Chapter 10 ± Emotions and Social Life
x Muybridge case study ± photographer voyaging in Europe. Returned to America with not the same work/photographs he
usually took, more eerily risky and often obsessive quantity. While on assignment, his wife had an affair with another
person and eventually given birth to a child. Muybridge eventually found out where this person worked and shot him. Had
damaged his orbitofrontal cortex, which has effects on their emotions and social lives **
o No longer rational? Do not appreciate or abide by morals, norms and conventions
x Magical transformation; how emotions influence our reasoning, how we see the world.
Historical perspectives on the interplay between passion and reason
x Many philosophers have assumed that the emotions are lower, less sophisticated, more primitive ways of perceiving the
world, especially when juxtaposed with loftier forms of reason. In other words, they are considered destructive.
x Emotions are mostly rational. They are often the product of complex beliefs about the real world.
x Emotions structure perception, direct attention, give preferential access to certain memories, and bias judgment in ways
that help the individual respond to the environment in ways that we recognize as valuable aspects of our humanity.
Emotions as prioritizers of thoughts, goals, and actions (cognitive science)
x For humans, in times of uncertainty, emotions prompt us, create an urge and a readiness, to act in a way that on average,
during the course of evolution and assisted by our own development, has been better either than simply acting randomly
or that becoming lost in thought trying to calculate the best possible action.
readiness, along with an urge to act in line with this readiness, specific to the particular basic emotion.
o Significant that phenomena of emotional priming, in which stimuli are shown subliminally, operate at this
automatic, unconscious level are resistant to attributional interventions.
o The information it carries enable us to make mental models of the events and their possible causes and
o Two kinds of signal we act in accordance both with how we feel and with what we know.
x Normally the organizational and informational signals occur together, producing an emotional feeling with a consciously
known cause and object.
x The two signals can be dissociated, in the case of split-brain patients.
Three perspectives on the effects of emotions on cognitive functioning
1) Emotional congruence
x Moods and emotions are associative networks in the mind.
x In memory, there are pathways devoted to each emotion, in which past experiences, images, related concepts, labels,
and interpretations of sensations are all interconnected in a semantic network.
x When you experience an emotion, all of the associations of that emotion become more accessible and available for use in
x We learn things better that are congruent with our current emotions: it is extensively integrated into active memory.
x However, sometimes memories are incongruent with mood may be recalled better than those that are congruent.
x Æ Mood-dependent effects do occur in memory and other cognitive functions, but not in terms of a mechanism that
affects all processes of perception and memory in the same way. Effects depend on the tasks that participants perform,
on the moods that are induced, and on who the participants are. ***
x Affect Infusion Model of Joseph Forgas ± emotions infuse into a cognitive task, and influence memory and judgment
depending on the extent to which the task depends on complex and constructive processing, or on matter that depart from
prototypes. Mood affected participants judgments more with the images of mismatched couples, than for partially matched
or completely matched.
2) Feelings as information
x Emotions themselves are informative when we make judgments
x Two assumptions
o 1) emotions trigger action signals, something in our environment.
o 2) emotions serve as heuristics and provide shortcuts in making judgments
x People will use their emotions as heuristics in making judgments except when they attribute those feelings to a specific
source, ex. Weather.
3) Processing style
x Different emotions promote different processing styles.
x General conclusion is that positive mood facilitates use of already existing knowledge structures, such as heuristics and
stereotypes, whereas negative moods, in particular sadness, facilitate more analytical thought and careful attention to
x Happy people were more likely to solve a puzzle quickly ± Study
x Happiness can make cognitive organization more flexible, and produces more associations.