the cognitive approach lecture 4 october 6 2004 l.
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The cognitive approach Lecture # 4: October 6, 2004. Erdmann & Van Lindern. Support for Schacter: effects seen only when a situationally appropriate cue is present

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erdmann van lindern
Erdmann & Van Lindern
  • Support for Schacter: effects seen only when a situationally appropriate cue is present
  • Results also support James and autonomic specificity because effects of orciprenaline were observed in self-reports of anxiety, not anger… (even though situation was anger-eliciting).
    • Orciprenaline has physiological effects similar to anxiety rather than anger
cognitive approach appraisal
Cognitive approach: Appraisal
  • Emphasizes the importance of cognition at the beginning of the sequence of events leading up to the elicitation of an emotion.
  • In contrast, cognitive labeling (e.g., Schacter) emphasizes the importance of cognition at the end of the sequence.
  • Modern appraisal research falls into one of two different categories: component approaches or goal-relevance approaches.
appraisal theories
Appraisal theories
  • Magda Arnold (1960)… a new view.
  • 1980s: A number of psychologists independently proposed detailed and ‘comprehensive’ sets of appraisal dimensions to explain the elicitation and differentiation of emotion
  • Methodology: Emotion episodes, verbal report
definition of appraisal
Definition of appraisal
  • Arnold described these as: Direct, immediate, nonreflective, automatic ‘sense judgments’ about the harm or benefit that events signify for an individual, given his/her experience and aims
  • For Lazarus, appraisals are ‘relational meanings’ describing the implications of a particular object or situation for one’s personal well-being
richard lazarus
Richard Lazarus
  • Cognitive-relational-motivational theory
  • Primary versus secondary appraisals
  • Core relational theme
  • Know the evidence in support of the theory
lazarus vs zajonc
Lazarus vs. Zajonc
  • Zajonc: ‘Mere exposure effect’
  • Shows that emotion can occur in the absence of cognitive processing: “Preferences need no inferences”.
  • Main problem involves differences in the definition of cognition.
preferences vs basic emotions
Preferences vs. basic emotions
  • Do you think that Lazarus and Zajonc are discussing the same basic phenomenon?
    • Alternative explanations for the ‘mere exposure effect’ (e.g., priming, familiarity)
    • Discrete basic emotions: Universal, functional
      • E.g., Ekman’s basic emotions
major criticisms of the appraisal approach
Major criticisms of the appraisal approach
  • Critics challenge the claim that elaborate cognitive evaluations can be performed during the few milliseconds that seem sufficient to bring about an emotion.
  • Emotions are ‘hot’, while cognition is ‘cold’
  • No agreement on the number or nature of appraisal dimensions that exist.
what is missing another role for cognition
What is missing? Another role for cognition?
  • In Oatley and Johnson-Laird’s communicative theory, a specific ‘mode’ of organization is imposed on brain function when a particular emotion is elicited
  • This has consequences for cognition / information processing (i.e., the effects of emotion on cognition).
  • Anecdote– Alone in the coffee shop at night
  • Reading for next week: Mathews’ (1993) paper read it in the context of functional considerations (i.e., Oatley and Johnson-Laird’s theory).
mode theory oatley and johnson laird s communicative theory 1988 1995
Mode Theory: Oatley and Johnson-Laird’s Communicative Theory (1988; 1995)
  • There are a limited number of basic emotions
  • Each represents the solution to a particular problem of adaptation (species-specific)
  • These have been incorporated into our nervous systems through evolution and natural selection
  • Functional, adaptive… and have consequences that are superior to acting randomly, or not acting at all.
  • Emotions are ‘heuristics’
mode theory continued
‘Mode’ theory (continued)
  • The elicitation of emotion imposes a particular mode of organization on the nervous system, consistent with the function of that particular emotion.
  • This simplifies and specializes us to respond to a personally-relevant event or stimulus in our environment in an adaptive manner.
  • This is an example of a goal-relevance theory.
thought question
Thought question
  • What differentiates basic emotions according to the theories that we have studied so far in this course?
    • Darwinian / Evolutionary
    • James-Lange peripheral
    • Schachter / Mandler (cognitive labeling)
    • Cognitive: Appraisal theories
    • Cognitive: Goal-relevance theories (e.g., Oatley and Johnson-Laird)