Science of emotion - studying emotion

To study emotion we need to know:
What it is, how to measure it and ways to investigate it...can we manipulate it?
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James, 1884
Defining emotion - Bodily changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact, and our feeling of the same changes as they occur is the emotion.
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Arnold & Gasson, 1954
Defining emotion - The felt tendency towards an object judged suitable, or away from an object judged unsuitable, reinforced by bodily changes.
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Lazarus, 1991
Defining emotion - Organized psychophysiological reactions to news about ongoing relationships with the environment.
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The Circumplex Model of Affect
(e.g. Watson & Tellegen, 1985). Dimensions: Each emotion or mood is defined by the extent to which it involves the underlying dimensions of pleasure and activation
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Circumplex Model - independence
Dimensions that are at 90 degrees are independent (i.e. zero correlation).
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Circumplex model - PA/NA
Some researchers focus on the rotated dimensions of positive affect and negative affect instead Positive affect and negative affect are at 90 degrees in the model so they are independent i.e. not the inverse of each other.
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Circumplex model - everyday experience
May be better described by a circumplex that has been squashed from above i.e. pleasure dimension dominates.
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Basis for Circumplex Model - greek
Poles of the circumplex are reminiscent of Greek ideas concerning the four body humors: blood (gives rise to vigor), black bile (gives rise to despair), yellow bile (gives rise to anger) and phlegm (gives rise to placidity)
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Basis for Circumplex Model - Wundt (1897)
Described similar dimensions based on his introspections concerning his response to auditory rhythm
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Circumplex structure found in studies of:
Facial expressions Semantic similarity Experienced affect.
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Various circumplex models exist:
Choice and location of individual emotion terms varies. Temporal frame (e.g., now vs. today), intensity (mild vs. extreme), and response format (how often an emotion is felt vs. extent) can produce different results (Cropanzano et al., 2003).
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Discrete Emotion Models - categorical approach
propose that there is a limited set of basic discrete emotions from which more complex emotions are derived. They are basic in being innate, universal, and irreducible, and they correspond to specific neurophysiological systems.
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Izard, 2007
Emotions can be seen as the combination of basic emotions and emotion schema (which involve emotion-related cognitions)
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Basic emotions:
Disagreements as to which emotions are basic. Joy, sadness, disgust, fear, and anger are on most lists (e.g. Power, 2006). Surprise, shame and love are on some lists but they may be complex emotions (i.e. derived from others) or cognitive
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Complex emotions:
Shaver et al. (1987) used people’s knowledge of emotions to produce a hierarchy of 135 emotion words. James distinguished between coarse and noncoarse emotions. Noncoarse emotions may involve higher level awareness (experience of an experience)
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Compound emotions
Du, Tao, and Martinez (2014) used facial action codes to identify 15 compound emotions, each constructed from two or more basic emotions but with distinct features. e.g. happily surprised, awe (fear+surprise).
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Discrete Models - Different points of view:
Feldman-Barrett et al (2007) have critiqued the evidence for basic emotions. They instead propose a conceptual act model: ongoing primitive emotional response (dimensional) plus conceptual knowledge (categorical).
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Measuring Affect - Self-report scales:
Most common. Usually have a no. of adjectives for each dimension or category of affect (enhances reliability).Can also use faces(less culture-specific, but more ambiguous&restricted set).Response format: timescale, nature, format. e.g. Diary study
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Measuring Affect - Disadvantages of self-report scales:
Requires self-awareness and understanding of emotion (alexithymia – deficiency in processing and understanding of emotions). Items may not be relevant to participant. Responses may be “socially desirable”.
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Measuring Affect - Diary study
Affect can be recorded at regular intervals/response to a signal sent on a quasi-random schedule/whenever a designated event occurs. Ecological validity high because experience recorded in context of daily life. Minimises memory recall problems
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Russell et al., 1989
Affect Grid, The affect grid is designed as a quick means of recording your mood along the dimension of pleasure-displeasure and activation-sleepiness. Grid. Participant puts an X where mood is
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Watson et al., 1988
Positive and Negative Affect Scale. The scale consists of a number of words that describe different feelings and emotions. Participant rate what extent they have felt this way that day by writing a number from the following scale (1-5)
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Measuring Affect - Alternatives (non-linguistic):
Neuroimaging, physiological measures, record facial expressions, cognitive measures
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Measuring Affect - Alternatives (non-linguistic) - neuroimaging
Restrictive environment, and emotion experienced in scanner needs validating by self-report.
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Measuring Affect - Alternatives (non-linguistic) - physiological measures
e.g. skin conductance, heart rate. Mapping to specific emotions imprecise and cannot distinguish all emotions.
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Measuring Affect - Alternatives (non-linguistic) - record facial expressions
(and other non-verbal indicators). Coding is complex. Must overcome suppression and faking of emotions
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Measuring Affect - Alternatives (non-linguistic) - cognitive measures
e.g., Stroop type tasks to assess nonconscious accessibility of emotions. Useful for particular research questions.
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Measuring Affect - Alternatives (linguistic):
qualitative accounts, peer reports, sentiment analysis, quantifying emotion value
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Measuring Affect - Alternatives (linguistic) - qualitative accounts
Rich data but idiographic.
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Measuring Affect - Alternatives (linguistic) - peer reports
No access to person’s internal experience, and requires good knowledge of person.
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Measuring Affect - Alternatives (linguistic) - sentiment analysis
from text (e.g., online media) but contextual ambiguity.
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Measuring Affect - Alternatives (linguistic) - quantifying emotion value
(e.g., willingness to pay). Specific use.
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Measuring Affect - A summary
Multi-method approach may be needed (Mauss & Robinson, 2009): Limited convergence across measures; No “gold standard” measure; All types of measure relevant.
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Emotion Elicitation - Emotional Stimuli:
Film clips/photographs
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Emotion Elicitation - Effectiveness of affect inductions
Comparison of 4 affect induction procedures (Zhang, Yu, & Barrett, 2014): recall of valenced event + music; viewing images + music; guided imagery; posing face/voice/body All four were effective but image with music was most generally effective.
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Velten, 1968
Mood Induction - Participants read positive or negative self-statements.
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Problems in emotion research (Kagan, 2010):
Disagreement on what an emotion refers to: brain activity, appraisal, or behavioral response. Reliance on English words for emotions: Some emotions have no word in English, and some emotion words have a number of associated feelings.
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Future developments (Picard, 2010):
Shift from studying emotion in labs to finding patterns of emotion in everyday life. Need new ways to measure, share, analyse and learn from how people respond emotionally to the situations that matter to them. By the people for the people.
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***Boucher & Brandt, 1981***
Cross-cultural comparisons. For example, a study has been conducted where participants from different cultures are given emotion terms, such as fear and anger, and asked to provide situations where they would experience those emotions in.
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***When electronics became available...***
brain researchers were no longer limited to studying brain damage outcomes, they could now stimulate the brain electronically. The results confirmed the interpretations that had been made from lesions.
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***Adjective check-lists***
The concept is to create sets of adjectives that are synonyms of the moods that you are interested in (e.g. happy & sad). Then mix up all the adjectives & ask the pp if any apply to them. You count one point for each adjective from each set.
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***What is affect?***
Umbrella term encompassing abroad range of feelings that individuals experience, including feeling states and traits (Watson & Clark, 1984)
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***What is emotion?***
Usually relatively intense and short-lived affective condition which are elicited by a particular target of cause (Frijda, 1986)
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***What is mood?***
Usually less intense and longer lasting affective state which is not directed at any specific object, reflecting more diffuse and generalized evaluative processes (Frijda, 1986)
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Card 2

Front

James, 1884

Back

Defining emotion - Bodily changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact, and our feeling of the same changes as they occur is the emotion.

Card 3

Front

Arnold & Gasson, 1954

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Lazarus, 1991

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

The Circumplex Model of Affect

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Preview of the front of card 5
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