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PSYC18H3 (275)
Chapter 4

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Michelle Hilscher

Understanding Emotions –3 Edition Chapter 4 – Communication of Emotions Five Kinds of Nonverbal Behaviour - Nonverbal communication – smile, laugh, gaze, touch; 5 categories o Emblems – nonverbal gestures that directly translate to words  Vary in meaning across cultures o Illustrator – nonverbal gesture to make speech more vivid, visual or emphatic o Regulators – nonverbal behaviours used to coordinate conversation (e.g. head nod) o Self-adaptor – nervous behaviours that lack seeming intentions; that release nervous energy (e.g. lip biting) o Displays of emotions – signals in the face, voice, body, and touch that convey emotion Facial Expressions of Emotion - Markers of Emotional Expressions o Emotional expressions tend to last just a few seconds o Facial expressions of emotions involve involuntary muscle actions that cannot be inhibited o Human emotion expressions often have parallels in displays of other species - Studies of the Universality of Facial Expressions o Principle of serviceable habits: expressive behaviours that helped individuals respond adaptively to threats and opportunities in the past will reoccur in the future o Principle of antithesis: opposing states will be associated with opposing expressions o Principle of nervous discharge – excess, undirected energy is released in random expressions o Encoding hypothesis: the experience of different emotions should be associated with the same distinct expressions in every culture o Decoding hypothesis: people of different cultures should interpret these expressions in the same ways o Ekman, Sorenson, and Friesen – photos of emotions shown to participants in America and given list of possible emotions to identify80-90% accuracy rate, but participants had seen emotions through tv  Researchers travelled to Papua, New Guinea, participants would have to identify emotion being shown  Ability to judge emotions from facial expressions occurs early in development - Critiques of the Studies of Universal Facial Expressions o Free response critique – participants were required to label the expressions using terms the researchers provided, there may have been responses, had they been able to freely label the expressions o Ecological validity critique – expressions in studies are highly stylized and exaggerated and may not be those that are seen in daily life o Same facial display may have different meanings dependent on context - Discovering New Facial Displays of Emotions o Ekman’s evidence suggested that anger, disgust, happiness, and sadness are associated with universal facial expressions o Scientists have suggested other universal expressions, such as contempt o Self-conscious emotions: Embarrassment, Shame, and Pride  Elements of embarrassment are routinely seen in appeasement displays of other species  Pride – associated with gains in status through socially valued actions  Displays of expansive posture, head movements up and back, and arm thrusts upward reliably signal pride to observers  Darwin – the expressions of blind individuals are useful because to evolutionary claims of universality because they have not been copied from behaviour of others o Displays of Positive Emotion: Love, Desire, and Sympathy  Bowlby – three different positive emotions help form critical attachments: desire – promoting reproduction, love – promoting long-term relationships, and sympathy – promoting caregiving to vulnerable others  Experience of sympathy is correlated with oblique eyebrows and concerned gaze, increased helping behaviour and heart rate deceleration Vocal Communication of Emotions - Capacity to use voice sets humans apart from primate relatives - Examples of Vocal Communication: Teasing and Laughter o Teasers utter words with unusual tempos, clipped vowels, drawn-out syllables, and nasal rich sarcastic tones, to communicate the opposite of what is said
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