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Emotions, Stress, and Health

Emotions, Stress, and Health

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Emotions, Stress, and Health

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  1. Chapter 12 Emotions, Stress, and Health PSYCHOLOGY David G. Myers C. Nathan DeWall Twelfth Edition

  2. Chapter Overview • Introduction to Emotion • Expressing Emotion • Experiencing Emotion • Stress and Illness • Health and Coping

  3. Emotion: Arousal, Behavior, and Cognition(part 1) • Emotions are adaptive responses that support survival. • Emotional components • Bodily arousal • Expressive behaviors • Conscious experiences

  4. Emotion: Arousal, Behavior, and Cognition(part 2) • Theories of emotion generally address two major questions: • Does physiological arousal come before or after emotional feelings? • How do feeling and cognition interact?

  5. Historical Emotion Theories (part 1) • James-Lange Theory: Arousal comes before emotion. • Experience of emotion involves awareness of our physiological responses to emotion-arousing stimuli. • Cannon-Bard Theory: Arousal and emotion happen at the same time. • Emotion-arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers (1) physiological responses and (2) the subjective experience of emotion. • Human body responses run parallel to the cognitive responses rather than causing them.

  6. Historical Emotion Theories (part 2) • Schachter-Singer two-factor theory: Arousal + Label = Emotion • Emotions have two ingredients: physical arousal and cognitive appraisal. • Arousal fuels emotion; cognition channels it. • Emotional experience requires a conscious interpretation of arousal. • Spillover effect: Arousal spills over from one event to the next—influencing the response.

  7. The Spillover Effect • Arousal from a soccer match can fuel anger, which can descend into rioting or other violent confrontations.

  8. Historical Emotion Theories (part 3) • Zajonc, LeDoux, and Lazarus: Emotion and the two-track brain • Zajonc • Sometimes emotional response takes a neural shortcut that bypasses the cortex and goes directly to the amygdala. • Some emotional responses involve no deliberate thinking. • Lazarus • The brain processes much information without conscious awareness, but mental functioning still takes place. • Emotions arise when an event is appraised as harmless or dangerous.

  9. The Brain’s Pathways for Emotions

  10. Emotions and the Autonomic Nervous System • The arousal component of emotion is regulated by the autonomic nervous system’s sympathetic (arousing) and parasympathetic (calming) divisions. • In a crisis, the fight-or-flight response automatically mobilizes the body for action. • Arousal affects performance in different ways, depending on the task. • Performance peaks at lower levels of arousal for difficult tasks, and at higher levels for easy or well-learned tasks.

  11. Summary of Emotion Theories

  12. Two Pathways for Emotions • Zajonc and LeDoux: Some emotional responses are immediate, before any conscious appraisal. • Lazarus, Schachter, and Singer: Our appraisal and labeling of events also determine our emotional responses.

  13. Emotional Arousal

  14. Physiology of Emotions • Different emotions have subtle indicators. • Brain scans and EEGs reveal different brain circuits for different emotions. • Depression and general negativity: Right frontal lobe activity • Happiness, enthusiasm, and feeling energized: Left frontal lobe activity

  15. Detecting Emotion in Others (part 1) • People can often detect nonverbal cues and threats, and signs of status. • Nonthreatening cues are more easily detected than deceiving expressions. • Westerners • Firm handshake: Outgoing, expressive personality • Gaze: Intimacy • Averted glance: Submission • Stare: Dominance

  16. Detecting Emotion in Others (part 2) • Gestures, facial expressions, and voice tones are absent in written communication. • In the absence of expressive emotion, ambiguity can occur. How might this affect our electronic communications?

  17. Gender, Emotion, and Nonverbal Behavior • Women • Tend to read emotional cues more easily and to be more empathic • Express more emotion with their faces • People attribute female emotionality to disposition and male emotionality to circumstance.

  18. Gender and Expressiveness • Male and female film viewers did not differ dramatically in self-reported emotions or physiological responses. • The women’s faces showed much more emotion. (From Kring & Gordon, 1998.)

  19. Culture and Emotional Expression (part 1) • Gesture meanings vary among cultures, but outward signs of emotion are generally the same. • Musical expression of emotion crosses cultures. • Shared emotional categories do not reflect shared cultural experiences. • Facial muscles speak a universal language for some basic emotions; interpreting faces in context is adaptive.

  20. Culture-Specific or Culturally Universal Expressions?

  21. Culture and Emotional Expression (part 2) • Cultures may share a facial language, but they differ in how much emotion they express. • Those that encourage individuality, as in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and North America, display visible emotions (van Hemert et al., 2007). • Those that encourage people to adjust to others, as in Japan and China, often have less visible emotional displays (Matsumoto et al., 2009b; Tsai et al., 2007). • European-American leaders express excited smiles six times more frequently in their official photos (Tsai et al., 2006, 2016).

  22. The Effects of Facial Expressions • The facial feedback effect • Facial expressions can trigger emotional feelings and signal our body to respond accordingly. • People also mimic others’ expressions, which helps them empathize. • The behavior feedback effect • Tendency of behavior to influence our own and others’ thoughts, feelings, and actions

  23. Experiencing Emotion (part 1) • Izard isolated 10 basic emotions that include physiology and expressive behavior. • Joy, interest-excitement, surprise, sadness, anger, disgust, contempt, fear, shame, and guilt • Two dimensions that help differentiate emotions: • Positive-versus-negative valence • Low-versus-high arousal

  24. Experiencing Emotion (part 2) Some naturally occurring emotions To identify the emotions generally present in infancy, Carroll Izard analyzed the facial expressions of infants.

  25. Experiencing Emotion: Anger (part 1) • Causes • With threat or challenge, fear triggers flight but anger triggers fight—each at times is an adaptive behavior. • Anger is most often evoked by misdeeds that we interpret as willful, unjustified, and avoidable. • Smaller frustrations and blameless annoyances can also trigger anger.

  26. Experiencing Emotion: Anger (part 2) • Consequences of anger • Chronic hostility is linked to heart disease. • Emotional catharsis may be temporarily calming, but does not reduce anger over the long term. • Expressing anger can make us more angry. • Controlled assertions of feelings may resolve conflicts, and forgiveness may rid us of angry feelings. • Anger communicates strength and competence, motivates action, and expresses grief when wisely used.

  27. Experiencing Emotion: Anger (part 3) • Individualist cultures encourage people to vent anger; collectivist cultures are less likely to do so. • The Western vent-your-anger advice presumes that aggressive action or fantasy enables emotional release, or catharsis. • Better ways to manage anger: • Wait • Find a healthy distraction or support • Distance yourself

  28. Experiencing Emotion: Happiness (part 1) • State of happiness influences all facets of life • Feel-good, do-good phenomenon • People’s tendency to be helpful when already in a good mood • Subjective well-being • Self-perceived happiness or satisfaction with life • Used along with measures of objective well-being to evaluate people’s quality of life

  29. Experiencing Emotion: Happiness (part 2) • Positive psychology: Study of human functioning, with the goals of discovering and promoting strengths and virtues that help individuals and communities to thrive. • Research areas • Positive health • Positive emotions • Positive neuroscience • Positive education

  30. Experiencing Emotion: Happiness (part 3) • Three pillars of positive psychology • Positive well-being • Positive character • Communities and culture

  31. The Short Life of Emotional Ups and Downs • Emotional ups and downs tend to balance out; moods typically rebound. • Even significant good events, such as sudden wealth, seldom increase happiness for long. • Happiness is relative to our own experiences (the adaptation-level phenomenon) and to others’ success (the relative deprivation principle).

  32. Wealth and Well-Being • Wealth does correlate with well-being in some ways. • Having resources to meet basic needs and maintain some control over life does “buy happiness.” • Increasing wealth matters less once basic needs are met. • Economic growth in affluent countries provides no apparent morale or social well-being boost. • 82 percent of entering U.S. college students say that “being very well off financially” is “very important” or “essential” (Eagen et al., 2016).

  33. Does Money Buy Happiness? • Money surely helps us to avoid certain types of pain. Yet, though average buying power has almost tripled since the 1950s, Americans’ reported happiness is almost unchanged.

  34. Two Psychological Phenomena: Adaptation and Comparison • Adaptation-level phenomenon • The tendency to form judgments (of sounds, of lights, of income) relative to a neutral level defined by our prior experience • Prior experience partly influences feelings of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, and success and failure. • Comparison • Satisfaction comes from income rank, rather than income level. • Relative deprivation is the perception that one is worse off relative to the comparison group.

  35. Happiness Is...

  36. What Predicts Our Happiness Levels? • Happiness levels are product of nature–nurture interaction. • Twin studies: About 50 percent of happiness rating differences are heritable. • Culture: Variation in groups’ valuing of traits • Personal history: Emotions balance around a level defined by experience; happiness set point • Individual happiness level may influence national well-being.

  37. Evidence-Based Suggestions for a Happier Life • Take control of your time • Act happy • Seek work and leisure that engage your skills • Buy shared experiences rather than things • Join the “movement” movement • Give your body the sleep it wants • Give priority to close relationships • Focus beyond self • Count your blessings and record your gratitude • Nurture your spiritual self

  38. Stress and Illness • Stress: The process by which we perceive and respond to certain events, called stressors, that we appraise as threatening or challenging • Stressors appraised as threats can lead to strong negative reactions. • Extreme or prolonged stress can cause harm.

  39. Stress Appraisal

  40. Stressors: Things That Push Our Buttons • Catastrophes: Unpleasant, large-scale events • Significant life changes: Personal events; life transitions • Daily hassles: Day-to-day challenges

  41. Stress Response • Cannon viewed the stress response as a “fight-or-flight” system. • Selye proposed a general three-phase (alarm–resistance–exhaustion) general adaptation syndrome (GAS). • Facing stress, women may have a tend-and-befriend response; men may withdraw socially, turn to alcohol, or become aggressive.

  42. Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome

  43. Stress Effects and Health (part 1) • Psychoneuroimmunology: Studies mind–body interactions • Emotions (psycho) • Affect your brain (neuro), • Which controls the stress hormones that influence the disease-fighting immune system. • This field is the study of (ology) those interactions.

  44. Stress Effects and Health (part 2) • Four types of cells active in the search-and-destroy mission of the immune system • B lymphocytes • T lymphocytes • Macrophages • Natural killer (NK) cells

  45. Stress and Vulnerability to Disease • The immune system is affected by age, nutrition, genetics, body temperature, and stress. • When the immune system does not function properly: • Responds too strongly • Underreacts

  46. Stress Effects and Health: Immune System Malfunctions • Reacting Too Strongly • Self-attacking diseases • Some forms of arthritis • Allergic reaction • Underreacting • Bacterial infection flare • Dormant herpes virus erupt • Cancer cells multiply

  47. A Simplified View of Immune Responses

  48. Stress Effects and Health (part 3) • Stress hormones suppress the immune system. • Animal studies: Stress of adjustment in monkeys causes weakened immune systems. • Human studies: Stress affects surgical wound healing and development of colds. Low stress may increase the effectiveness of vaccinations. • Stress does not make people sick, but does reduce the immune system’s ability to function optimally. • Slower surgical wound healing; increased vulnerability to colds; decreased vaccine effectiveness

  49. Stress Effects and Health (part 4) • Stress and AIDS • Stress cannot give people AIDS, but it may speed the transition from HIV infection to AIDS and the decline in those with AIDS. • Stress and cancer • Stress does not create cancer cells, but it may affect their growth by weakening natural defenses. • Stress–cancer research results are mixed.

  50. Stress and Heart Disease (part 1) • Stress and heart disease • 610,000 American coronary heart disease–related deaths yearly • Stress is related to generation of inflammation, which is associated with heart and other health problems. • Meyer and colleagues • Stress predicts heart attack risk for tax accountants • Type A men are more likely to have heart attacks • Conley and colleagues • Stress is related to everyday academic stressors in students