Measuring emotions in an intergroup context and beyond
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Measuring emotions in an intergroup context and beyond. Dr Roger Giner-Sorolla Department of Psychology. Presentation given at the Research Methods Festival, July 2008, Oxford, UK. Emotion research is interdisciplinary.

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Measuring emotions in an intergroup context and beyond

Measuring emotions in an intergroup context and beyond

Dr Roger Giner-Sorolla

Department of Psychology

Presentation given at the Research Methods Festival, July 2008, Oxford, UK

Emotion research is interdisciplinary
Emotion research is interdisciplinary

  • ISRE organization has members from psychology, sociology, anthropology, humanities, history …

  • “Affective revolutions” in economics, computing, law, art education …

  • Emotions are interesting and important

Only one small question
Only one small question

What is an emotion?

Emotion is a language culture category wierzbicka
“Emotion” is a language/culture category (Wierzbicka)

Other cultures (e.g., Ifaluk, studied by Lutz) divide mental phenomena in different ways

Even across the Channel … “emotion” vs. “sentiment” not observed in English

How does western english speaking culture characterize emotion
How does Western English-speaking culture characterize emotion?

Depends … lay or scientific definition?

Compact OED

Emotion • noun1 a strong feeling, such as joy or anger. 2 instinctive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge.

Psychology: over 50 definitions of emotion …

What is a cat
What is a cat? emotion?

4 legs,

has fur,

has tail …

What is an emotion
What is an emotion? emotion?

  • Like a cat, different modules or traits

  • Unlike a cat, no scientific consensus on which is the defining set of traits

What is not an emotion
What is not an emotion? emotion?

  • Even here there is controversy between lay and different scientific definitions

Emotion vs attitude evaluation
Emotion vs. attitude/evaluation emotion?

  • Emotions have specificity beyond positive or negative valence (fear vs. shame vs. anger vs. sadness)

Emotion vs mood
Emotion vs. mood emotion?

  • One scientific view: Emotions are responses to specific situations, unlike moods which are diffuse

  • BUT: Emotional feelings are not always identified with their source; can have carry-over effects; can be associated with objects (even irrationally)

Emotion vs belief
Emotion vs. belief emotion?

  • Emotions are not propositional, although they can be expressed in propositional language – “I am angry”; “This place is disgusting”

  • Beliefs can influence emotions (appraisal view); emotions can also influence beliefs (e.g. intuitive prosecutor research)

Emotion vs motivation
Emotion vs. motivation emotion?

  • View 1: Emotion is motivation

    Emotion -> behaviour

    (Lazarus; Scherer; Frijda’s action tendencies)

  • View 2: Emotion is a report on motivation

    Motive -> Behaviour -> success/failure -> emotion

    (Buck; Carver & Scheier)

Specific emotion vs core affect
Specific emotion vs. core affect emotion?

Russell & Barrett’s model

Is everything else besides core affect just language?

What is an emotion traits
What is an emotion? Traits emotion?

  • Feelings: subjective experience

    Impossible to measure directly

  • Language: terms describing subjective experience (or the other things below!)

  • Emotion concepts (tied to language or not?)

  • Facial expressions

  • Physiological changes: central nervous system, peripheral nervous system

  • Effects on thought, judgment, behaviour

  • Dependency on perception, interpretation of environment

Methods of emotion measurement
Methods of emotion measurement emotion?

  • Verbal self-report

  • Pictorial self-report

  • Interjections?

  • Facial expression coding

  • Physiological measures

  • Neurological measures

  • Implicit measures

Methods of emotion manipulation
Methods of emotion manipulation emotion?

  • Imagined scenarios

  • Recalled scenarios

  • Emotion priming: words, faces…

  • Environmental aspects

  • Social induction

  • Social contagion

  • Physiological induction

Pitfalls of emotion measurement and manipulation
Pitfalls of emotion measurement and manipulation emotion?

  • Language and emotion terms

  • Ambiguities in physiology

  • Context and referents

  • Emotion concept vs. emotion feeling

  • Emotion experience vs. emotion communication

  • Confounds in emotion manipulation

  • Limits of emotion manipulation

Traps of language
Traps of language emotion?

  • Specific languages

    • English: “anger”; “disgust”

  • Implicit assumptions in language

    • English: “irritable”; “disgusting”

Intergroup emotions an example
Intergroup emotions: an example emotion?

  • Anger, fear, and action tendencies