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86 Cards in this Set

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Important life experiences are saturated with emotion.
Emotions also colour everyday experiences.
–feel angry when treated rudely.
–dismay when car needs expensive repairs.
–happiness when getting an ‘A’ on a psychology exam.
What is emotion?
a response of the whole organism, a complex psychological event that involves a mixture of reactions.
–bodily arousal (physiological component).
–overt expressive behaviours (behavioural component).
–subjective conscious experience (cognitive component).
Why do we experience emotions?
– help us adapt to our changing environment.
–powerful motivators of behaviour.
–help us focus our thoughts.
–force us to solve problems.
Two dimensions of emotion
-Horizontal axis = arousal (high/low).
-Vertical axis = valence (+ , -).
*Universally expressed and recognized basic emotions.
–happiness, anger, sadness, fear, disgust and surprise.
*Later four more were included.
–contempt, shame, guilt, interest-excitement.
Some researchers view love as a basic emotion.
-Others view it a mixture of joy and interest-excitement.
Other emotions are a combination of basic 10 emotions.
Nature of emotions
–Does your heart pound because you are afraid?
–Are you afraid because you feel your heart is pounding?
–Physiological experience precedes or follows emotions?
Theories of emotions:
James-Lange theory
Witnessing an external stimulus leads to a physiological reaction.
–emotional reaction depends upon our interpretation of physical reactions.
–after encountering a danger we begin to tremble and our heart starts race.
Interpretation of our physical reactions leads to emotional experience (I am trembling, therefore I am afraid.)
emotions follow bodily response (we become angry because we strike) Physiological reaction → Emotion.
Theories of emotions:
Cannon-Bard theory
Physiological arousal and emotional experience occur simultaneously.
-fear, sweating, and trembling occur simultaneously
Emotions result when the thalamus sends a message to the brain in response to a stimulus, resulting in a physiological reaction.
–emotion - triggering stimulus activates the sympathetic nervous system causing body’s arousal.
–at the same time, thalamus sends it to the brain’s cortex, causing awareness of the emotion.
Theories of emotions:
Two-factor theory of emotion
Physiology and cognitions together create emotions (Schachter & Singer,1962).
*Experiencing emotion.
–physical aroused (physiological component).
–cognitively label the arousal (cognitive component).
Schachter’s view.
–cognitions, perceptions, memories and interpretations are essential parts of emotions (psychological part).
–emotional experience requires a conscious interpretation of arousal.
People experiencing arousal search the environment for explanation
–stuck in a traffic jam, arousal is labelled as anger.
–taking an exam, arousal is labelled as anxiety.
–celebrating birthday, arousal is labelled as happiness
Subjects were injected with epinephrine
–waited in a room where an accomplice acted euphoric or irritated.
–when told about the drug effects, they felt little emotions; attributed the arousal to the drug.
– when told drug has no effect.
–became happy when accomplice acted euphorically.
–became angry when he was irritated
Cognition-emotion complexity
Two way relationship between cognitions and emotions.
–sometimes we experience unlabelled emotion.
Emotional reactions can be quicker than our interpretation of a situation ( Zanjonc, 1984).
–subliminally primed emotion affects the experience of the follow-up stimulus (feeling emotion unconsciously).
Two brain pathways of emotional responses: High road
Complex emotions travel through the thalamus to the brain’s cortex called ‘high-road’.
–analysed and labelled by cortex before the command is sent out, via the amygdala to respond.
Two brain pathways of emotional responses: Low road
Some neural pathways involved in emotions bypass the cortical areas involved in thinking called “low road” (LeDoux).
–stimulus travels directly to amygdala (via thalamus).
–emotional reaction occurs before the cortex intervenes.
*Our brains process and react to vast amounts of information without our conscious awareness.
–some emotional responses do not require conscious thinking (Lazarus,1998).
*Emotions require some cognitive appraisal of the situation.
–appraisal may be effortless and without our conscious awareness.
Complex emotions arise from our interpretations and expectations
Emotional people are tense because of their interpretations.
– personalize events as being directed at them.
–generalize by blowing a single incident out of proportions
Difference between Schachter and Lazarus
Lazarus thinks that labelling may be even without our awareness.
Link between emotional and physiological processes is complex
• The biological bases of emotions are diffuse.
–areas in the brain and neurotransmitter systems.
–autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system.
The sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) mobilizes the body for action.
–directs adrenal glands to release the stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine.
–increases the respiration, heart rate and blood pressure
Parasympathetic division of ANS calms down the body
Physiological responses indicate different emotions
–joy, fear, anger, sexual excitement, boredom
•Some responses are conscious, others are less or not conscious.
•Some emotions are easy to differentiate, others are not.
•Fear and anger feel and look different; have similar arousal.
•Finger temperatures and hormones are different for fear and rage.
•Similar increase in heart rate in fear and joy; stimulated facial muscles are different.
Human body response to danger
–muscles tense, heart rate, respiration, perspiration increase
Expressed emotions
Body language or nonverbal conveys specific meaning and Different behaviours convey specific meaning.
-normal or firm handshake.
–a gaze, an averted glance or a stare
Cross-cultural variations in body language
consistency across cultures in body language related to universal emotions
-Nonverbal signs of high/low status seem to be universal.
-Intimate gazing causes mutual attraction between strangers.
-People are good at detecting nonverbal threats.
-Among emotions conveyed in a foreign language, anger is most easily detectable
Some people are better in detecting emotions
–Introverts are better at reading other’s emotions.
–Extroverts are themselves easier to read
Experience contributes to our emotion detecting sensitivity
physically abused children are quicker to see anger
Speedily detection of an angry face than a happy one (Ohman, 2001a)
Physiological indicators of emotions have been used to detect emotions; lying and deceit
GSR: A component of emotional arousal.
–an increase in the electrical conductivity of the skin.
–used as a measure of emotion in laboratory studies
Emotion - Lie Detector (Polygraph)
What does it do???
Link between emotion and autonomic arousal is the basis for the lie detector.
–records autonomic fluctuations during questioning
Monitors indicators of autonomic arousal.
–heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and GSR
Emotion - Lie Detector (Polygraph)
Response to using it
When people lie, they experience emotion (anxiety)
–produces changes in physiological indicators
-A polygraph is not a lie but an emotion detector.
-Used in law enforcement and national security.
Emotion - Lie Detector (Polygraph)
Used by the corporations.
–screening applicants for honesty.
–detecting employee theft
What kind of questions are asked?
Non-threatening questions are asked called control questions.
–subject’s baseline on these indicators is established.
Asking of relevant questions (critical) and observing changes in the autonomic arousal
Problems of the test
Who can control their arousal pass the test even if they lie.
–clever criminals increase their arousal on control questions.
–less difference between the relevant and control questions
Test leads to false positives.
–innocent people are declared lying.
–no evidence of a unique physiological reaction to deceit (Saxe, 1994) .
How often do lie detectors lie?
Polygraph experts studied data of 50 theft suspects.
(1) later confessed to being guilty.
(2) whose innocence was later established.
According to polygraph examiners’ judgements.
*1/3 of innocents were declared guilty.
*1/4 of guilty were declared innocent.
(a) record of a witness who supported an accused murderer's alibi.
-strong reaction to control than to relevant questions.
-She was declared as telling truth.
(b) record of an accused murderer who pleaded self-defence.
-less strong reaction to control than to relevant questions.
-judged guilty.
New ways of detecting lying:
Detecting fleeting signals of deceit in facial expressions (Ekman, 2003)
eye blinks decrease during the cognitive demands of lying, and increase afterward (Leal & Vrij, 2008).
–developing software that analyses facial micro expressions (Adelson).
–compares the language of truth-tellers and of liars (using fewer first-person pronouns and more negative-emotion words).
New ways of detecting lying:
EEG recordings have revealed brain waves that indicate familiarity with crime information
fMRI scans show liars’ brains lighting up in places that honest people’s brains do not (Lui & Rosenfeld, 2009).
Is women’s intuition superior to men’s?
Are women good at detecting nonverbal cues?
Analysis of 125 studies of sensitivity to nonverbal cues.
–women are better than men at reading people’s emotional cues.

Women surpass men in detecting nonverbal cues.
–whether a male-female couple is a genuine romantic couple or a phoney couple.
–which of two people in a photo is the other’s supervisor.
Studies on women’s better emotional sense.
–better in detecting lying.
–better in describing their feelings in specific situations.
–better in decoding others’ emotions.
–better in emotional responses in positive and negative situations.
–more empathic; good listeners.
–share others’ joys and sorrows.
–have an open ear to others’ problems.
–women are also better in expressing emotions.
Emotional expressions are universal and culture specific
–difficult to interpret the emotions of one from a different culture.
Emotion words in one culture may not have equivalents in other cultures (Russell, 1991)
Language constraints restrict description of emotions.
–Tahitians have no word corresponding to sadness.
–Yoruba of Nigeria, Kaluli of New Guinea, and the Chinese lack a word for depression.
–Concept of anxiety goes unrecognized among Inuit.
-Quichua of Ecuador lack a word for remorse.
-faluk of Micronesia have the word ‘niferash’ translated as “our inside”.
-Ifaluk’s word ‘song’ has double meaning, anger and sadness.
-German language word ‘Schadenfreude’ [pleasure derived from another’s misfortune] has no English equivalent.
-Japanese words, “itoshii” [longing for an absent loved one] and “amae” [dependence] have no exact English translations.
-Frustration has no exact equivalent in Arabic language.
Cultural display rules
Learning to control and modify emotional expressions.
–cultural norms regulate the expression of emotions.
–when, how, and to whom people can show various emotions
Cultural variations of the norms.
–Ifaluk restrict expressions of happiness; leads people to neglect their duties.
–emotional displays are intense in individualistic cultures.
–Japanese hide emotions in the presence of others.
–Asians rarely display negative self-boosting emotions.
-Expression of sympathy, respect and shame are more common in collectivistic than in individualistic cultures.
-Chinese literature includes unique ways of expressing anger and surprise.
Differences between individualistic and collectivist cultures related to happiness
• In individualistic cultures, self-esteem and personal achievements are related to happiness.
–dependence on others may lead to unhappiness.
In collectivistic cultures, group belongingness and acceptance are related to happiness.
–exclusion from group leads to unhappiness.
Importance of nonverbal body language in social situations
–between an interviewee and interviewer.
–negotiating a business deal or selling a product.
Body language may have different meaning across cultures
An ‘A-OK’ sign
–okay in the West.
–business in Japan.
–invites sexual encounter in South America.
Nonverbal gesture for saying no is different in some countries.
–in Iran, Bulgaria, and some parts of Turkey
The effects of facial expressions
-Facial expressions reveal a variety of emotions.
-Facial expressions of emotions are biologically innate and evolutionarily adaptive (Darwin).
Interpretation of emotional expression is adaptive; enhances survival
an expression of anger on face in a frightening situation is interpreted as fear
Facial expressions accompanying disgust are adaptive reaction to harmful substances.
–wrinkling the nose closes off air passage to avoid foul odours.
–gaping expression causes the contents of the mouth to drop out.
*Fear is adaptive.
–alerts us about danger and controls our behaviour; increases our chances of survival.
*Anger serves adaptive function.
–enables us to tackle our problems and express our grievances.
Facial feedback hypothesis
–facial muscles send signals to the brain.
–help the brain recognize the emotions one is experiencing
Contracting facial muscles to mimic expressions associated with certain emotions.
–leads to experience these emotions.
–making frowning expression, people report feeling angry.
–students induced to smile felt happier, found cartoons more humorous, and recalled happier memories.
–saying phonemes “e” and “ah” which activate smiling muscles put people in good mood.
–German phoneme “ü” (ue) activates muscles associated with negative mood [ä (ae), ö (oe)].
Stress is easy to identify but is difficult to define
-a stimulus?
-a physical response that we feel?
*Definition of stress:
–any circumstances that threaten or are perceived to threaten one’s well-being and that tax one’s coping abilities
–people’s physical and psychological reactions to demanding situations.
The nature of threat
–immediate physical safety, long-range security, self-esteem, reputation, and the peace of mind.
-demanding or threatening situations that produce stress
-Activation of the body in a demanding situation and then its response to the threat
Ipsos-Reid poll of Canadian universiy students on stress (McKenzie, 2005).
40% reported experiencing high stress at exam time
Stress buster events at Canadian universities to reduce students’ stress during the exams
•University of Alberta’s interactive software ‘Students and stress: How to get your degree without losing your mind’.
–stress-assessment and education. University of Prince (
•Edward Island’s section on study hints for students.
The stressors (stress triggering factors)
Natural disasters are unpredictable and are highly stressful.
–tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, tsunami, and earthquakes.
–March 11, 2011, magnitude ‘9’ earthquake in Japan
•Natural disasters and catastrophe.
–psychological problems and physical illness in the communities affected by these disasters.
Man made disasters.
–Three Mile Island nuclear accident (America).
–Chernobyl nuclear plant accident (Russia).
–Bhopal gas disaster (India).
–Ojheri camp disaster (Pakistan).
Studies on catastrophic floods, hurricanes, and fires
–17% increase in psychological disorders (depression and anxiety)
Studies on the aftermath of a manmade disaster
–strong negative attitudes of people.
–extent of negative feelings depend on the extent of financial, physical and psychological damage (Shah et al., 1989).
•Significant life changes.
–death of a loved one, divorce, loss of job, accident etc.
•Increased psychological disorders among refugees fleeing their countries.
–Face dual stress of leaving their countries and families.
– face uncertainty and challenges of adjustment in a new country.
–facing barriers and stereotypes.
Chronic stress by age
Life changes and stress.
–‘any noticeable alterations in one’s living circumstances that require readjustment’
List of external life stressors (Holmes & Rahe, 1967)
'Social Readjustment Rating Scale’.
–interviewed people who were suffering from health problems.
–determined the events that preceded the onset of the health problems.
–most frequently cited events were not uniformly negative but also positive.
–getting married, having a baby, or getting promoted
Why would positive events produce stress?
–produce change
Daily hassles may also be quite stressful
-stuck in a long checkout line at the market.
-job stress, too many things to do.
-rush hour traffic, someone’s tailgating you on the freeway.
-waiting for the order at a restaurant when hungry.
-misplacing the chequebook; staring at the inflated bills
Everyday problems and minor nuisances of life are also important forms of stress (Kohn et al, 1991)
An individual’s response to a stressor is a function of a number of factors
–the type of stressor and its controllability.
–biological factors (age and gender).
–individual’s previous experience with stress
Research at the University of British Columbia (Lazarus & DeLongis,1988)
-routine hassles may have significant harmful effects on mental and physical health.
-Cumulative effects of hassles are more important in stress than are significant life events.
•Hypertension rates are high among residents of urban ghettos.
–stress aggravated by poverty, unemployment, solo parenting, and overcrowding.
•Hassel scale predicts correlation between daily hassles and physical and mental health problems.
–more the hassles in the daily life, the more the health problems.
–concerns about one’s weight, home maintenance.
–worries about misplacing or losing something.
The stress response system:
Stress also elicits physiological responses
Under stress, hypothalamus sends messages to the endocrine glands along two pathways.
(1) autonomic nervous system
(2) cerebral cortex
(1) sympathetic division of autonomic nervous system produces physiological reactions.
-epinephrine and norepinephrine are secreted and enter the blood.
–increase heart rate, respiration, release of sugar and fat from body stores, preparing the body for ‘fight or flight’ response.
Factors in people’s reactions to stress
–learning histories, gender, and genetic predispositions for various health problems
Individual difference in the “fight or flight” response to stress.
–withdrawal in response to death of loved ones.
–women react with mutual support to face stress
General adaptation syndrome (GAS)
A model of the body’s stress response consisting of three stages:
–alarm, resistance, and exhaustion
(GAS): Selye
-Selye exposed lab animals to both physical and psychological stressors (heat, cold, pain, mild shock) to examine stress.
-The patterns of physiological responses in animals were the same regardless of the type of stress.
Selye’s conclusions.
–our reaction to stressful situation is general and nonspecific.
–people are biologically programmed to respond to most threats in the same way.
–across different illnesses patients showed a ‘syndrome of just being sick’.
Stress and illness
Link between specific cognitive reactions to stress and specific emotions (Smith & Lazarus, 1993).
–self-blame leads to guilt.
–helplessness to sadness
•Prolonged stress weakens the immune system
Immune system is a surveillance system which isolates and destroys bacteria and viruses.
–immune system of healthy people suffers suppression next day when they become angry.
–surgical wounds heal more slowly in stressed animals and humans.
–students’ disease fighting systems are weaker during high stress times (exams)
•Stress diverts energy from the disease fighting mechanism making body vulnerable to disease.
Stress and heart disease
-In Canada, heart disease was second only to cancer (Statistics Canada,1997)
Coronary heart disease (CHD).
–a reduction in blood flow in the coronary arteries.
–clogging of the vessels that nourish the heart muscle
–accounts for about 90% of heart related deaths.
Connection between coronary risk ‘Type A personality’ (Friedman & Roseman, 1974)
Elements of type A personality.
(1) a competitive, and hard-driving orientation.
(2) impatience and time urgency.
(3) anger, hostility and aggression.
Type A’s are ambitious, hard-driving perfectionists.
–time-conscious, achievement oriented workaholics.
-easily irritated and are quick to anger.
Link between stress and heart disease: To measure the blood cholesterol and clotting speed of accountants
Accountants who face fast approaching deadlines for filing tax returns of their clients.
–cholesterol levels rose.
–clotting measures rose to the dangerous levels.
–returned to normal after the deadlines
Depression-heart disease and stress
•Heart disease and depression may both result when chronic stress triggers persistent inflammation.
after a heart attack, stress and anxiety increase the risk of death or of another attack.
•Depression may be a risk factor for heart disease.
– persistent feelings of sadness and despair.
–a sense of hopelessness and mild depression increases vulnerability to heart disease
•Heart disease and depression may both result when chronic stress triggers persistent inflammation.
–after a heart attack, stress and anxiety increase the risk of death or of another attack.
•Depression may be a risk factor for heart disease.
– persistent feelings of sadness and despair.
–a sense of hopelessness and mild depression increases vulnerability to heart disease
Depression-heart disease and stress
- Cont.
•Some studies suggest that causal relations may be just the opposite.
–emotional dysfunction of depression may cause heart disease.
•The physiological changes that take place in depressed people seem to be the culprit.
–depressed people’s hearts beat faster.
–have elevated blood pressure.
–are in a state of hyper arousal because of secretion of cortisol.
–sleep less, eat less, and cortisol prompts the accumulation of abdominal fat
Promoting health means prevention. This involves strategies that prevent illness and enhance wellness
•Different ways of reacting to address a problem.
–shrug off the problem as a nuisance.
–confront it head on.
•The strategies to solve a problem.
–emotion-focused and problem focused.
•solution focuses on the emotions the problem has caused.
–talking about the event, making sense of it, and deciding what to do.
The strategies to solve a problem.
–emotion-focused and problem focused.
Ways of solving problems:
–looking for the ways of coping with the problem.
–seeking advice from friends, professionals and medical professionals.
–medical problems require an early diagnosis and quick intervention.
Problem-focused coping:
-Nature of the problem is important.
–Is it an immediate one-time decision?
–an on-going problem (disability, illness).
–an anticipated event (layoff, surgery, terminal illness).
Factors related to the ability to cope with the stress
–personal control, optimism and social support
Perceived control
•Amount of influence you feel you have over a situation and your reaction to it.
•Perceiving events as a threat or uncontrollable becomes stressful.
•Perceiving a threat as uncontrollable causes our.
–body reacts with arousal,
–releases stress hormones which cause changes in the activity of the immune system.
•A bacterial infection often combines with uncontrollable stress to produce the most severe ulcers [H-Pylori]
Health consequences of loss of control
Animal and human studies on loss of control.
–outpouring of stress hormones.
–drop in immune response.
–elderly nursing home patients with little perceived control over their activities die earlier.
–workers with demanding jobs and little control die of cardiovascular disease.
Overcrowding in the densely populated areas.
–decreases the feelings of control.
–causes elevated levels of stress hormones and blood pressure.
•The limits of control.
•An excessive illusion of control is counterproductive.
–thinking of having control over everything makes us careless.
–people do not take precautionary measures.
–has psychological and physical health consequences.
Differences across cultures in people’s attitude toward the ability to control and the desirability of control
•Western cultures emphasize ‘primary control’.
–people try to influence the existing reality.
•Germans’ proverbial saying.
–‘wenn mann den Teufel zu sich holt, dann muss mann mit ihm fertig werden’, [if you invite the devil, you should also deal with him].
•Eastern cultures believe in ‘secondary control’.
–people adjust to the circumstances by changing their goals and aspirations.
–majority believe in luck, in God and in metaphysics.
–accept even an undesirable outcome as ‘blessing in disguise’.
Optimism and health
•A general tendency to expect good outcomes.
•Positive correlation between optimism and good physical health.
–optimists, during the last month of a semester, experienced less fatigue, fewer coughs, and fewer aches and pains
Studies on optimism
–perceive more control.
–cope better with stressful events.
–engage in action-oriented coping
Benefits of optimistic explanatory style.
–superior physical health.
–higher academic achievement.
–increased job productivity.
–enhanced athletic performance.
–higher marital satisfaction (Gillham et al., 2001).
-Deaths among men with hopeless outlook was double than found among optimistic men.
-Hopelessness increases the chances of heart attack and death
Social support and mental health
–a protective buffer during times of high stress; reduces its negative impact.
•Social support and the immune functioning.
–students with stronger social support have high levels of an antibody
–wards off respiratory infections during the stress of the final exam.
People with social support
–less likely to suffer a second heart attack.
–more likely to survive life-threatening cancer.
–less likely to consider suicide if infected with HIV.
–better off to survive leukaemia and heart disease.
Reasons for the link between social support and health
1. family members help patient to receive treatment quickly after symptoms appear.
2. people eat better and exercise more if advised by their family members.
3. connected people sleep better than lonely people.
4. support helps us evaluate and overcome stressful events, such as social rejection.
5. social support bolsters our self-esteem.
Research findings on social support
–calms the cardiovascular system.
–lowers blood pressure.
–lowers stress hormones
Close relationships provide the opportunity to confide painful feelings.
–more health problems among the surviving spouses of deceased were alone than those with support.
Consequences of keeping the sexual abuse women secret
–headaches and stomach aliments
-Suppressing thoughts causes them to come up preoccupying the person
Reducing stress (Coping strategies)
•Efforts to manage conditions of threat or demand that tax one’s resources
•Term ‘constructive coping’ is used for dealing with the stress.
•Elements of constructive coping.
(1) Confronting problem directly.
(2) Realistic appraisal of stress and coping resources.
(3) Learning to recognize and inhibit potentially disruptive emotional reactions to stress.
(4) Making efforts to ensure that body is not vulnerable to the damaging effects of stress.
Coping with the stress and its management.
–exercise, relaxation, social support, solving the problem.
•A direct way to deal with the arousal caused by the stress is to calm down by relaxing.
-stress response is incompatible with relaxation.
Progressive muscle relaxation
•Training to concentrate on specific muscle groups in the body.
–noting the tension and trying to relax those specific muscle groups.
–learning to address muscle groups in sequence.
–beginning with muscle groups in the neck and moving to shoulders, arms, abdomen and then move to legs.
–first is tensing and then relaxing each muscle group.
–learning to pay attention to how muscles in your body feel when tense or relaxed.
•A time tested way to relax is massage.
–lowers stress hormones.
–reduces depression, pain and anxiety.
–improves immune function by increasing levels of killer cells.
–increases concentration and mental alertness.
–benefits premature infants to elderly people suffering from various health problems.
•Evidence links lack of exercise to poor health.
•Regular exercise is associated with increased longevity.
•Benefits of exercise.
strengthens heart, increases blood flow, opens blood vessels, lowers blood pressure.
–boosts the production of mood boosting neurotransmitters.
–modestly enhances cognitive abilities
–promotes the growth of new brain cells.
•Evidence links lack of exercise to poor health.
•Regular exercise is associated with increased longevity.
•Benefits of exercise.
–strengthens heart, increases blood flow, opens blood vessels, lowers blood pressure.
–boosts the production of mood boosting neurotransmitters.
–modestly enhances cognitive abilities
–promotes the growth of new brain cells.
Random assignment of mildly depressed female college students.
–aerobic exercise.
–relaxation treatment.
–control group.
•Women in the aerobic exercise program reported the greatest decrease in depression.