chapter 10

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13 Dec 2010

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Chapter 10- Emotions and Health
Emotions- feelings that involve subjective evaluation, physiological
processes, and cognitive beliefs.
Mood- a diffuse and long- lasting emotional state that influences
rather than interrupts thought and behavior.
Facial Expressions Communicate Emotion
oCharles Darwin- Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals-
expressive characteristics were adaptive in all forms of life.
oBabies show that emotion can be displayed nonverbally
Facial Expressions Across Cultures
oIn a study of international emotion expressions, it was found
that all people could recognize and identify fear, anger, disgust,
happiness, sadness, and surprise
oThis shows that there is some evidence that facial expressions
are universal, and therefore likely to be biologically based.
oDisplay rules govern how and when emotions are exhibited-
learned via socialization and dictate which emotions are suitable
to a given situation.
Differences in display rules help explain cultural
Gender differences in D.R. guide emotional expressions,
such smiling and crying.
Emotions Serve Cognitive Functions
oWe do not just see a house- we see a pretty house or an ugly
oIncreased levels of dopamine mediate the effects of positive
affect on cognitive tasks.
Decision making
oIn the face of complex, multifaceted situations, emotions are
heuristic guides, providing feedback for making quick decisions
and appears to have a direct effect that does not depend on
cognitive processes.
i.e. people cancel air travel after hearing about plane
crash (recent events have an especially strong influence
on behavior)
oaffect-as-information theory- people use their current emotional
state to make judgments and appraisals, even if they do not
know the source of their moods.
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i.e. if asked to rank someones overall life satisfaction,
they’ll answer will reflect the mood they’re currently in,
instead of evaluating their actual life.
Somatic Markers
oSomatic marker theory- most self- regulatory actions and
decisions are effected by the bodily reactions, called somatic
markers, that arise from contemplating their outcomes. gut
oPeople with damaged frontal lobes tend not to draw on past
experiences to regulate future behavior.
Emotion Capture Attention
oThere is an attentional bias for encoding affective stimuli
Words that are emotionally arousing (anger) are more
difficult to override than are neutral words (pencil),
oAttentional blink occurs because attention was focused on the
first word, and there is a temporary impairment in processing
subsequent words, unless the second word has emotional
attachment, like rape. In that case, the emotional content of the
word captures the attention and reduces the attentional blink.
Emotions Aid Memory
oImportant, clear personal memories are typically those that
were highly emotional.
oNorepinephrine enhances memory for emotional events
Emotions Strengthen Interpersonal Relations
oSurvival is enhanced for those who live in groups- therefore
expulsion and rejection is dangerous and feared.
oAnxiety serves as an alarm function that motivates people to
behave according to group norms.
Guilt Strengthens Social Bonds
oPrototypical guilt occurs when someone feels responsibility for
another persons negative affective state. Occasionally it can
arise even when individuals do not feel personally responsible-
survivors guilt.
oGuilt can be used as a manipulation strategy (make your boss
feel guilty so you dont have to work overtime)
Socialization is Crucial for Interpersonal Emotions
oSocialization is more important than biology for the manner in
which children experience guilt and other moral emotions
oWhen faced with the possibility of a sexual rival, a person feels
jealousy as a sign of commitment to the relationship but it has
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its negative sides- its the leading cause for spousal abuse and
How Do People Experience Emotion?
o3 components:
subjective experience (the feeling state that accompanies
physical changes (increased heart rate, perspiration, etc.)
cognitive appraisal (peoples beliefs and understandings
about why they feel the way they feel)
Emotions Have a Subjective Component
oEmotions are phenomenological- we experience them
oAlexithymia- a disorder involving a lack of the subjective
experience of emotion
oDamage to certain brain areas, especially the prefrontal cortex
is associated with a loss of the subjective component of mood.
Distinguishing Among Types of Emotions
oPrimary emotion- evolutionary, adaptive, shared across cultures,
and associated with specific biological and physical states-
(anger, sadness, fear, disgust, happiness, as well as possibly
surprise and contempt)
oSecondary emotion- blends of primary emotions; they include
remorse, guilt, submission, and anticipation.
oCircumplex model- emotions are arranged in a circle around the
intersections of 2 core dimensions of affect
Valence- degree of pleasantness or unpleasantness
Activation- level of arousal or mobilization of energy
Emotions Have a Physiological Component
oJames- Lange theory of emotion- suggests that the experience of
emotion is elicited by a physiological response to a particular
stimulus or situation.
oFacial feedback hypothesis- facial expressions trigger the
experience of emotion
oCannon- Bard theory of emotion- asserts that emotion-
producing stimuli from the environment elicit both an emotional
and a physical reaction
oTwo factor theory of emotion-a situation evokes both a
physiological response, such as arousal, and a cognitive
People Can Misattribute The Source Of Emotional States
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