PS264 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Job Satisfaction, Twin Study, Difficult People

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Published on 18 Apr 2013
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Motivation and Emotion Chapter 11
Brian Kwok 1
Happiness
o Two ways to measure
Asking people how good they feel at a given moment
Subjective well-being (SWB)
People evaluate their lives affectively and cognitively
High SWB
o Few negative emotions
o Many positive emotions
o Involved in interesting activities
o Satisfaction with their lives
o Many desirable qualities
More liked by others, less likely to get divorced, live longer, better
work performance, higher income
Feelings of gratitude, grateful thinking
o Three myths about the origins of happiness
Myth that life is difficult and few people are happy
Historically, people have claimed few people are happy
o Psychologists suggested only 10-20% of people are truly happy
Contrary is true, people are generally happy
The myth that money makes people happy
Money is important, provides basics of life
Once basic necessities of life have been satisfied, increasing income does not lead to
greater happiness
Dark side to a capitalistic culture
o People tend to have lower sense of well-being and poorer mental health
People who suddenly become rich become happy for a short period
Been a shift towards a materialistic mentality
o Media plays a role
Myth that we cannot become happier
Doomed to our present level of happiness because we adapt to those new events
that make us happy
Important to distinguish between more short-term events and experience or activities
that bring lasting satisfaction
o Biological component
Twin studies half of variance of SWB is due to heritability
Happiness positive related to personality trait of extraversion and negatively related to
neuroticism
Positively related to good social relationships
Linked to both behavioural activation system and behavioural inhibition system
BAS producing reward
o Dopaminergic system, gives rise to positive effect
Relatively active BAS, inactive BIS
Two forms of positive effect
Selfish affect and Social effect
Shared fate would not be here if ancestors failed
Positive to active left prefrontal cortex, negative to right prefrontal
Left as prosocial , right as selfish
Happiness as an adaptive behaviour
Linked to leading full and productive life
o 8 goals
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Motivation and Emotion Chapter 11
Brian Kwok 2
Good health
Professional success
Helping friends and relatives
Achieve intimacy
Experience feelings of confidence
Satisfying taste that comes from good food
Secure and safe
Resources to attain these things
o Consistent with evolutionary analysis of what is in our best interests
o Learned and cognitive components
The conquest of fear
Most evolutionary psychologists do not believe change are due mainly to genetics
alone
o Due to cultural evolution
Most animals have innate fear to fire
Humans learning to conquest fire, increased food diversity, venture and live in colder
climates, manufacturing to evolve
Humans have conquered may fears
o Brain constantly analyses environment for survival threats
Amygdala in charge of flight of fight system
Cortex has capacity to block or inhibit signals form
amygdala
May produce false alarms
o Prefrontal cortex compares incoming information against memories and
other information and decides if threat is real or not
If threat is real, decide if flight or fight is acceptable
If no real threat, shuts down flight flight/fight response
Ability to make plans
Prefrontal cortex has ability to create and manipulate images
We can reflect on outcome and make plans for the future
o Develop contingency plans
Able to learn to deal with threats in a new way
o Physical defences
Ancestors less preoccupied with threats, culture flourished
Less under the direction of the fight-flight response
o Experience positive emotions more of the time
Gained capacity to create environment which there we are not constantly threatened
Makes it possible to self-regulate
o Why did humans evolve large prefrontal cortex in the first place
Adaptive for ancestors to become sensitized to potential threats
Evolved to help them survive
Both amygdala and prefrontal cortex emerged to deal with same problem, threats to our
survival
Evolved together
Motivation for creating plans
Positive emotions responsible for self-interest and for personal survival
o At heart of human survival and evolution
Each succeeding generation refines knowledge it has been given and passes that
knowledge to next generation
o Shared fate
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Document Summary

Asking people how good they feel at a given moment. People evaluate their lives affectively and cognitively. High swb: few negative emotions, many positive emotions, satisfaction with their lives, many desirable qualities. More liked by others, less likely to get divorced, live longer, better work performance, higher income. Feelings of gratitude, grateful thinking: three myths about the origins of happiness. Myth that life is difficult and few people are happy. Historically, people have claimed few people are happy: psychologists suggested only 10-20% of people are truly happy. Contrary is true, people are generally happy. The myth that money makes people happy. Money is important, provides basics of life. Once basic necessities of life have been satisfied, increasing income does not lead to greater happiness. Dark side to a capitalistic culture: people tend to have lower sense of well-being and poorer mental health. People who suddenly become rich become happy for a short period.

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