Test 4 Notes - Chapter12 23:37 Section 1 Measuring Emotions...

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Chapter 12 23:37 Section 1 Measuring Emotions . Emotions are inferred, not observed directly. Researchers rely on self- reports, observations of behavior, and measurements of physiological changes. Emotions and autonomic arousal . Most emotions are associated with increased arousal of the sympathetic nervous system, although some parts of the parasympathetic nervous system increase their activity also. The sympathetic nervous system readies the body for emergency action. James - Lange Theory . According to the James-Lange theory of emotions, the feeling aspect of an emotion is the perception of a change in the body’s physiological state. Evidence supporting the James - Lange theory. People who lose control of their autonomic response generally report weakened emotional feelings. Also, molding someone’s posture and breathing pattern into the pattern typical for some emotion tends to elicit that emotion. Schachter and Singer’s theory . According to Schachter and Singer’s theory, autonomic arousal determines the intensity of an emotion but does not determine which emotion occurs. We identify an emotion on the basis of how we perceive the situation. Range of emotions. Psychologists do not fully agree on which emotions, if any, are basic Facial Expression. People produce facial expressions of emotion as a means of communicating their probable social behavior Understanding facial expressions. Many humans facial expressions have similar meanings in cultures throughout the world Alternative views. Instead of speaking of a list of basic emotions, an alternative is to consider emotions as varying along continuous dimensions. Usefulness of emotions. Emotions call our attention to important information and adjust our priorities to our situation in life. Emotions and Moral Decisions. When we face a moral decision, we often react emotionally for or against one of the choices. Those quick emotional feelings may be evolved mechanism to steer our behavior towards what is usually the right choice. Effects on Brain Damage. We make many decisions by imagining the emotional consequences of the possible outcomes. People with brain damage that impairs their emotions have trouble making good decisions. Emotional Intelligence. People need skills to judge other people’s emotions and the probable emotional outcomes of their own actions. The ability to handle such issues may constitute an “emotional intelligence.” However, much work needs to be done to improve our measurements of emotional intelligence. Section 2 Fear and anxiety. Anxiety can be measured objectively by variations in the startle reflex after a loud noise. Processing emotional information, including that related to anxiety, depends on a brain area called the amygdala, Polygraph. The polygraph measures the activity of the sympathetic nervous system through such variables as heart rate, blood pressure, and electrical conductance of the skin. The polygraph is sometimes used as a “lie detector.” However, because the responses of honest
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