ch12 - - - - - NATURE OF EMOTION For the way most people...

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- NATURE OF EMOTION - For the way most people use the term emotion, the key component is the feeling - MEASURING EMOTIONS - Psychologists measure emotions by self-reports, behavioral observations, and physiological measures - SELF-REPORTS - By asking people how happy they are, nervous, and so forth - Quick, easy, and almost the only choice for measuring an unobservable state like happiness - BEHAVIORAL OBSERVATIONS - One behavior that we watch closely is facial expressions o People can smile or frown when they do not feel an emotion or suppress smiles and frowns when they do o However, very brief, involuntary expressions of fear, anger, or other emotions – microexperssions – are harder to control o Someone who is pretending to be calm or happy may show occasional brief signs of anger, fear, or extreme sadness - PHYSIOLOGICAL MEASURES - The term emotion referred to any sort of turbulent motion - Any stimulus that arouses an emotion alters the activity of the autonomic nervous system – the section of the nervous system that controls the functioning of the internal organs o Autonomic means “independent” o We now know that the brain and spinal cord can alter the activity of the autonomic nervous system, but the term autonomic remains - Autonomic nervous system has 2 branches: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems o 2 chains of neuron clusters just to the left and right of the spinal cord make up the sympathetic nervous system – which arouses the body for vigorous action “fight-or-flight” preparing you for intense activity o parasympathetic nervous system – consists of neurons whose axons extend from the medulla and the lower part of the spinal cord t neuron clusters near the internal organs decreases the heart rate, promotes digestion, and in general supports nonemergency functions o both send axons to the heart, digestive system, and other organs o adrenal gland, receive input from only the sympathetic nervous system o both are constantly active, although one system can temporarily dominate o many situations activate parts of both systems example: a frightening situation may increase you heart rate and sweating (sympathetic responses) and also promote bowel and bladder evacuation (parasympathetic responses)
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- researchers often measure activity of the sympathetic nervous system as an indicator of emotional arousal - strong emotions also make people breathe faster - physiological measurements do not tell us which emotion someone is feeling o the areas aroused by a given emotion largely overlap those aroused by other emotions in a PET and fMRI - why should we not insist on verbal reports to infer or measure emotions? it would be impossible to teach a child or anyone else the words for emotions unless we had already inferred the emotions fro the individual’s behavior - Why are physiological measurements more helpful for determining the intensity of an emotion than for identifying which emotion is present? the sympathetic
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ch12 - - - - - NATURE OF EMOTION For the way most people...

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