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From Psychology, 8th edition, by Myers


A response of the whole organism, involving:
1) physiological arousal
2) expressive behaviors
3) conscious experience

James-Lange theory

The theory that our experience of emotion is our awareness of our physiological responses to emotion-arousing stimuli.

Cannon-Bard theory

The theory that an emotion-arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers 1) physiological responses and 2) the subjective experience of emotion.

Two-factor theory

Schacter-Singer's theory that to experience emotion one must 1) be physically aroused and 2) cognitively label the arousal.

High level of arousal

In performing easy tasks, is it better to have a high or low level of arousal?

Low level of arousal

In performing difficult tasks, is it better to have a high or low level of arousal?`

Right side

Which side of the frontal lobe displays more activity when we feel negative emotions?

Left side

Which side of the frontal lobe displays more activity when we feel positive emotions?

Nucleus Accumbens

A cluster of neurons to which a neural pathway that increases dopamine levels runs. It lights up when people experience pleasure.

Spillover Effect

Sometimes our arousal response to one event affects our response to the next event.


A machine, commonly used in attempts to detect lies, that measures several of the physiological responses accompanying emotion (such as perspiration and cardiovascular and breathing changes).

Guilty Knowledge Test

A more effective approach to lie detection, which assesses a suspect's physiological responses to crime-scene details known only to the police and the guilty person.

Low Road

Like speedy reflexes that operate apart from the brain's thinking cortex, some emotions take neural pathways that bypass the cortex. For example, stimulus -> thalamus -> amygdala -> response. This enables emotional response before the intellect intervenes, and we have realized what is causing an emotion.

High Road

When an emotional stimulus does not bypass the cortex, and gives the intellect time to react to the emotion. For example, stimulus -> thalamus -> sensory cortex -> prefrontal cortex -> amygdala -> response.


According to Richard Lazarus, although some emotional responses do not require conscious thinking, emotions arise when we __________ them as either beneficial or harmful to our well-being.

Conscious Thinking

Zajonc and LeDoux have demonstrated that some emotional responses - especially simple likes, dislikes, and fears - involve no ______.

Interpretations, memories, and expectations

Some emotions - including moods like depression and complex feelings like hatred and love - are, as Lazarus, Schachter, and Singer predicted, greatly affected by our __________, __________, and __________.


These kinds of people are better at reading emotion.


These kinds of people are emotionally easier to read.


Women are better at reading and displaying every emotion except...


Whereas facial expressions are universally similar (even in people blind from birth), __________ are universally different.

Biological Influences on emotion

.physiological arousal
.evolutionary adaptiveness
.response pathways in the brain
.spillover effect

Psychological influences on emotion

.cognitive labeling
.gender differences

Social-cultural influences on emotion

.presence of others
.cultural expectations

Expressions and Actions

According to William James, one can affect one's mood by changing one's _______________ to reflect the desired emotion.

Facial Feedback

Facial expressions characteristic of a certain emotion cause one to be more likely to feel that emotion.

Behavior Feedback

When you act like someone experiencing a particular emotion, you feel that emotion on a small scale.


One of the two dimensions people place their emotions. Contains pleasant and unpleasant.


One of the two dimensions people place their emotions. Contains high and low.


An adaptive alarm system that prepares our bodies to flee from danger.

Anterior Cingulate Cortex

A higher-level center for processing emotion which sends input to the amygdala to activate emotions like fear.


Emotional release. In psychology, the ___________ hypothesis maintains that "releasing" aggressive energy (through action or fantasy) relieves aggressive urges.

Increases anger

Does catharsis relieve or increase anger?

Feel-good, do-good phenomenon

People's tendency to be helpful when already in a good mood.

Subjective well-being

Self-perceived happiness or satisfaction with life. Used along with measures of objective well-being (for example, physical and economic indicators) to evaluate people's quality of life.

Increases; decreases

From morning to mid day, positive emotion _________; from mid day to night, positive emotion __________.


Over time, strong positive or negative emotions always _______.


There is a minimum amount of this required to retain basic happiness, but once it increased from there, people remain as happy as they were previously.


People who pursue money over strong familial or love-related relationships end up having _________ money than those who feel the other way.

Adaptation-level phenomenon

Our tendency to form judgments (of sounds, of lights, of income) relative to a neutral level defined by our prior experience. We can then adjust our neutral levels.

Relative Deprivation

the perception that one is worse off relative to those with whom one compares oneself. However, comparing oneself to the worse-off makes one happier.

Factors unrelated to happiness

Age, gender, education levels, parenthood, and physical attractiveness.

Factors related to happiness

High self-esteem, being optimistic, outgoing, and agreeable, having close friendships or a successful marriage, having work and leisure that engages ones skills, having a meaningful religious faith, and sleeping well and exercising.

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