Textbook Notes (363,232)
Canada (158,276)
Psychology (9,573)
PSYC18H3 (274)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Michelle Hilscher

Chapter 1: Approaches to understanding Emotions 19th century founders Charles Darwin - The evolutionary approach - at that time, the accepted theory was that God had given humans special facial muscles that allowed them to express uniquely human sentiments unknown to animals - humans descended from animals, but we are ourselves animals - he observed emotional expressions in nonhuman specials, as well as in adult and infant humans - realized importance of cross-cultural study - used photographs of naturalistic and posed expressions to make scientific points - asked 2 questions that guide research today: how are emotions expressed in humans and other animals and where do our emotions come from? - Darwin concluded that emotional expressions derive largely from habits that in our evolutionary or individual past had once been useful; based on reflex-like mechanisms - emotional expressions showed the continuity of adult human behavioural mechanisms with those of lower animals and with those of infancy; they were like vestigial parts of our bodies. Eg. appendix (a small functionless organ in our digestive system) provides evidence that we are descended from pre human ancestors in whom this organ had use - our emotions link us to our past, both to the past of our species and to our own infancy - provided descriptions of facial descriptions and even argued for the universality of expressions, an uncommon view back then - thought that emotions have useful functions as well, for example communication between mother and child via smilingfrowning William James - The bodily approach - argued against the common sense idea that when we feel an emotions it impels us to a certain kind of activity ( if we were to meet a bear in the woods we would become frightened and escape). Instead he thought that when we perceive the object of fear, the exciting fact, then the emotion is the perception of changes of our body as we react to the fact. When we feel frightened, we feel our heart beating, etc. - his theory is really about the nature of emotional experience. he stressed the way in which emotions move us bodily - the core of an emotion is the pattern of bodily responses. this vital point about the embodied nature of emotion is captured in this idea of James: if we fancy some strong emotion and then try to abstract from our consciousness of it all the feelings of its bodily symptoms, we find we have nothing left behind - guided research in 2 important ways: --first: he stressed that our experience of many emotions from fear to joy, is the set of changes of the autonomic nervous system, that part of the nervous system that supplies inner organs including the heart, the blood vessels, the stomach, and the sweat glands. He also thoughts that changes from movements of muscles and joints were parts of the felt bodily changes --second: he proposed that emotions give colour and warmth to experience. without these effects of emotion, everything would be pale. (jaundices view of life or rose coloured glasses- how emotions affect our perceptions Sigmund Freud - The psychoanalytic approach www.notesolution.com
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