Chapter 12 - Emotions - Chapter 12.1 The Nature of Emotion...

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Chapter 12.1 The Nature of Emotion Emotions – A feeling state involving physiological arousal , a cognitive appraisal of the situation arousing the state, and an outward expression of the state. Measuring emotions – Emotions are inferred, not observed directly. Researchers rely on self report , observations of behaviour , and physiological measures . Any stimulus that arouses emotion alters the activity of the autonomic nervous system, the section of the nervous system that controls the organs such as the heart and intestines. It has two branches: Sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight system) – arouses the body for vigorous action. It increases heart rate, breathing rate, sweating and flow of adrenaline, thereby preparing for vigorous activity. (Indicate anger, fear or any other intense emotion) Parasympathetic nervous system – consists of neurons whose axons extend from the medulla and the lower part of the spinal cord to neuron clusters near the organs. It decreases heart rate and promotes digestion and other emergency functions. Both systems send axons to the heart, digestive system and most other organs, however the adrenal gland receive only the sympathetic input. ( E.g. spot some danger at a distance, paying increased attention to it (parasympathetic nervous system), if danger is close enough to require action (sympathetic nervous system) The “Common Sense” Theory – Situation emotion body reaction James-Lange Theory – an event causes physiological arousal first and only after interpretation of the arousal can we experience emotion. Situation Interpretation of situation Body reaction emotion Evidence of James-Lange Theory Effects of decreased reaction In pure autonomic failure , the autonomic nervous system stops regulating the organs. People with this condition recognise situations that call for strong emotions (e.g. fear), but their emotions are much less intense. People who lose control of their autonomic responses generally reported weakened
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2011 for the course PSY 101 taught by Professor Gina during the Fall '10 term at Southern University at New Orleans .

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Chapter 12 - Emotions - Chapter 12.1 The Nature of Emotion...

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