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Chapter 8

PSY342 - Chapter 8 notes

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Ari Silburt

Chapter 8 Emotion and Cognition Early psychology was built on the principles of philosophy where emotion and cognition were viewed as two distinct concepts. Plato believed that human beings have three souls i.e. the intellect, the will and the emotions Todays concept of cognitive revolution that builds on the technological advances e.g. computer fails to grasp the concept of emotion An issue is whether or not emotion can be experienced without cognitive appraisal i.e. the interpretation of the reason for feeling Two schools of thoughts exist: i. Zajonc argues that affective judgements (emotional judgements) occur before and independently of cognition ii. Lazarus argues that emotion cannot be experienced without cognitive appraisal e.g. physiological arousal occurs when you are happy/scared but cognitive interpretation is required to perceive the true emotion behind the arousal Amygdala is a small structure in the medial temporal lobe anterior to hippocampus that is responsible for emotion. This structure influences and gets influenced by cognition. Therefore, emotion and cognition are interdependent Defining Emotion Emotion refers to the mental and physical processes that include aspects of subjective experience, evaluation and appraisal (judgement), motivation and other bodily processes e.g. arousal Emotion in terms of cognitive psychology is defined a brief episode of synchronized responses (including bodily responses, facial expressions and subjective evaluation) that indicate the evaluation of internal or external events as significant. Emotions are the range of reactions to events that are limited in time Mood refers to a diffuse affective state that is most pronounced as a change in subjective feeling. Moods are generally low intensity affective states, have a relatively long duration and could exist without any cause. Attitudes are persistent, affective beliefs, preferences or predisposition towards persons or objects Motivation refers to the tendency to act according to some affective response. A primary function of emotion is to motivate action Basic Emotions Ekman suggested 6 basic expression of emotions i.e. anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise 1 Each expression is characterized by a unique subset of facial muscle movements, and the ability to convey emotions appears to be innate since not only infant but blind people are able to express the emotions in a similar way. Some neural systems specialize for the perception of specific emotional expressions e.g. bilateral damage to amygdale produces a deficit in the perception of expressions of fear, insula and basal ganglia help perceive the expressions of disgust, neurotransmitter system activated by dopamine is involved in the perception of expressions of anger Although the 6 emotions defined by Ekman do not capture all human experiences but they are the basic emotions i.e. emotional reactions that are universal across cultures Dimensional Approaches Human emotions do not exist as distinct categories but rather lie on a continuum. The Circumplex model Arousal refers to the bodily changes that occur in emotion e.g. heart rate, sweating etc. The intensity of emotional reactions can be assessed by the strength of these responses. Valence is the subjective quality (positive or negative) of the emotional response to a specific object or event. Circumplex model puts arousal on one axis and valence of the other axis. In this model, arousal refers to the strength of stimulus and activation of resources whereas valence refers to the degree to which we perceive the emotion as positive or negative. Emotions are then plotted on the axis where the data falls in a circular pattern. In a study, it was found that amygdala responded to the intensity of smell and orbitofrontal cortex helped differentiate between positive or negative smell Amygdala codes several different aspects of emotional experience The Approach-Withdrawal Distinction Emotions can be plotted along the dimension of motivation which tells us the tendency to act/respond gets influenced by emotion Different emotions lead to different actions. Approach emotions refer to happiness, surprise and anger because they evoke the desire to approach the stimulus object or situation Withdrawal emotions refer to sad, disgust and fear because they evoke the desire to withdraw from an object or situation Approach-withdrawal model characterizes the acting tendency of emotion i.e. it takes motivation into account as a tendency to approach or withdraw from an object based on emotion. Cerebral asymmetry shows approach and withdrawal tendencies. 2i. People with positive affective traits show high EEG activity in the left anterior frontal region. Infants with dominant left hemisphere are less likely to cry ii. People with negative affective traits show high EEG activity in the right anterior frontal region. Dominant right hemisphere infants are more likely to cry. Manipulating and Measuring Emotion Manipulation by Mood Induction Mood is a stable and diffuse affective state of emotion, longer lasting and does not have to be linked to an event. Mood induction is a technique that focuses on changing the baseline state of mood reported by the participants. This may involve showing movies, playing music etc. It is considered successful if the participant reports a shift of mood in the predicted direction Manipulation by Evocative Stimuli We can manipulate emotions by presenting emotionally evocative stimuli. Typical stimuli include faces with different emotions, words varying in arousal or valence etc Measuring Emotion directly Direct assessment refers to the assessment of affective states or responses by asking the participant to explicitly report their emotional reaction, mood or attitude. This procedure
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