Is how expectations are resolved and is critical to

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is how expectations are resolved and is critical to learning and the development of skilled behavior. Expectations play an important role in our emotional lives. This is why drivers tense when trying to get through an intersection before the light turns red, or students become highly anxious before an exam. The release of the tension of expectation creates a sense of relief. The emotional system is especially responsive to changes in states so an upward change is interpreted positively even if it is only from a very bad state to a not-so-bad state, just as a change is two: The Psychology of Everyday Actions 53 interpreted negatively even if it is from an extremely positive state to one only somewhat less positive. THE REFLECTIVE LEVEL The reflective level is the home of conscious cognition. As a consequence, this is where deep understanding develops, where reasoning and conscious decision-making take place. The visceral and behavioral levels are subconscious and, as a result, they respond rapidly, but without much analysis. Reflection is cognitive, deep, and slow. It often occurs after the events have happened. It is a reflection or looking back over them, evaluating the circumstances, actions, and outcomes, often assessing blame or responsibility. The highest levels of emotions come from the reflective level, for it is here that causes are assigned and where predictions of the future take place. Adding causal elements to experienced events leads to such emotional states as guilt and pride (when we assume ourselves to be the cause) and blame and praise (when others are thought to be the cause). Most of us have probably experienced the extreme highs and lows of anticipated future events, all imagined by a runaway reflective cognitive system but intense enough to create the physiological responses associated with extreme anger or pleasure. Emotion and cognition are tightly intertwined. DESIGN MUST TAKE PLACE AT ALL LEVELS: VISCERAL, BEHAVIORAL, AND REFLECTIVE To the designer, reflection is perhaps the most important of the levels of processing. Reflection is conscious, and the emotions produced at this level are the most protracted: those that assign agency and cause, such as guilt and blame or praise and pride. Reflective responses are part of our memory of events. Memories last far longer than the immediate experience or the period of usage, which are the domains of the visceral and behavioral levels. It is reflection that drives us to recommend a product, to recommend that others use it or perhaps to avoid it. Reflective memories are often more important than reality. If we have a strongly positive visceral response but disappointing 54 The Design of Everyday Things usability problems at the behavioral level, when we reflect back upon the product, the reflective level might very well weigh the positive response strongly enough to overlook the severe behavioral difficulties (hence the phrase, Attractive things work better ). Similarly, too much frustration, especially toward the ending
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