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Emotion

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Emotion
Chapter 10
Cognitive Component
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This component involves:
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a subjective conscious experience (cognitive)
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Cognitive appraisals help determine emotional
experience
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Emotional experience contains an evaluative (e.g.,
good/bad) component
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Contrast effect
Counterfactual thinking
Winning the lottery
Getting a promotion
Positive psychology
Physiological component
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Bodily arousal
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Much of this occurs
through the autonomic
nervous system
Link between emotion
and arousal is basis for
polygraphy
Neural Circuitry
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Key components
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Limbic System
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Hypothalamus
Amygdala
Adjacent Structures
Real-world Application
Fear is a basic primal emotion that is key to
evolutionary survival. It's one we share with animals.
Genetics plays a big role in the development of
overwhelming -- and needless -- fear, psychologists
say. But so do traumatic events.
"Fear is a funny thing," said Ted Abel, a fear
researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. "One
needs enough of it, but not too much of it."
About 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety
disorders, according to the National Institute of
Mental Health. A Harvard Medical School study
estimated the annual cost to the U.S. economy in
1999 at roughly $42 billion.
"There's a trick to panic attack," said David
Carbonell, a Chicago psychologist specializing in
treating anxiety disorders. "You're experiencing this
powerful discomfort but you're getting tricked into
treating it like danger.
These days, thanks to counseling, self-study, calming
exercises and introspection [one can] stop or at least
minimize those attacks early on.
Scientists figure they can improve that feardampening process by learning how fear runs through
the brain and body.
The amygdala isn't responsible for all of people's fear
response, but it's like the burglar alarm that connects
to everything else, said New York University
psychology and neural science professor Elizabeth
Phelps.
Emory University psychiatry and psychology
professor Michael Davis found that a certain
chemical reaction in the amygdala is crucial in the
way mice and people learn to overcome fear. When
that reaction is deactivated in mice, they never learn
to counter their fears.
Scientists found D-cycloserine, a drug already used to
fight hard-to-treat tuberculosis, strengthens that good
chemical reaction in mice. Working in combination
with therapy, it seems to do the same in people. It was
first shown effective with people who have a fear of
heights. It also worked in tests with other types of
fear, and it's now being studied in survivors of the
World Trade Center attacks and the Iraq war.
Behavioral component
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Emotion involves:
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characteristic overt expressions (behavioral)
Facial Feedback Hypothesis
States that muscular feedback
from facial expressions helps
us to recognize our own
emotions.
Studies show that when asked
to mimic facial expressions of
various emotions, participants
report experiencing those
emotions to some degree.
Culture and Emotion
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Similarities across
cultures
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Recognition of facial
expressions
Use same evaluative
dimensions
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Fair vs. not fair
Triggered by same
events
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Risky situations lead to
fear
Culture and Emotion
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Differences across cultures
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Emotional categorization
Display rules
Theories of Emotional Experience
Evolutionary Theories of Emotion
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Emotions are innate
reactions to stimuli
Should be recognized
without much cognitive
effort (adaptive)
Originate in subcortical
brain structures that
evolved before cortex
Humans have a small
number of fundamental
emotions.
Happiness
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Common sense notions incorrect
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People are generally happy
Income, age, parenthood,
intelligence, and attractiveness
largely uncorrelated with
happiness
Physical health, good social
relationships, religious faith, and
culture modestly correlated with
happiness
Love, marriage, work
satisfaction, and personality
strongly correlated with
happiness
Subjective rather than objective
reality important
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