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In 1961, a patient with epilepsy - a kind of electrical storm in the brain had an operation to separate the left side of the cortex from the rig hence to stop the spread of epileptic disturbances since no other tre had been effective. This procedure is called a split b rain operation, in it the corpus callosum, a large bundle of nerve fibers that connects left and right sides of the cortex, is severed (Gazzaniga, 1985), A num of such operations have been performed, and they do reduce or elimii certain kinds of epileptic disturbance. Despite the left and right cortices being no longer in communication, the patient's IQ, personality, language, and ability to engage in meaningful interactions are not diminished. Twenty years after the first split brain operation Roger Sperry was awarded a Nobel Prize for his research with these patients, which showed in a striking new way the different functions of left and right hemispheres. The experiments depended on the fact that if a picture or text is presented to the right side of the visual field, it is processed by the left hemisphere. When anything is shown in the left visual field, it is processed by the right hemisphere. But with the split brain the two hemispheres do not communicate, and each remains ignorant of what the other has seen. Research indicates that the right hemisphere responds more readily to the emotional content of stimuli (Borod, 1992), whereas the left is more ready to interpret experience in terms of language (Gazzaniga, Ivry, & Mangun, 2002). Here is an example from Michael Gazzaniga (1988) who worked with Sperry. He showed a frightening film about fire safety to the left visual field of a woman split-brain patient. Because the images were not accessible to the "interpretive center" in the left hemisphere of her brain, she was not conscious of having seen the film. Gazzaniga then interviewed the patient, as follows. M.G. (Michael Gazzaniga): What did you see? V.P. (Patient): I don't really know what I saw. I think just a white flash. M.G.: Were there people in it? V.P.: I don't think so. Maybe just some trees, red trees like in the fall. M.G.: Did it make you feel any emotion? V.P.: I don't really know why but I'm kind of scared. I feel jumpy. I think i maybe I don't like this room, or maybe it's you. You're getting me nervous. The patient seems to feel fear. Her right hemisphere has processed the erne tional content of the Nm about fire safety, triggering anxiety and agitation. She takes part in the interview by using her linguistically competent left hemisphere; with it she does not consciously know why she feels as she does, presumably because the fearful stimulus has been processed only in the right cortex, and been communicated to the unsplit subcortical regions which are essential to emotional experience. When asked by Gazzaniga to explain her feelings, the patient starts working on the problem: She draws
: upon her anxious E k themisphere, an f &el nervous. I this chapter w n c bcious, and automa i the opening pic1 n l'bomme. I n this c is potentially cons( tions. We will call Appraisal and
In the past three question William J emotion-specificfi central nervous sy and emotions? Thc tions, they must b goals. Historical back' 15
1 As w e explained i tion t o an individu followed by philo: idea of evaluation : of emotions could other phi lo sop he^ sophy, which haw may put it like thi One of the most i by Chrysippus wlof emotions, whi mental, and whict o ne cannot avoid But since the s ea philosophers said such as giving in in Christian think The idea of first primary a nd sec this chapter. Aristotelian an J. A. Gasson (195 troduced the idea e storm in the brain x from the right, and ce no other treatment brain operation, and ers that connects the iga, 1985), A n umber o reduce or eliminate eft and right cortices personality, language, are not diminished. r Sperry was awarded ich showed in a strikhemispheres. ~icture r text is preo ssed by the left hemiId, it is processed by hemispheres do not ler has seen. Research ldily to the emotional more ready to intery, & Mangun, 2002). 3) who worked with to the left visual field ere not accessible to :r brain, she was not :rviewed t he patient, upon her anxious feelings together with the knowledge of her narratizing left hemisphere, and offers a story about how Gazzaniga was making her feel nervous. In this chapter we discuss these two kinds of process. The first is unconscious, and automatic. It is something like the reflex, which is illustrated in the opening picture for this chapter, from Descartes's book T rait6 de l'bomme. In this chapter we will call it primary appraisal. The second is potentially conscious, and thought-like, and it gives rise to specific emotions. We will call it secondary appraisal. Appraisal and emotion
In the past three chapters we have devoted attention to answering the question William James posed: "What is an emotion?" We have examined emotion-specific facial expressions, vocal cues, autonomic responses, and central nervous system activity. But what is it that gives rise to our moods and emotions? The consensus in the field is that for events to prompt emotions, they must be evaluated, or appraised, in relation to the individual's goals. Historical background and de$nitions
As we explained in chapter 1, t he concept of evaluation of events in rela- k just a white flash. :s like in the fall. I feel jumpy. I think getting me nervous.
s processed the emo- nxiety and agitation. cally competent left rhy she feels as she :n processed only in t subcortical regions ked by Gazzaniga to problem: She draws tion to an individual's purposes goes back 2,400 years, to Aristotle. He was followed by philosophers such as Epicurus and Chrysippus who took the idea of evaluation and applied it to the question of how the damaging effects of emotions could be avoided in the course of living a good life. These and other philosophers in the schools of Epicurean and Stoic ethical philosophy, which have had a huge influence on Western thought, were - if one may put it like this - t he first thoroughgoing Western emotion researchers. One of the most interesting analyses to emerge from this work was made by Chrysippus who distinguished between what he called first movements of emotions, which are automatic, and second movements which are mental, and which involve judgment and decision. Chrysippus thought that one cannot avoid the first movements, they are made simply by the body. B t since the second movements involve thought, they are more, as these u philosophers said, "up to us.'' The second movements of bad emotions such as giving in to angry revenge, or to greedy selfishness, later became in Christian thinking t he seven deadly sins (Oatley, 2004c; Sorabji, 2000). The idea of first and second movements maps exactly onto the idea of primary and secondary appraisals, which provides the framework for this chapter. Aristotelian and Stoic ideas were discussed by Magda Arnold and J. A. Gasson (1954; their analyses are described in chapter 1). They reintroduced the idea of emotion as evaluation, known as appraisal in modern psychology, where it has become a central concept for understanding emotions. An important figure in its development was Richard Lazarus, who spent the early part of his career studying stress, a condition in which personal challenges exceed the individual's capacities and resources (see, e.g., Lazarus, 1991). Stress produces vigilant attention and heightened activity in the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system. In the short term, it is an adaptive process, helping people respond to threats, dangers, and likely punishments with quick, energetic efficiency. In the long term, chronic stress produced by enduring sources of tension such as pressures at work, turbulent periods during marriages, or financial problems that deprive one of basic necessities, is dangerous. Chronic stress can lead to heart disease, cancer, and even cell death in the hippocampus and memory loss (Sapolsky, 1994). Social threats, for example in being the target of prejudice or discrimination, can lead to health problems as well (Blascovich & Mendes, 2000; Blascovich et al., 2001). The concept of stress is intuitively appealing and has been the focus of hundreds of studies. Yet Lazarus raised a problem: there seem to be many different kinds of stress. The stress associated with humiliation is different from the stress associated with losing a spouse to death or dealing with a life-threatening disease like cancer, or even the stress of positive events like starting a new career or having a child. How is one to account for this? Lazarus's answer was the emotions. Each different kind of stress promotes a particular kind of emotion, by means of a specific appraisal processes. Here is how Lazarus defines an appraisal approach to emotion: This approach to emotion contains two basic themes: First, emotion is a response to evaluative judgments or meaning; second, these judgments are about ongoing relationships with the environment, namely how one is doing in the agenda of living and whether the encounter o the environment is one f of harm or benefit. What is critical in this definition, first of all, is evaluation. Agreeing with Aristotle, and with Arnold and Gasson, Lazarus proposed that appraisals involve judgments of how good or bad an event is. A second theme is that appraisals concern the individual's goals and aspirations, and how he or she is interacting with the environment. Emotions, then, have a critical place in psychology: they refer both to events in the world and to the person's concerns. They relate the outer world and the inner self. A related approach has been offered by Stein, Trabasso, and Lw g ia (1994). They propose that the appraisals that give rise to emotions also involve beliefs, inferences, and plans. These aspects of emotion-related appraisal unfold, in Stein and colleagues' view, as follows:
1 . An event, usually unexpected, is perceived that changes the status of a valued goal. 2. Beliefs are often challenged; this can cause bodily changes and expres sions to occur. 3. Plans are forme modify the goal, : i. These stages are car d o about it, and wh Stein et al. (1994) garten teacher had ji and that after paintb their paint sets horn Stein et al.'s research why. Amy said: "I'm j So do I have to pain1 I didn't think teache much. Why does shc Here we see that P want to paint. The i a belief about what t plans (3). R esearch assistant
Amy: I don't want t l d o this. R esearch assistant A m : I'll take the pa
I have to do this. l k o w eeks later the worried about the p has n ot told the teac Stein et al. (1994) they use, which dep how t he event is p, Is remembered. Thi The same event migl Notice that the pro< or thought-like proc Automatic appra
Into our lives come and meet your roon of comfort and fami strike you as impers What are the appra reactions? t for understanding tichard Lazarus, w ho .dition in which perresources (see, e.g., heightened activity system. In the short I to threats, dangers, :y. In the long term, I such as pressures n lroblems that deprive s can lead to heart us and memory loss :the target of preas well (Blascovich .s been the focus of :e seem to be many niliation is different h or dealing with a positive events like o account for this? of stress promotes ~praisal rocesses. p D emotion: 'irst, emotion is a :se judgments are how one is doing nvironment is one 3. Plans are formed about what to do about the event to reinstate or
mod* the goal, and the likely results of the plans are considered. These stages are captured in the questions: "What happened? What can I do about it, and what might then happen next?" Stein et al. (1994) give an example of a five-year-old, Amy. Her kindergarten teacher had just told the class that she had a paint set for each child, and that after painting pictures for Parents' Night the children could take their paint sets home. When the children had been given their paint sets, 1 Stein et a1.k research assistant noticed Amy looking apprehensive. She asked why. Amy said: "I'm jittery. I'm not sure why she wants to give me the paints. So do 1 have to paint all of the time at home? I really don't want to do this. I didn't think teachers made you paint at home. I don't like painting that much. Why does she want me to paint at home?" Here we see that Amy has a goal which has been violated (1): she doesn't "n at to paint. The idea of being given something to do at home violates : a belief about what teachers do (2). The conversation continues with Amy's plans (3). Research a ssistant: What will you do, Amy?
Amy: I don't want to take the paints home. I want to know why I have to do this. Research a ssistant: Well Amy, what are you going to do about this?
Amy: I'll take the paints home, but when I get home, I'll ask my Mom why I have to do this. l bo weeks later the research assistant talked casually to Amy. She was still worried about the paints. She said she had used them only once. But she has not told the teacher, fearing that the teacher might be mad at her. Stein et al. (1994) propose that how a person sees an event - the frame they use, which depends on the person's goals and values - will determine h w the event is perceived, what emotions are elicited, and even what o is remembered. This is consistent with Lazarus's treatment of appraisal. T e same event might lead to much different emotions in different people. h Notice that the processes leading to these specific emotions are thoughts or thought-like processes, of the kind we are calling secondary appraisals. ion. Agreeing with sed that appraisals cond theme is that IS, and how h e or lave a critical place nd to the person's If. basso, and Liwag lotions also involve n-related appraisal Automatic appraisals of good and bad
Into our lives come events that affect us profoundly. You arrive at college and meet your roommate, who instantly fills you with a reassuring sense of comfort and familiarity. While searching for an apartment to rent, most strike you as impersonal and cold, until you find one that feels like home. What are the appraisal processes that give rise to these fast, immediate, reactions? ages the status of langes and expres- &flMff&u 4 8 ~
As one answer to this question, Robert Zajonc (1980) has proposed that we process stimuli through several different appraisal systems. One system provides an immediate, unconscious evaluation of whether the stimulus is good or bad (LeDoux, 1993; Mischel & Shoda, 1995). This system gives rise to what we are calling primary appraisals, automatic emotional reactions to events and objects in the environment, which motivate rapid approach or avoidance responses. These primary appraisals correspond to what Chrysippus (discussed above) called the first movements of emotions. As you have learned in chapter 6 , t he system that makes these appraisals probably involves the amygdala. This first appraisal system appears to give rise to our core feelings of positivity or negativity (Russell, 2003). Other systems - which we are calling secondary, and which Chrysippus called second movements - provide more deliberate, conscious, complex assess ments in terms of such matters as what caused the event and what to do about it. To study the automatic evaluations, Sheila Murphy and Robert Zajonc (1993) presented participants with photos of people smiling or displaying facial anger. In a "suboptimal" subliminal condition, participants viewed these photos for four milliseconds. Subsequent recognition tests revealed that these participants had no idea whether they had seen a happy or angry face, establishing that the faces had indeed been processed unconsciously, In an "optimal" condition participants viewed the same faces for one second, and were clearly aware of which faces they had viewed. After viewing the faces, all participants then viewed Chinese ideographs and rated h ow much they liked those ideographs. To the extent that there is a separate appraisal system that unconsciously evaluates the affective meaning of stimuli, one would expect the sub optimally presented faces to influence participants' ratings of the Chinese ideographs. The initial positive or negative feelings induced by the photos of the faces should color participants' evaluations of the ideographs. This is exactly what Murphy and Zajonc found. As you can see in figure 7.1, for t he suboptimally presented faces, smiling faces led participants to express greater liking for the Chinese ideographs that followed them, and angry faces to prompt less liking for the ideographs that followed them, even though participants could not tell the experimenter what faces they had seen. No such priming effects emerged with the optimally presented faces. When we are consciously aware of emotionally charged stimuli, they are less likely to sway our judgments of other stimuli (Clore, Gasper, & Garvin, 2001; G a s p & Clore, 2000). Is there evidence that automatic appraisals generate emotional experience as well as affecting preferences? As you will recall from chapter 1, this notion, that how our unconscious perceives the environment triggers powerful, and often inexplicable emotional reactions, was a cornerstone of Freud's analysis of emotional conflict. Ulf Dimberg and Arne ohman (1%) suggest that there are such effects. They first presented participants with photos of a smiling face or an angry face for extremely brief periods of JZ 9 $4
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0 0 Subli Figure 7.1 Unconsc be produced unconsc participants with slid, (subliminal) or optim how much they liked more after they have suggesting that that s When presented witk the smile did not lea( positively (Source: MI time. These photos by o ther photos th t he original face. A angry o r happy fac' did influence the I smile or to furrow t arousal associated T optimally presented Dimberg, Thunberg i jhman and Soares ( phobias below thei galvanic skin respol T hese studies sul automatic, fast, and feeling of good or 1 more specific apprai and negative emotic p otent: negative or - 62kyih 7 a$+kz(;d, 7-&,
I I d ) has proposed that ystems. One system mh r the stimulus is te . This system gives ttic emotional reacich motivate rapid lisals correspond to : mats of emotions. res these appraisals :em appears to give ~ssell, 003). Other 2 I Chrysippus called us, complex a ssess :nt and what to do and Robert Zajonc niling or displaying ipants viewed these tests revealed that I a happy or angry jsed unconsciously. m e faces for one viewed. After viewtographs and rated that unconsciously d expect the subngs of the Chinese iced by the photos le ideographs. This : in figure 7.1, for e icipants to express 3 them, and angry them, even though they had seen. No ented faces. When they are less likely arvin, 200 1; Gasper emotional experi- I IAnger face I Subliminal Above awareness Figure 7.1 Unconscious appraisal. To explore whether evaluations can
b produced unconsciously, Shelia Murphy and Robert Zajonc presented e participants with slides of a smiling face or an angry fac...
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- Richard Lazarus