The Science of Emotion - emotion is cognitive

Emotions can be rational - Emotions are based on...
actual events and substantive beliefs (Oatley et al., 2006)
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Emotions can be rational - Emotions help individuals...
function effectively in the environment (Oatley et al., 2006)
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Emotions can be rational - Emotions can systematically...
guide or disrupt cognitive processes (Oatley et al., 2006)
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Okon-Singer et al (2015)
Neurobiology of emotion-cognition interactions - The distinction between an ‘emotional’ and a ‘cognitive’ brain is fuzzy and context-dependent.
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Dolcos et al. (2011)
Neurobiology of emotion-cognition interactions. Neural correlates of emotion-cognition interaction in terms of: emotion on cognition; cognition on emotion and individual differences
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Dolcos et al. (2011) - emotion on cognition
Perception and attention; memory; decision-making
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Dolcos et al. (2011) - cognition on emotion
emotion regulation; emotional distraction
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Dolcos et al. (2011) - individual differences
personality, sex, age
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The three parts of this topic
Part 1. Thinking influences our experience of emotions. Part 2. Emotions influence what and how we think. Part 3. Thinking about emotions
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1. Zajonc, 1980
Mere exposure effects. Feeling in the absence of cognition. “Preferences need no inferences.” Mere Exposure Effect: Liking occurs before and independently of cognition. Whether something is good or bad is an unconscious evaluation.
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1. Ohman & Soares (1994)
Mere exposure effects - This extends beyond liking: found that snake and spider phobics showed increased physiological reactions and negative emotion to subliminally presented photos of snakes/spiders.
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1. Soussignan et al. (2010)
Mere exposure effects - This extends beyond liking: found that unconscious fear cues increased negative appraisals of food stimuli in patients with anorexia nervosa.
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1. Lazarus, 1982
Thought is a necessary condition of emotion. Appraisals cause (or at least precede) emotional experience. Emotions are subjective. To prompt emotion, an event must be evaluated (cognitively appraised) in relation to the person’s well-being.
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1. Lazarus, 1982 - appraisals do not necessarily...
imply awareness of factors related to the object or event, i.e. Zajonc’s (1980) “preferences” are also cognitive.
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1. Le Doux, 1980
Both previous approaches are correct: we feel fast and we feel slow. Dual Process Theories: We have a fast, automatic, unconscious system and a slower, controlled, conscious, system (e.g. implicit and explicit attitudes)
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1. Le Doux, 1980 - interaction between...
fast processing (amygdala) and a slower, more elaborate, representation (associated with neocortex).
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1. (Ellsworth, 2013) - appraisal theories
Emotions are multidimensional; emotions arise from the organism's perception of environmental changes; appraisals are influenced by temperaments, culture, experience and goals
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1. (Ellsworth, 2013) - appraisal theories stipulate
a) construction of meaning of the situation and b) elements of the emotional experience, such as novelty, valence, certainty, goals, agency and control.
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1. (Ellsworth, 2013) - Several features influence emotional experience, e.g.
bodily reactions, action tendencies, culture
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1. Ellsworth, 2013 - Do appraisals cause emotions?
Emotional experiences usually start with appraisal = Appraisal change is emotional change, e.g. Appraisal of a novel situation involves physiological changes.
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1. Ellsworth, 2013 - Labeling emotional experiences
Basic emotions can be a combination of appraisals. Appraisals of emotional experiences are a continuous process, independent of labels.
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1. Ellsworth, 2013 - Language constraints
Accesibility and communication.
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1. Ellsworth, 2013 - Automatic emotional responses
Automatic responses reduce accessibility to component appraisals.
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2. Two types of emotions
Integral emotion and incidental emotion
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2. Integral emotion
feelings caused by or related to the decision at hand or the cognitive task (Lerner et al., 2015), e.g. fear of losing money when deciding between investments
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2. Incidental emotion
feelings unrelated to the cognitive process (Blanchette et al., 2013), e.g. feeling happy over good news during an exam
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2. Lerner et al., 2003 - background
Emotions of the same valence may not have the same effects Specific emotions of the same valence don’t always have the same effects, e.g. Effects of anger and sadness differ in assessment of control and attributions of responsibility.
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2. Lerner et al., 2003 - examined...
examined the effect of fear and anger on perceptions of future risks related to terrorist attacks after 9/11:
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2. Lerner et al., 2003 - found
ANGRY participants estimated LESS risk. ANGER is associated with low uncertainty. SCARED participants estimated MORE risk. FEAR is associated with high uncertainty.
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2. Bower, 1981
Network theory/affective priming - Emotions are nodes in a semantic network. Mood influences memory, e.g. mood-state-dependent memory) and cognitive processing, e.g. negative emotion associated to pessimistic cognition.
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2. Bower, 1981 - indirect effect:
mood --> mood-congruent thoughts --> judgements.
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2. Bower, 1981 - however...
Mood-incongruent memories can be retrieved (e.g. recalling a happy event when sad).
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2. Clore, 1983
Feelings provide rapid information about our environment. Feelings can act as heuristics when making judgments: “How do I feel about this?”. Direct effect: mood --> judgements.
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2. Clore, 1983 - however...
mood can have little impact on more general thoughts and beliefs, e.g. political orientation.
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2. Blanchette & Richards, 2010
Effects of emotion on judgement. Mood --> judgement (likelihood of event) --> decision.
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2. Blanchette & Richards, 2010 - availability heuristic
You form estimates of likelihood based on how easily you can retrieve instances from memory. Emotional events are more memorable but not necessarily more frequent.
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2. Blanchette & Richards, 2010 - However, there are factors that influence...
Ease of retrieval. Mood increases the availability of mood-congruent information (Bower, 1981) e.g. a positive mood increases the accessibility of positive events, so you judge positive events as more probable.
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2. Blanchette & Richards, 2010 - negative mood:
Anxiety (trait and state) is associated with risk aversion. Sadness tends to increase risk tolerance or risk seeking
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2. Blanchette & Richards, 2010 - positive mood:
Linked to higher risk aversion, especially when odds of losing were high (Isen et al., 1988). Positive outcomes should seem more likely (affective priming). Positive mood should signal safety (feelings as information).
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2. Blanchette & Richards, 2010 - positive mood - decisions are based on...
perceived utility
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2. Wegener & Petty, 1994
People are motivated to achieve and maintain pleasant moods. When we feel good, we have more to lose, and spend more time thinking about the consequences of our actions.
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2. Wegener & Petty, 1994 - in their studies...
when people were asked to choose between different activities, happy people paid more attention to how the proposed activities would make them feel.
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2. Bechara & Damasio, 2005 - method
Gambling Task: Choosing from different card decks which have immediate rewards (large/small) and unpredictable losses (large/small). Participants learn to avoid risky decks that lead to bigger losses
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2. Bechara & Damasio, 2005 - found
Participants learn to avoid risky decks that lead to bigger losses. Participants produce skin conductance responses (SCRs) when an outcome is a loss*. These responses occur when then risky option is being considered.
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2. Wright & Rakow, 2017
In relation to (Bechara & Damasio, 2005) gambling task - Results from three Balloon Analogue Risk Task studies showed that skin conductance did not guide decision making.
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2. Azevedo et al. (2017)
Bodily signals are known to bias perception and behavior
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2. e.g. Bless et al., 1990
Processing style - Systematic (Negative moods) - Reasoning about deep features (e.g. strength of an argument)
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2. Worth & Mackie, 1987
Processing style - Heuristic (Positive moods) - Reasoning about superficial features (e.g. source of information)
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2. Wegener et al., 1995
Processing style - Systematic (Positive moods) - Participants in a positive mood process uplifting messages more systematically than depressing messages
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2. Bodenhausen et al., 1994
Processing style - Heuristic (Negative moods) - Angry participants were more likely than sad participants to be influenced by a stereotype when judging student misbehavior
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2. Lerner et al., 2015
Emotion-imbued choice (EIC) model - A general model of affective influences on decision making. Model does not account for reflexive behaviour, .e.g. visceral influences like jumping back or freezing
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2. Lerner et al., 2015 - Emotion is considered in two ways:
the emotions felt at the time of the decision and expected emotions (evaluated as utility).
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2. Lerner et al., 2015 - model
Characteristics of decision maker --> characteristics of opinions (can directly influence current feelings) conscious and/or non conscious evaluation --> decision --> expected outcomes
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2. Summary of the impact of emotions on cognition - affective priming
Mood makes congruent cognitions more accessible
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2. Summary of the impact of emotions on cognition - feeling as information
Feelings provide information about the environment
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2. Summary of the impact of emotions on cognition - hedonic contingency
Decisions in positive moods may be influenced by mood-management motives
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2. Summary of the impact of emotions on cognition - somatic marker hypothesis
Bodily reactions can be vital to decision making
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2. Summary of the impact of emotions on cognition - Emotion-imbued choice (EIC) model
Integral, incidental and expected emotions influence decision making
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3. Frederickson, 1998
Positive emotions are associated with a host of positive outcomes such as health, well-being and success (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005). Positive emotions broaden attention and encourage cognitive flexibility (promote creativity, ‘we’ instead of ‘me’).
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3. Frederickson, 1998 - broadened cognition help to build resources:
physical e.g. warding off the common cold; psychological e.g. mastery over environment; social e.g. giving and receiving social support.
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3. Marroquin et al., 2016
Expected emotions - Simulation of experiences and associated emotions before and after they happen, e.g. emotion and future-oriented cognition
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3. Brickman et al., 1978
found that lottery winners were not significantly happier than a control group and also that a group of paralysed accident victims were not as unhappy as might be expected
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3. Wilson & Gilbert, 2005
Affective forecasting errors. Impact bias, psychological processes, forecasted feelings and faulty predictions
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3. Wilson & Gilbert, 2005 - impact bias
Consistent overestimation of the intensity and duration of future emotion.
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3. Wilson & Gilbert, 2005 - psychological processes
reduce the impact of emotional experience, e.g. adaptation over time, assimilation of information.
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3. Wilson & Gilbert, 2005 - forecasted feelings
Decisions are based on reaching maximum pleasure and minimum pain.
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3. Wilson & Gilbert, 2005 - faulty predictions
can be the base of our decisions
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Are forecasting errors useful?
We tend to predict the right emotion Overestimation may be functional Overestimating positive feelings can be motivating. Anticipated regret is a powerful force in guiding behavior.
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Are forecasting errors useful? - we probably...
learn anyway We’re likely to get more accurate at predicting feelings. Forecasting errors are more of a problem for novel events
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***Bower et al., 1981 - method***
In an investigation of Bower's (1981) hypothesis, participants were hypnotised to feel happy or sad; they then read a short story about two college students, one doing really well, the other poorly.
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***Bower et al., 1981 - findings***
In a memory test the next day, it was found that the participants who were happy when reading the story recalled more facts about the student who was doing well, whereas the sad participants recalled more about the student who was doing poorly.
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***Ellsworth, 2013***
Appraisal of a novel situation is related to physiological changes, such as lowered heart rate; expressive and other motor changes; changes in action tendency; and a change in subjective experience.
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Emotions can be rational - Emotions help individuals...

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function effectively in the environment (Oatley et al., 2006)

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Emotions can be rational - Emotions can systematically...

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Okon-Singer et al (2015)

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Dolcos et al. (2011)

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