176 terms

Consciousness and Attention


Terms in this set (...)

what do we mean by consciousness
the subjective experience of the world and the mind; you can self-report (people tend to lie though); really hard to share our experience with anyone else; also your consciousness is not fixed
how could you go about studying consciousness?
EEG- maybe compare brain activity in stages of sleep with people in less conscious state such as a coma and fully conscious people; wake up in the middle of sleep as ask what they are thinking; drunk and look at sleep cycles (mismatch negativity; ecologically important); look at how consciousness changes as you get older?
cartesian theater (after philosopher Rene Descartes)
a mental screen or stage on which things appear to be presented for viewing by the mind's eye
hard problem of consciousnes
the difficulty of explaining how subjective experience could ever arise
how things actually seem in the state of consciousness in terms of the quality of experience; the study of experience
homunculus problem
difficulty of explaining the notion of an inner self experiencing consciousness that does not evoke an infinite regress; is a problem b/c if there really was a 'mini-me' inside your head, then who is inside the head of the homunculus and so on?
It has been suggested that 'we think we did it' experience could be a useful way of keeping track of our decisions and actions
This is b/c the unconscious influences and processes that lead to these choices are too complicated to monitor, but we can keep track of the outcome as a feeling that we have made the decision
subjective experiences we have as part of our mental life; we might agree that it's warm, but then how do we describe warm? or the unique experience of feeling pain; personal quality
the inverted spectrum problem
ex. you know what the color red looks like but you can't know whether it looks the same to other people
philosopher's zombie
could talk about experiences (the lights are so bright) and even seem to react to them (wincing and turning away) but might not be having any inner experience at all; the possibility of it is often used as an argument against the idea that consciousness is simply something that emerges out of the brain; most neuroscientists reject this b/c altering brain activity through damage, disease, drugs or direct stimulation alters conscious experience
philosophical position that mental states are a product of physical processes alone
the tendency to attribute human qualities to nonhuman things
how do people judge minds?
according to the capacity for experience, such as the ability to feel pain, pleasure, hunger, consciousness, anger or fear, and the capacity for agency such as the ability for self-control, planning, memory or thought
the mind-body problem: psychologists
the issue of how the mind is related to the brain and body; assume that mental events are intimately tied to brain events, such that every thought, perception or feeling is associated with a particular pattern of activation of neurons in the brain - then no free will?; Studies suggests that the brain's activities precede the activities of the conscious mind; The brain also started to show electrical activity before the person's conscious decision to move; Consciousness may simply be making senses of our thoughts and actions after they have already been activated by unconscious processes
mind-body problem: regular people
when we look in the mirror, we can see how our outward appearance may change but we do not feel that the observer is different; We may change our opinions and thoughts over time, but we still feel like the same 'person' having those thoughts and opinions; does being more confidant make you a different person?
choice blindness
when people are unaware of their decision-making processes and justify a choice as if it were already decided
nature of consciousness: basic properties: intentionality
the quality of being directed towards an object, which is not to be confused with the more familiar sense of intention as characterizing something done on purpose; it is directed towards something
change blindness
when people are unaware of significant event changes that happen in full view; example: brain games where have 2 people behind a counter and see if they notice when the cashier changes
nature of consciousness: basic properties: unity
resistance to division; becomes clear when you try to attend to more than one thing at a time
nature of consciousness: basic properties: selectivity
its capacity to include some objects and not others; consciousness filters out some information including irrelevant messages or even men in gorilla suits. At the same time participants did notice when the voice in the unattended ear changed from a male to a female voice, suggesting that the selectivity of consciousness can also work to tune in other information
dichotic listening
a task in which people wearing headphones hear different messages presented to each ear
cocktail party phenomenon
people tune in to one message even while they filter out others nearby; people are more sensitive to their own name than other names, for example even during sleep
nature of consciousness: basic properties: transience
not fixed; example bistable image (like the necker cube or rabbit/duck picture)
levels of consciousness
Ranging from minimal consciousness to full consciousness to self-consciousness; Probably all register as 'conscious' on the wakefulness meter for surgery patients
minimal consciousness
a low-level kind of sensory awareness and responsiveness that occurs when the mind inputs sensations and may output behavior
fully conscious
consciousness in which you know and are able to report your mental state; you are aware that you are having this experience
example of spectrum of consciousness
When you have a hurt leg and mindlessly rub it your pain may be minimally conscious. After all, you seem to be experiencing the pain b/c you are indeed rubbing your leg. It is only when you realize that it hurts, though, that the pain becomes fully conscious; It's at just this point - when you are zoned out but don't know it - that you seem to be unaware of your own mental state. You are minimally conscious of wherever your mind has wandered to, and you return with a jolt into the full consciousness that your mind had drifted away from
a distinct level of consciousness in which the person's attention is drawn to the self as an object; A tendency to be chronically self-conscious is associated with depression
'the rouge test' (red paint and mirror): self-consciousness
turns out that humans, animals such as chimpanzees and orangutans, possibly dolphins and maybe even elephants recognize their own mirror images
experience sampling technique
people are asked to report their conscious experiences at particular times
what dominates consciousness?
the immediate environment - what is seen, felt, heard, tasted, and smelled; beyond this are people's current concerns, or what the person is thinking about repeatedly
a state of consciousness in which a seemingly purposeless flow of thoughts comes to mind
computer game and daydreaming
program draws on the idea that people learn from past experiences by 'replaying' them in daydreams, that they discover creative approaches to the future by imaging fanciful scenarios, and that all this helps them to control and channel their emotions
mental control
the attempt to change conscious states of mind
thought suppression
the conscious avoidance of a thought
rebound effect of thought suppression
the tendency of a thought to return to consciousness with greater frequency following suppression; These ironic effects seem most likely to occur when the person is distracted or under stress
ironic processes of mental control
mental processes than can produce ironic error because monitoring for error can itself produce them; Are needed for effective mental control - they help in the process of banishing a thought from consciousness - but they can sometimes yield the very failure they seem designed to overcome
the unconscious mind: Descartes
The only certainty of existence one could logically hold to be true was that being consciously aware of one's own thinking was proof of existence
dynamic unconscious (freud)
an active system encompassing a lifetime of hidden memories, the person's deepest instincts and desires, and the person's inner struggle to control these forces; socialized: ex. know that we can't have a temper tantrum b/c you are hungry in the middle of a lecture b/c not socially acceptable
repression (freud)
a mental process that removes unacceptable thoughts and memories from consciousness and keeps them in the unconscious
freudian slips
evidence of unconscious mind in speech errors; Slips of speech can indeed by prompted by a person's pressing concerns; Many of the meaningful errors Freud attributed to the dynamic unconscious were not predicted in advance and so seem to depend on clever after-the-fact interpretations
cognitive unconscious
the mental processes that are not experienced by the person but give rise to the person's thoughts, choices, emotions and behavior
subliminal perception
a thought or behavior that is influenced by stimuli that a person cannot consciously report perceiving; Does occur but the degree of influence it has on behavior is not very large
experiment: subliminal perception
participants made 'word, non-word' judgments; subliminal word flashed just before the target (16ms) but not enough for conscious awareness; masked (xxxxx); half of the participants saw 'thirst' and 'dry' other half saw 'pirate' and 'won'; asked if wanted a coupon for 'super-quencher' or 'power-pro'; results: thirst and dry group choose super quencher more; strongest for participants who were already thirsty; same results found when primes were presented for 300ms and consciously perceived; were the 16ms primes really unconscious or just too brief to be remembered?
selective attention
the process whereby we focus mental processing on a limited range of events; without this we would not be consciously 'aware', we would be swamped with sensory overload and unable to concentrate
information bottleneck
when the channel of information processing has a limited capacity; Argued that only the very important messages should be allowed to get through
early filter model
selective attention model that proposes that information is discarded early in the stream of processing
attenuation model
selective attention model that proposes that information is not entirely discarded in the stream of processing but is suppressed relative to other important signals
response selection model
selective attention model that proposes that selection occurs late in the stream of processing before a response has been made
early vs. late selection study
Stress response was conditioned in adults by associating target words with an electric shock; Conditioned to expect an electric shock after hearing certain words; After establishing a conditioned fear response as measured by GSR participants were asked to selectively attend to messages in one ear in a dichotic listening task; Whenever target words were presented in the unattended ear, participants failed to consciously report them, but participants showed a GSR indicating that the target words were still unconsciously processed
load model
attentional model that explains early and late selection as a consequence of the task difficulty; if a task is really hard we will block things off early and select sooner, but if the task is easy we will let more in
Lavie 1995
people are asked if the letter on top is an x or a z; the letter in the center (where the participant looks) can be a possible answer, a neutral response, or the right answer; discriminate perceptual interference and attentional interference; low load (1 other letter) or high load (6 other letters); longest reaction time when they were incompatible (confusing answer); selection is late when the task is easy (low load)
overt shifting attention
in the case of visual targets we shift our gaze
covert attention shifting
It is possible to look in one direction but pay attention to another location
spatial attention
some part of the visual field that has information that is important and you need to make sure that you are focusing what you are conscious of; ex. crossing the road or cooking
"posner paradigm" 1980
press right hand if light flashes on the right, left hand if light flashes on the left; put an arrow in the center or an equal sign; cuing effects; reaction time from fastest to slowest was: vaild, neutral, invalid
unilateral visual neglect
a condition where patients fail to notice or attend to stimuli that appear on the side of space opposite the site of a hemispheric lesion; Damage to the dorsal pathway including the parietal lobe can produce this; Most typically found in patients with lesions of the right parietal lobe; they fail to report objects on the contralesional side of their mental image; must be aware at some level
balint's syndrome
an attentional disorder where the patient loses the ability to voluntarily shift visual attention to new locations, which is associated with damage to both sides of the brain; rarer than unilateral visual neglect; fail to notice objects outside their attentional spotlight even when they are staring them in the face
residual visual capability supported by subcortical mechanisms following removal or damage to cortical visual areas
parietal lobe
important for spatial attention; retinotopic maps; redundant maps (cells are specialized for slightly different things; items currently the focus of your attention); right sides does the left, left does right (if you lose a hemisphere, you lose conscious access to that space and the attentional cells for that visual field
why do we need spatial attention?
V1 does line orientation; V4 does color; somehow need to get this information together
feature integration theory
features are colors, shapes, textures, and other physical properties; must be integrated if we are to experience a coherent perception
illusory conjunction
Illusory combination of features that are perceived when stimuli containing a number of features are presented briefly and under conditions in which focused attention is difficult. For example, presenting a red square and a blue triangle could potentially create the perception of a red triangle.
pop out stimulus
no feature integration required; example: one green X and lots of red Xs
what happens if you lose both parietal lobes?
lose the ability to bind features together; when 2 objects are overlaid (ex. spoon and a comb) you would only be able to see one; movement helped him see; when the spoon and comb went away he saw the biggest thing in his visual field and was conscious of that
what is consciousness for?
One possibility is that our brains generate the experience of consciousness to keep track of the outcome of all the unconscious processes by giving us a sense of ownership over them - even if they happen before we are aware of them; Another possibility related to attention is that we have evolved consciousness as an interface between the parallel world of multiple mental processes and the sequential demands of the world so that our experience seems to be linear
altered states of consciousness
forms of experience that depart from the normal subjective experiences of the world and the mind
hypnagogic state
pre-sleep consciousness
hypnic jerk
sudden quiver or sensation of dropping as though missing a step on a staircase; just about to sleep then you jerk and wake back up
hypnopomic state
post-sleep consciousness
circadian rhythm
a naturally occurring 24 hour cycle; like an internal body clock; need a light/dark cycle: dark triggers melatonin production; cycle is about 25 hours in absence of light
sleep cycle: general
alternation between high-frequency activity (beta waves) during alertness and lower frequency activity (alpha waves) during relaxation; as you fall deeper and deeper into sleep, neural activity becomes more correlated (those aresas are not working; ex. occipital lobes); In second staged these patterns are interrupted by short bursts of activity called sleep spindles and K complexes; stage 3+4 lots of delta waves
REM (rapid eye movement)
stage of sleep characterized by rapid eye movements and a high level of brain activity; sometimes known as paradoxical sleep; Pulse quickens, blood pressure rises, and there are telltale signs of sexual arousal; visual cortex is active b/c you have visual dreams; hippocampus is also active; Measurements of muscle movements indicate that the sleeper is very still
electrooculograph (EOG)
a device that measure eye movements
sleep and memory
Sleep following learning appears to be essential for memory consolidation (basically making information permanent); Memory problems and excessive aggression are observed in humans and rats after only a few days of being wakened whenever REM activity starts; important for learning: perceptual training effects are wiped out after a night of no sleep
deprivation from slow-wave sleep (stages 3 and 4)
has more physical effects: just a few nights of deprivation leave people feeling tired, fatigued, and hypersensitive to muscle and bone pain
sleep development
neonates: sleep in 15 min intervals more or less; adolescents have trouble going to sleep and go to sleep later in the day;
world record for no sleep
246 hours, 12 mins (about 10 days); done by a 17 year old; chipper during the day - circadian rhythm helps with this; struggled at night; was able to do well at a variety of arcade games on the final night; fully recovered about about 14 hours 40 mins of sleep
sleep is necessary for at least 3 bodily functions
thermoregulation = biological processes that maintain optimal body heat during different states of wakefulness;
Immune system = biological defense system for combating potential disease from both internal and external invaders (Sleep deprivation appears to disable the initial response to disease);
Metabolism = biological processes that convert stored resources into energy
difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep; about 15% of adults complain of severe or frequent insomnia, another 15% report having mild or occasional insomnia; causes significant distress
causes of insomnia
anxiety: sometimes about not sleeping: the desire to sleep initiates an ironic process of mental control - a heightened sensitivity to signs of sleeplessness and this sensitivity interferes with sleep
sleeping pills
are addictive and they reduce the proportion of time spent in REM and slow-wave sleep; good for short term; mostly benzodiazepines
binds to GABA; alcohol also binds to it
sleep apnea
a disorder in which the person stops breathing for brief periods while sleeping; usually snores b/c it involves an involuntary obstruction of the breathing passage (tongue relaxes and blocks airway); cause awakenings and interfere with the quality of sleep; most common in middle-aged, overweight men; therapies include: weight loss, drugs, or c-pap (forced-air machine)
somnambulism (sleepwalking)
occurs when the person arises and walks around while asleep; more common in children peaking around the age of 11 or 12; As many as 25% of children experience at least one episode; Tends to happen early in the night, usually in slow-wave sleep; Only problematic in that the sleepwalkers can hurt themselves; may or may not awaken when they return to bed, but won't remember the episode if they do; looks like they are awake
a disorder in which sudden sleep attacks occur in the middle of waking activities; "sleep attacks"; unrelenting, excessive sleepiness; attacks can last from 30 seconds to 30 minutes;
Appears to have a genetic basis and can be treated effectively with medication
sleep paralysis
during REM we are paralyzed to keep us from acting out our dreams, occasionally individuals will wake up while still paralyzed; happens during hypnagogic sleep; usually only lasts a few minutes; go back to sleep to try to get out of it
REM behavioral disorder
sleep paralysis fails so they act out their dreams; dangerous for self and bed partner (can get kicked, punched, bitten, and sometimes killed); individuals who kill during their sleep are often charged with manslaughter - sleep expert must prove they were sleeping which is very difficult to do
night terrors (also called sleep terrors)
abrupt awakenings with panic and intense emotional arousal; Mainly occur in boys aged 3-7; Happen most often in NREM sleep early in the sleep cycle; Do not usually have dream content the sleeper can report; inconsolable, not conscious of anything going on around; child is awake but the intense emotional arousal makes it very difficult for them to be calmed and brought back to reality
Fatal familial insomnia (FFI)
autosomal dominant disorder (gene is always expressed, even in heterozygotes; 50/50 chance of passing it on); thalamic circuitry destroyed: sleep is not possible; always fatal, but very rare; in a pre-sleep stage; prions (abnormal proteins - that are misfolded - in the brain cause sponge like holes) lead to nervous cell death
5 main characteristics of dream consciousness
We feel emotion intensely; Dream thought is illogical; Sensation is fully formed and meaningful; Experience uncritical acceptance; Difficulty of remembering the dream after it is over
Some of the most memorable dreams; often wake up the dreamer (On average a student has 24 per year); children more than adults; more common after traumatic events
'day residue'
mundane topics and contain current concerns or images from the recent past that are the topic of dreams; sleepers sprayed with drops during sleep dream about water; participants who played Tetris dreamt about falling geometric figures
dream theories: freud
proposed that dreams are confusing and obscure b/c the dynamic unconscious creates them precisely to be confusing and obscure; Dreams represent wishes, and some of these wishes are so unacceptable, taboo and anxiety producing that the mind can only express them in disguised form; Interpretation is a matter of guesswork; there is evidence that dreams do feature the return of suppressed thoughts
manifest content: freud
dreams apparent or superficial topic
latent content: freud
the dream's true underlying meaning
activation-synthesis model
the theory that dreams are produced when the brain attempts to make sense of neural activations that occur randomly during sleep; if you get a neuron to fire in response to a stimulus, easier to get it to do that again; if no longer directing the process of neural activity very likely for it to do something familiar or something from the recent past
a dream answer
Unconscious processes feed into the content of dreams but they are not organized plots of latent content, certainly not content that can be reliably investigated; Unconscious processes can influence the content of our dreams with surprising results
dreaming and the brain
The amygdala is quite active during REM; Areas of the brain responsible for visual perception are not activated during dreaming; The visual association areas in the occipital lobe that are responsible for visual imagery do show activation; Prefontal cortex shows relatively less arousal than waking consciousness; Perhaps this is why dreams often don't have very sensible storylines; During REM the motor cortex is activated; Spinal neurons running though the brain stem inhibit the expression of this motor activation
psychoactive drugs
a chemical that influences consciousness or behavior by altering the brain's chemical message system; may prevent the bonding of neurotransmitters to receptor sites (inhibit reuptake or facilitate bonding)
drug use and abuse
Researchers have measure the attractiveness of psychoactive drugs by seeing how much laboratory animals will work to get them; Studies of the self-administration of drugs in lab animals show that animals will work to obtain not only cocaine but also alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, caffeine, opiates (such as morphine and heroin), nicotine, PCP, MDMA, and THC
drugs that alter sensation and perception and often cause visual and auditory hallucinations; ex: LSD, PCP, mescaline, psilocybin, ketamine (SSRI for depression takes about 3 weeks and ketamine can have an immediate effect for patients who need immediate treatment); effects are dramatic and unpredictable, can be intriguing of frightening; unlikely to be addictive
a drug derived from the hemp plant; Affects judgment and short-term memory and impairs motor skills and coordination; causes euphoria and mild hallucinations; alleviates pain, symptoms of MS; psychologically habit forming
out of body experiences
rubber hand illusion: consciousness in the rubber hand; out of body amnesia: when induced by virtual reality the memory is worse than in body experiences; hippocampal amnesia; when we encode episodic memories we have to encode these as ourselves; claiming that hippocampus and long-term meory are body-centered
an altered state of consciousness characterized by suggestibility and the feeling that one's actions are occurring involuntarily; The hypnotist and participant engage in a social interaction in which the participants are led to expect that certain things will happen to them that are outside their conscious will; One of the best indicators of a person's susceptibility is the person's own judgment
behavioral compliance
doing what you are told or expected to do; Willingness to conform and believe that you are no longer responsible for your actions
mesmer: 'animal magnetism'
a force could be generated from iron and water; the force could rejuvenate health; this is where hypnosis comes from; only need to persuade people that your actions will influence them
harm reduction approach to drugs
a response to high-risk behaviors that focuses on reducing the harm such behaviors have on people's lives; Involves tactics such as providing intravenous drug users with sterile syringes to help them avoid contracting HIV and other infections from shared needles; May even involve providing drugs for addicts to reduce the risks of poisoning and overdose when they might buy impure drugs of unknown dosage from criminal suppliers
hypnotic effects
The claim that people will perform extreme actions when hypnotized fails to take into account that people will also perform these actions when they are simply under a lot of social pressure
Paul Ingram 1980s
recounted dozens of horrendous, forgotten crimes under hypnosis; when asked under hypnosis to describe a crime he was known not to have committed, he produced a detailed 3 page confession; pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him, largely b/c of the 'recovered' memories; finally released in 2003; 'recovered' memories tend to be remembered as 'fact'
posthypnotic amnesia
the failure to retrieve memories following hypnotic suggestions to forget; Research does not find that people can retrieve through hypnosis memories that were not originally lost through hypnosis; doesn't improve the accuracy with which information is recalled, increase in confidence
hynotic analgesia
the reduction of pain through hypnosis in people who are susceptible to hypnosis; more effective than morphine, valium, asprin, or placebos; believing that it's going to work is an important factor on whether it's going to work
hypnosis and the brian
The conscious state of hypnosis is accompanied by unique patterns of brain activation; a PET scan revealed that the right anterior cingulate cortex, and area involved in the regulation of attention, was just as active while participants were hallucinating as when they were actually hearing the speech; Less activation in this brain area when the participants were merely imagining the sentence
the practice of intentional contemplation; Does produce temporarily altered patterns of brain activation; Usually producing patterns known as alpha waves that are associated with relaxation
ecstatic religious experiences
like meditation, certain brain activation patterns are associated with ecstatic religious experiences. Some people show the same type of brain activation that occurs in some cases of epilepsy
positive or negative experiences that are associated with a particular pattern of physiological energy; public and observable and have an object; specific and consistent responses to a significant internal or external event that are brief in duration and consist of a particular pattern of physiological responses; expression can be shaped by culture and learning
private conscious thoughts that accompany emotions towards an object; non-observable and have to be recorded; more subjective
generalized, diffuse states or dispositions that are less intense but last longer than emotional responses; may reflect a general disposition over a period of time
purpose of emotion: evolutionary origin
to motivate adaptive behaviors that are critical for survival; ex. mongoose motivated by hunger and killing is metabolically expensive; for example, finding food and shelter, finding sexual partners, nurturing and protecting offspring, and avoiding or escaping from dangerous situations
how do we measure emotion
scale; arousal (ex. heart rate, but doesn't really work for being creeped out); multidimensional scaling (put distance between the two things you are measuring, the more info you add to it the more defined the map becomes)
emotion map
2 dimensions: valence (how positive or negative the experience is) and arousal (how active or passive the experience is)
james-lange theory
a theory about the relationship between emotional experience and physiological activity suggesting that stimuli trigger activity in the autonomic nervous system, which in turn produces an emotional experience in the brain; Saw emotional experiences as the consequence and not the cause of our physiological reactions to objects and events in the world
cannon-bard theory
a theory about the relationship between emotional experience and physiological activity suggesting that a stimulus simultaneously triggers activity in the autonomic nervous system and emotional experience in the brain
Why Cannon favored his theory
The autonomic nervous system reacts too slowly to account for the rapid onset of emotional experience; People often have difficulty accurately detecting changes in their own autonomic activity; Non-emotional stimuli (such as temperature) can cause the same pattern of autonomic activity that emotional stimuli do; Weren't enough unique patterns of autonomic activity to account for all the unique emotional experiences people have
schachter and singer's two-factor theory
a theory about the relationship between emotional experience and physiological activity suggesting that emotions are inferences about the causes of undifferentiated physiological arousal
people can misattribute their arousal
to other stimuli in their environments and that the inferences people draw about the causes of their arousal can influence their emotional experience
emotion and nervous system: dimensions you can look at
Examples: blushing; sweat; pupil dilation; respiration rate; heart rate; salivation; cortisol levels (could look at this through the saliva)
small and deals with fear; near the hippocampus; remove it and remove fear; may be responsible for generated rapid fear response (important for quickly getting out of the way)
an evaluation of the emotion-relevant aspects of a stimulus that is performed by the amygdala
routes that information takes to the amygdala simultaneously
'fast pathway': goes from thalamus to amygdala;
'slow pathway': thalamus to cortex then to amygdala
emotions, limbic system, and cortex
When people are asked to experience emotions such as happiness, sadness, fear and anger, they show increased activity in the limbic system and decreased activity in the cortex; When people are asked to inhibit these emotions they show increased cortical activity and decreased limbic activity
emotion regulation
the use of cognitive and behavioral strategies to influence one's emotional experiences; arguably important part of socialization
a strategy that involves changing one's emotional experience by changing the meaning of the emotion-eliciting stimulus
emotional expression
any observable sign of an emotional state; ex. blushing, sweating, the way someone talks
affective forecasting
the process by which people predict their emotional reactions to future events
the pleasures of uncertainty
people are not particularly good at predicting how they will feel after experiencing positive or negative events; most of us have a poor understanding of how our own emotions work; people have stronger emotional reactions to events whose cases they don't understand; unexplained events produce more intense and enduring emotions
universality hypothesis: emotion
the hypothesis that emotional expression have the same meaning for everyone
the universality of expression
people are quite accurate at judging the emotional expression of members of other cultures (even members of preliterate cultures where there are no written words to describe these emotions); people who have never seen a human face make the same facial expression as those who have (ex. someone born blind); facial displays of at least 6 emotions are universal: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise
facial feedback hypothesis
they hypothesis that emotional expressions can cause the emotional experiences they signify; for instance, people feel happier when they are asked to make the sound of a long e than when they are asked to make the sound of a long u
cause and effect of expression
facial expressions are not arbitrary symbols of emotions, they are signs of emotion and signs are caused by the things they signify; some researchers believe that emotional expressions can cause the emotional experiences they signify b/c the muscle contractions of a smile change the temperature of the brain; other believe that the smile and the feeling of happiness become so strongly associated through experience that one always brings about the other; some studies suggest that observers unconsciously mimic the body postures and facial expression of the people they are watching, by imitating their expressions and thereby experiencing their feelings oneself
a kind of defensive response that ensures that improper substances do not enter our bodies through our mouths, nose or other orifices; things that remind us of our animal nature (poor hygiene, inappropriate sex, body boundary violations [open sores, amputated limbs] or contact with death) elicit this; it's irrationality seems to follow 2 rules: (a) contagion: suggests that any two things that were once in contact will continue to share their properties (b) similarity: suggests that things that share appearances also share properties
deceptive expression
your expressions are moderated by your knowledge that it is permissible to show contempt for your peers but not for your superiors; different cultures have different display rules which may also help explain the fact that people are better at recognizing the facial expressions of people from their own cultures; many aspects of our verbal and nonverbal behavior are altered when we tell a lie; people have a strong bias towards believing that others are sincere; people don't seem to know which pieces of information to attend to and which to ignore
display rules
norms for the control of emotional expression
intensification (deceptive expression)
involves exaggerating the expression of one's emotion; ex. when a person pretend to be more surprised by a gift than they really are
deintensification (deceptive expression)
involves muting the expression of one's emotion; ex. when the loser of a contest tries to look less distressed
masking (deceptive expression)
involves expressing an emotion when feeling another; ex. when a poker player tries to look distressed rather than delighted
neutralizing (deceptive expression)
involves feeling an emotion but displaying no expression; ex. when judges try not to betray their leanings while lawyers make their arguments
features that can allow an observed whether our emotional expression is sincere
morphology: certain facial muscles tend to resist conscious control, and for a trained observer, these so-called reliable muscles are quite revealing;
symmetry: sincere expressions are a bit more symmetrical than insincere expressions;
duration: sincere expressions tend to last between half a second and 5 seconds;
temporal patterning: sincere expressions appear and disappear smoothly over a few seconds
the purpose for or cause of an action; emotions provide us with information about the world and are the objects towards which we strive
emotions and information
We believe our emotions: so much so that sometimes if our emotional landscape and our external perceptions don't match we will believe our emotions and say that what you perceive is wrong; emotional experience is treated as information that tells us what to do next; without it we don't know what to do
Capgras syndrome
people who suffer from this typically believe that one or more of their family members are impostors; very rare; patient had sustained damage to the neural connections between her temporal lobe (where people's faces are identified) and her limbic system (where emotions are generated)
hedonic principle
the notion that all people are motivated to experience pleasure and avoid pain
sole motivation to stay as close to good as possible?
even when we voluntarily do things that tilt the needle in teh opposite direction, such as letting the dentist drill our teeth or waking up early for a boring lecture, we are doing these things b/c we believe that they will lead towards 'good' in the future and keep us there longer
complex behavior that is automatic; william james called the inherited tendency to seek a particular goal an _____, which he defined as 'the faculty of acting in such a way as to produce certain ends, without foresight of the ends, and without previous education in the performance'
behaviorists rejected the concept of instinct on 2 grounds
believe that behavior can be best explained by the external stimuli that evoke it; not concerned with the notion of inherited behavior b/c for them all complex behavior was learned
an internal state generated by departures from physiological optimality; according to Hull and Spence, it isn't food per se that organisms find rewarding, it is the reduction of the drive for food
the tendency for a system to take action to keep itself in a particular state
maslow's hierarchy of needs
some needs must be satisfied before others; strongest and most immediate needs at the bottom
lateral hypothalamus
generates hunger signals; when destroyed animals will starve themselves
ventromedial hypothalamus
generates satiety signal; when destroyed animals will gorge themselves to the point of obestiy
a peptide produced by the stomach as it empties; orexigenic signal; initiates eating
a chemical secreted by fat cells; If your body has sufficient energy it sends an anorexigenic (suppressing the appetite) signal to tell your brain to switch hunger off
most common eating disorder; BMI of 30 or higher; more vulnerable to disease and health issues; environmental factors (10%) and hereditary factors (40%); basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the energy to fuel the brain and body and maintain temperature (accounts for 75% of energy expenditure in the average sedentary person)
gastric bypass surgery
production reduces with decreased stomach stimulation and other peptides that stimulate satiety are increased; 32% weight loss 1 year after surgery; 25% weight loss maintained 10 years after surgery; much more effective than diet and exercise; a treatment option for obesity
anorexia nervosa
an eating disorder characterized by an intense fear of being fat and sever restriction of food intake; a refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height; may actually be battling hunger; Ghrelin levels are high and leptin levels are low
bulimia nervosa
an eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by purging; Ghrelin levels are higher than controls both between meals and following a meal; lack of sense of control over eating
main food-related problem facing our ancestors was starvation; evolved 2 strategies to avoid it
developed a strong attraction to foods that provided large amounts of energy per bite (calorifically rich); they developed an ability to store excess food energy in the form of fat, which enabled them to eat more than they needed when food was plentiful and then live off their reserves when food was scarce
Sexual interest
we don't need sex to survive but we need it to survive genetically; DHEA: production begins at 6 and people experience their initial sexual interest at around age 10; we have sex b/c: attracted to the person, pleasure, show affection, etc.
testosterone and oestrogen
responsible for sexual interest of rats; humans T drives sexual interest (men are more likely to think about sex, if women are artificially increased in levels of T sex interest goes up); percentage of sex initiated by women goes up and down kind of based on the phase of their menstrual cycle but is not the cause; not advertising ovulation is a good idea if you want your mate to continuously guard your fertility and help raise offspring
human sexual response cycle
excitement phase, plateau phase, orgasm, resolution
intrinsic motivation
motivation to take actions that are themselves rewarding; people work harder when they are intrinsically motivated and they like lives more
extrinsic motivation
a motivation to take actions that are not themselves rewarding but lead to reward; extrinsic rewards can undermine intrinsic rewards: People take rewards to indicate that an activity isn't inherently pleasurable and thus rewards can cause people to lose their intrinsic motivation; delayed gratification (ability to do this predict academic success better than IQ)
conscious motivation
a motivation of which one is aware; why you think you're doing something
unconscious motivation
a motivation of which one is not aware; why you're actually doing it (ex. I wanted to please my father)
approach motivation
a motivation to experience positive outcomes
avoidance motivation
a motivation not to experience negative outcomes; tends to be more powerful than approach motivations; framing of outcome is important