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Chapter 8

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

PSYA01 – Introduction to Psychology (Part 1) Bothine Purantharanathan Chapter 8: Emotion and Motivation Fall Session 2012  Multidimensional Scaling: Asking people to rate the similarity of dozens of emotional experiences to generate a map of emotional landscape to see how close/far every emotional experience is from one another; also reveals the dimensions on which those things vary  Emotional experiences are difficult to describe, but psychologists have identified their two underlying dimensions: (1) Valence: how positive or negative the experience is (2) Arousal: how active or passive the experience is  Emotion: A positive/negative experience that’s associated with a particular pattern of physiological activity  The Classical Theories of Emotion o Psychologists have spent more than one century trying to understand how emotional experience and physiological activity are related. None of these theories are entirely right, but each has elements that are supported by research. o James-Lange Theory: A theory which asserts that stimuli trigger activity in the autonomic nervous system, which in turn produces an emotional experience in the brain o Cannon-Bard Theory: A theory which asserts that a stimulus simultaneously triggers activity in the autonomic nervous system and emotional experience in the brain o Two-Factor Theory: A theory which assets that emotions are inferences about the causes of physiological arousal  The Emotional Brain o Appraisal: An evaluation of the emotion-relevant aspects of a stimulus; amygdala plays a special role in deciding if there is something to be afraid of (i.e. Appraisal) o Emotions are a primitive system that prepares us to react rapidly on the basis of little information to things that are relevant to our survival and well-being. They are produced by the complex interaction of limbic system and cortical structures. Information about a stimulus is sent simultaneously to the amygdala (which makes a quick appraisal of the stimulus’s goodness or badness) and the cortex (which does a slower and more comprehensive analysis of the stimulus). In some cases, the amygdala will trigger an emotional experience that the cortex later inhibits.  The Regulation of Emotion o Emotion Regulation: The use of cognitive and behavioural strategies to influence one’s emotional experience (ex. Reappraisal is a strategy of emotion regulation) o Reappraisal: Changing one’s emotional experience by changing the meaning of the emotion-eliciting stimulus; “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment”  Emotional Communication o Emotional Expression: Any observable sing of emotional state; robots have to be taught to exhibit them while humans beings do it naturally; the face is designed for communicating emotion as it has 43 muscles that can create 10000+ patterns which convey information about emotional state of person; ex. of muscles: “zygotamatic major” (muscle that pulls our lip corners up) and “orbicularis oculi” (muscle that crinkles the outside edges of our eyes). The voice, body and face all communicate information about a person’s emotional state. o Darwin suggested that emotional expressions are a convenient way for one animal to let another animal how it is feeling and hence how is prepared to act. (i.e. words of a nonverbal language) o Universality Hypothesis: The hypothesis, created by Darwin, that emotional expressions have the same meaning for everyone; two lines of evidence (1) people of all cultures and different stages of evolution can identify the “six basic emotions” of anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise (2) blind people and young toddlers, both who have never seen a expression filled human face, can make all the same facial expressions as those who have PSYA01 – Introduction to Psychology (Part 1) Bothine Purantharanathan Chapter 8: Emotion and Motivation Fall Session 2012  The Cause and Effect o People don’t speak the same languages, so why do they have the same expressions? Answer: words are symbols, but facial expressions are signs. Symbols are arbitrary designations that have no casual relationship with the things they symbolize. On the other hand, facial expressions are signs of emotion because signs are caused by the things they signify. (ex. feeling of happiness causes the contraction of the “zygomatic major”) o Some emotions often produce similar facial expressions (ex. joy and sorrow) and are told apart by the context they are produced in. o Facial Feedback Hypothesis: Emotional expressions can cause the emotional experiences they signify (i.e. Emotional experiences can cause emotional expressions but it also works the other way around). This might be why people are generally so good at recognizing the emotional expressions of others because people unconsciously mimic (ever so slightly) other people’s body postures and facial expressions.  Deceptive Expression o Display Rules: Norms for the control of emotional expression; expressions are moderated by your knowledge (ex. that it is permissible to show contempt for your peers but not superiors); people in different cultures all use the same techniques but they use them in the service of different display rules  Intensification: Exaggerating the expression of one’s emotion  Deintensification: Muting the expression of one’s emotion  Masking: Expressing one emotion while feeling another  Neutralizing: feeling an emotion but displaying no expression o Our attempts to obey our culture’s display rules don’t always work out. Darwin notes that” those muscles of the face which are least obedient to the will, will sometimes alone betray a slight and passing emotion”. “Micro-Expressions” happen so quickly. Four other features that are more readily observable seem to distinguish between sincere and insincere facial expressions  Morphology: Certain facial muscles tend to resist conscious control and for a trained observer, these so-called reliable muscles are quite revealing.  Symmetry: Sincere expressions are a bit more symmetrical than insincere expressions.  Duration: Sincere expressions tend to last between a half second and five seconds. Longer or shorter means it is insincere.  Temporal Patterning: Sincere expressions appear and disappear smoothly over a few seconds while insincere expressions tend to be more abrupt o Research shows that many aspects of verbal and nonverbal behavior are altered when telling a lie o Human lie detection ability is dreadful because (1) people have a strong bias toward believing that others are sincere (2) people don’t seem to know which pieces of information to attend to and which to ignore. Polygraph can indeed detect lies at a rate that is significantly better than chance but “almost a century of research in scientific psychology and physiology provides little basis for the expectation that a polygraph test could have extremely high accuracy”. The polygraph is better than chance, its error rate is still quite high. o There are reliable differences between sincere and insincere emotional expressions and between truthful and untruthful utterances, but people are generally poor at determining when an expression is sincere or an utterance is truthful. The polygraph can distinguish true from false utterances with better-than-chance accuracy, but its error rate is troublingly high. PSYA01 – Introduction to Psychology (Part 1) Bothine Purantharanathan Chapter 8: Emotion and Motivation Fall Session 2012  Motivation o Motivation: The purpose for or psychological cause of an action; unlike robots, humans act because emotions move them in two different ways; (1) emotions provide people with information about the world and (2) emotions are objectives toward which people strive  The Function of Emotion o Capgras Syndrome: People who suffer from this syndrome typically believe that one or more of th
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