PSYC18 2009 – Psychology of Emotion. Professor: Gerald Cupchik Office: S634 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Office Hours: Thursdays 10-11; 2-3 Phone: 416-287-7467. TA: Michelle Hilscher Office: S142C Email: email@example.com Office Hours: Thursdays 10-11 am. Course website:
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Professor: Gerald Cupchik
Office Hours: Thursdays 10-11; 2-3
TA: Michelle Hilscher
Office Hours: Thursdays 10-11 am
Oatley, Keltner & Jenkins (2006, 2nd Ed.) Understanding Emotions.
Thursday February 26th 12-2pm IN CLASS
See class website for more details…
(the father of American Behaviourism)
Watson, the founder of Behaviourism developed a “pattern reaction theory of emotion” (1919).
“An emotion is a hereditary pattern - reaction involving profound changes of the bodily mechanism as a whole, but particularly of the visceral and glandular systems.”
Fear, rage and love are pattern reactions; complex behavioural responses to induction situations such as loss of support, a loud noise, restraint of free movement, stroking of sensitive zones.
Like reflexes, emotion patterns can be conditioned and extinguished.
Watson tests baby’s grasp reflex (ca.1916)
From William McDougall to W.B. Cannon (1871-1945)
McDougall argued in An introduction to social psychology that emotional excitements stimulated appropriate behavioural reactions (e.g., fear and the instinct to flee; or anger and the instinct to fight).
Cannon extended McDougall’s instinctually based theory into the idea of an emergency response that was more appropriate for an emerging behavioural movement.
His primary concern was with “the significance of bodily changes which occur in great emotional excitement, such as fear and rage…” which he conceived as bodily preparations for supreme effort in flight or in fighting.
Emotion coldand hot!
Gregorio Maranon, a Spanish physician, examined the effects of inducing changes in somatic states through injections of adrenaline which stimulates the sympathetic nervous system.
He published the results of his research in 1924 in a French journal, Revue Française D’Endocronologie, because he was an endocrinologist interested in the effects of hypothyroidism.
Cannon was the first scholar in North America to lecture on this new paradigm in 1922 at a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Québec.
Maranon was generally interested in learning about emotional reactions to injections of adrenaline.
His most important contrast is between:
1.“The subjective perception”, “en froid”, of somatic disturbance leading to an unidentifiable emotional sensation.
This first type was observed most frequently (i.e., 79%) among his 210 subjects. Subjects were aware of the various post-injection phenomena (e.g., tremor, shivering, coldness in the hands, dryness of the mouth, heart palpitations) which “coincide with the autonomic symptomatology of emotion (autonomic emotion) and experienced “being moved” without experiencing a complete emotion (e.g., “as if I were awaiting a great happiness,” or “as if I were frightened, however, I am calm”).
2. An entire, involuntary emotion having the same somatic elements as in the previous case, but also a psychological, affective involvement.
His second degree reaction “not only perceives the autonomic somatic manifestations of emotion, but he also, gradually or suddenly, feels his mind invaded by an emotional flux”.
The “psychological emotion” is superimposed upon the “autonomic reaction” and is apprehended as a complete affective state, usually of the anxiety type, with abundant tears, sobs, and sighs”.
This complete emotional state is frequently accompanied by “a psychological motif” to justify the feelings. To “produce it in other cases one must suggest a memory with strong affective force” (e.g., speaking to the patient “during the adrenal commotion” about sick children or dead parents).
So the adrenal injection fosters “a situation of affective imminence”.
1) Initial psychological element
(sensation, idea, memory)
2) Production of autonomic or peripheral emotion
3) Consciousness of peripheral emotion by the brain
4) Authentic emotion when the consciousness of the autonomic emotion is superimposed on the primary psychological element.
Functioning of the sympathetic nervous system and the natural release of adrenaline was a major topic of research at the time.
Cannon’s friend, Colonel T.R. Elliot, whom he saw in France in 1917 during WWI when he was serving with the Harvard Hospital Unit, had studied at Cambridge University, “why adrenaline, when injected into the body… mimics the action of sympathetic nerves.”
Maranon kept Cannon abreast of his work by sending him copies of his work. Shows international cooperation across the ocean even back in the early 20th century.
From Maranon’s viewpoint “cold awareness of emotional phenomena which takes place in the first degree reaction definitely demolishes the point of view of James and Lange” because though subjects accurately described the peripheral symptoms in exact terms, they “were not moved”.
Maranon’s findings served as a basis for Cannon’s fifth criticism of William James’ theory of emotion: “Artificial induction of the visceral changes typical of strong emotions does not produce them.” (1927). He focuses on the fact that while subjects may have experienced the sensations which are concomitants of adrenaline injections, they were usually accompanied by “as if” or “an indefinite affective state coldly appreciated”.
Randolph Cornelius (1991) maintains that Maranon proposed a two-factor theory of emotion incorporating:
1. A bodily component (l’émotion végétative) associated with sympathetic arousal (e.g., dry mouth, cold hands, increased heart rate
2. A psychological part (l’émotion psychique) which is superimposed on the bodily component. This subjective element was described as a “motive” (motif psychique) or “reason” (raison intellectuelle).
The co-presence of both components enabled the person to experience “un état affectif complet”, a complete affective state.
Maranon argued that a psychological context must precede the experience of bodily changes which place the person in a state of “affective imminence”.
Landis and Hunt (1932) criticized the way that Cannon used Maranon’s findings.
They “call attention to a doctrine current in American psychology which holds that the injection of adrenaline, while producing the organic state typical of emotion, is nevertheless not capable of producing a genuine emotion.”
They examined the original research in French and concluded “that in some cases there was a definite and undeniable emotion produced upon the injection of adrenaline” which was experienced “as genuine and complete”.
They gave injections of adrenaline to people assessed as having a “psychoneurotic personality” and concluded that “the injection of sufficient amounts of adrenaline will reproduce roughly the organic picture usually characterized as emotion.” In addition, “environmental factors undoubtedly are reflected in and form an important part of the emotional experience.”
They agree with the conclusions of Cantril and Hunt (1932) who found “most of their observers demanding a satisfactory reason for the emotion before the emotional experience could be felt as complete” and so “emotional awareness must be considered as a process involving higher perceptual or intellectual functions.”
Cantril and Hunt (1932) described the purely physical effects of the adrenaline injection.
Generally speaking, the “physical syndrome always consisted of a muscular tremor localized particularly in the legs and hands, a tremor in the voice, increased respiration, immediate slight decrease and subsequent rise in the pulse rate, and an increase in the strength of the heart beat.”
“Bodily feeling of extreme nervousness. The bodily feeling almost swamps the psychic state, but the nervousness is wholly a matter of physical symptoms. I feel nervous, but I am not nervous. The reason seems lacking. I lack an object and the intellectual state is not fulfilled. To sum it up, I feel vaguely nervous, excited, but any definite emotion is lacking, and the excitement is a detached bodily affair.” (H)
A more “genuine emotion” is noticed by EH (note that subjects were identified by their initials)…
“I seem oppressed with a vague fear of something - feeling much the same as when I’ve lain awake all night, frightened that Bill might die. I am oppressed with a nameless fear. I want to get away from it just as the night of Bill’s illness I wanted to relax and sleep and tried to rationalize my fears but that was impossible then and it is impossible now. It is decidedly unpleasant.”
A few theoretical implications would reveal its dependence upon the following possible factors. These include:
(1) a “primary autonomic reaction” which may involve changes in the vasomotor system, the respiratory system, the viscera, along with peripheral changes such as sweating and muscular tremor.
(2) “secondary behavioural reaction patterns” including “flight, attack, facial expression, and vocalization”.
(3) an “intellectual content” or “the presence in consciousness of some object or situation to which the emotion is directed and around which the emotion is intellectually organized. This involves the active participation of the higher logical processes, probably centered in the cerebral cortex.
“The usual emotional state seems to involve a combination of (1) and (3) but that the presence of an autonomic reaction “is the only sine qua non for an emotion” while the behavioural reaction is “probably of secondary importance”.
Elizabeth Duffy (1941): “For many years the writer has been of the opinion that emotion as a scientific concept, is worse than useless.”
As early as 1932 and 1934, she adopted the very behavioural/cognitive view that it is impossible to distinguish “an emotional state from a mental state”, with the term “mental state” referring to “intellective or cognitive processes uncomplicated by affective reactions”.
In 1934 Elizabeth Duffy distinguished four qualities attributed to emotion which in her opinion were typical of mental states in general, and not unique to emotional states.
(1) physiological mechanisms (e.g., activity of the thalamus as opposed to the cerebral cortex)
(2) degree of arousal or intensity of the reaction
(3) disorganization that interferes with effective behaviour
(4) interpretive data (e.g., descriptions of the contents of consciousness or of the kind of stimulus-response situation).
Duffy contrasted excitation, activation, or arousal measured by overt behaviour with inhibition, “restraint of the tendency to act.”
Accordingly, “increases in the degree of excitation tend to produce increases in the speed and force (or intensity) of the activity in progress” be it “muscular performance, a train of thought, or the expression of emotion”.
Very high levels of arousal lead to uncoordinated reactions, and make the person more sensitive to stimulation (physical, mental, or emotional). Changes in the novelty or intensity of the stimulus situation will lead to changes in excitation.
Duffy’s goal was to “effect a rapprochement between the psychology of the emotions and the psychology of thought, now too often separated by the assumption that, while one may affect the other, they do not in any sense represent harmonious manifestations of the same underlying processes”. Thus, “we should cease our attempt to study emotion sui generis and should study instead the variations in certain fundamental aspects or dimensions of behaviour in general as these occur under varying stimulation…”
The “experience which is labeled emotion is the conscious aspect of a response, or group of responses, which the individual makes to a stimulating situation which he interprets as having marked significance for himself, favorable, or unfavorable.”
Hence, according the Duffy, emotion is the individual’s response to situations which promise well or ill for the attainment of his goals. The term refers to how the individual feels and how he acts when his expectations in regards to a situation are that it will, or will not, permit him to reach some rather strongly desired goal. The strength or intensity of the emotion is roughly proportional to the degree of importance of the particular goal to the individual, and to the degree of threat or of promise which the present situation bears with reference to that goal.”
High levels of activation will lead to disorganization, be it in response to a new motor skill and in the solution of a difficult “mental problem”.
“The over-eager golfer, teeing off, makes a poor shot”
Duffy’s contribution goes well beyond the significant formula:
EMOTION = ENERGY + DIRECTION
She specifies two sources for the subjective qualities of emotion:
(a) awareness of the bodily changes which occur in the process of adjusting the energy level of the individual to the demands of the situation
(b) awareness of the stimulus situation and of the set for response to that situation.
“Emotional” experience is merely the conscious counterpart of the adjustments which the individual makes to stimulating conditions which are of sufficient significance to produce a marked change in his energy level and his “set” for response.
In sum, “the conscious experience of emotion appears, then, to be a complex which includes awareness of the stimulus and its significance, awareness of the set for response, and awareness of certain physiological changes which are occurring in the individual.”
Although Duffy is known for the formula EMOTION = ENERGY + DIRECTION (toward or away from a goal), in fact, there is a third component, “discrimination” or “response to relationships in the situation” which means “interpretation of the situation.”
A more comprehensive formula might read:
EMOTION = DISCRIMINATION + ENERGY + DIRECTION
Papez’s (1937) psychoneural theory
Complex neural structure mediates between emotional behaviour and experience.
Role of hippocampus and hypothalamus (amygdala) influencing the cerebral cortex and adding emotional coloring to conscious experience.
Relates to reticular formation and limbic system. Receives impulses from reticular formation and integrates information from the limbic system.
Lindsley’s (1951) Activation Theory of Emotion & Motivation
His theory incorporated excited emotions, such as rage, fear and terror as well as sleep, coma and drowsiness.
Really a theory of activation - a central neural process in the brainstem’s Reticular Activating System.
Excitation of the diffuse projection system tones up the cortex as a whole.
Lindsley’s (1951) Activation Theory of Emotion & Motivation
Deep sleep, coma, death
(1) General alerting - arousal process which is dynamic and energizing
(2) Sharpening of focus on stimulus cues which are associated with a goal or with satisfaction of a need (relates to attention)
Attention - selective awareness of certain sensory messages with simultaneous suppression of others (activation and inhibition model)
The brain integrates for consciousness, limited and relevant sensory information concerned with objects of attention.
Central processes facilitate or block input from receptors (sort of like John Locke meets the 20th century).
Relates to the excitatory level, level of energy mobilization, intensity of drive, and degree of arousal.
study,” as well as the work of Cantril and Hunt (1932) and Landis and Hunt (1932) who “replicated” the findings.
Nisbett and Schachter (1966) stated: “In nature, of course, cognitive and situational factors trigger physiological processes, and the triggering stimulus usually imposes the label we attach to our feeling”. This sounds like McDougall.
Schachter was trained in the lineage of the leading scholars in experimental social psychology: Kurt Lewin & Leon Festinger.
He saw his project in relation to Cannon’s (1929) criticism of James’ theory, to the effect that “the same visceral changes occur in very different emotional states and in non-emotional states”.
Schachter cited Maranon’s (1924) “fascinating
Schachter elaborated his cognitive analysis in terms of Festinger’s (1954) notion of “evaluative needs”, that is, pressures to “understand and label his bodily feelings” of “emotional excitement”… “in terms of his knowledge of the immediate situation”.
This could involve a process of social comparison to determine the relative appropriateness of one’s feelings in a given situation.
“The perception-cognition figure with a gun in some fashion initiates a state of physiological arousal; this state of arousal is interpreted in terms of knowledge about dark alleys and guns and the state of arousal is labeled as fear”.
Hohmann (1962) studied the emotional life of paraplegics and quadriplegics with spinal cord injuries.
Results show that the higher the lesion the less the feeling of anger, fear, sexual excitement and grief.
So, the less arousal from the viscera, the less the emotional experience.
1. The higher the lesion, the less the visceral innervation…
2. Expect decreasing manifestation of emotion as height of lesion increases…
Interviewed respondents about feelings in situations of sexual excitement, fear, anger, grief, sentimentality.
Recall emotion arousing incident prior to injury and comparable feeling after.
1. In a state of arousal for which the individual knows no immediate explanation, he will “label” this state and describe his feelings in terms of available cognitions.
2. Given a state of arousal with a completely appropriate explanation (e.g., “I feel this way because of an injection of adrenaline), no evaluative needs will arise and the individual is unlikely to label his arousal in terms of alternate available cognitions.
3. Given the same cognitive circumstances, the individual will react emotionally or describe his feelings as emotional only to the extent that he experiences a state of physiological arousal.
1. Manipulate state of arousal experimentally.
2. Manipulate extent of explanation of bodily state.
3. Creation of situations from which explanatory cognitions may be derived.
The experimental paradigm involved giving people injections of either adrenaline or a control solution, saline, under the guise of testing the effect of a vitamin called Suproxin on visual acuity.
1. Arousal state - Placebo versus Epinephrine
Placebo = saline solution (no bodily effects)
Epinephrine = causes heart rate and systolic blood pressure to increase… leading to the experience of tremor, palpitations, and sometimes flushed or accelerated breathing.
Effects occur within 3-5 minutes.
2.Explanation - A doctor who gave injections to the male subjects either provided accurate descriptions of the effects of the drug Suproxin, misinformed subjects, or failed to tell them anything about the effects.
Informed = Precise explanation of the effects of the epinephrine injection. Direct information from the doctor about subjective experience.
Ignorant = Not informed about any side effects.
Misinformed = Wrong symptoms are described to the subject…numb feet, itching sensation, slight headache.
3. Socially relevant cognitions - In case “evaluative needs” were stimulated by the subject’s experience of the bodily effects of the drug, given what they were told about it, two kinds of role models were provided. These “stooges” were ostensibly in the same drug situation but behaved in distinctly opposite manners during the waiting period before having their vision tested.
Euphoric stooge = playfully crushes paper to play basketball, etc.
Bibb Latané, who served as the confederate in the euphoria condition, “pointed out that the confederate exerted a great deal of pressure on the subject to join him in the euphoric behaviour and that this constituted a relevant situational inducement.”
Angry stooge = in response to a tasteless and inappropriately intrusive questionnaire.
The data comprised self reports of mood and observed behaviour. Schachter and Singer maintained that the overall pattern of data in their experiment support their version of the two-factor theory of emotion.
The major finding was that subjects in the Anger-Ignorant and Euphoric-Misinformed conditions showed the highest self-report and greatest behavioural display of the relevant emotion. No Anger-Misinformed condition.
Male subjects viewed a slapstick film under influence of either epinephrine, placebo, or chlorpromazine (a sympatholytic agent). They measured laughter and ratings of funniness of the film.
Mirth = amount of laughter
Stimulus rating = how funny they found the film
Subjects laughed more in the epinephrine arousal condition but did not like it more.
Showed that gender played a role in the relative independence of expressive behaviour and evaluation for male subjects. Male and female subjects were presented with single-frame cartoons with canned laughter present or absent as a background.
Male subjects displayed more mirth but their evaluations were not affected in the canned-laughter condition, while females showed both increased mirth and evaluation. This implied greater interrelation between expression and evaluative feelings for females compared with males.
& Attribution Theory
Schachter’s research spun off an entire industry having to do with making accurate and inaccurate (misattribution) judgments of internal states.
For example, he did research on internalizers and externalizers in relation to eating behaviour.
Internalizers respond to hunger cues in the gut and externalizers respond to taste. We can also say that externalizers respond to muscular feedback related to satiety cues.