COMN 2111 Emotions in Communication The Cognitive Unconscious and Conscious Mind in Interaction Lecture 6a EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS Our body and our conscious mind always three Levels of reaction Emotions - bio chemical response to changes: instant (+) or (-) evaluation Non-verbal reactions to those bio chemical shifts Cognitive interpretation of these reactions - Feelings Our Two Minds Interacting The cognitive unconscious (the body-mind) communicates using biochemical energy (somatic markers) - “emotions” • Through them we become conscious pay of stimuli, retrieve information from memory, sort out our perceptions, and decide things. • The fuel and the encoding tool of the cognitive unconscious. We’ve already said the cog. unc. and it’s emotions help the conscious mind decide – more on that But we will also discuss how these bio-chemical surges emerge from the wordless levels of our mind into our conscious internal chatter • To be interpreted and named as feelings. EMOTION AND COGNITION SEPARATED FOR MILLENIA Feelings are dangerous • “Rule your feelings, lest your feelings rule you” – Publius Syrus (1st Century BC) Feelings are less • “I think therefore I am” – Rene Descartes (1630’s) “Emotions cause a complete loss of cerebral control [and contain] no trace of conscious purpose” – P.T. Young (1936) author of widely read psychology text EMOTION AND COGNITION INTERVOWEN The emotions are of quite extraordinary importance in the total economy of living organisms and do not deserve being put into opposition with ‘intelligence’. The emotions are, it seems, themselves a high order of intelligence.” – O.H. Mowrer (1960) Shifting our Model of Feelings Our culture provides us with a “common sense” model of feeling awareness. Something happens in the environment – context - we notice it consciously and then respond physiologically with an emotion. Schachter’s research changes this in 1960. We had it backwards. Shifting our Model of Feelings His hypothesis – our body-mind has an Affective Appraisal system • Something happens outside of us and our body reacts first – a state of Diffuse Physiological Arousal (DPA) Then our conscious mind notices and seeks an answer Matches our internal state of arousal to the situation Names the emotional arousal as a feeling. • The research story Real World Research When we are in a state of DPA not only does our conscious mind look outward to explain why – but it finds a self-enhancing reason The researchers’ hypothesis was that strong emotions are re-labelled as sexual attraction when two conditions are met: (1) an acceptable object is present (a good-looking female), and (2) the emotion-producing circumstances do not require the full attention of the individual – your life is not a stake. Real World Research •A 1974 replication of Schacter - the conscious mind will use cues in the external environment to explain automatically triggered bodily sensations •Experimental Group: The Capilano Suspension Bridge 450’ long; 287’ above river. Young men met near the end of bridge for “interviews”. Hi state of DPA. •Control Group: Nearby small bridge; solid construction only 10” above river. Young men met near the end of bridge for “interviews”. Lo state of DPA. Real World Research •The bridge really is high above the river and it tilts and sways a lot – worse when many people on it. As I recently found out. •When you come off the bridge your body feels like it has had way too much caffeine – red bull high – buzzing. •So what happened? They were met by a good looking student – doing an research on the effects of natural beauty on creativity. Very few questions then a sketch of a young woman holding out a hand – and partly covering her face – write a story about her. The “Swinging Bridge” Data The stories were later scored for manifest sexual content. • A story with any mention of sexual intercourse received 5 points; but if the most sexual reference was "girl friend," it received a score of 2; "kiss" counted 3; and "lover," 4. • On completion of the questionnaire, the interviewer thanked the subject and offered to explain the experiment in more detail when she had more time. Gave name and phone number. Different name for experimental and control group. It was felt that differential calling rates might reflect differential attraction to the interviewer. And level of attraction related to DPA. The “Swinging Bridge” Data Subjects on the swinging bridge expressed double the amount of sexual content in their “creative” story than people on the solid bridge. More of them took her phone number. And 50% tried to call her – only 12% of the control subjects called. They were in full DPA - their conscious brain found a “logical” answer to it – it must be sexual attraction to the experimenter – not fear. Showed in the non-conscious use of sexual imagery about a neutral picture and in their continuing interest in the woman. In Summary: Where Feelings Comes From Emotions begin as instant bio-chemical response to changes in our environment: instant positive or negative evaluations, which produce, Rapid bodily reactions to those bio-chemical shifts (changes of breathing, sweat, muscle tension, etc.) The conscious brain – the left frontal lobe’s job is to match up your internal state with the external context – to fine cues there to explain and interpret these reactions • The external cue it finds and the body’s bio-chemical reaction may have little or nothing to do with one another) - “Quick and dirty” match Feelings and Mood The conscious mind has named the feeling and moved on but the bio-chemistry of body hasn’t Lingers on as a “mood” • The sunny day study: • People called on a sunny day - more positive about their current state of happiness and life in general than people contacted on a rainy day. • People given a small, almost worthless gift, were in a better mood and gave higher ratings to their household appliances – when interviewed 50’ later – than others people walking near them who were stopped and asked at the same time but who had received nothing. Feelings and Mood Bad moods do just the opposite – make life and other people look more dangerous. Our conscious brain has the same problem as it does with misattributing arousal …if we haven’t figured out why we’re in a particular mood…we sometimes allow that feeling to inform our opinion of things in general. Feelings and Mood Feelings and mood matter mostly when we’re not paying attention, because when we do notice our situation, mood doesn’t affect our opinions: In the mood and weather (sunny day) study: • When students were casually asked at the beginning of the conversation – “how’s the weather, there” – that is, the weather was brought to their consciousness - they didn’t let it confuse their thoughts about their state of life. So we don’t have to be under the automatic control of our moods- we just need to awaken to the fact that we are having one. • Come up with a reason why. Then it no longer shapes other unrelated thoughts. Affect Infusion Model (AIM) Affect- feeling - is most likely to influence cognition, judgments and decision making when under pressure: 1. 2. 3. 4. Decision-maker’s faced with a complex task, Are motivated to make an accurate judgment, Ambiguity exists, A lot of new information needs to be assimilated Remember, Damasio’s research on those who couldn’t decide anything and how first responders decide in quickly changing situations. OR WHEN Affect Infusion Model (AIM) No pressure at all (most common) 1. 2. 3. 4. Need to make simple judgments Lack personal relevance Low demand for accuracy Other demands on current information processing In the above instances, Decision-makers more likely to deduce their judgment from their current affective state - how they feel at the moment. The Role of Feelings in Human Affairs We now know that feelings influence: The judgments people make Material recalled from memory Attributions for success and failure Creativity Inductive and deductive reasoning The quality our relationships with others The quality of our communication acts EMOTION RESEARCH OVERVIEW Schachter –1960- new understanding of how we feel Dutton – real life –swinging bridgereplication-1974 EMOTION RESEARCH OVERVIEW R. Zajonc - emotions shape thought: non-conscious preference learning -1980. Reuven Bar-On starts research in 1980 - coins the term Emotional Intelligence in 1985 - to describe his approach to assessing emotional competences – to separate it from measures of IQ Mayer and Salovey start their work on the potentials for emotionally intelligent behavior in the 80’s Couldn’t find a mainstream journal to publish their research in 1990 – 3 three years later – it’s a subdiscipline of psychology. SO WHY ARE FEELINGS – AND THE EMOTIONS BEHIND THEM SO POWERFUL? Daniel Goleman (1995) “Emotional Intelligence” – described much of the breakthrough research on emotions of the 80’s and early 90’s and explained the answer to our question in terms of our brain’s evolutionary development. Let’s watch him for a moment. THE BRAIN’S DEVELOPMENT Video Example THE BRAIN’S DEVELOPMENT: QUICK REVIEW BRAINSTEM - TOP OF SPINE - AUTOMATIC FUNCTIONS LIMBIC SYSTEM - OLDER- FOR PHYSICAL SURVIVAL - OPERATES QUICKLY - WITHOUT THOUGHT • CONTAINS AMYDALA - STORES EMOTIONAL PREFERENCE MEMORIES • WARN US OF THREAT TO SURVIVAL NEOCORTEX - PLAN,STRATEGIZE, MORE SLOWLY CONNECTS THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS EMOTION AND COGNITION INTERWOVEN AND IN BALANCE A. Damasio - “Descartes Error” (1994), • Emotion and Cognition - Usually balanced necessarily operate in tight harmony • Emotions inform our thoughts - allow us to choose - preferences (Zajonc affirmed) Remember, Goleman said our brains store our memories in difference places – the emotional aspect – the somatic markers –in the amygdala We will discuss the issue of balance between the amydala and the frontal lobes imbalance in our next lecture. SS 2111 The Other Mind Lecture 6b Emotion And Cognition: From Harmony to Hi-Jack J. LeDoux, “The Emotional Brain” (1996) discovered that the Amygdala – the emotional memory centre of the unconscious brian’s Limbic System – uses very small bits of info (thin slices) to assess threat • And when it perceives one it can “hi-jack” conscious thought - can take over. • Leading to Flooding, swamping of our conscious thought and decision-making processes D. Goleman – popularizes this idea in 1995 book “Emotional Intelligence” –he calls it the “amygdala hi jack” THE AMYGDALA HIJACK Video Example THE AMYGDALA HIJACK AMYGDALA HIJACK Uses the biochemistry of fight/flight CHANGES OF BLOOD CHEMISTRY BLOOD FLOW BREATHING BUT CAN’T DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN “REAL” THREAT AND SYMBOLIC THREAT SO WE CAN SAY OR DO THINGS WE REGRET Think about last time you “lost it” on someone while you watch this hi-jack from a movie called “A Few Good Men” • Is this the way to treat your friends if you’re having a bad day? AMYGDALA HIJACK • Navy lawyer Tom Cruise and two colleagues – one of whom is Demi Moore are defending two young marinessecretly given an order to harass a fellow marine –they follow it and while hazing him he dies. They are accused of murder even though they followed a direct order. • Tom’s had a bad day. In court Demi Moore made a mistake – undermined his defense – maked him look unprepared. Then after court he found out that his key witness – 2nd in command - has killed himself rather than tell the truth about the secret order. • He goes out drinking, comes home hopeless, angry, frustrated and deeply sarcastic about Demi’s error and her suggestion that he call the camp commander and “get out of him” under oath that he gave the order which the two young men were following. THE AMYGDALA HIJACK Video Example Amygdala Hijack: Summary Notice that the drinking helps to reduce the control the left frontal lobe exercise over the amygdala to maintain balance. When Demi suggests that he call the camp commander to the stand – his amygdala screams danger – and you can see what happened. This happens in groups too. Group actions act like alcohol. Consider the Vancouver hockey riot (large group + alchohol)…the day after many of rioters were pleading for forgiveness – a left frontal lobe choice – and unable to explain their “hi jacked” behavior from the night before – captured on video. Can We Do Anything to Avoid This Kind of Imbalance? Become more aware of your feelings as you interact • Learn to name them and describe them – give the left frontal lobe a chance • See Plutchik’s circumplex in text – simple, clear descriptors of the essentials Then talk them out rather than store them up and lash out Can We Do Anything to Avoid This Kind of Imbalance? Tell the other exactly what you are feeling. Identify reasons for your feelings Tell them why you are feeling the way you are. • Anchor in the present • Stay focused on the feelings you are having in this moment. • Avoid using “always” and “never” in your descriptions. • Own your feelings • Start your sentences with “I” (“I’m feeling …) not “You” as in (“You made me …”). • Say what you want the other to do Can We Do Anything to Avoid This Kind of Imbalance? I promise to give you lots more information on how to “talk to yourself” to manage your emotional reactions in the lectures on selfmanagement at the end of the term. See you next week.