[The following is from Coon, Dennis - Dept. of Psychology, Santa Barbara City College, California. Introduction to Psychology, Exploration and Application, Fifth Edition. St. Paul, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco: West Publishing Company. 1989.]
CHAPTER Twelve. Emotion
1. Emotion means movement ["to move"]. Something moves us:
First, the body is physically aroused during emotion. Pounding heart, sweating palms, and "butterflies" in the stomach are closely identified with emotion. Second, we are often motivated, or moved to take action, by emotions such as fear, anger, or joy.
Underlying all this, perhaps, is the fact that emotions are linked to such basic adaptive behaviors as attacking, retreating, seeking comfort, helping others, reproducing, and the like.
Human emotions can be disruptive (stage fright, choking up in an athletic contest). More often, emotions aid survival.
Emotion may blossom, change course, or diminish as it proceeds. Original emotional stimulus may be external (dog) or internal (memory of being chased by dog, rejected by a lover, or praised by a friend). And, mere thoughts or memories can make us fearful, sad, or happy.
And, relationships are one of the most potent sources of human emotional response.
2. ANS - Physiology and Emotion - Arousal, Sudden Death, and Lying.
Physical aspects of emotions are innate, or built into the body - not normally under voluntary control.
Reactions to unpleasant emotions are especially consistent: muscle tension, a pounding heart, irritability, dryness of the throat and mouth, sweating, butterflies in the stomach, frequent urination, trembling, restlessness, sensitivity to loud noises, and a large number of internal reactions--all these reactions are caused by the ANS (autonomic nervous system)--not normally under voluntary control.
Sympathetic branch prepares the body for emergency--arouses a number of bodily systems and inhibiting others--to increase the chances that a person or an animal will survive an emergency.
- Sugar is released into the blood stream for quick energy.
- Heart beats faster to distribute blood to the muscles
- Digestion is temporarily inhibited
- Blood flow in the skin is restricted to reduce bleeding,
Parasympathetic branch generally reverses emotional arousal and calms and relaxes the body. It restores balance, and it helps build up and conserve bodily energy.
- Heart is slowed
- Pupils return to normal size
- Blood pressure drops
And, the Parasympathetic responds much more slowly than Sympathetic branch. Thus--increased heart rate, muscle tension and other signs of arousal do not fade for 20-30 minutes after an intense emotional experience such as fear. And, the Parasympathetic may overreact after a strong emotional shock--lower blood pressure too much, or one may become dizzy or faint from shock.
Parasympathetic rebound - parasympathetic branch overreacts during intense fear. It can cause death. Some soldiers literally die of fear in combat. Older persons or those with heart problems may have a heart attack or collapse due to sympathetic activation.
Polygraph [means "many writings"] The lie detector - Measures bodily changes caused by the ANS. Accuracy is doubtful. Often a serious invasion of privacy. All it really does is record general emotional arousal. It can't tell the difference between lying and fear, anxiety, or excitement. It draws a record of changes in Heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and the galvanic skin response (GSR) (Recorded from the surface of the hand by electrodes that measure skin conductance or, more simply, sweating)
1st. Irrelevant questions to establish a "baseline" of normal emotional responsiveness.
2nd. Relevant questions. Supposed to show increased response to key questions, or critical questions mixed in a series. Control questions allow examiner to see how subject reacts to doubt or misgivings--apt to make anyone anxious: "Have you stolen anything?"
Examiner can compare critical and control question responses.
3. Theories of Emotion
James-Lange Theory (1884-1885). William James, American psychologist (functionalist)
Carl Lange, Danish Physiologist. Argued that emotional feelings follow bodily arousal. We see a bear, run, are aroused, and then feel fear as we become aware of our bodily reactions.
Cannon-Bard Theory (1927). Walter Cannon, American physiologist.
Phillip Bard, his student. Proposed that emotional feelings and bodily arousal are both organized by the brain. If the bear is seen as dangerous, then bodily arousal, running, and feelings of fear will all be generated at the same time. [Seeing the bear activates the thalamus, which in tern alerts both the cortex and the hypothalmus for action. The cortex is responsible for emotional feelings and emotional behavior. The hypothalmus is responsible for arousing the body.]
Schachter's Cognitive Theory of Emotion (1971). Stanley Schachter.
Realized that cognitive (mental) factors also enter into emotion. Assumes that when we are aroused, we have a need to interpret our feelings. Emotion occurs when a particular label is applied--the label (anger, fear, or happiness) applied to bodily arousal is influenced by past experience, he situation, and the reactions of others.
Perception, experience, attitudes, judgment, and many other mental factors also affect emotion. If you met a bear, you would be aroused. If the bear seemed unfriendly, you would interpret your arousal as fear, and if the bear offered to shake your hand, you wouldbe happy, amazed, and relieved!
Attribution. Stuart Valins (1967)
Arousal can be attributed to various sources--a process that alters perceptions of emotion. In order to explain the arousal. "Oh wow, I must love you, too." Theory predicts that you are most likely to "love" someone who gets you stirred up emotionally, even when fear, anger, frustration, or rejection is part of the formula.
Facial Feedback Hypothesis. Carrol Izard (1977), psychologist.
Face affects emotion. Facial feedback hypothesis: Emotional activity causes innately programmed changes in facial expression. The face then provides cues to the brain that help us to determine what emotion we are feeling. Having facial expressions and becoming aware of them is what leads to emotional experience.
Paul Ekman. Making faces can actually cause emotion. Brought about changes in ANS, as reflected by heart rate and skin temperature. Each facial expression produced a different pattern of activity. Anger raised heart beat and skin temperature. Disgust lowered them.
Appraisal. Refers to evaluating the personal meaning of a stimulus: Is it good/bad, threatening/supportive, relevant/irrelevant, and so on. Each of the theories is partly true. The way a situation is appraised greatly affects the course of emotion.
Contemporary Model of Emotion (main points of several theories together into one).
An emotional stimulus (dog) is appraised (judged) as a threat or other cause for emotional response (you think to yourself, "Uh oh, big trouble.")
Your emotional appraisal gives rise to ANS arousal (your heart pounds and your body becomes stirred up).
The appraisal also releases innate emotional expressions (your face twists into a mask of fear and your posture becomes tense).
At the same time, the appraisal leads to adaptive behavior (running from the dog).
It also causes a change in consciousness that you recognize as the subjective experience of fear. (The intensity of this emotional feeling is directly related to the amount of ANS arousal.)
4. ELEMENTS OF EMOTION:
1. Adaptive. Emotion can be adaptive and help us deal with changing environment or stress, by repressing emotion (diluting its intensity or significance) or by over-reacting (working faster and harder, seeing stress as a challenge).
2. Physiological changes. It is involuntary reaction of the body. Changes within the body are a major element of fear, anger, joy, and other emotions. These include changes in heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration, and other bodily stirrings. Most of these reactions are caused by release of adrenaline into the bloodstream. Adrenaline is a hormone that stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn activates the body.
3. Emotional expressions. Outward signs of what a person is feeling - communication. These are another major element of emotion. Hands tremble, face contorts, posture becomes tense and defensive when intensely afraid. Emotion is also revealed by marked shifts in voice tone or modulation. Other signs of emotion range from shrill rage to the surprisingly subdued last words on flight recorders after air disasters (a common last word is "Damn," spoken calmly). Expressions of emotion are important because they communicate emotion to others.
4. Emotional feelings. A person's private emotional experience determining how he or she will respond to a situation.
8 primary emotions. Robert Plutchik (1980) concluded from research that there are 8 primary emotions, and each can vary in intensity (anger may vary from rage to annoyance):
Mixed emotions. Plutchik felt that adjacent emotions can be mixed to yield a third, more complex emotion. And other mixtures possible. A child about to eat a stolen cookie may feel both joy and fear. The result? Guilt.
Awe - mixture of Fear and Surprise
Disappointment - mixture of Surprise and sadness
Remorse - mixture of Sadness and disgust
Aggression - mixture of Anger and Anticipation
Jealousy could be a mixture of love, anger, and fear.
Optimism - mixture of Anticipation and Joy
Contempt - mixture of Disgust and Anger
Submission - mixture of Acceptance and Fear
Love - mixture of Joy and Acceptance
5. Development of Emotions
1. General excitement is the only emotional response newborn infants clearly express.
2. Emotional life blossoms rapidly. There is a consistent order in which emotions appear. First a split between pleasant & unpleasant. Darwin believed that emotional expressions were retained during the course of human evolution because communicating feelings to others is an aid to Survival. All basic human emotions appear before age 2. Recent research suggests that even by the end of the first year, babies can express happiness, surprise, fear, anger, sadness, disgust, and interest. Development of the ability to express emotion is probably related to maturation of the brain, since children of all cultures show a similar pattern. Even deaf and blind children make same facial gestures to express or display joy, sadness, disgust, and so on.
3. Adults control and develop gestures that can become unique to various cultures--Chinese stick out tongue to express surprise--not to show disrespect or to tease. However, facial expressions of fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger and happiness are recognized by people of all cultures. Smile most universal and easily recognized facial expression.
NOTE: Kinesthesis. [body language] The study of communication through body movement, posture, gestures, and facial expressions.
Body language communicates an overall emotional tone.
Overall posture can indicate one's emotional state.
Facial blends. A mixture of two or more basic expressions. Face is capable of producing some 20,000 different expressions. Face most expressive and most frequently noticed part of body.
Facial expressions can be boiled down to basic dimensions of:
Body: Other emotional feelings telegraphed by the body:
6. Coping may depend on how a situation is "sized up." Public speaking that is viewed as a threat--imagining failure, rejection, or embarrassment--invites disaster which might not occur if viewed as a challenge
2 important steps in coping with a threatening situation.
What is the focus after secondary appraisal?
7. Psychological Defense
Anxiety. Often accompanies threatening situations. Feels tense, uneasy, apprehensive, worried, and vulnerable. Since it is unpleasant and uncomfortable, we are often motivated to avoid it.
Defense mechanism. Any technique used to avoid, deny, or distort sources of threat or anxiety. Also used to maintain an idealized self-image so that we can comfortably live with ourselves. Most of the defense mechanisms are distortions of reality and are mostly unconscious. A Psychological defense mechanisms may lessen anxiety caused by stressful situations or by our own shortcomings and limitations. People who overuse defense mechanisms become less adaptable. They consume great amounts of emotional energy to control anxiety and to maintain an unrealistic self-image. Can, however, provide time for learning to cope in a more effective manner with continuing threats and frustrations.
Some of the most common defense mechanisms:
Learned Helplessness. Resigned to fate, having already learned that there is nothing that can be done to prevent it. Similar effects occur when humans fail or when they receive punishment they cannot predict or prevent. Are apt to act helpless in other situations if they attribute their failure to lasting, general factors. However, human attribution has a large effect on helplessness. Attributing failure to specific factors in the original situation tends to prevent learned helplessness from spreading ("I wasn't really interested." or "I'm not too good at . . . . ") Feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness, decreased activity, lowered aggression, loss of sexual drive and appetite, tendency to see oneself as failing even when this is not the case.
Depression. Feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness, decreased activity, lowered aggression, loss of sexual drive and appetite, tendency to see oneself as failing even when this isn't the case. May be caused by learned helplessness. Unending series of shocks and failures--has learned to endure whatever shocks life has in store for him or her.
Hope. Powerful antidote to depression and helplessness. May be fund individually in religion, nature, human companionship, or even technology. Effectively drawn from shock into safe is one effective technique for animal to regain hope. Mastery training can make animals more resistant to learned helplessness. Findings suggest that we might even be able to "immunize" people against helplessness and depression by giving them experience at mastering seemingly impossible challenges. (Outward Bound schools)
Differences between love and infatuation:
LOVE (has to mature) - INFATUATION
Develops slowly - Develops rapidly
Ends slowly - Ends rapidly
Centers on one person - Centers on several different people
Motivates positive behavior - Has destructive effect
Recognizes faults - Ignores faults
Survives separation - Doesn't survive separation
Recognizes realities - Ignores realities
Is selfless - Is selfish
[Coon, Dennis [Dept. of Psychology, Santa Barbara City College, California]. Introduction to Psychology, Exploration and Application, Fifth Edition. St. Paul, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco: West Publishing Company. 1989.]
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