[Crash Course] Psychology XXV & XXVI Emotions

Emotion: a mind and body's integrated response to a stimulus of some kind. Emotions involve physiological arousal, expressive behaviours, and conscious experience. These can be short flashes or long, lingering responses, and they can be very clear or very confusing.

William James/ Carl Lange: our feelings follow our bodily reactions to external situations, ep., you feel sad because you're crying. James-Lange Theory: the theory that our experience of emotion is our awareness of our physiological responses to emotion-arousing stimuli.

Walter Cannon/ Philip Bard: Cannon-Bard Theory: the theory that an emotion-arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers (1)physiological responses and (2)the subjective experience of emotion. In other words, a racing heart doesn't cause fear nor does the feeling of fear result in a racing heart, rather, both things just happen together.

Today, many psychologists believe that our emotions are also tangled up with our cognition. Stanley Schachter/ Jerome Singer: cognition can define emotion Two-Factor Theory: the Schachter-Singer theory that to experience emotion one must (1) be physically aroused and (2) cognitively label the arousal.

Arousal: an increase in reactivity or wakefulness that primes us for some kind of action. Sometimes, arousal can spill over from one event to the next: say you're just watching a heated soccer match, and you're all revved up, and someone looks at you funny. Suddenly you might label that lingering arousal as anger. The arousal spurs emotion, but cognition directs it.

Robert Zajonc: all emotions are the result of just putting a name to our arousal. Many of our emotional reactions occur separately, or even before our cognition kicks in.

High road : love or hatred You can pin that mushy feeling in your heart to the sensory stimulus of reading travelling from your eyes all the way through your thalamus to your brain's cortex. There, it can be analysed by means of your cognitive process, perhaps consciously, perhaps implicitly and labeled with, like “awww, so sweet”, at which point, it heads to your limbic system, the central brain region that drives emotion, motivation. And that point, you respond with all the warm-fuzzies.

Low road: like, aversions, and fears, don't have to involve actual thinking. Such 'jump-out' stimuli bypass the cortex and zip right from the ear, the eye to the amygdala in the lymbic system. It's a knee-jerk reaction that allows us to react quickly, often in the face of potential danger.

The slower high-road cortex route allows thinking about feeling, while the quicl low-road shortcut allows instant emotional reaction.

It's hard to argue with the fact that we often feel emotions with our bodies as much as with our brains.

Because so many emotions have a certain contagious quality, our feelings and the behaviours they drive also affect the minds, bodies, and health of those around us.

Paul Ekman: Facial expressions are culturally universal.

Facial feedback hypothesis: facial expressions can help regulate our emotions.

Emotions involve a lot more than making faces and hand gestures they're also about our conscious experience of what we're feeling.

Two-dimensional model: any of the emotions you might feel while, like, reading Harry Potter or something, are expressed on a spectrum, and as a combination of valence roughly speaking, good or bad, and arousal.

pleasant/positive relaxed | elated enthusiastic low arousal ___|________ high arousal sluggish| fearful angry sad | unpleasant/negative

What is psychological is ultimately biological. It pretty much goes the way you might expect: happiness is healthful, while chronic anger or depression makes us volunerable to all kinds of problems with health and well-being. The good news is that, we often overestimate the duration of our bad moods and underestimate our capacity to adapt and bounce back from traumas, even the things feel hopeless, depressing or stressful in the thick of it.

Stress can slowly build and simmer, or it can strike suddenly and with great intensity. But define stress is much tricker than you think. Psychologists would define stress as the process by which we perceive and respond to certain events, or stressors, that we view as challenging or threatening. -Catastrophes -Significant life changes -Everyday inconveniences

Stress is ultimately natural. You experience it for a reason, and a bit of short-lived stress can actually be a good thing. It can make you active and alert when you need to be, like an upcoming chemistry test might be stressing you out, but that might help you find focus so you can dominate that thing. And in your body, moderate stress can kick the immune system into action to do things like heal wounds and fight infections. Chronic stress can wreck your body.