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Emotion, Stress & Health
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  1. Emotion, Stress & Health Chapter 11

  2. Emotion • Defining Emotion. • Elements of Emotion 1: The Body • Elements of Emotion 2: The Mind • Elements of Emotion 3: The Culture • Putting the Elements together: Emotion and Gender

  3. Emotion • A state of arousal involving facial and body changes, brain activation, cognitive appraisals, subjective feelings, and tendencies toward action, all shaped by cultural rules

  4. Elements of Emotion 1: The Body • Primary and secondary emotions • The face of emotion • The brain and emotion • Hormones and emotion • Detecting emotions, Does the body lie?

  5. The Body • Primary emotions • Emotions considered to be universal and biologically based. They generally include fear, anger, sadness, joy, surprise, disgust, and contempt • Secondary emotion • Emotions that develop with cognitive maturity and vary across individuals and cultures • Three biological areas of emotion are • facial expressions • brain regions and circuits • autonomic nervous system

  6. Universal Expressions of Emotion • Facial expressions for primary emotions are universal • Surprise • Disgust • Happiness • Sadness • Anger • Surprise • Contempt

  7. Name that Emotion Surprise

  8. Name that Emotion Disgust

  9. Name that Emotion Happiness

  10. Name that Emotion Sadness

  11. Name that Emotion Anger

  12. Name that Emotion Shocked

  13. Name that Emotion Contempt

  14. Universal Expressions of Emotion • Facial feedback • Facial muscles send messages to the brain about the basic emotion being expressed and influence emotion being experienced • Infants are able to read parental expressions and alter behavior in response • Facial expression can generate same expressions in others, creating mood contagion

  15. Facial Expressions in Social Context • Across and within cultures, agreement often varies on which emotion a particular facial expression is revealing • People don’t usually express their emotion in facial expressions unless others are around • Facial expressions convey different meanings depending on their circumstances • People often use facial expressions to lie about their feelings as well as to express them

  16. The Brain and Emotion • The amygdala • Responsible for assessing threat • Damage to the amygdala results in abnormality to process fear

  17. The Brain and Emotion • Left prefrontal cortex • Involved in motivation to approach others • Damage to this area results in loss of joy • Right prefrontal cortex • Involved in withdrawal and escape • Damage to the area results in excessive mania and euphoria

  18. Mirror Neurons • A class of neurons, distributed throughout the brain, that fire when an animal sees or hears an action and carries out the same action on its own • Far more evolved and varied in humans than in other animals • Help us to recognize others’ intentions

  19. Hormones and Emotion • When experiencing an intense emotion, two hormones are released • Epinephrine • Norepinephrine • Results in increased alertness and arousal • At high levels, it can create the sensation of being out of control emotionally

  20. Detecting Emotions: Does the Body Lie? • Polygraph testing relies on autonomic nervous system arousal • Typical measures: • Galvanic Skin Response • Pulse, blood pressure • Breathing • Fidgeting

  21. Polygraph Tests • Empirical support is weak and conflicting • Test is inadmissible in most courts • It is illegal to use for most job screening • Many government agencies continue to use for screening

  22. Elements of Emotion 2: The Mind • How thoughts create emotions • The two factor theory of emotion • Attributions and emotions

  23. Elements of Emotion 3: The Culture • Culture and emotional variation • The rules of emotional regulation • Display rules • Body language • Emotion work

  24. Culture and Emotional Variation • Culture determines what people feel angry, sad, lonely, happy, ashamed or disgusted about • Some cultures have words for specific emotions unknown to other cultures • Schadenfreude • Some cultures don’t have words for emotions that seem universal to others • Tahitian (mehameha) • Differences in secondary emotions appear to be reflected in differences in languages

  25. Culture and Emotional Variation • Anger may be universal, but it is experienced differently depending on the cultural context • Shame, pride, envy, greed, love are experienced world-wide • Content and context are more relevant than hard-wired responses

  26. Cultural & Emotional Expression • Display Rules • When, where, and how emotions are to be expressed or when they should be squelched Ulrich von Lichtenstein

  27. Cultural & Emotional Expression • Emotion Work • Acting out an emotion we do not feel or trying to create the right emotion for the occasion

  28. Cultural & Emotional Expression • Excerpt from Emotional IQ test

  29. Cultural & Emotional Expression • Excerpt from Emotional IQ test

  30. Cultural & Emotional Expression • Excerpt from Emotional IQ test

  31. Cultural & Emotional Expression • Excerpt from Emotional IQ test

  32. Cultural & Emotional Expression • Body Language • The nonverbal signals of body movement, posture and gaze that people constantly express Ulrich von Lichtenstein

  33. Putting it all together: Emotion & Gender • Emotional reactivity • Male autonomic nervous system more “sensitive” & “reactive” than female • Men more likely to rehearse angry thoughts which prolong & intensify physiologic reactions

  34. Putting it all together: Emotion & Gender • Sensitivity to other people’s emotions • Sex of the sender and receiver • How well they know each other • How expressive the sender is • Who has the power • Stereotypes & expectations

  35. Putting it all together: Emotion & Gender • Cognitions • Betrayal & Injustice • Women and forgotten birthdays • Men and damage to property

  36. Putting it all together: Emotion & Gender • Expressiveness is culture-bound • North American women are more willing to express their feelings • Physical expressions (smile, eye contact, touch) • Talk about emotions • North American men express one emotion more than women: Anger • Men experience more unhappiness/depression

  37. Health Psychology • Concerned with factors that influence health and illness • Biological • Psychological • Social • Cultural • Study of how thoughts, emotions, and actions play a role in illness and recovery

  38. Stress Responses • Hypothalmic response • Adrenal response • Epinephrine • Norepinephrine • Cortisol • Blood Pressure • Responses vary according to learning, gender, pre-existing medical conditions, genetic predisposition

  39. Stress-Illness Mystery • Work-Related Problems • Noise • Bereavement and Loss • Poverty, Powerlessness, and Racism • Increase risk of illness when • Severely disrupt life • Are uncontrollable • Are chronic (lasting > 6 months)

  40. Focus of Research • Individual physiological differences in cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and other body symptoms • Psychological factors (e.g., attitudes, emotions, and perceptions of events) • How people behave under stress

  41. The Physiology of Stress • General adaptation syndrome (Selye (“Say-Lee”) • There are three phases in responding to stressors: • Alarm • Resistance • Exhaustion • Goal is to minimize wear and tear on the system Hans Selye (1907-1982)

  42. The Physiology of Stress • Short-term biological changes are adaptive in short run • Quick response to danger • Long-term changes are negative • Breakdown of immune system

  43. Stress & the Body • HPA (Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal cortex axis) • A system activated to energize the body to respond to stressors • The hypothalamus sends chemical messengers to the pituitary gland • The pituitary gland prompts the adrenal cortex to produce cortisol and other hormones

  44. The Brain and the Body Under Stress

  45. Stress & the Common Cold

  46. Psychology, Neurology and the Immune System • Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) • The study of the relationships among psychology, the nervous and endocrine systems, and the immune system • Psychological factors explain why not all people are stressed the same amount by the same things

  47. Optimism & Pessimism • Optimism: the general expectation that things will go well in spite of occasional setbacks • Optimists don’t deny problems or avoid facing bad news; just things to be overcome • Pessimists frequently do self-destructive acts (drinking, risk-taking) resulting in higher death rates • Gratitude does have physical benefits

  48. The Sense of Control • Locus of Control • A general expectation about whether the results of your actions are under your own control (internal locus) or beyond your control (external locus) • Feelings of control can reduce or even eliminate the relationship between stressors and health

  49. Emotions and Illness • No link between personality traits and risk of cancer • Negative emotions can affect the course of an illness and recovery once the illness is present • Loneliness and worry can suppress immune system

  50. Hostility & Depression • Type A personality illness factor is hostility • Cynical or antagonistic • Always ready to provoke mean, furious arguments • People who are mistrustful of others • Link between depression and illness not clear • People who are clinically depressed are at risk for • Heart attack, CV disease, early death • Depression does suppress immune function • May be caused by depressed person’s inability to care for themselves