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TOK Guest Speaker: Mr. Cokerdem (Mr. C.). TOK and Emotion: Exploring Connections by way of Psychology. This is my first-ever TOK gig…. Main Goals Today. 1) Gain a deeper understanding of emotion 2) Explore how emotion and rationality interact

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Presentation Transcript
main goals today
Main Goals Today
  • 1) Gain a deeper understanding of emotion
  • 2) Explore how emotion and rationality interact
  • 3) Consider ways we can enhance our lives and daily experiences based on research and reflection
  • Psychological Definition - a complex state of feeling that results in physical and psychological changes that influence thought and behavior.
  • Key words: feelings, changes, influence thought and behavior

So, how many emotions are there? Many….

Yet, there are about 6 that seem to exist across cultures: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise.

(Paul Ekman, anthropologist)


Can you spot them?







quick group activity
Quick Group Activity


  • 1) How does emotion relate to knowledge?
  • 2) Are there ways you think emotion enhances knowledge? If so, how?
  • 3) Are there ways you think emotion hinders accurate knowledge? If so, how?
    • (Note: hinder = to detract from, take away from

or make something more difficult to achieve)


  • First, reflect as individuals for 3-5minutes.
  • Then, share/discuss in groups, 5-7 minutes.
  • Finally, we’ll de-brief as a class.

Emotion: a complex state of feeling that results in physical and psychological changes that influence thought and behavior.

de briefing
  • What did you discuss?
  • Key insights?
  • Key questions?

Just curious:

    • Did anyone discuss the degree of emotions? In other words, their intensity?
    • Did anyone discuss scenarios where a person feels none of the 6 main emotions at any one time?
    • What do we think about that?
pulling some ideas together
Pulling Some Ideas Together
  • “Significant emotion (passion) and rational thinking tend to be mutually exclusive.”
    • Can we accept that statement?
  • If so, let’s explore that a bit, shall we?
  • Do I sound like Mr. Cannon yet? Lord help me if I start sounding like Mr. Byck…. 
clouding the waters mental processes becoming clouded by emotional states
Clouding the Waters: Mental processes becoming 'clouded' by emotional states

As passionate emotion increases, our ability to make decisions that we will look back on and agree are good decisions has a strong tendency to fail.

  • Consider the things we say:
  • A “hot-headed” person is rather emotional and likely to make rash decisions.
  • A person with a “cool-head” makes thoughtful, considered decisions.

Emotion is a chemical state in our brains that we experience as basic 'feelings'.

    • Those same chemicals inhibit our higher cognitive capabilities and limit what we call rational thought.
heightened emotion affects decisions
Heightened Emotion Affects Decisions
  • Two young lovers in the “heat of the moment”
  • Fight or flight response:

A) “Crime of passion”

      • homicides due to extreme anger or jealousy;
      • “temporary” insanity

B) Running from the police when they have a gun and say “freeze!”

C) Hit and run driver

  • Can you think of decisions that are affected as emotional response increases? (Think and talk amongst yourselves.)
  • Also, would you tend to think these decisions are less “rational?”
tips to guide behavior
Tips to Guide Behavior

How do you help someone in an

emotional state make a rational decision?

  • Help them calm down
  • BUT, do not just say 'calm down‘ since that is a rational appeal.
  • Instead, speak to the emotions with emotional words. Then slowly become less emotional.
  • If you have time, the simplest approach is just to wait.
    • Extreme emotions often do not last and the person will eventually cool down.
  • Any actors in the room? Care for a simulation?
more tips to guide behavior
More Tips to Guide Behavior
  • How do you get someone to become less likely to make a rational decision? Now, we’re talking!!!
  • Drum roll please….
  • Answer: get them into an emotional state!
  • Enter the salesperson:
    • A sales person will get their customers:
      • Excited, Hopeful, Lustful
  • We can’t forget the politicians:
    • They routinely invoke:
      • Fear, nationalism, and the desire to help their fellow humans – sometimes all in one speech!
      • Of course, Venezuelan politics is all about rationality. No emotion here….
  • And, of course, Las Vegas – and any casino:
    • Name of the game – get the customers drunk so they’ll spend

more money!

      • Alcohol is free, especially once you start winning money
      • Also, if you win big, you get free rooms and meals.
      • Why? So you’ll stay and lose the money the next day.
where does all this emotion come
Where does all this emotion come?
  • Paul Ekman (the guy behind the faces)
  • “The inescapability of emotional response” – we are wired to respond emotionally
i believe the clip you re about to see can teach us all something
I believe the clip you’re about to see can teach us all something:
  • Appraisal – recognize the situations that are apt to create an emotional response or at least recognize the emotion when it happens
  • Impulse – feel the impulse of that emotion and what is propelling you to do (what action to take)
  • Increase the gap - before you act, work on increasing the time so that you can deliberately choose how to bestrespond

Let’s take a look!

paul ekman the inescapability o f emotional response
Paul Ekman: The Inescapabilityof Emotional Response
so how about some research
So, how aboutsome research?
  • Emotion affects decision-making
  • Even when we know what causes our mood, we still are affected by the mood and it influences our decision-making
  • Just type in: “scientists explore effects of emotion” – you’ll see the link:
  • "While anxiety triggers a preference for options that are safer and provide a sense of control, sadness triggers a preference for options that are more rewarding and comforting.”
happiness and learning
Happiness and Learning
  • Let’s read this article together
  • To get it quickly, google “how are happiness and learning connected”
  • It’s the first article under “edutopia”
  • Reactions?
reflection writing journaling
  • Take some time to cement today’s lesson.
  • In no particular order or format, record in writing some “ah-ha” moments or anything you felt about today’s lesson that triggered interesting, different, or potentially valuable thoughts.
  • Rank your top 3 or 4.
  • Then, let’s do a quick class “share out.” That means you get to pick any one item you shared. Identifying 3 or 4 ahead of time will help us avoid duplicates.
further curiosity
Further curiosity?
  • An interesting theory on depression:
  • Perhaps, it is an evolutionary response that initially developed because in some cases, it can encourage one to ponder and analyze complex issues.
  • Google “depression evolutionary roots”
questions comments
  • Thanks Everyone!!! 
  • And, remember →