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Chapter 8

PSYC14 Chapter 8

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Sisi Tran

Chapter 8: Emotion What is Emotions? - James-Lange Theory of Emotions: our emotions are the physiological responses or “bodily reverberations” to stimuli in our worlds and these physiological responses were products of our autonomic nervous system such as heart rate, breathing and pupil dilation. ○ Each emotion word is the description of a different bodily state (embarrassment is the sensation of our body rushing to our faces). ○ It suggests that people in all cultures should have the same emotional experiences and emotional experiences are universal. - Two-Factor Theory of Emotions: emotions were primarily our interpretations of those bodily responses (redirected from body to mind). ○ Schacter and Singer contended that emotion researchers had neglected to study people’s interpretations of their physiological sensations because the earlier studies and thought experiments had never separated people’s interpretations from their actual physiological sensations.  There are other interpretations to a pounding heart apart from fear (love).  People look at cues from their environment to help them label their physical sensations. ○ It suggests that our emotions are grounded in the belief systems that shape our interpretations; thus, emotions might be interpreted in different ways across cultures. - Both theories recognize that we have physiological responses to events that we witness in our environments but the emotional response is not determined directly by the event itself. ○ Appraisal: the way we evaluate events in terms of their relevance to our well-being.  Bears can be evaluated as frightening and threatening or cute in zoos.  Emotional appraisals are arguably universal (everybody feels fear when life is threatened and everybody is disgusted when smelling rotten meat).  There are cultural differences in the ways people in them conceive of hazards, novelty, opportunities and loss (different reasons why they are sick; is it due to a guy on the subway, stress or God’s anger). ○ Commonalities in people’s appraisals across cultures will lead to similar emotional experiences whereas cross-cultural divergences in people’s appraisals will lead to different emotional experiences. Does Emotional Experience Vary Across Cultures? - Facial expressions are part of our biological makeup and should be same 1 worldwide (infants, blind and adults show the same facial expressions for happiness). - Ekman and Friesen: they took photos of the 6 different emotional expressions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise) and showed it to people in different countries (US, Brazil, Chile and natives from New Guinea) to learn that facial expressions are universal. - There is cultural variability in facial expressions. ○ People are more accurate in judging the facial expressions from their own culture. ○ The more people had been exposed to another culture, the more accurate they were at decoding facial expressions from that culture. ○ Urban dwellers have been found to be more accurate at identifying facial expressions than rural people (less contact with a diverse array of people) - Facial expressions we display are those we choose to display rather than ones that simply reflexively appear when we have the emotion (we have control over our emotions). - Display Rules: culturally specific rules that govern which facial expressions are appropriate in a given situation and how intensely they should be exhibited. ○ Even though people in different cultures vary considerably in how strongly they express certain emotions, it is possible that they are all experiencing the same underlying feelings. ○ When in the presence of a superior, Japanese appear motivated to present a polite, smiling face, thereby masking their true emotional experience  Japanese culture encourages a more restrained expression of emotions than American culture. ○ Ritualized Displays: voluntary produced emotional expressions like tongue biting suggest the existence of cultural display rules that lead to express idiosyncratic facial expressions. - Facial Feedback Hypothesis: one source of information we utilize when inferring our feelings is our facial expressions. - People from cultures in which inhibition of anger is more common would suffer from more heart disease because they would often bottle up their angry feelings (less regular heart rate and slower recovery of
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