Emotions, Perception, Attention, Social Psychology, Identity and Individual Differences

  • Created by: Bex161
  • Created on: 05-05-15 11:41


Emotions are innate and some are learned.

Emotions are: Cognitive, Physiological, Behavioural and Social.


James-Lange - Event -> Arousal -> Interpretation -> Emotion

Cannon-Bard - Thalamus sends impulses to Cortex = Perception -> Conscious experience of emotion. Thalamussens impulses to Hypothalmus = Perception of emotion arousing stimulus -> General physiological cahnges.

Two Factor - Emotion is based on two factors: physiological arousal and cognitive label. 

Evolutionary - Darwin researched the expression of emotions in an effort to support his theory of evolution.

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Emotional Development

Initially people are born with some emotions but learn others as we develop.Some emotional responses are learnt from society.

By age 4 we can regulate our emotions and understand basic rules.

Emotions trigger, facilitate and maintain relationships.

Amygdala: first response and fear.

Fear - Increased amygdala activity

Love - Decreased amygdala and Pre-Frontal Cortex activity.

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Perception - Vision

Eye - Processes light. Humans see 380-760nm (violet to red).

Brain - Visual (optical) cortex

Dorsal pathway (occipital to parietal) - Where, fast, viewer centred, bottom up.

Ventral pathway (occipital to temporal) - What, Slower, object centered, top-down.

Perception combines what we see with what we know: Bottom up processing, Top down processing

Colour - 3 cone cells (trichomatic vision) - Colour blindness

After images - rebound effect in retinal gangleion cells

Visual disorders:

  • Achromatopia (damage to V4)
  • Akinotopia (damage to V5)
  • Blindsight (damage to V1)
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One eye - Monocular cues:

  • Occlusion
  • Ariel Perspective
  • Linear Prespective
  • Relative size
  • Texture and size constancy
  • Horizon ration relation

Two eyes - Steropsis (3D) 

  • Binocular disparity

3D movies - Cause reactions in some people and can't be seen by others.

2 main methods for 3D films:

  • Passive 3D
  • Active 3D
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Objects and Motion

Object perception is based on features and context.

Local/Global processing - Navon

Whole is greater than sum of parts - Gestalt School

Movement - Multiple images from retina combined by brain

Motion aftereffect - Waterfall illusion

Optic Array/Flow - Bottom up information (light) guides perception of motion - Gibson

Apparent Motion - Rapid presentation of images gives the appearance of motion - How TV/Movies work.

We can identify humans on the basis of movement alone.

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Experience of Perception

How we feel and behave is partly determined by perception. Lots of things affect how we perceive the exernal world: Things, people, learning, attention, thoughts, time.

When something goes wrong with perception it affects our reality. We are able to perceive things that aren't there - Hallucinations.

Sometimes we are unable to perceive things which are there: 

  • Blindsight
  • Achromatopsia
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Visual Illusions

Depth cues are easy to manipulate and impossible to perceive correctly if they violate the norms.

Mismatches between top-down and bottom-up information are not always perceived.

Reality is a subjective visual experience; We see what we perceive which may not actually be what is there as it is easy to fool the visual system.

Constuctivist approach:

  • Richard Gregory
  • Visual experience is constructed.
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Magic (Attention)

Change Blindness - We don't always notice things which change when we're paying attention elsewhere.

Inattention Blindness - We aren't always aware of what we're not paying attention to.

Selective attention - Can't process everything so we choose what to process based on our behavorial goals.

Cover and Overt cues.

Distraction - It's easy to distract someone using overt cues and change blindness.

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Social Influence

Normative social influence - We like to be liked.

Informational social influence - We like t be right

Norms change.

Linked with attitudes and persuasion.

We obey orders if:

  • They're in authority
  • They're experts
  • When we don't know what's happening
  • In crisis situations

Cognitive dissonance - If we don't like what we're doing we justify it to ourselves

Cognitive dissonance is resolved.

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An evaluation of a person, object or situation - Learned predisposition, association, expressed evaluation.

3 components:

  • Affective (emotion)
  • Behavorial (predisposition to act)
  • Cognitive (belief and ideas)

Festinger & Carlsmith (1959) - Changing attitudes and cognitive dissonance

Self perception alternative (Bem) - If unsure of attitudes infer from our own behaviour.

Theory of Reasoned Action - Fishbein & Azjen (1975)

Implicit attitudes, stereotypes and schemas.

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Process of changing attitudes: Soruce, message, audience.

Process - Central, careful/deliberate arguments.

Peripheal - Superficial, relies on emotions and impressions.

Aids to persuasion - Foot in the door, door in the face, appeal to fear.

Persuasion fails more times than it succeeds:

  • Reactance
  • Forewarning
  • Inoculation

Burger (1986)

Reciporcity norm


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Attribution and Assumption

Explanation for cause of behaviour/events

First impressions:

  • Primacy effect
  • Schemas (exemplars)
  • Stereotypes (abstractions)

Personal (internal) vs situational (external) dispositions.

Fundamental attribution error - Overestimating person and underestimating the situation.

Actor - observer effect

Self-serving bias

Attribution theory (Kelley): Consistency, distinctiveness, consnesus.

Discounting principle & Augementation principle.

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The Self/Identity

The self develop/emerges through:

  • Play
  • Interactions with others
  • Behaviours and choices

Our identity is our attitudes attached to the self

Self perception differs: We choose which identity to portray, there is a hierarchy of roles and these change across our lifespan.

Self esteem affects our behaviour, attitudes and identity.

Our online persona gives us space to explore different aspects of our identity.

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