The Physiology of Emotion

The Physiology of Emotion - The physical arousal that...

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The Physiology of Emotion 1. Describe the physiological changes that occur during emotional arousal, and discuss the relationship between arousal and performance. In an emergency, the sympathetic nervous system automatically mobilizes the body for fight or flight, directing the adrenal glands to release hormones that increase heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar level. Other physical changes include tensed muscles, dry mouth, dilated pupils, slowed digestion, and increased sweating. The parasympathetic nervous system calms the body. In day-to-day life, our performance on a task is usually best when arousal is moderate, though this varies with the difficulty of the task. With easy tasks, peak performance comes with relatively high arousal, which enhances the dominant, usually correct response. With more difficult tasks, the optimal arousal is somewhat less. 2. (text and Thinking Critically) Describe the relationship between physiological states and specific emotions, and discuss the effectiveness of the polygraph in detecting lies.
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Unformatted text preview: The physical arousal that occurs with one emotion is, in most ways, indistinguishable from arousal that occurs with another. However, scientists have discovered subtle differences in the brain circuits and hormones associated with different emotions. The right hemisphere becomes more electrically active as people experience negative emotions, such as disgust. The left hemisphere activates when processing positive emotions. Fear and rage are accompanied by differing finger temperatures and hormone secretions. The polygraph measures several physiological indicators of emotion-for example, changes in breathing, pulse rate, blood pressure, and perspiration. Research suggests it errs about one-third of the time, too often to justify its widespread use in business and government. It more often labels the innocent guilty than the guilty innocent. A more honest approach is the guilty knowledge test....
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course PSY 2012 taught by Professor Scheff during the Fall '08 term at Broward College.

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