ch.4notes - Introduction Our experiences of emotion and our...

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Introduction Our experiences of emotion and our communication about those experiences shape our daily lives and our relationships. Emotion is often what we remember about interpersonal encounters, and it forms the foundation for how we represent and judge our relationships. Few of us would want to live without the richness provided through emotional experience. Emotions make us feel alive and aware and help define many people’s lives and relationships. Defining Emotion: More Than Just a Feeling Emotion- critical internal structure that orients us to and engages us with what matters in our lives: our feelings about ourselves and others- encompasses internal feelings and feelings that can only be experienced in a relationship To capture the complexity of emotion, there are 3 systems- they focus on attributes of emotion some researchers have created category systems to classify common emotions: o Emotion along two dimensions: Positive-negative Active-passive Allows us to see how specific emotions cluster together depending on whether they are active-negative, active-positive, passive- negative, or passive-positive. o Based on intensity: An emotional cone provides a graduated image of emotional range. Lowest level of each vertical slice: mildest version of the emotion, and each successive level represents a more intense state. o Building on the importance of language in organizing our thoughts about emotions: Clusters specific emotions in a hierarchy so that families of emotions are arranged based on their level of generality. First level- most general Second level- core emotion of the category Third level- lists all other individual emotions related to that prototype and shows similarities and differences between emotion families Mixed Emotions- category systems treat emotion as a series of separate states- but people usually experience blends of several emotions Emotion, Cognition and the Body o Defining emotion is a difficult task because Western thought has been historically grounded in dualisms. o Dualism- a way of thinking that constructs polar opposite categories to encompass the totality of a thing- either/or o With Dualism, a person is split in two parts- mind and body- that operate independently o Mind can also be seen in another Dualism- reason or emotion
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o We understand that emotion, the body, and reason are inextricably linked o Experiencing emotion seems to affect people’s physical functioning in ways that aren’t simply manifestations of the emotion o Planalp argues that the reverse is also true: reason is dependent on emotion- hunches and gut reactions show emotion in service of reason- emotion helps us decide between competing alternatives when all else is equal o When we define emotion, we must take cognition or reason and physical aspects into consideration Emotion about Emotion o Meta-Emotion- emotion about emotions. Models of Emotion: Biology and Social Interaction
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2009 for the course SPCM 1500 taught by Professor Emmelhainz during the Fall '07 term at University of Georgia Athens.

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ch.4notes - Introduction Our experiences of emotion and our...

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