Emotion

Chapter 11
Emotion
 Defining Emotion
 Elements of Emotion 1: The Body
 Elements of Emotion 2: The Mind
 Elements of Emotion 3: The Culture
 Putting the Elements together: Emotion and
Gender

Emotion
 A state of arousal involving facial and body
changes, brain activation, cognitive
appraisals, subjective feelings, and
tendencies toward action, all shaped by
cultural rules.
Elements of Emotion 1: The Body
 Primary and secondary emotions
 The face of emotion
 The brain and emotion
 Hormones and emotion
 Detecting emotions: Does the body lie?

Elements of Emotion 1: The Body
 Primary emotions
 Emotions considered to be universal and biologically
based. They generally include fear, anger, sadness,
joy, surprise, disgust, and contempt.
 Secondary emotion
 Emotions that develop with cognitive maturity and
vary across individuals and cultures.
 Three biological areas of emotion are
 facial expressions,
 brain regions and circuits, and
 autonomic nervous system.

Universal Expressions of Emotion
 Facial expressions for primary emotions are
universal.
 Even members of remote cultures can recognize
facial expressions in people who are foreign to
them.
 Facial feedback
 Process by which the facial muscles send messages to
the brain about the basic emotion being expressed.
 Infants are able to read parental expressions.
 Facial expression can generate same expressions in
others, creating mood contagion.
The Face of Anger
 Anger is universally
recognized by
geometric patterns on
the face.
 In each pair, the left
form seems angrier
than the right form.
Facial Expressions in Social Context
 Across and within cultures, agreement often
varies on which emotion a particular facial
expression is revealing.
 People don’t usually express their emotion in
facial expressions unless others are around.
 Facial expressions convey different meanings
depending on their circumstances.
 People often use facial expressions to lie about
their feelings as well as to express them.
The Brain and Emotion
 The amygdala
 Responsible for assessing threat.
 Damage to the amygdala results in abnormality to
process fear.
 Left prefrontal cortex
 Involved in motivation to approach others.
 Damage to this area results in loss of joy.
 Right prefrontal cortex
 Involved in withdrawal and escape.
 Damage to the area results in excessive mania and
euphoria.
Hormones and Emotion
 When experiencing an intense emotion, 2
hormones are released.
 Epinephrine
 Norepinephrine
 Results in increased alertness and arousal.
 At high levels, it can create the sensation of
being out of control emotionally.
The Autonomic Nervous System
Detecting Emotions: Does the Body Lie?
 Polygraph testing
relies on autonomic
nervous system arousal.
 Typical measures:
 Galvanic Skin Response
 Pulse, blood pressure
 Breathing
 Fidgeting
Polygraph Tests
 Empirical support is weak
and conflicting.
 Test is inadmissible in most
courts.
 It is illegal to use for most
job screening.
 Many government agencies
continue to use for
screening.
Elements of Emotion 2: The Mind
 How thoughts create emotions
 The two factor theory of emotion.
 Attributions and emotions.
 Cognitions and emotional complexity
Two-factor Theory of Emotion
 Physiological arousal
 Sweaty palms
 Increased heart rate
 rapid breathing
 Cognitive Label
 Attribute source of
arousal to a cause
 To have an emotion,
both factors are
required
Attributions and Emotions
 Perceptions and attributions are involved in
emotions.
 How one reacts to an event depends on
how he or she explains it.
 For example, how one reacts to being ignored
or winning the silver instead of the gold
medal.
 Philosophy of life is also influential.
Cognitions and Emotional
Complexity
 Cognitions, and therefore, emotions,
become more complex as a child’s cerebral
cortex matures.
 Self-conscious emotions, such as shame and
guilt, do not occur until after infancy, due to
the emergence of a sense of self and others.
 People can learn how their thinking affects
their emotions and can change their
thinking accordingly.
Elements of Emotion 3: The
Culture
 Culture and emotional variation
 The rules of emotional regulation
 Display rules
 Body language
 Emotion work
Culture and Emotional Variation
 Culture determines what people feel angry, sad,
lonely, happy, ashamed or disgusted about.
 Some cultures have words for specific emotions
unknown to other cultures.
 Ex. Schadenfreude
 Some cultures don’t have words for emotions that
seem universal to others.
 Tahitian and sadness
 Differences in secondary emotions appear to be
reflected in differences in languages.
The Rules of Emotional Regulation
 Display Rules
 When, where, and how emotions are to be expressed
or when they should be squelched.
 Body Language
 The nonverbal signals of body movement, posture
and gaze that people constantly express.
 Emotion Work
 Acting out an emotion we do not feel or trying to
create the right emotion for the occasion.
Putting it all together: Emotion
and Gender
 Physiology and intensity
 Sensitivity to other people’s emotions
 Cognitions
 Expressiveness
 Factors which affect expressiveness
 Emotion work


Putting the Elements Together:
Emotion and Gender
 Physiology and intensity
 Women recall emotional events more
intensely and vividly than do men.
 Men experience emotional events more
intensely than do women.
 Conflict is physiologically more upsetting for
men than women.
Possible reasons for differences
in physiology and intensity.
 Males autonomic nervous system is more reactive
than females.
 Men are more likely to rehearse angry thoughts
which maintains anger.
 Women are more likely to ruminate which
maintains depression.

Sensitivity to Other People’s Emotions
 Factors which influence one’s ability to
“read” emotional signals:
 The sex of the sender and receiver.
 How well the sender and receiver know each
other.
 How expressive the sender is.
 Who has the power.
 Stereotypes and expectations.
Cognitions
 Men and women appear to differ in the
types of every day events that provoke their
anger.
 Women become angry over issues related
to their partners disregard.
 Men become angry over damage to
property or problems with strangers.
Expressiveness
 In North America women:
 Smile more than men.
 Gaze at listeners more.
 Have more emotionally expressive faces.
 Use more expressive body movements.
 Touch others more.
 Acknowledge weakness and emotions more.
 Compared to women, men only express
anger to strangers more.
Factors Influencing Emotional
Expressiveness
 Gender roles
 Cultural norms
 The specific situation
Emotion Work and Gender
 Women work hard at appearing warm,
happy and making sure others are happy.
 Men work hard at persuading others they
are stern, aggressive and unemotional.
 Why?
 Gender roles and status.