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Introductory Psychology: Emotion


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lecture 26 from a college level introduction to psychology course taught Fall 2011 by Brian J. Piper, Ph.D. ( at Willamette University, basic emotions, Walter Canon

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Introductory Psychology: Emotion

  1. 1. EmotionBrian J. Piper, Ph.D., M.S.
  2. 2. Theories of Emotion Emotions are a mix of 1) physiologicalactivation, 2) expressive behaviors, and 3) conscious experience.
  3. 3. Neurobiology of Emotion: Limbic SystemLimbic system includes thalamus, amygdala, hypothalamus, pituitary
  4. 4. Biology of Emotions: The Autonomic Nervous SystemDuring an emotional experience, our autonomic nervous system mobilizes energy in the body that arouses us.
  5. 5. Hormones• Epinephrine (adrenaline): released from adrenal gland, increase heart rate, constricts blood vessels• Cortisol: released from adrenal gland, mobilizes sugar
  6. 6. Emotional Expression I:Similarity Across Species Berridge & Winkielman (2003). Cognition & Behavior, 17, 181-211.
  7. 7. Emotional Expression I:Similarity Across Species Berridge & Winkielman (2003). Cognition & Behavior, 17, 181-211.
  8. 8. Controversy1) Does physiological arousal precede or follow your emotional experience?2) Does cognition (thinking) precede emotion (feeling)?
  9. 9. Commonsense View When you become happy, your heart starts beating faster. First comes consciousawareness, then comes physiological activity. Bob Sacha
  10. 10. James-Lange Theory1842-1910 1834 - 1900 William James (Eminence = 14th) and Carl Lange proposed an idea that was diametrically opposed to the common-sense view. The James-Lange Theory proposes that physiological activity precedes the emotional experience.
  11. 11. Cannon-Bard Theory 1898-19771871-1945 Walter B. Cannon and Phillip Bard questioned the James- Lange Theory and proposed that an emotion-triggering stimulus and the bodys arousal take place simultaneously.
  12. 12. Two-Factor Theory1922-1977 Stanley Schachter and Jerome Singer proposed yet another theory which suggests our physiology and cognitions create emotions. Emotions have two factors– physical arousal and cognitive label.
  13. 13. Arousal and Performance Arousal in short spurts is adaptive. Weperform better under moderate arousal, but optimal performance varies with task difficulty.
  14. 14. Cognition and EmotionWhat is the connection between how we think (cognition) and how we feel (emotion)?Can we change our emotions by changing our thinking?
  15. 15. Cognition Can Define EmotionAn arousal response to one event spills over into our response to the next event. AP Photo/ Nati Harnik Reuters/ Corbis Arousal from a soccer match can fuel anger, which may lead to rioting.
  16. 16. Cognition Does Not Always Precede EmotionEmotions are felt directly through the amygdala (a) or through the cortex (b) for analysis.
  17. 17. Cognition Does Not Always Precede EmotionWhen fearful eyes were subliminally presented tosubjects, fMRI scans revealed higher levels ofactivity in the amygdala. Whalen et al. (2004). Science, 302, 2061.
  18. 18. Expressed EmotionEmotions are expressed on the face, by the body,and by the intonation of voice. Is this nonverbal language of emotion universal?
  19. 19. Detecting Emotion Most of us are good at deciphering emotionsthrough nonverbal communication. In a crowd of faces a single angry face will “pop out” faster than a single happy face (Fox et al, 2000).
  20. 20. Detecting Emotion Hard-to-control facial muscles reveal signs ofemotions you may be trying to conceal. A feigned smile may continue for more than 4-5 seconds while a genuine smile will have faded by then. Dr. Paul Elkman, University of California at San Francisco Which of Paul Ekman’s smiles is genuine?
  21. 21. Hindu DanceIn classical Hindu dance, the body is trained to effectively convey 10 different emotions. Network Photographers/ Alamy
  22. 22. Gender, Emotion, and Nonverbal Behavior Women are much better at discerning nonverbalemotions than men. When shown sad, happy, andscary film clips women expressed more emotions than men.
  23. 23. Culture and Emotional ExpressionWhen culturally diverse people were shown basic facial expressions, they did fairly well at recognizing them (Matsumoto & Ekman, 1989). Elkman & Matsumoto, Japanese and Caucasian Facial Expression of Emotion
  24. 24. Emotions are Adaptive Darwin speculated that our ancestors communicated with facial expressions in the absence oflanguage. Nonverbalfacial expressions led to our ancestor’s survival. Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
  25. 25. Analyzing EmotionAnalysis of emotions are carried on different levels.
  26. 26. The Effects of Facial ExpressionIf facial expressions are manipulated, like furrowingbrows, people feel sad while looking at sad pictures. The New York Times Pictures Courtesy of Louis Schake/ Michael Kausman/ Attaching two golf tees to the face and making their tips touch causes the brow to furrow.