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Theories of Emotion

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Jan Alexandria Paulino

on 25 March 2014

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Transcript of Theories of Emotion

Theories of Emotion

What is emotion and its components?

• It is a response of the whole organism, involving (1) physiological arousal, (2) expressive behaviors, and (3) conscious experience.
By: Leslie Vanegas TayLor Brogaard
Sam Knopoff Hanisha Pasupulate
Stevie Jones Jan Paulino
Andrea Alvarenga

1.) Does bodily arousal come before
or after
your emotional feeling?

2.) Does thinking-cognition- always come
Three theories
Embodied Emotions
What bodily changes accompany emotions, and how do they differ?

The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) regulates the functions of our internal organs such as the heart, stomach and intestines. The ANS is part of the peripheral nervous system and it also controls some of the muscles within the body. We are often unaware of the ANS because it functions involuntary and reflexively.

Emotions & the Autonomic Nervous System.
In a crisis your Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) mobilizes your body for action

For example: alarmed by the sound of a motorcycle slowing down behind you on a dark street, the ANS response would be...
Without any conscious effort, your body’s response to danger is coordinated and adaptive– preparing you to fight or flee.

The Physiology of Emotions
From the outside, measuring things like perspiration, breathing, and heart rates, would make emotions like fear, anger and sexual arousal extremely difficult to spot.
However, despite similar bodily responses, sexual arousal, fear, and anger feel different.
Theories of Emotion
Expressed Emotion
Nonverbal Cues
Expressive Cues
Women’s Skill at Decoding Emotion

Non-Verbal Cues
Good at detecting nonverbal cues
-Angry face will “pop out” of a crowd faster than a single happy one
-Language and Anger

Sensitive to expressive cues
Hundreds of people watched brief film clips showing portions of a person’s emotionally expressive ace or body and had to name the emotion
Women surpass men at reading emotional cues

Expressed Emotion
Women’s Skill at Decoding Emotion
Contributes to greater emotional responsive.

Women are more likely to describe themselves as empathic then men and are more likely to express empathy, they also experience emotional events more deeply and remember them better

Let your mood brighten, and your thinking broadens and becomes more playful and creative.
When we feel happy we are more willing to help others.
Feel-good, do-good phenomenon: our tendency to be helpful when already in a good mood.
Subjective well-being: our feelings of happiness or sense of satisfaction with life.

o Positive emotion rises over the early into middle part of the days and then drops off, but by the next day, the gloom nearly always lifts.
o Example: People who become blind or paralyzed or are placed on kidney dialysis usually recover near-normal levels of day-to-day happiness.
o “You will gradually start thinking of other things, and the more time you spend thinking of other things, the less miserable you are going to be.”
o We overestimate the duration of our emotions and underestimate our resilience.

The Short Life of Emotional Ups and Downs
Why can't Money Buy Happiness?
Predictors of Happiness
Want to be Happy?
How many sibblings do you have?
a. 0-2 c. 5-6
b. 3-4 d. +6

Two Major Questions
Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?
a. the chicken then the egg

b. the egg then the chicken
James-Lange theory
the theory that our experience of emotion is our awareness of our psychological responses to emotion- arousing stimuli.
to experience emotions you must first perceive your body's arousal
Cannon-Bard theory
the theory that an emotion-arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers(1) psychological responses and (2) the subjective experience of emotion
Bodily arousal and our emotional experience occur together
Two-factor theory
Schachter-Singers theory that to experience emotion we must (1) be physically aroused and (2) cognitively label the arousal
emotions have two ingredients (1) physical arousal and(2) cognitive appraisal
Emotion is created together through our physical reaction and our thoughts
- memories
- interactions
If sexually stimulated, you will experience a genital response.

If afraid, you may feel a clutching, sinking sensation in your chest and knot in your stomach.

If angry, you may feel “hot under the collar” and be aware of a pressing inner tension

Today, with the help of some sophisticated laboratory tools, we can pinpoint distinct body and brain pattern indicators of each emotion. For example:

The finger temperatures and hormone secretions that accompany fear and rage do sometimes differ.
Fear and joy, although they prompt similar increased heart rate, stimulate different facial muscles.
During fear, your brow muscles tense.
During joy, muscles in your cheeks and under your eyes pull into a smile.

Brain scans show that emotions differ in the brain circuits they use.
When you experience negative emotions such as disgust, your right frontal cortex is more active than your left frontal cortex.
Your left frontal lobe will be more active when you experience positive moods

Cognition and Emotion
How do our thinking and feelings interact?

Schachter & Singer Experiment
Sometimes our general feeling of arousal spills over from one event to the next, influencing our response.
To test this theory, researchers injected college men with the hormone epinephrine, which triggers feelings of arousal, and then placed them in a waiting room with a person who was acting either joyful or irritated.
The actual volunteers felt little emotion – because they attributed their arousal to the drug. However, another group of participants “caught” the apparent emotion of the person they were with, becoming happy when the accomplice was acting joyful, and testy when the accomplice was acting irritated.
They discovered that we can experience a stirred-up state as one emotion or another very different one, depending on how we interpret and label it.

For Example:
Insult people who have just been aroused by pedaling an exercise bike, or watching rock videos, and they interpret and label their arousal as a response to the insult. Their feelings of anger will be greater than those people who were similarly provoked but not previously aroused.

Schachter & Singer two factor theory
Arousal + Label = Emotion

Arousal from emotions as diverse as anger, fear, and sexual excitement can indeed spill from one emotion to another.

Cognition does not always precede emotion
Robert Zajonc contends that we actually have many emotional reactions apart from, or even before, our interpretation of a situation.
Research on neurological processes shows how we can experience emotion unconsciously, before cognition thanks to the dual processing that takes place in our two- track mind

The Brain's Shortcut for Emotions
Our emotional responses are the final step in a process that can follow two different kinds of pathways in our brain.

"High Road"
Some emotions (especially our more complex feelings, like hatred and love) travel the “high road.”
A stimulus following the high road would travel to the brain’s cortex. There, it would be analyzed and labeled before our body sends out an order, via the amygdala, to respond.

The amygdala’s structure makes it easier for our feelings to hijack our thinking than for our thinking to rule our feelings (LeDoux & Armony).
This statement supports Zajonc’s belief that some of our emotional reactions involve no deliberate thinking, and that cognition is not always necessary for emotion.

Emotion researcher Richard Lazarus agreed that our brains process vast amounts of information outside of our conscious awareness and that some emotional responses do not require conscious thinking.
However, he asked how would we know what we are reacting to if we did not in some way appraise the situation? The appraisal may be effortless and we may not be conscious of it, but it is still a mental function.
Emotions arise when we appraise an event as harmless or dangerous, he said, whether we truly know it or not.

Richard Lazarus
Two Roads of Emotion
"Low Road"
Sometimes our emotions (especially simple likes, dislikes, and fears) take what Joseph LeDoux calls the “low road,” a neural shortcut that bypasses the cortex.
Following the low-road pathway, a fear-provoking stimulus would travel directly to the amygdala, an emotion-control center.
This shortcut, bypassing the conscious cortex, enables our emotional response before our brain interprets the exact source of danger.

Experienced Emotion/Anger
Experienced Emotion
There are 10 basic emotions: joy, interest-excitement, surprise, sadness,anger, disgust, contempt, fear, shame and guilt
Theories of emotion
physiological, neurological, and cognitive
What makes us angry?
The anger is often a response to friends' or loved ones'
emotional release: the catharsis hypothesis maintains that "releasing" aggressive energy (through action or fantasy) relieves aggressive urges
Anger: experiments report that Sometimes when people lash out at a provoker, they may indeed calm downn
Expressing anger breeds more anger
-triggers another round of anger interactions
Expressing anger can magnify anger
-acting angry can make us angrier
-reduces temporarily and gs a squirt of pleasure
Anger is not inherently bad
-misconceptions about anger
-anger is a valuable emotion
Anger can be expressed in many different ways
-anger expressed in agrressive ways?
Myths and Facts about Anger
Myth: I shouldn’t “hold in” my anger. It’s healthy to vent and let it out.

Fact: While it’s true that suppressing and ignoring anger is unhealthy, venting is no better. Anger is not something you have to “let out” in an aggressive way in order to avoid blowing up. In fact, outbursts and tirades only fuel the fire and reinforce your anger problem.

Myth: Anger, aggression, and intimidation help me earn respect and get what I want.

Fact: True power doesn’t come from bullying others. People may be afraid of you, but they won’t respect you if you can’t control yourself or handle opposing viewpoints. Others will be more willing to listen to you and accommodate your needs if you communicate in a respectful way.

Myth: I can’t help myself. Anger isn’t something you can control.

Fact: You can’t always control the situation you’re in or how it makes you feel, but you can control how you express your anger. And you can express your anger without being verbally or physically abusive. Even if someone is pushing your buttons, you always have a choice about how to respond.

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