Emotion

Human Emotion: Notes and Activities, What do you Know About Your Own Emotions?
1. Define emotion. 2. Is emotion the same as feeling? Explain your answer. 3. Quickly list as many different emotions as you can in a one-minute period.

4.On the line below place five emotions from above on a scale from weakest (least effecting and shortest lived) to strongest (most effecting and longest lived) Weakest Stronger Strongest

5.. What specific situations evoke which specific emotions? Explore the five on the left by writing the emotions evoked on the right. Someone’s negative criticism Winning an award Loud Explosions Giving a speech Waiter skips you on wait list 6. Estimate the longest period of continuous time you have been "under the spell" of one specific emotion. Also estimate the average amount of time that individuals are affected by a singular emotion. 7. What different parts of your body (exterior and interior) are affected by your various emotions? 8. List three irrational fears from which you personally suffer. (If you can trace the fear back to a specific event, it is not irrational) 9. What emotions do you believe your (or someone else’s) dog or cat displays? What is your proof? 10. Recall three decisions you made today before this class. Would they have been the same if emotions were not involved?

List them and explain how the absence of emotional evaluation would have changed either the process or the outcome of your debate?

11. What is a zombie and why are they scary? 12. Do emotions serve any practical purpose? For Humans? For animals? Do dogs and cats react the same way to stimuli 13. Are emotions universal or specific to a given culture? Provide an example. Darwin believed so. How would you test this? How did Darwin test this? 14. Would you become angry or fearful when you learn that someone has stolen your morning paper? What if you never read the paper? What if they stole it every morning for two weeks and had left threatening messages in your mailbox? 15. Write down a situation or event to which you, a family member, or friend had a totally opposite reaction. Can you explain the difference? 16. Chart the specific bodily and mental reactions you have had during or immediately after you mistakenly hit your thumb with a hammer 17. What is a pure emotion? Are some emotions faked? Why? 18. What causes tears? 19. Look at the pictures below. What emotion are they mirroring? Notice the reaction of the muscles and eyes for each. Were any faces hard to read? Why?

A. _______________B. ________________ C. ______________ D. _________________E_______________F.___________

20. Those of you who are not native-born, are there emotions that Americans feel free to express that your family doesn’t? In an opposite sense, what do American’s hide that your culture freely expresses? 21. You are taking an on-line test, and the screen flashes immediate reinforcement (positive or negative) after each question answered. Would you be more or less likely to physically display emotion if others (strangers) were taking the same test within the room? Explain. 22. Is it possible to induce emotions by injecting people with adrenaline? Guess. 23. Would the ability to feel intense emotions be effected by spinal cord injury? By brain injury? If such an effect occurred in either event, would the change be entirely physical, psychological, or both? 24. Are children taught emotions or are they inborn? 25. Is it possible to control emotions? Can you by controlling outward manifestations of inner emotions (heart rate, perspiration, breathing) alter or even stop the emotional state? Have you ever personally achieved this? Explain. 26. Why do we say we "fell in love" rather than "climbed in love"? 27. We see love as a passion separate from reason. To some extent we wish not to take responsibility for the emotion or our related acts. 28. Do the individual words, terms, or phrases we apply to sex in our culture effect us? Do you think these terms differ in other cultures? 29. Are there foreign words for emotional states that cannot be translated into English? Provide an example and explain the difficulty. 30. Can new emotions come into being as a culture changes? 31. When is it necessary to deaden emotion or even completely stifle it for one’s own well-being or even survival? 32. If you had to reduce all emotions to four basic feelings, what would they be? If you had to reduce it to the one most necessary for life which one would you choose? 33. What emotions are encouraged or stifled amongst genders? Is this universal and is this healthy or unhealthy? 34. Can you read an old person’s face as a map of their experience and life long temperament? Is so, for what signs would you look?

35. React to Averill’s definition of love: "An interpretation that we place on our behavior when it conforms to a socially constructed ideal. For example: "If X is happening, I must be in love." 36. According to research, what is the most frequently experienced positive emotion? Guess. 37. On a scale of 1 to 10 (ten being the most emotional) how much of the act of eating for you is an emotional response? Explain *** The answers to these questions can be found in the Science of Emotion text by Randolph Cornelius listed below.

Helpful Books and Articles on Emotion
I would highly recommend the text The Science of Emotion by Randolph Cornelius The work of Dr. Gardner on multiple intelligences is also valuable as is the work by Dr. Daniel Goleman on emotional intelligence. *** Most importantly, peruse neuroscientist Antonio Damasio's work on the role of emotion vs. reason. Read a review of Damasio's acclaimed book Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain

Antonio Damasio DESCARTES' ERROR Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain
Book review by Anthony Campbell. Copyright ©; Anthony Campbell (1999).

There's a tendency for writers on the mind/brain problem to concentrate on reasoning and the logical faculty and to regard the emotions as a rather regrettable complication, of no real importance to our understanding of how our minds work. And even if they do accord importance to emotion, they often seem to regard it as something separate from intellectual activity. (For understandable reasons this is particularly true of those who favour the view that the brain is more or less a computer.) This is "Descarte's error", according to Damasio. He is a neurologist who has become convinced, by his observation of patients with brain damage, that reason alone is insufficient even for the efficient operation of the intellect. Damage to certain brain areas, notably the prefrontal cortex, can leave the patient apparently intellectually unimpaired but incapable of making complex decisions. Such a patient, for example, may understand the factors involved in conducting his business but may nevertheless keep reaching decisions that are manifestly disastrous. The cold robotic decision-making that, for many science fiction writers, characterizes the mental processes of super-computers or Star trek's Mr Spock is really typical of brain-damaged individuals; it doesn't work well in the real world. In other words, we need our emotional biases in order for our complicated decision-making to work. The archetypal instance of the effects of prefrontal damage is Phineas Gage. In 1848, in New England, Gage suffered an injury in which a tamping rod he was using to compress a blasting charge was blown through his skull by an explosion. It destroyed much of the front part of his brain but he survived and, at first, appeared to be largely unaffected. However, his personality was profoundly altered; from being a responsible foreman he became feckless and irresponsible, unable to hold down a job for any

length of time. Damasio describes this case in detail and also discusses other broadly similar cases of which he has personal experience. He gives details of how his patients performed on mental tests and how their lives were affected. Like Gage, these patients were apparently more or less intact intellectually but their ability to function as complete human beings was subtly but profoundly impaired. For example, one of these patients, called Elliot, had a brain tumour successfully removed but his frontal lobes were inevitably damaged during the operation. Although his intelligence was unaffected, he could no longer carry on his professional work. He had to be prompted to go to work, and when he got there he might start on one task and persist with it even when it was time to change to something else, or he might spend the whole day pondering how to classify a paper he had just read. Thus he could manage isolated tasks well but couldn't integrate them into a wider frame of reference. He lost his job, became involved in unwise financial speculations, and ended up bankrupt. In spite of being confronted with the diastrous consequences of his decisions, he was unable to learn from them. So what is wrong with patients like these? What is missing? The answer, according to Damasio, is emotional biasing. In people with normal brains, their decisions are "weighted" by emotions and this enables them to take decisions quickly according to how they feel. Patients with damaged prefrontal lobes, in contrast, are robot-like. He illustrates this vividly by means of an anecdote. A patient with this kind of brain damage had driven to the hospital on icy roads; he recounted his experiences en route logically and dispassionately, describing how he had avoided accidents by calmly applying the rules for driving on ice, while others about him were panicking and skidding by slamming on the brakes. Yet when, next day, he had to decide between two dates for his next appointment, he spent half an hour listing the advantages and disadvantages for each of the proposed dates, until at last, in desperation, Damasio told him which date to come, whereupon the man thanked him, put away his diary, and left. This episode, Damasio says, illustrates the limits of pure reason in making decisions. Descartes' famous "cogito" -- I think, therefore I am" -- is profoundly mistaken, according to Damasio. Thinking is a late evolutionary development. Long before there was thought, there was feeling; and we are still primarily feeling organisms. The same mistaken idea underlies the currently fashionable view that mind is a software program embodied in a brain. Those cognitive scientists who talk in this way are unconsciously falling into dualism--something they would no doubt fervently deny if it were suggested to them! There are important implications here for medicine, which Damasio touches on in a postscript. Much of the book deals with the brain, but Damasio makes the important point that it is not only the brain that we need to focus on; feeling includes the body as a whole. He uses the metaphor of a landscape to describe this idea. The viscera (heart, lungs, gut) and the muscles are the components of this landscape, and a "feeling" is a momentary view of part of that landscape. These feelings are totally essential to the quality of being human. "Were it not for the possibility of sensing body states that are inherently ordained to be painful or pleasurable, there would be no suffering or bliss, no longing or mercy, no tragedy or glory in the human condition." This is a beautifully written book that is saying something profound and important. It should be high on the reading list of anyone who is interested in mind-brain questions or psychology and should also, I suggest, be read by doctors and members of other professions involved in dealing with patients; they will learn a lot from it.

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