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2.3 Core study 3: Schahter and Singer

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on 28 October 2018

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Transcript of 2.3 Core study 3: Schahter and Singer

Three hypotheses
People will certainly label a state of arousal without no immediate explanation and describe their feelings in terms of the cognitions which are available to them at the time.
Model of emotion production
Scientific approach in emotion studies
What are emotions?
Unethical experiments
In the late 1920s, Walter Cannon and Philip Bard proposed their own theory in refutation of the James-Lange Theory of Emotion.
Emotion is equivalent to the range of physiological arousal caused by external events.
Why do we sometimes feel more emotional than at other times?
Why study emotions after all?
Following the decisive change of the 1980s which was marked by a veritable explosion of scientific study of emotion, emotion is now considered to be a determining explanatory factor in human behavior.
Three important theoretical approach
James-Lange theory
James-Lange theory
Walter Cannon supported his argument that individuals are able to feel emotions even before the body responds to the emotion-arousing stimulus...
...by surgically removing the sympathetic nervous system of a cat.
The central role of emotion in the cognitive system is illustrated by the fact that emotion occupies a “privileged status” in the human brain.
The majority of psychological mechanisms are either necessary for emotion as such, or influenced by emotion or involved in regulating emotions.
Cognitive theory of emotions
Components of emotional state
An emotional state, according to Schachter (1964) could be perceived as the result of the interaction between two components:
Physiological arousal
The two-factor theory
When a person is experiencing everyday emotional states, the cues that arouse us also provide certain cognitive labels for the same arousal
In order to experimentally investigate when humans are in a state of physiological arousal that has no immediate causal explanation, and what role could cognitive factors have in our labelling of an emotion, Schachter & Singer (1962) conducted a controversial research

A total of 184 male students, which took part in introductory psychology classes at University of Minnesota.
Around 90% of students were included in this study, and they received two extra points on their final exam for every hour they participated in the experiment.
Their health records were also checked to make sure that the epinephrine injection would not have any harmful effect .
Four groups and two conditions

As soon as participants had agreed to an injection of Suproxin (184 out of 195 agreed to the injection) they were placed into one of the four groups
Epinephrine informed (Epi Inf)
The researchers put participants into two different conditions after they provided them with injection:

The experimenter introduced stooge and study participant, and then he provided them with an instruction that they have to wait for about 20 minutes before beginning of some ‘vision test’, in order to allow the Suproxin to be fully absorbed by the body.

Just before the beginning of filling the questionnaire, the stooge said to the participant that is was really unfair that the experimenter had not revealed the injection before and that is is quite difficult to refuse the injection once they started the study.

Participants were constantly watched through a one-way mirror.
Researchers made something like a behavioural plan for the stooge (14 different standard behaviour during the euphoria condition).
For every stooge behaviour, the participants behaviour were also coded into one of the four categories
a. The participants who received the injections of epinephrine showed significantly more arousal (increased pulse rate and self-ratings on palpitation, tremor, numbness, itching and headache) in comparison to the placebo group.
b. In the euphoria condition, the misinformed participants (Epi Mis) were feeling more euphoric compared to the others. The second most euphoric group was the ignorant (Epi Ign).
The 'preparedness explanation suggests that human beings have a genetic predisposition to develop phobias to certain items and situations, such as fear of darkness, heights open spaces and strangers.
These were potential sources of danger to us thousands of years ago.
Those individuals who developed such phobias would avoid harmful objects or situations and would be favoured by evolution.
Evaluating biological explanations for phobias
Supported by experimental evidence in humans as well as in animal studies.
Also, because it uses aspects of both behaviourist and biological ideas, it is a more holistic explanation for the formation of phobias.
The studies on prepared fears have been criticised because there is evidence that the fears acquired under laboratory conditions are easily removed simply by verbal instructions.
these laboratory fears are unlike phobias that people would acquire in the real world - they are not ecologically valid phobias.
In cognitive explanations the fearful response is experienced due to the interpretation or appraisal of events.
It is the interpretation of an event that triggers the emotion not the event itself.
When a person has a phobia, their response to a situation/object is immediate and extreme, and the interpretation and appraisal distorted.
Phobias form and persist due to three main factors:
The sufferer becomes unusually 'sensitive' to an object.
Anxiety becomes associated with a particular object/situation so that the presence of (or thinking about) it is enough to automatically trigger anxiety.
They may also be hypersensitive to their own body's anxious responses - e.g. their breathing or heart rate.
This has been described as cognitive vulnerability (Clark, 1996).
After sensitisation occurs a person will avoid an object/situation and this becomes rewarding because the anxiety decreases.
Irrational or negative thought processes
Over-estimating a negative outcome

‘what if the snake bites me and is poisonous’
Under-estimating ability to cope

‘I’d never be able to cope in a wheelchair’

‘There would be antidote and I would be disabled or die’
Example of a case study for cognitive explanations - agoraphobia
According to cognitive theory, the agoraphobic person is hypersensitive to spatial layouts in the environment and also to being too far away from a someone who could take care of them.
If access to home or the caretaker is blocked then fear is induced and the agoraphobic has an urgent need to return home.
They may catastrophise what can happen in open or crowded spaces or over-estimate the danger they are in.
Evaluation of cognitive explanations of phobias
They accept the acquisition of fear through learning, for example, conditioning, but also emphasis the person’s own interpretation of events.
The cognitive explanation is a coherent theory with practical therapeutic applications.
Psychologists can conduct experiments to identify the different though processes of those who have a phobia and those who do not.
Read the abstract of the paper by Ost (1992), and produce a summary of the main findings. Then write three conclusions that could be drawn from the research, and three evaluations of it.
What causes us to feel emotions?
Do we feel different emotions in different parts of the body and why?
Canon-Bard theory
Schahter-Singer theory
American psychologist William James (1884) and Danish physiologist Carl Lange (1887) independently proposed the oldest theories of emotion at approximately the same time.
Both James and Lange proffer the same point that emotions are results of physiological reactions to external events.
For someone to feel emotion, he/she must first experience bodily responses such as increased respiration, increased heart rate, or sweaty hands
Walter Cannon, one of the most important critics of the James-Lange theory, believed that for this theory to adequately describe emotion, different physiological responses for every emotion must be defined.
According to the Cannon-Bard Theory of emotion, emotions and bodily changes do not share a cause-and-effect relationship. Rather, they occur simultaneously, following a stimulating event.
In his experiments, Cannon discovered that it was still possible to experience emotion even if the brain was excised from the signals of bodily responses.
The experience of emotion does not merely rely on bodily inputs and how the body responds to stimuli.
Both of these occur at the same time autonomously.
People recognize the emotions and simultaneously undergo physiological responses such as perspiring, trembling and tensing of muscles.
Schachter (1964), due to the respect of James-Lange theory of emotions, hypothesised that it is not possible for humans to think about emotion strictly in the terms of bodily reaction.
Schachter's theory of emotions can be broken down into two distinct subsets:
1. The first subset concerns the components of an emotional state.
2. The second subset concerns processes of emotion generation
Cognition about the situation
The second way of emotion generation, according to Schachter (1964), starts with the perception of ‘unexplained’ arousal - arousal for which we have no immediate causal explanation.
People will be less likely to label their feelings in terms of the available cognitions, if they experience a state of arousal for which they have an appropriate explanation.
People will react emotionally or experience emotions only if they are in a state of physiological arousal, if they are put in a situation, which in the past made them feel certain emotion.
Epinephrine ignorant (Epi Ign)
Epinephrine misinformed (Epi Mis).
The stooge drew fish on a piece of scrap paper, and he complained that the paper was no good, so he try to threw it into the bin, but he always missed.
In fact, the stooge wanted to make this situation similar to basketball game in which true participants would participate; the stooge constantly made paper figures (e.g. airplanes) and a slingshot out of rubber band, and he also tried to hula-hoop. Remember, all of these objects were put into the room for this purpose.
‘To hell with it! I don’t have to tell them all this!’
c. In the anger condition, the ignorant group (Epi Ign) felt the angriest, followed by the placebo group. The least angry group was the informed group (Epi Inf).
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