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psy100 emotion

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University of Toronto St. George
Dan Dolderman

Psych Emotions and Health Emotion and Health Emotion (affect) - feelings that involve subjective evaluation, physiological process and cognitive beliefs. - Immediate responses to environmental events Mood - diffuse and long-lasting emotional states that influence rather than interrupt thought and behaviour. Reflects perceptions of whether have the personal resources necessary to meet environmental demands. If moods negative, then experience stress. Stress - a pattern of behavioural and physiological responses to events that match or exceed an organisms abilities. Health physiology is the field of concerned with the events that affect physical well- being. How are emotions adaptive? Negative and positive experiences guide behaviour that increases the probability of surviving and reproducing. Emotions/emotional responses are adaptive because they prepare and guide behaviors. Provide information about the importance of stimuli to personal goals and then prepare people for actions aimed at helping achieve those goals. Facial expressions communicate emotion At birth, infant can display: joy, interest, disgust, and pain. By two months, anger and sadness. By six months, fear. - Lower half of face more important than upper half of face in communicating emotion - However eyes are also very imp. If people are presented with pictures of just eyes or just mouths and asked to identify emotions expressed, more accurate using the eyes. - But if whole face presented, mouth is more important. Emotions provide info to others as how people are feeling and prompt them to respond in accordance with others wants and needs. Some facial expressions are universal (most strongly for happiness and least strongly for fear and disgust) therefore biologically based. Display rules (how and when emotions are exhibited) however differ between cultures. These are learned via socialization. - Differences in display rules help to explain cultural stereotypes. Psych Emotions and Health - Explains why identification of facial expressions much better within than between cultures - Women tend to display more emotions but not those that pertain to dominance. This does not mean they feel more emotion. - In Western society, women tend to be better than men at articulating their emotions perhaps due to upbringing which might account for their more intense descriptions Emotions serve cognitive functions Emotions affect and are part of thinking. - People in good moods tend to use heuristic thinking, which allows for quick and efficient decisions. Positive moods also facilitate creative, elaborate responses to challenging problems and motivate persistence. Recent theory proposes that increased dopamine improves cognition. - Positive affect leads to higher levels of dopamine production, which subsequently leads to heightened activation of dopamine receptors in other brain areas Decision making Anticipated emotional states are important in decision making. Emotions are heuristic guides. Have direct effect that does NOT depend on cognitive processes. Events that are recent or vivid have strongest influence on behavior. - When cognition and emotion are in conflict, emotions typically have more impact on decisions Affect-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. (ask about overall life satisfaction). However if people are made aware of the source of their happiness (tell them they might be in good mood because its sunny outside) their feelings no longer influence judgments. Somatic markers - most self-regulatory actions and decisions are affected by the bodily reactions, somatic markers that arise from contemplating their outcomes. - e.g. gut feeling, when contemplate an action you experience an emotional reaction based in part on your expectation of the outcome, which is determined by past history - damage to frontal lobes have absence of somatic markers (tend not to use past outcomes to regulate future behavior)Psych Emotions and Health Emotions capture attention - emotional information is highly adaptive and therefore captures attention. - Emotional Stroop task shows that cognitive processes are biased towards emotional stimuli o words that are emotionally arousing (e.g. anger) are more difficult to override than are neutral words. Attentional bias for encoding affective stimuli. o Emotional info reduces attentional blink (occurs because attention was focused on the first word and there is a temporary impairment in processing subsequent words). However if second word contains emotional information (e.g. rape) then people are much better at remembering it Emotions aid memory: better remember items for which there was an emotional reaction. - Link between emotionality and memory tested in remember/know procedure, in which you are asked about your recognition of an item from a previous trial. (know is familiar, remember is accompanied by sensory, emotional detail.) - High NEGATIVE photos were more likely to be identified as remember than neutral or positive ones - Creating st
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