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ch.8 for PSYC14

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ingrid L.Stefanovic

Chapter 8: Culture and Emotion The Evolution of Human Emotion emotions color our life experiences; inform us of who we are, what our relationships with others are like, and how to behave: emotions give meanings to events feelings (subjective experience) are part of emotion but not emotion itself emotions: transient, neuropsychological response to a stimulus that excites a coordinated system of components; they inform us about our relationship to the stimulus and prepare us to deal with it in some way system of components includes subjective experience (feelings); expressive behavior (face, voice or other nonverbal actions); physiological reactions (increased heart rate, faster breathing); motor behavior (moving towards or away from an object); and cognition (specific patterns of thinking) emotions are (1) quick; they last only a few secs or minutes; (2) functional they tell us something important about our relationship to the emotion-eliciting stimulus, they help prepare our bodies for action and have important social meaning emotions help us solve complex social coordination problems that occur because human social life is complex all humans have emotions; universal aspect of human functioning emotion evolved nonhuman primates have some emotions; our emotions are more complex and differentiated: our language ability allows us to make many fine distinctions among emotions humans have cognitive representations of self and others as intentional agents, humans uniquely have emotions that are associated with self-reflective processes self-conscious emotions: shame, guilt, pride and embarrassment because humans have cognitive representations of self and others as intentional agents, humans uniquely have the construct of morality, in which moral emotions such as contempt and disgust play an important role disgust: nonhuman primates share with humans a biologically based version of disgust that helps them to avoid or expel nasty objects, but only humans have the interpersonal version of disgust, in which we can be disgusted at others as people (i.e. moral version of disgust) humans can feign emotion: lie about it by displaying it when they do not feel it, or expressing an emotion different from the one they are feeling because emotions are neurophysiological realities, there are many pancultural aspects to them Universality in Emotion: the basic emotions perspective anger, disgust, fear, enjoyment, sadness and surprise are known as basic emotionsexpressed universally in all humans via facial expressions o they are brought about by the same types of underlying psychological elicitors; associated with unique physiological signatures in both the central and ANS, which are part of a coordinated response system that prepares individuals to flight, flee or jump of joy o nonhuman primates such as chimps also show the same base of emotions, expressing them in their faces in the same ways and using them in the same manner to solve social problems The original Universality Studies most of contemporary cross-cultural research on facial expressions of emotion stems from writings of Charles Darwin Darwin suggested that facial expressions of emotion, like other behaviors, are biologically innate and evolutionarily adaptive. He argued that humans express emotions in their faces in exactly the same ways around the world, regardless of race or culture. Facial expressions also seen across species Facial expressions of emotions have both communicative and adaptive value. They ensure survival for the species by providing both intrapsychic information to the individual, about well-being and person- environment relationships, and social info for others in the community Mead and Birdwhistell argued that facial expressions of emotions could not be universal; instead, they suggested that facial expressions of emotion had to be learned, much like language. Just has different cultures had different languages, they also had different facial expressions of emotion Ekman, Friesen and Izard conducted first set of methodologically sound studies o Conducted series of studies now called the universality studies (demonstrate pancultural universality of facial expressions of emotion) www.notesolution.com
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