick, energetic efficiency.
o Long-WHUP«chronic stress produced by enduring sources of tension such as pressures at work, turbulent
periods during marriages, financial problems, etc. Can lead to CVD, heard disease, cancer, cell death in the
hippocampus and memory loss. Being target of prejudice or discrimination can lead to health problems as well.
o ³7KLVDSSURDFKWRHPRWLRQFRQWDLQVWZREDVLFWKHPHV)LUVWHPRWLRQLVDresponse to evaluative judgments or
meaning; second, these judgments are about ongoing relationships with the environment, how one is doing in
the agenda of living and whether the encounter of the environment is one of harm or benefit.
o Appraisals involve judgments of how good or bad an event is.
o Appraisals concern the individuaO¶VJRDOVDQGDVSLUDWLRQV
o Relate the outer world and the inner self
x Stein, Trabasso, and Liwag
o 1) An event, usually unexpected, is perceived that changes the status of a valued goal.
o 2) Beliefs are often challenged; this can cause bodily changes and expressions to occur
o 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.
o Æ &DSWXUHVVXFKTXHVWLRQV³:KDWKDSSHQHG":KDWFDQ,GRDERXWLW"$QGZKDWPLJKWWKHQKDSSHQQH[W"´
x Processes leading to these specific emotions are thoughts or thought-like processes, called secondary appraisals.
Automatic appraisals of good and bad
x Zajonc (1980) ± system that makes these appraisals probably involves the amygdala
o First appraisal system appears to give rise to our core feelings of positivity or negativity.
o Other systems, secondary, provide more deliberate, conscious and complex assessments in terms of such
matters as what caused the event and hat to do about it.
x 0XUSK\DQG=DMRQF¶VVWXG\Rn automatic evaluations
o Suboptimally presented faces, smiling faces led participants to express greater liking for Chinese ideographs
that followed them
o Angry faces to prompt less liking for the ideographs that followed them, even though participants could not tell
the experimenter what faces they have seen
o No such priming effects emerged with the optimally presented faces
o *** When we are consciously aware of emotionally charged stimuli, they are less likely to sway our judgments of
o *** In RWKHUZRUGVZKHQSULPHGVXEFRQVFLRXVO\LWDIIHFWVRQH¶VMXGJPHQWRIVWLPXOXVEXWZKHQSULPHG
x Ohman and Soares
o Presented photos of snake to people with snake phobias below their awareness
o Found these photos generated a galvanic skin response and negative emotion.
Is the bad stronger than the good? (yes?!)
x Our negative evaluations appear to be more potent than our positive