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Chapter 1

PSYC18 Chapter 1.docx

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Gerald Cupchik

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PSYC18 Chapter 1 Introduction  Epicureans and Stoics thought emotions are irrational and damaging Nineteenth-century founders  Darwin and the evo. approach  In his time, accepted theory was that god gave humans facial muscles that allowed them to express uniquely human sentiments unknown to animals  Observed emotional expressions in nonhuman species  Central tenet of his theory was that we are descendent from animals and we are animals  Asked how are emotions expressed in humans and animals and where do our emotions come from?  Concluded that emotions stem from things that were adaptive in our evolutionary upbringing  Reflex like mechanisms  Thought emotional expressions were like vestigial parts of our bodies  Sneering is a vestige of snarling (vestigial mean “useless” but were useful before)  Crying a vestige of screaming in infancy  When infants cry, tears protect eyes  Not so in adults but tears still secreted  Basically emotions are linked to the past – our ancestors and us as infants – argued for universality of expressions  William James and the bodily approach  Theorized that, upon encountering an exciting fact, the emotion IS the perception of the bodily sensations we are experiencing  Bodily response = emotion  Emotions = set of changes in the autonomic nervous system  Inner organs, heart, blood vessels, sweat glands, stomach.  Emotions give color and warmth to experience – creative adjectives  Freud and the psychoanalytic approach  Proposed that traumatic events, usually sexual ones, scar us for life  Argued emotions at the core of many pathologies  Psychoanalytic therapy = telling of patient life story with gaps in it. These gaps are filled by interpretations from therapist, and patient realizes shit that was previously unconscious Philosophical and literary approaches  Aristotle and the conceptual approach  Emotions are connected with actions, human actions  Emotions are pending on what we believe. They are evaluations  Persuasion can be attained from arousing the right combo of emotions in a person by what we say.  Good over bad person, stir emotions, truthful arguments = effective persuasion  Emotion is defined cognitively, based on knowledge  Drama is what happens when good human intentions are miscarried  Cannot predict consequences of our every human action (link to enlightenment)  Catharsis = clearing away of obstacles to understanding our emotions  Going to the theater to feel emotion by a conscious understanding of their (emotions) relation to the consequences of human action in an imperfectly known world  Descartes and the philosophical approach  Wonder, desire, joy, love, hatred, and sadness occur in the thinking aspect of ourselves he called the soul  Separated emotions from perceptions of shit in the outside world and perception of bodily passions that tell of important shit inside our own body.  Emotions are perceptions about things that are going on within our souls.  Goals, concerns, identities  Cannot be entirely controlled by thinking, but can be regulated by thoughts, especially thoughts that are true  Suggested emotions depend on how we evaluate events  Like Aristotle  Argues emotions serve important functions  Are functional but sometimes can be dysfunctional  The humors – people used to think these were the seat of emotions  Blood gives rise to hope and vigor = sanguine  Phlegm gives rise to placidity = phlegmatic  Yellow bile gives rise to anger = choleric  Black bile gives rise to despair = melancholy  Emotions arise in the mind, enable our plans, and affect our bodies (Descartes)  Goal oriented/congruent ACTION theme  Said the goal part resides in the soul along with identities and concerns  Eliot and the literary approach  If we can’t see the outcomes, how can we navigate life?  Emotions as the compass  We understand our emotions differently from those of other people  Emotions are present in every relationship Brain Science, Psychology, Sociology  Cannon and Hess: brain science  Argued against the James theory  Showed that detaching cerebral cortex from subcortical regions resulted in heightened emotions  Suggested that higher brain regions inhibit subcortical ones where emotions reside  Frontal cortex has important modulatory role on human emotions  Human emotions derive from subcortical regions  Electrical stimulation of hypothalamus = heart rate up
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