Unit VIIIB - Emotions, Stress, &Health
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Notes – (p. 366-371):

  • Motivated behavior is often driven by powerful emotions that color and sometimes disrupt our lives.
Theories of Emotion:
  • Emotions are comprised of of (1)physiological arousal (heart pounding), (2) expressive behaviors (quickened pace), and (3) consciously experienced thoughts (is this a kidnapping?) and feelings (a sense of fear, and later joy)
  • There are two controversies over the interplay of our physiology,expressions, and experience in emotions:
    • o Does your physiological arousal precede or follow your emotional experience?
    • o Does cognition always precede emotion?
    • Common sense tells most of us that we cry because we are sad,lash out because we are angry, tremble because we are afraid.
      • o First comes conscious awareness,then the physiological trimmings.
        • § William James and Carl Lange: your feeling of fear is followed by your body’s response—the James-Lange Theory: our experience of emotion is our awareness of our physiological responses to emotion-arousing stimuli.
  • o Walter cannon believed this to be implausible. He thought that the body’s responses were not distinct enough to evoke the different emotions.
    • § Along with Philip Bard, concluded that our physiological arousal and our emotional experience occur simultaneously:The emotion-triggering stimulus is routed simultaneously to the brain’s cortex, causing the subjective awareness of emotion, and to the sympathetic nervous system, causing the body’s arousal.
      • Cannon- Bard Theory maintains that your heart begins pounding as you experience fear; one does not cause the other. Our physiological response and experienced emotion are separate.
  • o Stanley Schachter and Jerome Singer(1962) proposed a third theory: that our physiology and our cognitions—perceptions, memories, and interpretations—together create emotion.
    • § Two-factor theory: emotions consist of physical arousal and cognitive label.
    • § Presumed that experience of emotion stems from our awareness of our body’s arousal.

Embodied Emotion:
Emotions and the Autonomic Nervous System:
  • In a crisis, your autonomic nervous system (ANS) that mobilizes your body for action and calms it when the crisis passes. Without any conscious effort, your body’s response to danger is coordinated and adaptive.
    • o The sympathetic division of the ANS directs adrenal glands to release the stress hormones epinephrine(adrenaline) and norepinephrine(noradrenaline)
      • § Your liver pours extra sugar into your bloodstream. To help burn the sugar, your respiration increases to supply needed oxygen. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase. Your digestion slows, diverting blood from your internal organs to your muscles. With blood sugar driven into the large muscles,running becomes easier. Your pupils dilate, letting in more light. To cool your stirred-up body, you perspire. If wounded, your blood would clot more quickly.
  • o After the crisis, the parasympathetic division comes into play and clams the body.
    • § neural centers inhibit further release of stress hormones, but those already in your bloodstream will linger awhile, so arousal diminishes gradually.
  • o In many situations, arousal is adaptive.
    • § Too little arousal (like sleep) can be disruptive, and prolonged high arousal can tax the body.
Physiological Similarities Among Specific Emotions:
  • Discerning physiological differences among fear, anger, and sexual arousal is difficult.
    • o Different emotions do not have sharply distinct biological signatures.
Physiological Differences among Specific Emotions:
  • Researchers have found some real,though subtle, physiological distinctions among the emotions.
    • othe finger temperatures and hormone secretions that accompany fear and rage do sometimes differ
    • oThough fear and joy can prompt similar increased heart rate,they stimulate different facial muscles.
      • §During fear, brow muscles tense.
      • §During joy, muscles in the cheeks and under the eyes pull into a smile
      • The amygdala is the emotional control center in the brain’s limbic system.
      • Brain scans and EEG recordings show that emotions also activate different areas of the brain’s cortex, with some tendency for negative emotions to be linked to the right hemisphere and positive emotions to the left.
      • Positive moods tend to trigger more left frontal lobe activity.
        • othe more a person’s baseline frontal lobe activity tilts left, or is made to tilt left by perceptual activity, the more upbeat the person typically is.
          • §Brain injury can also tilt activity to the left.
  • oThe left frontal lobe’s rich supply of dopamine receptors may help explain why a peppy left hemisphere predicts a perky personality. A neural pathway that increases dopamine levels runs from the frontal lobes to a nearby cluster of neurons, the nucleus accumbens.

Notes (p. 371-377):
Cognition and Emotion:
  • What is the connection between what we think and how we feel? Can we experience emotion apart from thinking, or do we become what we think?
Cognition Can Define Emotion:
  • Sometimes our arousal response to one event spills over into our response to the next event.
    • o Known as the spillover effect
    • o To find out whether this spillover effect exists,Stanley Schachter and Jerome Singer (1962) aroused college men with injections of the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline).
      • § Schachter and Singer’s volunteers felt little emotion—because they attributed their arousal to the drug.
      • § When told that the injection would produce no effects, another group “caught” the apparent emotion of the person they were with, becoming happy if the accomplice is acting euphoric,and testy if the accomplice is acting irritated.
        • The Schachter-Singer two-factor theory predicts:arousal + label = emotion.
          • o Emotional arousal may not be as undifferentiated as Schachter and Singer believed, but arousal from emotions as diverse as anger, fear, and sexual excitement can indeed spill from one emotion to another. The point to remember: Arousal fuels emotion; cognition channels it.

Cognition Does not Always Precede Emotion:
  • Robert Zajonc(1980, 1984a) has contended that we actually have many emotional reactions apart from, or even before, our interpretations of a situation.
    • o A subliminally flashed stimulus,such as a smiling or angry face or a disgusting scene, can also prime a mood or specific emotion and lead us to feel better or worse about a follow-up stimulus.
      • § In one set of experiments, thirsty people were given a fruit-flavored drink after viewing a subliminally flashed (thus unperceived) face. Those exposed to a happy face drank about 50 percent more than those exposed to a neutral face. Those flashed an angry face drank substantially less.
  • o Neuroscience research helps us understand these surprising findings.
    • § Like speedy reflexes that operate apart from the brain’s thinking cortex,some emotions take the “low road,” as Joseph LeDoux (2002) calls it, via neural pathways that bypass the cortex (which offers the alternative “high road” pathway).
      • One low-road pathway runs from the eye or ear via the thalamus to the amygdala,bypassing the cortex.
        • o This shortcut enables our greased-lightning emotional response before our intellect intervenes.So speedy is the amygdala reaction that we may be unaware of what’s transpired.
          • § The amygdala sends more neural projections up to the cortex than it receives back. This makes it easier for our feelings to hijack our thinking than for our thinking to rule our feelings, noted LeDoux and Jorge Armony.
  • o Richard Lazarus(1991, 1998) conceded that our brains process and react to vast amounts of information without our conscious awareness, and he willingly granted that some emotional responses do not require conscious thinking.
    • § Much of our emotional life operates via the automatic, effortless, speedy low road, but even instantaneously felt emotions require some sort of cognitive appraisalof the situation.
      • The appraisal may be effortless and we may not be conscious of it,but it is still a mental function. To know whether something is good or bad, the brain must have some idea of what it is
        • o Emotions arise when we appraise an event as beneficial or harmful to our well-being, whether we truly know it is or not.
  • o Some emotional responses, especially simple likes, dislikes, and fears—involve no conscious thinking.
  • o The emotional brain even influences people’s political decisions, leading many to vote for candidates they automatically like over a candidate expressing positions more like their own.
  • o Like other emotions, our feelings about politics are,as Lazarus, Schachter, and Singer predicted, greatly influenced by our memories, expectations, and interpretations.
    • § Highly emotional people are intense partly because of their interpretations. They may personalize events as being somehow directed at them, and they may generalize their experiences by blowing single incidents out of proportion

Notes (p.377-384)

Expressed Emotion:
  • There’s a more simple method of deciphering people’s emotions: We read their bodies, listen to their tone of voice, and study their faces. People’s expressive behavior reveals their emotion.
Detecting Emotion:
  • We can communicate nonverbally as well as verbally.
    • o With a gaze,an averted glance, or a stare we can communicate intimacy, submission, or dominance.
      • § Among those passionately in love,gazing into each other’s eyes is typically prolonged and mutual.
        • Joan Kellerman, James Lewis, and James Laird (1989) wondered if intimate gazes would stir such feelings between strangers. To find out, they asked unacquainted male-female pairs to gaze intently for two minutes either at each other’s hands or into each other’s eyes. After separating, the eye gazers reported feeling a tingle of attraction and affection.
  • o Most of us are good enough at reading nonverbal cues to decipher the emotions in an old silent film.
  • o We are especially good at detecting threats.
    • § Even when hearing emotions conveyed in another language, people most readily detect anger
  • o Experience can sensitize us to particular emotions,as shown by experiments using a series of facesthat morphed from fear (or sadness) to anger.
    • § Viewing such faces,physically abused children are much quicker than other children to spot the signals of anger.
      • Shown a face that is 60 percent fear and 40 percent anger, they are as likely to perceive anger as fear.
  • o Hard-to-control facial muscles reveal signs of emotions you may be trying to conceal.
    • § Ex.: Lifting just the inner part of your eyebrows, which few people do consciously, reveals distress or worry.
  • o One experiment found that a glimpse of a face for even one-tenth of a second was enough for people to judge someone’s trustworthiness.
    • § When researchers blur faces or hide them in distracting information,people still display remarkable skill at recognizing distinct emotions
      • Exposing different facial parts shows the eyes and mouth to be most revealing, with fear and anger read mostly from the eyes, and happiness from the mouth
  • o Despite our brain’s emotion-detecting skill,we find it difficult to detect deceiving expressions.
    • § People worldwide believe that one telltale sign of lying is averting one’s gaze.
      • In one digest of 206 studies of discerning truth from lies,people were just 54 percent accurate, barely better than a coin toss.
        • o Contrary to claims that some experts can spot lies, the available research indicates that virtually no one beats chance by much
  • o Some are more sensitive than others to physical cues.
    • § Robert Rosenthal,Judith Hall, and their colleagues (1979) discovered this by showing hundreds of people brief film clips of portions of a person’s emotionally expressive face or body, sometimes accompanied by a garbled voice.
      • Introverts tend to excel at reading others’ emotions, although extraverts are generally easier to read.
  • o Gestures,facial expressions, and tones of voice are all absent in electronic communication.
    • § E-mail sometimes includes sideways emoticons, such as ;-)for a knowing wink and :-( for a frown.
    • § Text messages,e-mail, tweets, and non-video Internet chats and posts otherwise lack nonverbal cues to status, personality, and age.
      • Judge someone based solely on words.
      • Easy to misread/ misinterpret texts or e-mails,where the absence of expressive e-motion can make for ambiguous emotion.
        • o Lack vocal nuances.
Gender, Emotion, and Nonverbal Behavior:
  • Women’s nonverbal sensitivity to nonverbal cues gives them an edge in spotting lies.
  • Women’s nonverbal sensitivity helps explain their greater emotional literacy.
  • Women’s skill at decoding others’ emotions may also contribute to their greater emotional responsiveness in both positive and negative situations.
  • One exception:Anger strikes most people as a more masculine emotion.
    • o Researchers found that people are quicker to see anger on men’s faces, and also picture an angry man, when asked to picture someone angry. And if a gender-neutral face is made to look angry, most people perceive it as male. If smiling, it’s more likely to be perceived as female.
    • When surveyed,women are far more likely than men to describe themselves as empathic.
      • o Empathy: ability to identify with others and imagine what it must be like to walk in their shoes.
        • § Women are far more likely to express empathy; they are more likely to cry and report distress when seeing someone in distress.
Culture and Emotional Expression:
  • The meaning of gestures varies with the culture.
    • o Otto Klineberg (1938) observed that in Chinese literature people clapped their hands to express worry or disappointment, laughed a great “Ho-Ho” to express anger, and stuck out their tongues to show surprise.
    • o The North American “thumbs up” and “A-OK” signs are considered insults in certain other cultures.
    • Do facial expressions also have different meanings in different cultures?!
      • o Two investigative teams, one led by Paul Ekman,Wallace Friesen,and others (1975, 1987, 1994), the other by Carroll Izard (1977, 1994)—showed photographs of various facial expressions to people in different parts of the world and asked them to guess the emotion.
        • § A smile’s a smile the world around.The same is true for anger, and to a lesser extent the other basic expressions.
          • There is no culture where people frown when they are happy.
          • Facial expressions do contain some nonverbal accents that provide clues to one’s culture.
            • o It is not surprising that data from 182 studies show slightly enhanced accuracy when people judge emotions from their own culture.
            • Children’s facial expressions, even those of blind children who have never seen a face, are also universal.
              • o People blind from birth spontaneously exhibit the common facial expressions associated with such emotions as joy, sadness, fear, and anger.
              • Darwin speculated that in prehistoric times,before our ancestors communicated in words, their ability to convey threats, greetings, and submission with facial expressions helped them survive.
                • o This is why all humans express the basic emotions with similar facial expressions.
                • Smiles, too, are social phenomena as well as emotional reflexes.
                • It has been adaptive for us to interpret faces in particular contexts.
                  • o People judge an angry face set in a frightening situation as afraid. They judge a fearful face set in a painful situation as pained.
                  • Although cultures share a universal facial language for basic emotions,they differ in how much emotion they express.
                    • o Cultures that encourage individuality, as in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and North America, display mostly visible emotions.
                    • o In Chinese culture, which encourages people to adjust to others, personal emotions are less visibly displayed.
                    • Eyes convey emotion in many ways.
                      • o In Japan, people typically look down, which displays respect for others.
                      • o Canadians typically look up.
                      • Cultural differences also exist within nations.
                        • o The Irish and their Irish-American descendants tend to be more expressive than Scandinavians and their Scandinavian-American descendants.
                          • § Like most psychological events, emotion is best understood not only as a biological and cognitive phenomenon, but also as a social-cultural phenomenon.

The Effects of Facial Expressions:
  • William James believes that we can control emotions by going “through the outward movements” of any emotion we want to experience.“To feel cheerful,” he advised, “sit up cheerfully, look around cheerfully, and act as if cheerfulness were already there.”
    • o Expressions not only communicate emotion, they also amplify and regulate it.
    • o Darwin, in his 1872 book,The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, contended that “the free expression by outward signs of an emotion intensifies it. . . . He who gives way to violent gestures will increase his rage.”
      • § People instructed to mold their faces in ways that express other basic emotions also experienced those emotions.
        • In the absence of competing emotions,this facial feedback effect is subtle yet detectable.
          • o Facial Feedback:the effect of facial expressions on experienced emotions, as when a facial expression of anger or happiness intensifies feelings of anger or happiness.
  • o Two studies demonstrate facial feedback:
    • § (1) Tiffany Ito and her colleagues(2006) used the pen-in-the-teeth procedure to induce happiness while people viewed pictures of faces. If they had viewed Black rather than White faces, they later, on an Implicit Attitude Test, exhibited lessened racial bias against Blacks. The good feeling had spread by association.
    • § (2) Botox injections were used to paralyze the frowning muscles of 10 depressed patients. Two months after the treatment, 9 of the 10 non-frowning patients were no longer depressed.
  • o Sara Snodgrass and her associates (1986) observed the behavior feedback phenomenon with walking.
  • o One small way to become more empathic is to let your own face mimic another person’s expression.
    • § Acting as another acts helps us feel what another feels.
    • § Blocking people’s natural mimicry, for example, by having them bite a pencil with their teeth, impairs their ability to recognize others’ emotions.

Activity 1: Nonverbal Gestures:


Thumbs Up:
  • Description of behavior: a common hand gesture achieved by a closed fist held with the thumb extended upward
  • What meaning do North Americans assign this behavior?: sign of approval
  • Would tourists from other countries behave similarily? No
Phone Call:
  • Description of behavior: Thumb and pinky outstretched, other fingers tight against palm. Thumb to ear and pinky to mouth as though they were a telephone receiver.
  • What meaning do North Americans assign this behavior?: Used to say, "I'll call you," or may be used to request a future telephone conversation or to tell someone of a call.
  • Would tourists from other countries behave similarily? Yes
Extending an Apple with Left Hand:
  • Description of behavior: extending an apple with left hand with arm out
  • What meaning do North Americans assign this behavior?: have an apple, do you want some?
  • Would tourists from other countries behave similarily? No
Looking Down:
  • Description of behavior: looking down, turning away
  • What meaning do North Americans assign this behavior?: disbelief, lack of confidence in words, shyness, lying
  • Would tourists from other countries behave similarily? No, for some cultures, this is a sign of respect.
Shaking head “no” :
  • Description of behavior: shaking of head
  • What meaning do North Americans assign this behavior?: implies “no”
  • Would tourists from other countries behave similarily? No
“ok” sign:
  • Description of behavior: made by connecting the thumb and forefinger in a circle and holding the other fingers straight.
  • What meaning do North Americans assign this behavior?: may signal the word okay; especially as a diving signal
  • Would tourists from other countries behave similarily? No, the same gesture is offensive in parts of southern Europe and South America.

Notes (p. 384-389):

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Experienced Emotion:
  • How many emotions are there?
    • o Carroll Izard (1977) isolated 10 basic emotions (joy, interest-excitement, surprise, sadness, anger, disgust,contempt, fear, shame, and guilt), most of which are present in infancy.
    • o Jessica Tracey and Richard Robins (2004) believe that pride is also a distinct emotion, signaled by a small smile, head slightly tilted back,and an open posture.
    • o Phillip Shaver and his colleagues(1996) believe that love, too, may be a basic emotion.
      • § Izard has argued that other emotions are combinations of these 10,with love, for example, being a mixture of joy and interest-excitement.
        • The ingredients of emotion include not only physiology and expressive behavior but also our conscious experience.
          • o Many place emphasis on emotional experience along two dimensions:
            • § pleasant/positive-versus-unpleasant/negative valence, and low-versus-high arousal
              • On the valence and arousal dimensions, terrified is more frightened (more unpleasant and aroused) than afraid, enraged is angrier than angry, delighted is happier than happy.

Fear:
  • Fear can be detrimental, tormenting us, prevent us from sleeping, and even preoccupy our thoughts.
    • o People can literally be scared to death.
    • o Fear can also be contagious.
    • o Fear is adaptive; it serves as an alarm system that prepares our bodies to flee from danger.
      • § Fear of real or imagined enemies binds people together as families, tribes, and nations.
      • § Fear of injury protects us from harm.
      • § Fear of punishment or retaliation restrains our harming one another.
  • o Fear helps us focus on a problem and rehearse coping strategies.
  • o Fearful expressions improve peripheral vision and speed eye movements, thus boosting sensory input.
Learning Fear:
  • Through conditioning, people learn to associate the fear of a certain object with an underlying fear.
    • o When infants begin to crawl, they learn from their falls and near-falls—and become increasingly afraid of heights.
    • Learning by observation extends the list of fears.
      • o Susan Mineka(1985, 2002) sought to explain why nearly all monkeys reared in the wild fear snakes, yet lab-reared monkeys do not.
        • § To find out,Mineka experimented with six monkeys reared in the wild (all strongly fearful of snakes) and their lab-reared offspring (virtually none of which feared snakes).
          • After repeatedly observing their parents or peers refusing to reach for food in the presence of a snake,the younger monkeys developed a similar strong fear of snakes.
            • o Similarly, humans learn fears from observing others. This suggests that our fears include the fears we learn from our parents and friends.
The Biology of Fear:
  • Humans learn to gear an object quickly. One key to fear learning lies in the amygdala.
    • o The amygdala plays a key role in associating various emotions,including fear, with certain situations
      • § Rabbits learn to react with fear to a tone that predicts an impending small shock, unless their amygdala is damaged.
      • § If a person has suffered damage to the nearby hippocampus,they still show the emotional reaction, an implicit memory—but they won’t be able to remember why.
        • If they have instead suffered amygdala damage,they will consciously remember the conditioning but will show no emotional effect of it.
          • o Patients who have lost use of their amygdala are unusually trusting of scary-looking people.
          • Some people have fears that fall outside the average range.
            • o Some, with phobias, have intense fears of specific objects (such as bugs) or situations (such as public speaking) that disrupt their ability to cope.
            • o Others are less fearful.
              • § Con artists and killers calmly charm their intended victims.
              • Genes influence our temperament, our emotional reactivity.
                • o Among identical twins, one twin’s level of fearfulness is similar to the other’s, even when they have been reared separately.
                • o Scientists have isolated a gene that influences the amygdala’s response to frightening situations
                  • § People with a short version of this gene have less of a protein that speeds the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
                  • § With more serotonin available to activate their amygdala neurons, people with this short gene exhibit a revved-up amygdala response to frightening pictures.
Anger:
  • What makes us angry? Sometimes anger is a response to a friend or loved one’s perceived misdeeds, especially when the person’s act seems willful, unjustified, and avoidable. But small hassles and blameless annoyances—foul odors, high temperatures, dead cell phones, traffic jams, aches and pains—also have the power to make us angry.
    • o Anger can harm us; chronic hostility is linked to heart disease.
      • § How to get rid of anger: some work off a situation with exercise, others listen to music, talk to friends, etc.
  • o Encouraging people to vent their rage is typical in individualized cultures,but it would seldom be heard in cultures where people’s identity is centered more on the group.
    • § People who keenly sense theirinterdependence see anger as a threat to group harmony.
      • The Western “vent your anger” advice presumes that through aggressive action or fantasy we can achieve catharsis, or emotional release.
        • o The catharsis hypothesis maintains that “releasing” aggressive energy (through action or fantasy) relieves aggressive urges.
        • o Experimenters report that sometimes when people retaliate against a provoker, they may indeed calm down. But this tends to be true only if their counterattack is directed against the provoker, if their retaliation seems justifiable, and if their target is not intimidating; this is only temporarily true, if it does not leave us feeling guilty or anxious.
      • Catharsis can fail to cleanse one’s rage. Expressing anger breeds more anger.
        • o it may provoke further retaliation, thus escalating a minor conflict into a major confrontation.
      • Expressing anger can magnify anger.
      • When anger fuels physically or verbally aggressive acts we later regret, it becomes maladaptive.
      • Anger primes prejudice.
        • o After 9/11, Americans who responded with anger more than fear displayed intolerance for immigrants and Muslims.
      • Angry outbursts that temporarily calm us are dangerous in another way: They may be reinforcing and therefore habit forming.
    • § Best way to handle anger:
      • First, wait. You can bring down the level of physiological arousal of anger by waiting. Any emotional arousal will wane, if given enough time.
      • Second,deal with anger in a way that involves neither being chronically angry over every little annoyance, nor sulking and rehearsing your grievances
        • o Calm yourself by exercising, playing an instrument, or talking it through with a friend.
    • § Anger does communicate strength and competence.
      • It can benefit a relationship when it expresses a grievance in ways that promote reconciliation rather than retaliation.
      • Controlled expressions of anger are more adaptive than either hostile outbursts or pent-up angry feelings.
    • § What if someone else’s behavior really hurts you?
      • Research suggests the response of forgiveness.
        • o Without letting the offender off the hook or inviting further harm, forgiveness releases anger and calms the body.

Motivation Experiment Discussion Questions:
  • I am aware of the significance of the GPA. - This would reveal the students' overall awareness of what the GPA is, and the realization that the GPA is important towards their future year; the GPA from their freshman year actually counts toward their overall high school career.
  • I don't care if I pass or fail certain classes - Students need to realize that all classes count, and failing a class would be reflected in their GPA and their transcript, so they should take some sort of consideration towards their grades/ passing their classes. Also, it is statistically proven that those who are held back their 9th grade, more than any other grade, will most likely not graduate. Do want to be a part of that statistic?
  • I want to graduate high school. - Graduation is still a while away from their freshman year. If they want to graduate, they better get their act together and actually pass their classes. Though I concede that, if you fail, you have summer school, summer school/ failing a class has negative impacts towards your overall transcript and permanent record, which colleges will see. Whether they plan to work, or go to college adfter high school, failing a class/ being held back is not a good indication for future colleges/ employers.
  • I have skipped a class this year. - Skipping a class shows your lack of care towards school; your lack of care towards school will result in potential failure in high school, and that failure in high school will haunt you for the rest of your life. Skipping a class, even for one day, puts you at risk for missing vital information/ notes. That loss of vital information would mean that you might not know information on a quiz or pop quiz, and will overall be detrimental to your grade.
  • I care about what people think of me. - For those who don't, Do you really? What if you're a failure, and their highly successful and looking down on you? Do you care then?

Notes: p. 389 - 396

Happiness:
  • One’s state of happiness or unhappiness affects everything.
    • People who are happy perceive the world as safer, feel more confident, make decisions more easily, rate job applicants more favorably, are more cooperative and tolerant, and live healthier and more energized and satisfied lives.
    • When your mood is gloomy and your thinking preoccupied, life as a whole seems depressing and meaningless.
    • When we’re happy, we tend to help others more often.
      • In study after study, a mood-boosting experience (finding money, succeeding on a challenging task, recalling a happy event) has made people more likely to give money, pick up someone’s dropped papers, volunteer time, and do other good deeds.
        • Feel-good, do-good phenomenon: people’s tendency to be helpful when already in a good mood.
    • Despite the significance of happiness, psychology throughout its history has more often focused on negative emotions.
      • Anger is mentioned in numerous pieces, as well as depression.
      • There is good reason to focus on negative emotions. They can make our lives miserable and drive us to seek help.
        • Researchers are becoming increasingly interested in well-being, assessed either as feelings of happiness (sometimes defined as a high ratio of positive to negative feelings) or as a sense of satisfaction with life.
          • Well-being: self-perceived happiness or satisfaction with life. Used along with measures of objective well-being (for example, physical and economic indicators) to evaluate people’s quality.

The Short Life of Emotional Ups and Downs:
  • Despite the negative/ positive feelings associated with a certain event, those feelings are short-lived.
    • Apart from prolonged grief over the loss of a loved one or lingering anxiety after a trauma (such as child abuse, rape, or the terrors of war), even tragedy is not permanently depressing.
      • Ex. Learning that one is HIV-positive is devastating. But after five weeks of adapting to the grim news, those who have tested positive report feeling less emotionally distraught than they had expected.
      • A major disability often leaves people less happy than average, yet happier than able-bodied people with depression.
        • The trend is similar in less life-threatening situations;
          • We overestimate the duration of our emotions and underestimate our capacity to adapt.
        • Positive emotions are similarly hard to sustain. They are also prone to fluctuations.


Wealth and Well-Being:
  • There is evidence that wealth, to a point, correlates with well-being:
    • Within most countries, though especially in poor countries, individuals with lots of money are typically happier than those who struggle to afford life’s basic needs. They also often enjoy better health than those stressed by poverty and lack of control over their lives.
    • People in rich countries are also somewhat happier than those in poor countries.
    • Those who have experienced a recent windfall from a lottery, an inheritance, or a surging economy typically feel some elation.
      • It seems that you can buy your way out of hunger and hopelessness, and it also buys happiness.
        • Once one has enough money for comfort and security, piling up more and more matters less and less.
          • This diminishing returns phenomenon is familiar to economists as diminishing marginal utility and to you as the second piece of dessert satisfying you less than the first.
        • The income-happiness correlation seemingly occurs because more income produces greater happiness.
        • Ironically, those who strive hardest for wealth tend to live with lower well-being.
          • This is especially so for those seeking money to prove themselves, gain power, or show off rather than support their families.

Two Psychological Phenomena: Adaptation and Comparison:
  • Two psychological principles explain why, for those who are not poor, more money buys little than temporary happiness and why our emotions seem to pull us back.
    • o Happiness and prior experience:
      • § Theadaptation-level phenomenon describes our tendency to judge various stimuli relative to those we have previously experienced.
        • We adjust our neutral levels, the points at which sounds seem neither loud nor soft, temperatures neither hot nor cold, events neither pleasant nor unpleasant, based on our experience.
        • If our current condition; our income, academic average, or social prestige increases, we feel an initial surge of pleasure. We then adapt to this new level of achievement, come to consider it normal, and require something even better to give us another surge of happiness.
    • o Happiness and Others’ Attainments:
      • § Happiness is relative not only to our past experience but also to our comparisons with others. We are always comparing ourselves with others.And whether we feel good or bad depends on who those others are. We are slow-witted or clumsy only when others are smarter or more agile.
        • Relative Deprivation: the perception that we are worse off relative to those with whom we compare ourselves.
          • o Ex.: Despite a relatively rapid promotion rate for the group, many soldiers were frustrated about their own promotion rates

Reflection of "Motivation" w/ Freshman:


Preparation-wise, I feel as though we weren't as successful as I had hoped to be. I think this might have resulted from a lack of preparation. If we were given the student surveys ahead of time, we would've been more prepared, and had more time to formulate our speech/ discussion with the freshman; find out their strengths, weaknesses, commonalities among the students in the group. A lot of our questions were based off the survey questions, and any comments we made were, for the most part, impromptu.

Besides that, I thought the discussion was somewhat successful. Some students were pretty active in the discussion, i.e. opening up to Jackie and I, and talking about their classes, their fears, etc. It was also evident that there were people who obviously didn’t want to be there; some had their heads down the entire time, others with headphones in their ears. Those who actually responded to us were doing pretty well. They maintained “passing” grades, which was a relief to hear. Some had failed a class for a quarter, but after speaking with us, they responded that they would “work harder next quarter”. One motive of a student was sports. We informed him that he needed to maintain a certain grade/ pass classes to actually play a sport, and upon hearing this, he said he was going to try and “pass his classes”.

Overall, I feel that we kind-of shed some light on the students. Those who listened were informed of what the GPA actually was, the fact that freshman year actually counts, the importance of actually going to classes, a brief introduction to AP classes, the necessity of high school, etc. Many had told me that they found their classes easy, and I informed them of the different ranges of classes and difficulties of classes. I think I got through at least one person, and convinced him to take predominately honors classes, if not one AP class. Hopefully, I’m not mistaken, and I actually got through to some of them.



PsychSim 5: EXPRESSING EMOTION

In this activity you will learn about the role of facial expressions in the nonverbal communication of emotion.

Primary Affects
  • What emotions are generally considered primary affects? How do they relate to facial expressions?
    • o Happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger, and disgust
      • § These emotions are the limited number of distinct emotions.


The Facial Code
  • Using the table below, describe the characteristic positions of the eyebrows, eyes, and mouth for each of the six primary affects.

EYEBROWS
EYES
MOUTH


1
Surprise: eyebrows raised or curved, producing deep, horizontal wrinkle across forehead
Eyes are wide open; upper eyelid raised, lower eyelid pulled down
Jaws dropped, teeth relaxed.

2
Fear: eyebrows raised with inner corners of the brows drawn together, straightening the brows and producing short horizontal wrinkles on forehead
Eyes are open wide, with upper eyelid raised and the lower eyelid tense and slightly raised.
Mouth is open but tense , with the corners of the lip drawn back slightly, often asymmetrically.

3
Disgust: eyebrows are lowered (lowering the upper eyelid), while the lower eyelid is raised slightly, reducing the amount of eye that is visible
Eye is barely visible.
Upper lip raised and lower lip is also raised and pressed against upper lip.

4
Anger: the brows are lowered (esp. the corners) and drawn together so that vertical wrinkles often appear b/t the brows.
Both eyelids are tense, producing a hard stare.
Lips are pressed firmly together , or are opened in a tense, square shape (as if shouting)

5
Happiness: brows and forehead are relaxed
Cheeks are raised, producing small wrinkles below the lower eyelids.
The corners of the lips are raised, lips are drawn back.

6
Sadness: inner corners of brows are raised
Inner corners of eyelids are raised
Corners of lips are turned down

  • How does the expression of disgust differ from the other primary affects?
    • o In disgust, there is a nose wrinkle/
Emotional Blends
  • What are emotional blends? How do people generally express them?
    • o Emotional blends: a combination of the facial codes associated with the experienced emotions.
      • § If the codes specift conflicting positions for the eyebrows and lips, usually people display one emotion in the upper region of the face and the other in the lower.

Masking Emotion
  • How are people able to mask emotions?
    • o Depending on the numer of facial muscles involved in the facial expression and the complexirt of their movements, it may take a second or more for the facial expression to be fully formed. This means that other signals could interrupt or “short-circuit” the facial expressions, allowing some individuals to compose themselves and show a “poker face” even in the midst of powerful emotional experiences.

Notes: (p.396-406):


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Stress and Health:
  • Stress can have negative effects on health.
    • o Large amounts enduring stress can bring on (in those of us who are physiologically predisposed) skin rashes, asthma attacks, or high blood pressure (hypertension).
      • § It can also increase our risk for serious illness and death.
        • To study the influences of unhealthy and health behaviors, the field of behavioral medicine was created: an interdisciplinary field that integrates behavioral and medical knowledge and applies that knowledge to health and disease.
        • Healthy psychology: a subfield of psychology that provides psychology’s contribution to behavioral medicine.
Stress and Illness:
  • Stress is not just a stimulus or a response; it is the process by which we appraise and cope with environmental threats and challenges.
    • o Stress arises less from events themselves than from how we appraise them.
      • § One person regards a new job as a welcome challenge; someone else appraises it as risking failure.
  • o When short-lived, or when perceived as challenges, stressors can have positive effects.
    • § A momentary stress can mobilize the immune system for fending off infections and healing wounds.
      • Stress arouses and motivates us to conquer problems.
  • o Stressors can also threaten us, and experiencing severe or prolonged stress may harm us.
    • § Children’s physiological responses to severe child abuse put them at later risk of chronic disease.
    • § Those who had post-traumatic stress reactions to heavy combat in the Vietnam War went on to suffer greatly elevated rates of circulatory, digestive, respiratory, and infectious diseases.
The Stress Response System:
  • Interest in stress has been prevalent since Hippocrates, but it wasn’t until the 1920’s that Walter Cannon (1929) confirmed that the stress response is part of a unified mind-body system.
    • o Observed that extreme cold, lack of oxygen, and emotion-arousing incidents all trigger an outpouring of the stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine from the central core of the adrenal glands.
      • § This is but one part of the sympathetic nervous system’s response. When alerted by any of a number of brain pathways, the sympathetic nervous system, increases heart rate and respiration, diverts blood from digestion to the skeletal muscles, dulls pain, and releases sugar and fat from the body’s stores. All of this prepares the body for the response that Cannon called fight or flight.
        • Psychologists have also identified an additional stress response system: On orders from the cerebral cortex (via the hypothalamus and pituitary gland), the outer part of the adrenal glands secrete glucocorticoid stress hormones such as cortisol.
          • o The two stress hormone systems work at different speeds; “In a fight-or-flight scenario, epinephrine is the one handing out guns; glucocorticoids are the ones drawing up blueprints for new aircraft carriers needed for the war effort.”
      • There are alternatives to fight or flight:
        • o 1: Withdraw. Pull back. Conserve energy. Faced with an extreme disaster, such as a ship sinking, some people become paralyzed by fear.
        • o 2: seek and give support: Tend and befriend—common among women
          • § Facing stress, men more often than women tend to socially withdraw, turn to alcohol, or become aggressive.
          • § Women more often respond to stress by nurturing and banding together
            • Partly due to oxytocin, a stress-moderating hormone associated with pair-bonding in animals and released by cuddling, massage, and breast-feeding in humans.
      • Hans Selye (1936, 1976)discovered that the body’s adaptive response to stress was so general, like a single burglar alarm that sounds no matter what intrudes.
        • o Called it general adaptation syndrome (GAS): Selye’s concept of the body’s adaptive response to stress in three phases—alarm, resistance, exhaustion.
          • § In Phase 1, you experience an alarm reaction due to the sudden activation of your sympathetic nervous system. Your heart rate zooms. Blood is diverted to your skeletal muscles. You feel the faintness of shock.
          • § With your resources mobilized, you are now ready to fight the challenge during Phase 2, resistance. Your temperature, blood pressure, and respiration remain high, and there is a sudden outpouring of hormones.
          • § If persistent, the stress may eventually deplete your body’s reserves during Phase 3, exhaustion. With exhaustion, you are more vulnerable to illness or even, in extreme cases, collapse and death.
Stressful Life Events:
  • § Research has focused on our responses to three types of stressors: catastrophes, significant life changes, and daily hassles.
    • o Catastrophes are unpredictable large-scale events, such as war and natural disasters that nearly everyone appraises as threatening.
      • § In disaster’s wake, rates of psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety rose an average 17 percent.
      • § Refugees fleeing their homeland also suffer increased rates of psychological disorders.
        • Their stress is twofold: the trauma of uprooting and family separation, and the challenges of adjusting to a foreign culture’s new language, ethnicity, climate, and social norms.
  • o A significant personal life change, such as the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, leaving home, a marriage, a divorce, is the second type of life- event stressor.
    • § Life transitions and insecurities are often keenly felt during young adulthood.
      • Explains the high percentage of stress felt when young adults take on too many things at once.
    • § One who has suffered a significant personal life change, become more susceptible to illness, or health problems, such as a heart attack.
      • A Finnish study of 96,000 widowed people confirmed the phenomenon: Their risk of death doubled in the week following their partner’s death.
  • o Daily hassles are another significant event; our happiness may stem less from enduring good fortune than from our response to daily events, i.e. a hoped-for medical result, or a perfect test score.
    • § This is true for the opposite: Everyday annoyances: rush-hour traffic, aggravating housemates, long lines at the store, too many things to do, e-mail spam, and obnoxious cell-phone talkers, may be the most significant sources of stress.
      • Over time, these little stressors can add up and take a toll on our health and well-being.
      • Hypertension rates are high among residents of impoverished areas where the stresses that accompany inadequate income, unemployment, solo parenting, and overcrowding are part of daily life for many people.
      • In Europe, hypertension rates are likewise highest in countries where people express the least satisfaction with their lives
    • § For minority populations, daily pressures may be compounded by racism, which, like other stressors, can have both psychological and physical consequences.

Stress and the Heart:
  • § Elevated blood pressure is just one of the factors that increase the risk of coronary heart disease, the closing of the vessels that nourish the heart muscle.
    • o In addition to hypertension and a family history of the disease, many behavioral and physiological factors, smoking, obesity, a high-fat diet, physical inactivity, and an elevated cholesterol level increase the risk of heart disease.
      • § Psychological factors of stress and personality also play a big role.
        • Meyer Friedman, Ray Rosenman, and their colleagues tested the idea that stress increases vulnerability to heart disease
          • o They measured the blood cholesterol level and clotting speed of 40 U.S. tax accountants. They found that from January through March, both of these coronary warning indicators were completely normal.
            • § Then, as the accountants began scrambling to finish their clients’ tax returns before the April 15 filing deadline, their cholesterol and clotting measures rose to dangerous levels. In May and June, with the deadline past, the measures returned to normal. The researchers’ hunch had paid off: Stress predicted heart attack risk.
    • § Friedman and Rosenman also conducted a nine-year study of more than 3000 healthy men aged 35 to 59.
      • At the start of the study, they interviewed each man for 15 minutes about his work and eating habits.During the interview, they noted the man’s manner of talking and other behavioral patterns.
        • o hose who seemed the most reactive, competitive, hard-driving, impatient, time-conscious, supermotivated, verbally aggressive, and easily angered they called Type A.
        • o The roughly equal number who were more easygoing they called Type B.
          • § More recent research has revealed that Type A’s toxic core is negative emotions, especially the anger associated with an aggressively reactive temperament.
          • § Type A individuals are more often “combat ready.
            • Type A person’s blood may contain excess cholesterol and fat that later get deposited around the heart.
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  • o Depression is also lethal:
    • § The accumulated evidence from 57 studies suggests that “depression substantially increases the risk of death, especially death by unnatural causes and cardiovascular disease”.
      • Recent research suggests that heart disease and depression may both result when chronic stress triggers persistent inflammation.
        • o Stress disrupts the body’s disease-fighting immune system, thus enabling the body to focus its energies on fleeing or fighting the threat.
          • § Produce more proteins that contribute to inflammation.
Stress and Susceptibility to Disease:
  • § Stress contributes to stress-related psychophysiological illnesses, such as hypertension and some headaches. Stress also affects our resistance to disease, and this understanding has led to the burgeoning development of the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI).
    • o PNI studies how psychological, neural, and endocrine processes affect our immunesystem (psycho-neuro-immunology), and how all these factors influence our health and wellness.
Psychoneuroimmunology:
  • § The immune system is a complex surveillance system that defends the body by isolating and destroying bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances.
    • o This system includes two types of white blood cells, called lymphocytes.
      • § B lymphocytesform in the bone marrow and release antibodies that fight bacterial infections.
      • § T lymphocytes form in the thymus and other lymphatic tissue and attack cancer cells, viruses, and foreign substances, even “good” ones, such as transplanted organs.
  • o Two other important agents of the immune system are:
    • § Macrophage, which identifies, pursues, and ingests harmful invaders and worn-out cells
    • § natural killer cells, which pursue diseased cells (such as those infected by viruses or cancer).
      • Age, nutrition, genetics, body temperature, and stress all influence the immune system’s activity.
        • o Your immune system can err in two directions. Responding too strongly, it may attack the body’s own tissues, causing arthritis or an allergic reaction.
        • o Underreacting, it may allow a dormant herpes virus to erupt or cancer cells to multiply.
  • o The brain regulates the secretion of stress hormones, which suppress the disease-fighting lymphocytes.
    • § Surgical wounds heal more slowly in stressed animals and humans.
    • § Compared with the healing of punch wounds in unstressed married couples, either the stress of a 30-minute marital spat or ongoing marital conflict caused punch wounds to take a day or two longer to heal
    • § In another experiment, 47 percent of participants living stress-filled lives developed colds after a virus was dropped in their noses, as did only 27 percent of those living relatively free of stress.
      • In follow-up research, the happiest and most relaxed people were likewise markedly less vulnerable to an experimentally delivered cold virus
    • § Managing stress may be life-sustaining.
  • o The stress effect on immunity makes physiological sense.
    • § It takes energy to fight infections and maintain fevers.
      • Thus, when diseased, our bodies reduce muscular energy output by inactivity and increased sleep.
    • § Stress creates a competing energy need. Stress triggers an aroused fight-or-flight response, diverting energy from the disease-fighting immune system to the muscles and brain, rendering us more vulnerable to illness
      • Stress does not make us sick, but it does alter our immune functioning, making us less able to resist infection and more prone to heart disease.
Stress and Aids:
  • § Researchers have found that stress and negative emotions do correlate with (a) a progression from HIV infection to AIDS, and (b) the speed of decline in those infected.
    • o HIV-infected men faced with stressful life circumstances, such as the loss of a partner, exhibit somewhat greater immune suppression and a faster disease progression.
    • o Efforts to reduce stress would, on a small-scale, help control the disease.
      • § Educational initiatives, bereavement support groups,cognitive therapy, relaxation training, and exercise programs that reduce distress have all had positive consequences for HIV-positive individuals.
      • § Another form of HIV prevention is education programs, such as the ABC (abstinence, being faithful, condom use) program used in many countries, with seeming success in Uganda.
Stress and Cancer:
  • § Stress and negative emotions have also been linked to cancer’s rate of progression.
    • o Some investigators have reported that people are at increased risk for cancer within a year after experiencing depression, helplessness, or bereavement.
      • § One large Swedish study revealed that people with a history of workplace stress had 5.5 times greater risk of colon cancer than those who reported no such problems, a difference not attributable to differing age, smoking, drinking, or physical characteristics.
        • Other researchers have found no link between stress and human cancer.
          • o Concentration camp survivors and former prisoners of war, for example, have not exhibited elevated cancer rates.
We can view the stress effect on our disease resistance as a price we pay for the benefits of stress.
  • § Stress invigorates our lives by arousing and motivating us. An unstressed life would hardly be challenging or productive.
  • § Behavioral medicine research provides yet another reminder of one of contemporary psychology’s overriding themes: Mind and body interact; everything psychological is simultaneously physiological.