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PSY100 Emotion Lecture Emotion: Overview of Theories Emotion & Happiness Are there Sex Differences in Sexuality? PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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PSY100 Emotion Lecture Emotion: Overview of Theories Emotion & Happiness Are there Sex Differences in Sexuality?. Emotion What are emotions? Typical emotions are anger, fear, sadness, and happiness. These emotions are sometimes called basic emotions.

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PSY100 Emotion Lecture Emotion: Overview of Theories Emotion & Happiness Are there Sex Differences in Sexuality?

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  • PSY100 Emotion Lecture

  • Emotion: Overview of Theories

  • Emotion & Happiness

  • Are there Sex Differences in Sexuality?


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Emotion

What are emotions?

Typical emotions are anger, fear, sadness, and happiness. These emotions are sometimes called basic emotions.

Emotions are states that are generated by evaluations or appraisals of the environment (Is this event/object good or bad for me?)

Emotions differ from other feelings such as moods or bodily sensations. These other feelings are not elicited by appraisals.


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  • Components of Emotions

  • Emotions have several components:

  • Experiences (I feel …)

  • Physiology changes (bodily changes, neurological processes)

  • Behavior and Expression (facial expressions, actions)

  • Although all components are present during intense emotional experiences, components can occur without other components.


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  • Physiological Responses

  • Older emotion theories (James-Lange theory) assumed that different emotions have distinct patterns of physiological responses.

  • Evidence shows that most emotions activate the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increased heart rate, blood pressure, and skin conductance (sweaty hands).

  • Only sexual arousal has a distinct physiological response.


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  • Skin conductance and Lie-Detection

  • The skin conductance response is used for lie-detection.

  • However, it does not reflect lying.

  • Rather, skin conductance is activated by relevant stimuli.

  • For example, if the murder weapon is a knife, skin conductance will increase more in response to the word knife than to other potential weapons (gun, ax, poison).

  • This is true, even when people tell the truth.


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  • Emotion in the Brain

  • One area of the brain that is frequently linked to emotion is the amygdala (see textbook for picture).

  • Animal studies suggest that the amygdala is particularly responsive to threatening stimuli.

  • However, in recent years it has become possible to study activity in the amygdala of human participants while watching emotional pictures.

  • These studies show that the amygdala is activated by both negative (angry faces) and positive (erotica) stimuli.


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  • Mood and the Brain

  • Moods are pleasant and unpleasant states that are not directly related to events.

  • Tremendous progress has been made in understanding the biological processes underlying moods.

  • Many legal (Prozac) and illegal (ecstasy) drugs influence moods because they influence the communication between neurons by increasing the amount of neurotransmitters (serotonine, dopamine).


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  • Prozac and Ecstasy

  • Although Prozac and Ecstasy both influence serotonine, they do so differently.

  • Prozac helps to keep normal amounts of serotonine available for a longer time.

  • Ecstasy releases abnormally high levels of serotonine and depletes neurons of serotonine.


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  • Facial Expressions and Emotions

  • Darwin already postulated a set of universal facial expressions.

  • Research over the past decades confirmed that six emotions are associated with distinct facial expressions, which are more or less universally recognized across different cultures.

  • Let’s see whether you can identify the correct emotion based on facial expressions.


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The six emotions that are well recognized in facial expressions are:

Happiness

Surprise

Fear

Anger

Sadness

Disgust


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  • Facial-Feedback Theories

  • Facial-feedback theories assume that facial expressions are closely related to other components of emotions.

  • Indeed, the theories assume that feedback from the facial muscles generates emotional experiences.

  • That is, you feel happy because you smile rather than you smile because you feel happy.

  • Although popular for many years, empirical support for facial-feedback theories is weak.


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  • Peripheral versus Central Theories of Emotions

  • Facial feedback-theories are a special case of theories, which assume that emotional experiences are based on feedback from peripheral physiological changes (James-Lange theory, Schacter and Singer)

  • However, evidence for these theories is also weak. Most researchers assume that emotional experiences are directly generated in the brain.

  • Sometimes peripheral feedback may intensify emotional experiences.


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  • Cognitive Theories of Emotions

  • Cognitive theories of emotions assume that emotions are elicited by appraisals of the environment.

  • Cognitive theories explain why the same event (e..g, getting a B in an exam) can lead to different emotions.

  • For some students getting a “B” will exceed expectations, leading to happiness. For other students, a B will be below expectations, leading to negative emotions (disappointment, sadness, anger).


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  • Person-Situation Interaction

  • One important implication of cognitive theories is that we need information about the situation and the person to predict an emotional response.

  • For example, to predict fear-responses to snakes and spiders, we need to know whether the stimulus is a snake or a spider, and whether an individual is spider-phobic or snake-phobic.

  • Different situations make different people feel good or bad.


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  • Emotion and Happiness

  • Emotion research has important implications for our happiness.

  • Over the past 20 yeas, Ed Diener and colleagues have studied the factors that make some people happier than others.

  • I have worked in Ed Diener’s laboratory for 2 years and I have published several articles with Ed Diener on this important topic.


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  • Scientific Definition of Happiness

  • Scientists like Ed Diener think that the term happiness is too ambiguous for scientific research.

  • They prefer to call happiness subjective well-being.

  • Subjective well-being has two components:- a cognitive component - an affective (emotional) component


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Cognitive Component of SWB

Life-Satisfaction

1. In most ways my life is close to ideal. 2. The conditions of my life are excellent. 3. I am satisfied with my life. 4. So far I have gotten the important things I want in my life. 5. If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing.

Do you recognize these items?


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Life-Satisfaction around the World(Diener and colleagues’ 2001 survey)

Happy NationsNot so Happy Nations

Canada28.0Uganda15.5Switzerland27.2China16.0Netherlands24.7Cameroon17.2USA24.4Egypt18.0Germany24.4Georgia18.5UTM-200024.1Nepal18.9UTM-200223.5Japan19.2S.Korea20.0


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  • The Affective ComponentAmount of Positive and Negative Feelings

  • Positive Affect: How often do you feel happy, cheerful, joy, pride, etc.

  • Negative Affect: How often do you feel unhappy, sad, down, tense, etc.

  • Hedonic Balance: Positive Affect – Negative Affect.

  • “Happiness” is to experience a lot of Positive Emotions and few Negative Emotions.


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Hedonic Balance around the World(Diener and colleagues’ 2001 survey)

Canada3.27Uganda1.54Switzerland2.47China1.17Netherlands2.17Cameroon1.82USA2.17Egypt1.22Germany2.00Georgia1.63Nepal1.55Japan0.58S.Korea1.70

UTM data are not comparable because I used a different scale to measure hedonic balance.


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  • Affective and Cognitive Well-Being are related.

  • Countries with high satisfaction also tend to have high hedonic-balance.

  • Countries with low satisfaction also tend to have low hedonic balance.

  • This fact can be captured in a correlation: Life-satisfaction and hedonic balance are highly correlated (r = .68).


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Why are cognitive and affective well-being related?

Why are they not identical?

These questions were examined in an article by Schimmack, Diener, and Oishi (2002).


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  • Students completed the five-item SWLS.

  • Afterwards they answered questions about the information that they used to answer the SLWS items.

  • For example… Yes/No

  • Did you think about the weather?

  • Did you think about your past emotions?


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What do students think about to answer life-satisfaction judgments?

Academic Performance89%

Romantic Relationship82%

Family Relationships80%

Health77%

Hedonic Balance73%

Weather 8%


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  • Conclusion

  • People rely on their past emotional experiences to judge life-satisfaction.

  • Hedonic Balance is the strongest predictor of life-satisfaction.

  • However, in addition people also consider satisfaction in important life domains (romantic satisfaction, academic satisfaction).

  • Satisfaction in these domains does not necessarily increase hedonic balance (e.g., studying hard to get good grades).


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Sex Differences in Sexuality

This section is based on one of my most popular lectures in my PSY230 course, “Introduction to Personality”


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Do men on average have more sexual partners than women?

What does your textbook have to say about this question?

“Survey inquires about adults’ actual sexual histories also indicate that men engage in sex with a larger number of partners than women do, on the average (Janus & Janus, 1993).

Does this finding provide conclusive evidence that men have more sexual partners than women?


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Stephen

Mark

Matthew

Kevin

Daniel

Valerie

Tracy

Lily

Barbara

Shalaine

2

2

2

2

3

5

1

3

1

1


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  • Conclusion

  • It is logically impossible for men to have more sexual partners than women.

  • Sex differences in the reported number of partners in surveys must be due to self-report biases.

  • For example, for men it is acceptable or even desirable to have many partners and they may provide inflated estimates.

  • For women it is less acceptable to have many partners and they may underestimate.


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However, it is still possible that men would like to have more sex than women.

Are there sex differences in sexual desire?

Many studies suggests that this is the case.

ROP students in my lab conducted a study that examined this issue during the past semester.

Some of you may actually have participated in this study.

If not, you still have a chance to sign-up for the “Emotion and attention study” this semester.


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In the study, students had to solve easy math problems.

They had to compare two single-digit products.

For example, which product is larger?

3 x 5 <> 8 x 6

Left product larger Right product larger


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The math problem was presented in front of pictures.

Participants had to ignore the pictures.

However, emotionally relevant stimuli automatically attract attention.

Hence, participants should need more time to respond when the math problem is presented in front of an emotional picture.

Question: Would men be more distracted by pictures of attractive women, than women by pictures of attractive men?


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Study

Participants. 123 women, 62 men.

Materials. Pictures of attractive models.


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Difference to neutral pictures (milliseconds)

SF = Same-sex face; SB = same-sex face&bodyOF = Opposite-sex face; OB = opposite-sex f&b


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  • Conclusion

  • Men and women’s attention is automatically attracted by pictures of attractive members of the opposite sex.

  • The effect is significantly stronger for men than for women.

  • Even pictures of attractive faces produce the effect, although pictures of attractive faces and bodies have a stronger effect.

  • Women, but not men, also show a slight tendency to respond to same-sex pictures.


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  • General Conclusion

  • Emotions are an important topic of psychological research.

  • Positive and negative feelings (emotions, moods) are a fundamental component of happiness.

  • To help people lead happier lives, psychologists study the determinants of positive and negative feelings.

  • People respond differently to different situations. Hence, different situations make different people happy.


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