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Chapter 7

PSYC18 Chapter 7 Textbook Notes.docx

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Michael Inzlicht

Chapter 7: Appraisal, Knowledge, and Experience My abbreviations • E = emotion, psy = psychology, R = relationship, dev = development, conc’n = concentration, mot’n = motivation, bc = because, ppl = people, exp = experience, +ve = positive, -ve = negative, w/ = with, w/o = without, recog = recognize, eval = evalutation, behv = behaviour, exp’t = experiment, expt’l = experimental, diff = different, ~ = the nearest heading, obs = observations, pt = participant,  = correlated with, lang = language, comm. = communication, evol = evolution, fxn = function, sol’n = solution, imp = important • Bolded terms are things I thought were important/def’ns/names of theorists/things that I thought I would have a harder time remembering Intro • Descartes’ Traite de l’homme : soul can be moved by E’s to open valves to let vital fluids from the reservoir so they can move towards muscles to produce actions (hydraulics) • Sperry: nobel prize for studying split-brain patients (severing corpus callosum bc epilepsy) • This leaves the IQ, personality, lang, and ability to engage in meaningful interactions in tact • Gazzinga worked w/ Sperry. Did an exp’t where you show their left visual brain a frightening film. So, the message went to the right brain but could not be comm’d to the left brain. Thus, she was no consciously aware of seeing the film. However, she said “I don’t know why but I’m kind of scared. “ • Thus, the fear was felt and could be spoken about by the left hemi. Fear had been processed by the unsplit subcortical regions which have then comm’d to the left but w/o any indication of what had caused the fear. Appraisal and E • Appraisal : the eval process, implied by Gazzinga’s patient. • It is automatic, something like a reflex at the beginning and need have nothing to do with lang. This is primary appraisal. • Secondary appraisal: Then E’s are directed to particular objects/ppl who can often be described w/ words Historical Background and Concepts • Aristotle was followed by Epicurus and Chrysippus, who studied E’s to understand how to live in a good way (related to Epicurean and Stoic ethical philosophies from ch. 1) • These have influenced Western thought • Chrysippus agreed w/ Stoic philosophy and distinguished between : o 1 movement of E: automatic, unavoidable nd o 2 movement of E: mental, involve judgement and decision. Involve thought and are “up to us” , such as giving in to jealous rage or greedy selfishness o This notion later transformed into the Christian idea of 7 deadly sins o Sin implies temptation and thus w/ secondary appraisal there’s a possibility of choice • Arnold + Gasson discussed the work of the Stoics and they are the founders of the modern notion that E’s are based on appraisals • Lazarus studied challenges and the capacities ppl have to cope o Challenges produce vigilant attention and heightened activity of the symp ANS o But each kind of challenge promotes a diff E depending on the appraisal o He thought this approach to E contained 2 basic themes: o 1) E’s are a response to eval judgements or meanings o 2) these judgements are about ongoing R’s to the enviro, related to harm/benefit o Lazarus thus agreed w/ Aristotle, Arnold, and Gasson o Proposed that appraisals involve eval judgements of good/bad, and also appraisals concerning the individ’s goals and aspirations o Frijda calls goals and aspirations “concerns” o Thus, E’s relate events in the outer world to one’s inner self • Moors argued that the appraisal approach is critical to the study of E’s as processes that articulate events w/ people’s goals and is superior to any conceptualization that has no relation to goals • Stein extended the idea of goals to plans that are generated from them and the beliefs on which they are based. Proposes appraisal occurs like this: o 1) an event, usually unexpected, is perceived and changes the status of a valued goal o 2) beliefs are often challenged  bodily changes, facial expressions etc. o 3) plans to reinstate/modify goal and the likely results of this plan are considered • Each stage corresponds to the following question: o 1) What happened? o 2) What do I think about it? o 3) What can I do about it and what might happen? • Stein’s example was a young girl named Amy in a kindergarten class who did not want a paint set bc she was worried about being forced to paint at home since she didn’t really like paint • Stein proposes that how a person sees an event depends on the person’s goals and values. It will determine how the event is perceived and what E’s are elicited, and this is consistent w/ Lazarus’ ideas Primary Appraisals, Good and Bad • Zajonc proposed that we process stimuli through several different systems: • 1) provides immediate unconscious eval of good/bad. This is primary appraisal and is automatic and motivates rapid approach/avoidance rxns. Corresponds to Chrysippus’ ideas o Probably through the amygdala o Russell added to this that the heart of any E is feeling good/bad but also feeling disengaged/bored vs feeling excited/engaged • 2)secondary appraisal = more deliberative, conscious complex assessments about what to think about it and what to do about the thing • Zajonc studied automatic evals by comparing suboptimal vs optimal conditions o Suboptimal: an angry/happy face was flashed below threshold of conscious awareness before presenting pt’s w/ an unknown Chinese ideograph o Optimal: it was flashed for a full second so that they were totally aware that they saw happy/angry face o Asked them to rate how much they liked the ideograph (ratings were only affected by the faces in the suboptimal priming condition) o When we are consciously aware of emotionally charged stimuli, they are less likely to sway our judgements of other events that have nothing to do with them • Also, automatic primary appraisals generate E exp as well as affecting preferences: o Dimberg + Ohman found that when suboptimal, they mirrored the face that was flashed (i.e. started to smile, furrowed their brow) o Ohman + Soares flashed snake photos to ppl w/ snake photos and this alone was enough to trigger a galvanic skin response and -ve E o Moors found a phase of primary automatic appraisal about whether good/bad. They gave ppl words in semantic categories as primes which were either rewarded or not and found that those words became good/bad Which is Stronger, the Good or the Bad? • Bad is stronger, triggers more E and also a more rapid, stronger physio response, more brain activity in the area responsible for eval responses • Bc evol sense, to be more responsive to danger than satisfaction • i.e -ve trauma can change person for a lifetime Secondary Appraisals • modern research on appraisal is divided into two families st 1 family: Discrete Approaches • emphasize that appraisals give rise to distinct E’s. Highlights diffs btwn E’s in terms of their eliciting appraisals, not looking at their similarities • in Lazarus’ version of primary appraisal, he shows that the event is also appraised in terms of its relevance to the person’s goals early on. (goal relevance) • if relevant, the next stage (still of primary appraisal) is goal congruence • if something is relevant and congruent  +ve E’s • if relevant and incongruent  -ve E’s • secondary appraisal then would be where it goes beyond +ve vs. -ve and is appraised in relation to more specific goals/moral values/issues of self and idenitity/societal ideals/justice, is it fair or unfair/does it concern ppl we care about/issues of ego involvement o on the +ve side, if it not relevant to the ego and is congruent to the goals  happy o if it is congruent + enhances self-esteem  pride o if congruent + mutual affection  love o on the -ve side, if it damages self esteem  anger o threat to self  fear/anxiety o loss to self  sadnesss • Oatley + Johnson-Laird extend Lazarus’s idea and alter it slightly to say that primary appraisals occur in relation to goals, but not in terms of +ve and -ve. Rather, in terms of basic E’s, each of which set the brain into a mode adapted to deal w/ a recurring situation. Each mode is a state of readiness (Frijda’s term) w/ a distinct phenomenological tone but no necessary verbal meaning o A bit like having several sounds we might hear in our house, i.e. phone, smoke detector, doorbell that each alert us and make us ready for different things, but we cannot know exactly what the event is until we investigate further o Investigating further is the secondary appraisal,where we look for a causal attribution o In this stage, verbal meaning is supplied by a secondary process that occurs in awareness in which we can make a mental model of what caused the event and act in relation to it. We also consider future consequences. Lazarus calls this lvl the process of core relational theme = the essential meaning of the E (i.e. guilt bc we have transgressed some moral imperative). In evol terms, these themes map onto the problems/opportunities. These themes are also the lang of our E exp and capture themes and issues that organize our E exp 2 family: Dimensional Approaches • emphasize the components of appraisals that can relate to several E’s. i.e. their similarities not their diffs (i.e. anger and fear are similar at their core, they feel unpleasant + arousing) • Ellsworth believes an appraisal theory should account for similarities as well as diffs and also argues that another problem with the distinct approach is that they can’t account for the transitions btwn E’s (i.e. we can shift btwn E’s quite rapidly) • Ellsworth + Smith dev’d a theory of 8 dimensions: o Attention: how much to focus/think about the event o Certainty: how sure you are about the outcome o Control/coping: degree to which you have control over outcome o Pleasantness: +ve vs -ve o Perceived Obstacles: are your goals blocked? How much? o Responsibility: who/what is responsible to what degree o Legitimacy: fair vs unfair o Anticipated Effort: how much energy do you need to put in to respond • They came up w/ these 8 dimensions by reviewing numerous studies of the semantic content of E’s, to try to capture the appraisal process. These dimensions are units of meaning ascribed to events in your life. Then they did a study where they got pt’s to imagine experiencing various E’s and then rating that E exp on these 8 E’s • 1 result: They found that each E was defined by a diff pattern of appraisal • 2 result: certain dimensions stood out in their ability to differentiate among related E’s: control + responsibility • A criticism of their study was that it was retrospective, self-report and maybe it was studying what ppl think about the causes of their E’s rather than the actual causes • Agency = a crticial dimension identified by Roseman (i.e. it can differentiate btwn anger where we blame others, sadness where we attribute -ve events to circumstances, and guilt where we blame ourselves. Similarily, it can differentiate btwn pride vs gratitude) • Weiner + Graham spoke of the importance of causality and how some distinct E’s depend on attribution (i.e. if we studied really hard vs if teacher gave a really easy test, we may or may not feel pride depending. Or also intentional bad actions vs an accident.) thus, which E we exp depends on how we appraise Extending Appraisal Research • Roseman + Evdokas experimentally showed that appraisals actually cause E’s (improving upon Ellsworth + Smith’s methodological flaws) o Told ppl to expect either a pleasant or unpleasant taste. If they felt they would definitely avoid an unpleasant event, relief was caused. If they would probably exp a pleasant event, hope was caused. • Kuppens: appraisals can have diff meanings for diff ppl and that these can become habitual styles and aspects of personality • Bonanno + Keltner looked into whether E-specific appraisals relate to other measures of E response. They coded narratives of ppl who had previously experienced the death of their romantic partner. o some particularly referenced themes of loss, an appraisal theme related to sad o some referenced injustice, an appraisal theme related to anger o these correlated w/ self-reports and facial exps of sad/anger Cultural Variation in Appraisal • Schweder conducted interviews w/ ppl about events they find morally repugnant o In Hindu India, they find events horrible that we in the West wouldn’t care about (i.e. if a woman eat with her husband’s elder brother, or a husband cooks for his wife o So, triggers for various kinds of E’s vary widely across cultures • But also similarities. Roseman found that in both India and America, appraisals of powerlessness prompted sadness and fear rather than anger, whereas feeling that someone else caused a -ve event prompted anger, rather than sad/fear • Culture shapes how we appraise E-eliciting events • Being alone, to Americans, is appraised in +ve terms and being content • But the Inuit studied by Briggs and the Ifaluk studied by Lutz appraise alone in terms of isolation and feelings of sadness • Also, dependence to the Alwad’Ali, a nomadic tribe in Egypt is perceived as shameful (hasham) • Whereas the Japanese have the notion of amae : a cozy, pleasurable E of knowing that they can be dependent on someone powerful and be passive and helpless but know they are accepted rd 3 Phase of Appraisal: Verbal sharing • Ppl have a strong tendency to want to share their E exps w/ others • Rime called it social sharing • Btwn 88% to 96% of E’s that could be rmr’d are verbally shared w/ others. Even when controlling for age, gender, collectivist vs independent • Even for E’s like guilt and shame • In this, something extraordinary happens that only humans can do: E’s and thoughts themselves become objects of E and thought • Sharing does not decrease the intensity of E’s that were shared • R’s are extended, social support is enabled, and we can compare our exps to that of others • Pennebaker found that writing about E exps (vs writing about superficial exps) in a diary would lead to improved immune fxn (higher lymphocyte responses to an antigen challenge, fewer medical consultations). o Pt’s found the actual exp of writing more distressing but they were significantly happier than controls 3 months later and viewed the exp of confronting their E’s as a +ve exp o This effect has been replicated many times and thus there are therapeutic effects of contronting traumatic exps through writing about them for oneself and for
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