Chapter 12 Emotions, Stress, and Health PSYCHOLOGY David G. Myers C. Nathan DeWall Twelfth Edition
Chapter Overview • Introduction to Emotion • Expressing Emotion • Experiencing Emotion • Stress and Illness • Health and Coping
Emotion: Arousal, Behavior, and Cognition(part 1) • Emotions are adaptive responses that support survival. • Emotional components • Bodily arousal • Expressive behaviors • Conscious experiences
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?
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.
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.
The Spillover Effect • Arousal from a soccer match can fuel anger, which can descend into rioting or other violent confrontations.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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?
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.
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.)
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.
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).
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
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
Experiencing Emotion (part 2) Some naturally occurring emotions To identify the emotions generally present in infancy, Carroll Izard analyzed the facial expressions of infants.
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.
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.
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
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
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
Experiencing Emotion: Happiness (part 3) • Three pillars of positive psychology • Positive well-being • Positive character • Communities and culture
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Stressors: Things That Push Our Buttons • Catastrophes: Unpleasant, large-scale events • Significant life changes: Personal events; life transitions • Daily hassles: Day-to-day challenges
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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