Animal Behaviour



Laughter can prolong conversations and help to form and maintain social relationships, and is considered to be a sophisticated tool of social communication and emotional behaviours

Laughter is often seen in positive contexts - Chimpanzees and Bonobos vocalize when playing or being tickled
Shows a pre-human basis

Bachorowski & Owren 2001
Unvoiced laughter - grunt or snort, no periodicity in vocal fold vibration
Voiced laughter - song-like, periodicty in vocal fold vibration

1 of 10

Universal emotions

Need a genetic basis, biological systems, seen across cultures and occur early in development
Need to have similarities in form and function between humans and close relations (great apes)

Paul Eleman's list

  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Fear
  • Disgust
  • Surprise
  • Anger
2 of 10

Positive and negative emotions

Fredrickson (2003) argued that differently charged emotions need to be treated differently

Positive = serve over long period
Negative = more immediate needs

3 of 10

Broaden and build theory of positive emotion


How positive emotions help solve problems regarding personal growth and development

Exploring, social play, solitary play   --> all seen in animals
Improves ability to cope with environment and survival

Builds on physical, social, intellectual and psychological resources

4 of 10

Emotional contagion

Motor mimcry, imitation, emotional contagion occur when haring emotions with others
   - affiliation, forming and maintaining social relationships

Motor mimicry - unintentional copying of others
   - rapidity, EMG tests
   - argued to be important component of emotional contagion involving automatic responses
   - deeply rooted in animal biology

Imitation - involves understanding of action

Emotional contagion
   - occurs when an individual adopts the emotional state induced by another individual's comparable state
   - most rudimentary form of empathy
   - deep evolutionary roots

5 of 10

Right-hemisphere hypothesis

Thinking that right hemisphere is dominant for emotion recognition (the things in the left perceptual field)

Coincides with traditional 'lateralisation of brain functions'
   - Right side = emotions, left side = language

6 of 10

Valence hypothesis

Richard Davidson, 1982

Right-hemisphere dominant for negative emotions, left-hemisphere dominant for positive emotions

7 of 10

Emotional Intelligence Model

Mayer and Salovey 1997

4 branch model

  • Perceiving emotions = detecting and identifying emotions
  • Facilitating thought = using emotions
  • Understanding emotions = comprehending emotion language
  • Managing emotions = regulate emotions to achieve goals
8 of 10

Valence-Arousal hypothesis

James Russell

Continuously measures changes of emotional states

Negative --> positive
Low intensity --> high intensity

9 of 10


Needs more research
  Piglet experiment - partial support for valence hypothesis
     Positively and negatively associated to objects and used eye paches
  Chimpanzees grouping
    Able to group stimuli to correct emotion category

Hard to measure, need to be careful with human interpretation

  • Vocal expressions
  • Facial thermal imaging
  • Facial expressions
  • Playback tests
10 of 10


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Emotions resources »