Why do we feel emotions?
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What is the James Lange theory?
- James & Lange (1922)
- Physiological arousal instigates the experience of emotion.
- Instead of feeling an emotion and subsequent physiological (bodily) response, the theory proposes that the physiological change is primary, and emotion is then experienced when the brain reacts to the information received via the body's nervous system
What is the Canon-Bard theory?
- Emotional expression results from the function of hypothalamic structures, and emotional feeling results from stimulations of the dorsal thalamus.
- The physiological changes and subjective feeling of an emotion in response to a stimulus are separate and independent; arousal does not have to occur before the emotion
- Bodies have delayed responses to embarrassing situations (takes around 15 seconds for cheeks to flush)
- Not enough physiological responses to account for the entirety of our emotional range
- We can have physiological responses similar to those associated with emotions without feeling them
What is the two factor theory?
- Schacter & Singer (1962)
- Event occurs, body responds, the brain notices the stimuli and the response and dictates the emotional response as the situation has been interpreted in a certain way
What is the suproxin study?
- P's told they were doing a study on vision and asked if they could be injected with a vitamin compoind called suproxin
- Actually injected with adrenaline or placebo
- Adrenaline leads to physiological response
- Either told the drug has some side effects, not told about them, or told about non connected effects
- Put in a room to do a questionnaire in a room with a stooge
- Stooge either euphoric or very frustrated and negative
- Observed whether they acted euphoric or angry and collected a self report on mood
- Those with the euphoric stooge misattributed the adrenaline effects with euphoria and vice versa for the anger condition when not told about the side effects (didn't happen if they were told)
- Schacter & Wheeler (1962)
- Same design as before but either given adrenaline or a tranquilliser
- Watched slapstick comedy
- Attributed physiological response to the funniness of the film
What is the suspension bridge study?
- Dutton & Aron (1974)
- As (male) p's crossed a suspension bridge they are approached by a hot female researcher asking them to write a creative story after looking at a picture of a woman
- Given the experimenter's number and told to call her if they need anything
- Control bridge was not a scary bridge and the control stooge was male
- Way more calls on the dangerous bridge and more sexual imagery in the essays
- Physiological arousal due to fear is misattributed to attraction to the researcher
What is the universal facial expression theory?
- Ekman (1970)
- Theorised that regardless of culture, fundamental facial expressions such as fear, anger, contempt, surprise, disgust and happiness are the same
- Asked p's from different countries such as Brazil, Japan and the US to decide what emotion a number of faces were showing
- Over 50% agreement for everything, 100% in some cases
- Visited tribesmen in New Guinea and asked them to do the facial response to certain situations related to our emotions
- Same responses as westerner despite living in a pre-cultural society
- Russell (1994)- different researchers found differing levels of concensus (40-70%, all above chance though)
How can olympians shed light on facial expressions?
- Matsumoto & Willingham (2009)
- Looked at the facial expressions of the congenitally blind at the special olympics and the other olympics
- Found no differences in the facial response for those who were blind and those who became blind later or had regular vision
What is a Duchenne smile?
- Duchenne -eye muscles cannot be controlled by the majority of people, and occur in genuine happiness
- Matsumoto & Willingham (2009), silver medalists make the most non-Duchenne smiles
What is the facial feedback hypothesis?
- One's facial feedback helps to determine the intensity of emotional response to situations
- Strack et al (1988)
- Put pen in mouth to simulate smiles and watched cartoons
- Those simulating the smile rated the cartoons as funnier
Can smiling make things better?
- Yes- Kraft & Pressman (2012)
- Chopsticks either forcing neutral, social or Duchenne smiles
- Asked to perform a difficult task, stressing people out or held hand in freezing water
- Those who were smiling returned to normal after stress or arousal faster
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