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Unit 8 Emotions

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james etheridge

on 10 February 2017

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Transcript of Unit 8 Emotions

Theories of Emotions
Emotion is the functional reaction to a stimulus. These reactions are channeled along
physiological, psychological and behavioral
dimensions which work together for coping and adapting to a stimulus or change in the environment.
Evolutionary Theories
The James-Lange Theory
Another theory of emotion is the
appraisal theory,
developed in the 1980's by the psychologist Richard
Lazarus' research builds upon the Schacter-Singer theory
Proposes that when an event occurs, a cognitive appraisal (perception) is made (either consciously or subconsciously), and based on the result of that appraisal, an emotion and physiological response follow.
Lazarus Theory
Schachter and Singer’s
Two-Factor Theory

Later, in the 1960s, Stanley Schachter and Jerome Singer proposed the two-factor that argues when people become aroused they look (
) for cues as to why they feel the way they do.

Angry mob of people = physiologically aroused = “anger.”
Same physiological arousal = music concert = “excitement.”
The Cannon-Bard Theory
Cannon proposed his own theory of emotion in the 1920s, which was extended by another physiologist, Philip Bard, in the 1930s.

Cannon-Bard theory states that conscious feelings of emotion and physiological changes occur as
separate but simultaneous reactions
to external emotion-arousing stimuli.

External stimuli of a dangerous object will cause the thalamus to send signals;
to the hypothalamus to trigger a general ‘fight or flight’ physiological response, and
to the cortex to register the conscious emotion of fear.

Physiological Response
Interpretation of
1880s ~ psychologist William James and physiologist Carl Lange, independently proposed that people experience emotion because they perceive their bodies’ physiological responses to external events
people don’t cry because they feel sad; people feel sad because they cry,
likewise, they feel happy because they smile.
Perception of emotion arousing stimulus:
General Physiological Response
Conscious experience of emotion
Perception of emotion-arousing stimulus
General physiological arousal of nervous system causes body changes
Interpretation of physiological arousal
Emotion experienced
Perception of event
Physiological Response
1870s, Charles Darwin proposed enduring theoretical concepts
Emotions evolved because they had adaptive survival value.
Darwin believed that the universal facial expressions of emotion are innate
facial expressions allow people to quickly judge someone and to communicate intentions to others.
Schachter and Singer created a study to test the two-factor theory of emotion. From the study, three hypotheses were devised:

1. If a person experiences a state of arousal for which they have no immediate explanation, they will label this state and describe their feelings in terms of the cognitions available to them at the time.

2. If a person experiences a state of arousal for which they have an appropriate explanation (e.g. ‘I feel this way because I have just received an injection of adrenalin’), then they will be unlikely to label their feelings in terms of the alternative cognitions available.

3. If a person is put in a situation, which in the past could have made them feel an emotion, they will react emotionally or experience emotions only if they are in a state of physiological arousal.
However, physiologist Walter Cannon disagreed with the James-Lange theory.
People can experience physiological arousal without experiencing emotion.

Such as when you have been running.
Your racing heart, in this case is not an indication of fear.
Physiological reactions happen too slowly to cause experiences of emotion, which occur very rapidly.

If you are in a dark alley alone, a sudden sound usually provokes an immediate experience of fear, while the physical “symptoms” of fear generally follow that feeling.
People can experience very different emotions even when they have the same pattern of physiological arousal.

You may have a racing heart and rapid breathing both when you're angry and when you're afraid.
AP Psychology
Types of Theories
Subjective nature of emotion
Currently no dominant theory.

Presently there are several main theories regarding the structure of emotion;
James - Lange
Cannon - Bard
Schachter - Singer
Deckers, L. (2010). Motivation; biological, psychological, and environmental (Third ed.). Boston: Pearson.
Schachter and Singer agree with the James-Lange theory that people infer emotions when they experience physiological arousal. However they also agree with the Cannon-Bard theory in that, the same pattern of physiological arousal can give rise to different emotions.
, cognitive appraisal theory, suggests that people’s experience of emotion depends on the way they appraise or evaluate the events around them.

E.g. If you're driving with a passenger on a winding road by the edge of a high cliff, you may be concerned about the danger of the road and feel slightly frightened. While if you were the passenger, on the other hand, you would think about the beauty of the view and may feel slightly exhilarated by the experience.
No current theory can be considered completely dominant, when determining the structure of emotions.
Due to the subjective nature of emotions, theorists from many fields including psychology, neuroscience, endocrinology, medicine, history, sociology, and even computer science not only disagree about the boundaries of the class of emotions, they also disagree about how emotions or emotional phenomena should be internally structured.

Despite the differences in the literature regarding the structure of the universal phenomenon, there are three common components in each;
A stimulus must be present,
Physiological arousal and,
The cognitive element of interpretation underpin the defining of emotion.

Theories thus far regarding emotion have mainly focused on the relationship between the physiological and psychological aspects of emotion,
discounting the affect of sociocultural behavior on emotion.
Sturdy, A. (2003). Knowing the unknowable? A discussion of methodological and theoretical issues in emotion research and organizational studies. Organization, 10(1), 81-105.
Slama, M. E. (2005). Emotions and life: Perspectives from psychology, biology, and evolution. Psychology & Marketing, 22(1), 97-101.
Music, Bee Gees, Emotions, 1978
Facial feedback Hypothesis
(e.g. making subjects adopt the muscular facial expression of a smile) affected mood
(made them happier).
Specific physiological changes have not been found for every emotion, only the strongest and most basic ones.

Thalamus sends impulses to the cortex
Thalamus sends impulses to the hypothalamus
Simultaneously , but occurring separately..

Some studies have shown that physiological changes do not seem necessary for emotion to occur.

Cannon and Bard were wrong to assume that physiological arousal had no influence on emotion
Cognition determines type of emotion
Arousal determines the degree of emotion
Schachter, S. S., J.E. . (1962). Cognitive, social and physiological determinants of emotional state. . Psychological Review, 69, 379-399.
(Deckers, 2010; Schachter, 1962; Slama, 2005; Sturdy, 2003)
(Deckers, 2010; Schachter, 1962; Slama, 2005; Sturdy, 2003)
(Deckers, 2010; Schachter, 1962; Slama, 2005; Sturdy, 2003)
(Deckers, 2010; Schachter, 1962; Slama, 2005; Sturdy, 2003)
(Deckers, 2010; Schachter, 1962; Slama, 2005; Sturdy, 2003)
(Deckers, 2010; Schachter, 1962; Slama, 2005; Sturdy, 2003)
Emotion-arousing stimulus
Simultaneously acting, but occurring separately
(Deckers, 2010; Schachter, 1962; Slama, 2005; Sturdy, 2003)
PSYC 202, Sarah, 1108594
Travis Wilson
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