Emotnotes.docx - Emotion Emotion Though emotions comprise a significant and crucial part of our individual and social experience emotion is an elusive

Emotnotes.docx - Emotion Emotion Though emotions comprise a...

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Emotion Emotion Though emotions comprise a significant and crucial part of our individual and social experience, emotion is an elusive concept, difficult to define and measure. Through scientific research psychologists have learned much about nature of emotions, but some interesting and important questions remain unanswered. Emotion, Decision-Making, and Emotional Intelligence It makes intuitive sense that good decision-making would require some great degree of emotional control, hence the familiar advice to remain calm and rational when contemplating big decisions. This in fact is not entirely true. Only extreme emotions interfere with decision-making. Some degree of emotionality appears to be necessary for good decision-making. In fact, a number of case studies of patients with brain damage suggest that the ability to experience and express emotions plays a key role in important life and moral decisions. The case of Phineas Gage and more recently, Antonio Damasio’s case study of “Elliot” both provide evidence that feeling distinctly good or bad is crucial in making decisions of major importance in our lives so that the best outcome is achieved. The ability to imagine the feeling that we would have pursuing each option presented to us is a big part of good decision-making capability. “Emotions are inseparable from the idea of good and evil.” -Antonio Damasio Emotional Intelligence
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Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to perceive, imagine and understand emotions and to use that information in decision-making. We frequently need to infer how people are feeling or might feel and how they might react to our own actions and expressions of emotion. In general, women tend to be somewhat better at interpreting facial expressions and other cues to make an accurate assessment of how others are feeling. A patient experiences a closed head injury, with damage to the prefrontal cortex. What behavioral and emotional problems can the patient be expected to have subsequent to this event? Problems with making decisions, expressing and modulating emotions, tendency to impulsive behavior, reduced ability to accurately interpret the emotions of other people. Excitement and Physiological Arousal The Role of the Autonomic Nervous System The autonomic nervous system is the division that controls the functioning of the internal organs. The ANS has two subdivisions, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The Autonomic Nervous System The Sympathetic Nervous System The sympathetic nervous system is comprised of two chains of neuron clusters just to the left and right of the spinal cord. It increases the heart rate, breathing rate, production of sweat, and flow of adrenaline.
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  • Fall '14
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