Emotions and mood an environmental psychology perspective


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  • This lecture covers emotion and mood but aims to move emotional experience from within the person to outside the person – how does the physical world shape and influence the way we feel? To do so, we will focus on environmental psychology. Environmental psychology definition: an interdisciplinary field focused on the interplay between humans and their surroundings. It is an increasingly important sub-discipline of psychology due to the urgency of environmental change and concern for the environment and the places we inhabit. ‘The Environment’ – semi-independent field of study since the 1970s. So Environmental Psychology is on the political radar. People are the problem so psychology has the solutions? A related question is how we can tap into people’s emotional connections with the physical environment to promote pro-environmental behaviours in the quest for sustainability. The increasing focus on the environment can be seen in the university’s research themes. Do you know what they are?
  • Energy - info below from: http://www.salford.ac.uk/energy/researchThe issue of energy is complex and encompasses technological, economic and social issues.  Whether it’s looking at fuel poverty, housing retrofit or power generation: the 50 academics working at the Energy Hub are linking up to produce new solutions.  The research projects in this section reflect these connections.Energy researcher specialisms:Built Environment,Civil Engineering,Construction,Health and Wellbeing,Housing,Materials,Physics, Policy,Psychology,Sociology,Supply Chain Management,Technology, Urban Regeneration,Water and WasteMedia, Digital Tech & the Creative EconomyWe live in technological environments. Upcoming course on coursera called Techcity might be of interest: https://www.coursera.org/course/techcityThe environment is the remit of media psychology too e.g. climate change communication, energy use behaviours via social media – http://hub.salford.ac.uk/mediapsychologyuk/Built EnvironmentEnvironmental psychology and understanding the relations between people and physical environments of central importance here. Lots of focus on urban environments as psychological stress – noise, air pollution, crowding, social isolation. Info from: http://www.salford.ac.uk/built-environment/about-us“….areas such as sustainability, energy, urban and regional futures, construction management, lean construction, Building Information Management and strategic IT, disaster resilience, procurement, quantity and building surveying and architecture, among others”. Health and Well-beingMemory text and place
  • Psychology can be applied across everywhere. Lends itself to interdisciplinary research. You can make a contribution to any team or any organisation with your psychological knowledge. Common thing students say about lecture content: “When am I ever going to need this stuff?” Not really about the content, its about your ability to think critically about the content. Psychology is about thinking critically…and this is what we are going to do today in relation to emotions and mood.
  • Critical thinking: This is what its all about, your ability to critically think about the material in front of you. This lecture aims to highlight how this can be done. Relevant to all assignments – at the moment, developmental psychology essays, particularly important for level 6 for your dissertations & to get a 2:1 or a 1:1
  • These tables are to emphasise the impossibilities of determining the difference between emotions and mood. What emotions or moods are missing? How do these emotions and mood reflect our culture? E.g. as ‘grief’ isn’t there, could this reflect our avoidance of talking about death and loss? When I did research using a questionnaire to find out how annoyed people were by railway vibration they would say ‘I’m not annoyed, I’m irritated’. Because of this complexity, psychologists have preferred to work with the following….
  • ConundrumNoun: A confusing and difficult problem or question.A question asked for amusement, typically one with a pun in its answer; a riddle.
  • 60% agreement looks a little bit different when you get deeper into the paper. ‘Cause’ looks to be the most important theme to distinguish emotions and mood for non-academics. Emotions have a specific cause whereas moods are general background states (important given psychology’s focus on states – see slide 14Duration most important within the academic literature – distinguished in terms of emotion experienced for an instant, a mood can last for ages. Discussion: How is this helping us understand emotions and mood? Is it again missing the point about what it feels like to be a person? Should they have interviewed academics rather than used journal papers? Is it appropriate to compare ‘experts’ and ‘non-experts’?
  • AlthoughBeedie et al., (2005) stressed the importance of language and how emotions and moods are socially constructed phenomena, they appeared unconvinced of this. They quantified their qualitative data. This is also why they are unconvinced….
  • If the authors moved towards a relativist ontology, they would be then trying to explore how emotions and mood have become understood differently. How and why do they overlap and how are drawn upon simultaneously and differently by people who are trying to make sense of themselves and their worlds. Also, no one knowledge is privileged over another so a social constructionist approach would probably move away from two groups of academics and non-academics. Trying to do this also ignores the complexities and intricacies of people’s lived experiences.
  • If you read the article you will see that they used a qualitative method in order to explore how people differentiated between emotions and mood. Epistemologically the research approach is positivist because they are on a ‘quest’ to determine the ‘exact nature’ of emotions and mood. A social constructionist approach would acknowledge that there are multiple realities and therefore there is no point in trying to determine the ‘exact nature’ of the difference between emotions and mood because its impossible. Everything we know is interpreted, we interpret the world and make sense of it through language. Emotions and mood would be considered as socially produced phenomena, not as some ‘essence’ residing within the person waiting to be uncovered by psychologists.
  • Which ever way you look at it, emotional experience is important. Here’s some of the ‘mainstream theories’….
  • One of the basic notions underpinning emotions theories is that a small number of emotions privilege others – these are often known as basic, primary or fundemental. Tomkin’s argued that the 8 emotions on the slide were universal. The idea that there are a small number of emotions perpetuates within emotions theories. Out of these emotions, all other emotions are argued to emerge. For further reading see: Ortony & Turner (1990) What’s basic about basic emotions available at: http://www.cs.northwestern.edu/~ortony/Andrew_Ortony_files/Basic_Emotions.pdf They argue that our understandings of the person will not progress if we stick within basic emotions theory.
  • Increased to 12. Still leaves the question as to how these emotions play out in practice? Are emotions completely distinct from one another. What about the limitations of our language for describing emotional experience? What about culture? Do you remember watching the video of Emerson in Developmental Psychology? Do you think his response to mum’s sneezes were innate? Has anyone taught him that?
  • Answer: Stable
  • Made up picture to demonstrate the differences between emotional states and personality traits and the gap between them.
  • Slater and Bremner (2011) argued emotions have been somewhat neglected by psychology – why do you think that is? Because we are more complex than personality traits perhaps? Because we have focused on measuring and knowing affect rather than understanding it?
  • Can start to learn more about emotions if we consider them in ‘real world’. Korpela emphasised how emotion involves interaction with the social and physical environment. The picture could be an example of someone controlling their emotions (headphones on listening to music) in the attempts to regulate how they feel in the physical environment. By acknowledging the physical environment, we can learn more about how emotions interact with the outside world. We do not live in a bubble.
  • How the physical environment can impact upon emotional experience. Are there any places you link to go that make you feel good? Notice the picture is a natural environment – so what about our emotional experiences when in urban settings? More than half of the worlds population live in urban settings (United Nations, 2008).
  • When psychologists started to turn their attention towards the impacts of urbanisation on people, it was because of the widespread concern that urban settings were having a profound psychological negative impact on people. One of the main environmental stressors, particularly for developed nations is noise.
  • Is noise annoyance an emotion? Or do our environmental management policies provide the necessary condition for us to feel annoyed? Are we supposed to find noise disturbing?Miedema (2007) noise exerts its primary influence through four routes: sound masking, attention, arousal and affective/emotional
  • These are the government’s aims. More than thephysicalities of the environment! Physical environments are ‘places’ that we imbue with meaning. Although the physical environment may set bounds as to what we can say about it, we construct places in social interaction with others e.g. Where are you from is often asked after what is your name.
  • I used to live here – Les Arcs 2000, French Alps. It was really peaceful, mountain air, skiing, whiteness of the snow, bright. But it was a place I imbued with meaning, it is symbolic to me, I feel attached to it and it also became part of my identity.
  • The physical environment as the social environment – we imbue places with meanings (Stedman, 2003)The concept of ‘place’ has been used to acknowledge that people imbue the physical environment and environmental conditions with meaning through personal, social and cultural processes (Low & Altman, 1992). Gieryn (2000) stated that “places are doubly constructed” in that “most are built or in some way physically carved out” and also “interpreted, narrated, perceived, felt, understood, and imagined (Soja 1996)” (p. 465).
  • Where are you from? Do you feel an emotional bond with your place?
  • Note: This is research from RightMove (property website) which whilst it may have been carried out by excellent researchers, what is their motive to fund this research and create this knowledge? Media coverage???
  • More than emotion, this is about place identity!
  • Approaches that consider language as action orientated – what people say about emotions and feelings says something about who there are – their identities.
  • On the seminar, we are going to learn a new method – walking method. How do people feel in different environments? How are these environments imbued with meaning? Is ‘place’ a better concept for incorporating the person?
  • Emotions and mood an environmental psychology perspective

    1. 1. Emotions and Mood: An EnvironmentalPsychology PerspectiveJenna Condie | University of Salford | @jennacondieImage Creative Commons : Thoth, God of Knowledge1#salfordpsych
    2. 2. Do you know what the University ofSalford’s research themes are?They are…1. Energy2. Media, Digital Technology and the CreativeEconomy3. Built Environment4. Health and Wellbeing5. Memory, Text and Place2#salfordpsych
    3. 3. 3Health andWell beingMedia, DigitalTech & theCreativeEconomyBuiltEnvironmentEnergyMemory, Textand Place#salfordpsych
    4. 4. Lecture AimTo think critically about emotions and moodfrom an environmental psychologicalperspectiveToday we are goingto disagree withAlbert Einstein!4thatisntme.The environmentis everythingImage Creative Commons : dnwallace #salfordpsych
    5. 5. Lecture overview:Problematise the ‘mainstream’ lit first:• Debunk concepts of emotion & mood• Theories of emotion• Personality and affect• The relationship between affect and environmentsEmotions and mood from an #enviropsych perspectivesecond:• Stress and the city• Restorative effects of natural environments• Place attachment and identity5#salfordpsych
    6. 6. Basic Emotions Complex emotionsHappiness, interest,surprise, disgust,sadness, distress, anger,fear…Pride, shyness, jealousy,guilt, shame,embarrassment, self-consciousness…Basic Moods Complex moodsHappiness, interest,surprise, disgust,sadness, distress, anger,fear…Pride, shyness, jealousy,guilt, shame,embarrassment, self-consciousness…6From Slater and Bremner (2011)#salfordpsych
    7. 7. The difference between emotion and mood?Beedie et al., (2005)• Interviewed 106 participants• Identified 16 themes e.g.cause, duration, control, experience, consequences, intentionality• Revealed 60% agreement between academics(journal papers) and non-academics (interviews) 7“The terms emotion and moodrepresent a conundrum forpsychologists” (p. 847)
    8. 8. 8Source: Beedie et al., (2005), p. 864#salfordpsych
    9. 9. The Importance of Language“Because we are able to say that emotion and moodare different does not mean that they are…Emotion and mood may be different words for thesame construct or different words for differentconstructs. Either way, it is incumbent onpsychologists to attempt to clarify the exact nature ofemotion and mood” (Beedie et al., 2005, p. 848)9#salfordpsych
    10. 10. 10Essentialism“Because we are able to say that emotion and moodare different does not mean that they are…Emotion and mood may be different words for thesame construct or different words for differentconstructs. Either way, it is incumbent onpsychologists to attempt to clarify the exact nature ofemotion and mood” (Beedie et al., 2005, p. 848)#salfordpsychRealism – reality is ‘out there’ waiting to be discovered
    11. 11. 11Emotion and mood as socially constructed“Because we are able to say that emotion and moodare different does not mean that they are…Emotion and mood may be different words for thesame construct or different words for differentconstructs. Either way, it is incumbent onpsychologists to attempt to clarify the exact nature ofemotion and mood” (Beedie et al., 2005, p. 848)#salfordpsych
    12. 12. Russell (2003, p. 145)12“In the psychology of human beings, withpassions as well as reasons, with feelingsas well as thoughts, it is the emotionalside that remains the more mysterious.Psychology and humanity can progresswithout considering emotion —about asfast as someone running on one leg”#salfordpsych
    13. 13. Basic Emotions Theory (Tomkins, 1962)Eight basic fundamental and universal affects:1. Interest-Excitement2. Enjoyment-Joy3. Surprise-Startle4. Distress-Anguish5. Disgust-Revulsion-Contempt6. Anger-Rage7. Shame-Humiliation8. Fear-Terrorstuartpilbrow13
    14. 14. Differential Emotions Theory(Izard, 1993)• Built on Tomkin’s work• 12 basic emotions:– Interest, Enjoyment, Surprise, Sadness, Anger,Disgust, Contempt, Fear, Guilt, Shame, Shyness,Hostility inward• Universal & innate• Evolved due to theiradaptive value14#salfordpsych
    15. 15. Psychology has preferred affects and statesAffects• Beedie et al., (2005) argue that psychologistshave used the term affect to get roundemotion/mood issue.States• Changing all the time in relation to what weexperience (life events) (Cooper, 2005, Ch 12).• Unlike personality traits which are thought to be___________?NB: Terms used interchangeably15#salfordpsych
    16. 16. A day in the life of a personPersonality TraitsEmotional StateWake up At Work Break Time Phone Call Bus Home TV Bed16
    17. 17. Personality and AffectImage: Creative Commons Licence andrewrennie• Personality and affect interwoven• Traits are emotional (Kowalski & Westen, 2004)• Most personality theories pay tribute to affect• E.g. Trait theories and affect (aka temperament)– Neuroticism (affects of anxiety, hostility, depression)– Extroversion (affects of warmth, positive emotions)• Overemphasis on depression and anxiety (Pervin,2003)• Neglect of everyday moods from personalityresearch (e.g. shame, love, guilt, content).17
    18. 18. The problem with personality theories• Essentialist– Thinking of ourselves as having a particular natureor ‘essence’– This nature determines what we can do, how wecan feel.• See emotion as internal, privateexperience, predetermined bypersonality/who you are.• What about emotion as based in thephysical/external world?Adapted from Burr (2003, p. 30)18
    19. 19. Emotional Regulation19Need to understand people as inphysical environmentsNot just an “inner homeostaticmechanism” but an “interactionwith the social and physicalenvironment”(Korpela, 2003, p. 331).Defined as the activity ofcoping with moods andemotional situationsImage Creative Commons: DavidSpinks
    20. 20. Environments as mood-regulatorsPeople as sensitive to particular locations;entering or moving through a place caninduce changes in mood(Kerr & Tacon, 1999; Staats et al., 1997).People seek out particularplaces to regulate mood(Korpela, 2003).20Image Creative Commons : Nomad Within (Pete DeMarco)#salfordpsych
    21. 21. Stress and the city21• Simmel (1950) describedurban residents as morereserved, indifferent andlatently hostile than rural residents.• Environmental stressors e.g.crowding, noise, air pollution• Noise as most researched environmentalstressor (Bell et al., 1996)#salfordpsych
    22. 22. Noise annoyance as an emotionMiedema (2007) argued that twoemotions, anger and fear, influence noiseannoyance 22“Noise annoyance is a psychological concept whichdescribes a relation between an acoustic situation anda person who is forced by noise to do things he/shedoes not want to do, who cognitively and emotionallyevaluates this situation and feels partly helpless”Guski et al., (1999, p. 525).#salfordpsych
    23. 23. Natural vs built environments23• People prefer natural over built environments (vanden Berg, 2007).• Pro-rural and anti-urban ideologies have existedsince the 1800s (van den Berg, 2007).• Hartig et al., (2003)• Positive affect increased and anger decreased inparticipants walking in a nature reserve.• Opposite emerged for urban environment.• Concluded preventive benefits if urban populations haveeasy pedestrian and visual access to natural settings.• Natural settings for emotional well-being.#salfordpsych
    24. 24. Restorative EnvironmentsUlrich et al., (1991) – natural as restorative• 120 subjects viewed a stressful movie, andthen were exposed to videos of natural andurban settings.• Natural environments resulted in a shifttowards positive emotional state.• Support for Ulrich’s psych-evolutionary theory(1983) – that we evolved in naturalenvironments & are therefore designed fornatural rather than urban settings?24infomatique #salfordpsych
    25. 25. Creating places that make us feel goodHM Government (2011) The Natural Choice White Paper“Evidence suggests that a healthy natural environment isa cost-effective tool that can help local authorities to:• support economic and social regeneration,• improve public health,• improve educational outcomes,• reduce crime and antisocial behaviour,• help communities adapt to climate change; and• improve quality of life across an entire area.”25http://archive.defra.gov.uk/environment/natural/documents/newp-summary-la-110607.pdf #salfordpsych
    26. 26. Once upon a time, I lived there26#salfordpsych
    27. 27. The relationship betweenaffect and environments“We know from our everyday experiencesthat we, across time, evolve bonds towardcertain places, e.g. where we were bornand brought up, where we live and work”(Knez, 2005, p. 207).Physical environments as ‘place’Flickr: cc Pimlico Badger27#salfordpsych
    28. 28. Place attachmentDefinition: the emotional bonds between a personand their environments (Altman & Low, 1992)• Guiliani (2003) we should recognise that affectivebonds or attachments to place have a central rolein qualifying our existence, whether that ispositive or negative.Image Creative Commons Licence Tim . Simpson28#salfordpsych
    29. 29. Happiness: a basic emotionHappy at Home Index (Rightmove, 2012)29#salfordpsych
    30. 30. North-South Divide30#salfordpsych
    31. 31. My PhD research• How environmental conditions are negotiatedwithin constructions of ‘place’ and ‘identity’• People locate themselves in ‘place’ with anemotional connectiona house that ‘felt right’‘fell in love with it’‘love it here’31To counter the voices of‘others’ who considerliving alongsiderailways as ‘disruptive’#salfordpsych
    32. 32. William James asked “what is emotion?” in1884. We still do not know.Therefore, in your writing:Mood ‘is’….Emotions ‘are’…..Mood has been related to emotion by*insert author here+ who argued that…Emotions have been considered as…32
    33. 33. Seminar: Sensory walking methodsDo you know the range of environments that arefive minutes walk away?Have you heard of the Meadows? 33Artist’s impression of new studentaccommodation at Peel Park#salfordpsych
    34. 34. References (1 of 4)Altman, I., & Low, s. (1992) Place Attachment, New York: PlenumBeedie, C., Terry, P., & Lane, A. (2005) Distinctions between emotion andmood, Cognition & Emotion, 19, p. 847-878 [available with Athens password]Bell, P., et al., (1996) Environmental psychology. Orlando: Harcourt CollegePublishers.Burr, V. (2003) Social Constructionism, London: RoutledgeCooper, C. (2010) Individual Differences and Personality, ThirdEdition, London: Hodder EducationGuiliani, M. (2003) Theory of Attachment and Place Attachment. In M.Bonnes & T Bonaiuto (Ed.) Psychological Theories for EnvironmentalIssues, Hants: Ashgate PublishingGuski, R., Felscher-suhr, U., & Schumer, R. (1999) The concept of noiseannoyance : how international experts see it, Journal of Sound andVibration, 223, 513-527Hartig T., et al., (2003) Tracking restoration in natural and urban fieldsettings, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 23, p. 109–123 34
    35. 35. HM Government (2011) The Natural Choice - White Paper, Available at:http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/natural/whitepaper/ (date accessed:25/04/2012)Izard, C., (1993) Four Systems Theory of Emotion Activation: Cognitive andnon-cognitive processes, Psychological Review, 100, p. 68-90Kerr, J., & Tacon, P. (1999) Psychological responses to different types oflocations and activities Journal of Environmental Psychology, 19, p. 287–294Knez, I. (2005). Attachment and identity as related to a place and its perceivedclimate. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 25, 207–218.Korpela, K. (2003). Negative mood and adult place preference, Environmentand Behavior, 35, p. 331–346.Miedema, H. M. E. (2007). Annoyance caused by environmental noise:elements for evidence-based noise policies, Journal of Social Issues, 63(1), p.41–57.Pervin, L.A. (2003) The Science of Personality, Second Edition, Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press35References (2 of 4)
    36. 36. References (3 of 4)Rightmove (2012) Happy at Home Index, Available online at:http://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/files/2012/02/Rightmove-Happy-At-Home-Index.pdf (date accessed 23/04/2012)Russell, J. (2003) Core Affect and the Psychological Construction ofEmotion, Psychological Review, 110(1), p. 145–172Russell, J. A., & Snodgrass, J. (1987) Emotion and the environment. In D.Stokols & I. Altman (Eds.) Handbook of environmental psychology, New York:WileySimmel, G. (1950). The metropolis and mental life. In K. H. Wolff (Ed.), TheSociology of George Simmel. New York: Free Press.Staats, H., Gatersleben, B., & Hartig, T. (1997). Change in mood as a functionof environmental design: Arousal and pleasure on a simulated forest hike.Journal of Environmental Psychology, 17, p. 283-300.Tomkins, S. (1962) Commentary. The ideology of research strategy. In S.Merrick & J. Ross (Ed.) Measurement in Personality and Cognition, New York:Wiley36
    37. 37. References (4 of 4)Ulrich, R. (1983). Aesthetic and affective response to natural environment. InI. Altman & J. F. Wohlwill (Eds.) Human Behavior and Environment, New York:Plenum PressUlrich, R., Simons, R., Losito, B., Fiorito, E., Miles, M. & Zelson, M. (1991)Stress recovery during exposure to natural and urban environments. Journalof Environmental Psychology, 11, 201-230.Van Den Berg, A. E., Hartig, T. & Staats, H. (2007) Preference for Nature inUrbanized Societies: Stress, Restoration, and the Pursuit of Sustainability. J ofSocial Issues, 63, 79-96.37
    38. 38. Emotions and Mood: An environmentalpsychology perspectiveJenna Condie University of Salford E: j.m.condie@salford.ac.uk T: @jennacondieImage Creative Commons : Thoth, God of Knowledge38