#12 Motivation &
Facial Feedback/
Module 16
Explaining Emotions 2
Types of Theories
• Peripheral Theories
– Physiological changes in the body give rise
to your emotional feelings
• James-Lange Theory
• Facial Feedback Theory
• Cognitive Theories
– Your interpretations/appraisals of situations
give rise to your emotional feelings
• Schachter-Singer Experiment
James-Lange Theory
• Our brains interpret specific physiological
changes as feelings or emotions
• A different physiological pattern underlies
each emotion
4 Steps
• Physiological Changes
– Site of an approaching shark triggers physiological changes
• increasing heart rate & blood pressure
• secretion of various hormones
• Interpretation of Changes
– Brain analyzes pattern of physiological change & interprets
each pattern as a different emotion
• Emotional Feeling
– Different physiological changes produce different emotions
• You may or may not show an observable response
– Scream
3 Criticisms of JamesLange Theory
• Different emotions are not necessarily
associated with different physiological response
– Anger, fear & sadness share similar physiological
• People whose spinal cords have been severed
at the neck still experience emotions
• Some complex emotions (e.g., guilt, jealousy)
may require a considerable
interpretation/appraisal of the situation
Facial Feedback Theory
• Sensations/feedback from movement of facial
muscles & skin are interpreted by the brain as
different emotions
• 4 Steps
Stimulus triggers changes in facial muscles & skin
Brain interprets feedback from facial muscles & skin
Different facial feedback results in different emotions
You may or may not show an observable response
Criticisms of Facial
Feedback Theory
• Emotions can also be felt without any
facial feedback
– People whose facial muscles are completely
paralyzed still experience emotions
• Mood & Intensity
– Feedback from facial muscles may intensify
your emotional feeling
Psych Sim
Expressing Emotions
Universal Emotions
Physiological Arousal
– Injected subjects with epinephrine that caused
physiological arousal
Subjects were placed into 1 of 2 conditions
– Happy Situation
• Confederate was laughing & throwing paper
– Angry Situation
• Confederate complained about filling out a long
– Participants in happy situation often reported
feeling happy
– Observable behaviors = smiles
– Participants in angry situation often reported
feeling angry
– Observable behaviors = angry facial expressions
Schachter’s TwoFactors
• The Two Factor Theory of Emotion:
views emotion as having two components
(factors): physiological arousal and
cognition. According to the theory,
cognitions are used to interpret the
meaning of physiological reactions to
outside events.
Which Comes First:
Feeling or Thinking?
• Cognitive-Appraisal Theory
– You think before you feel
– Example: wining the lottery
• Affective-Primacy Theory
– In some situations, you feel
an emotion before having
time to interpret/appraise the
– Example: seeing a snake
Universal Emotional
• Refer to a number of specific inherited
facial patterns or expressions that signal
specific feelings
– Example: A smile signals a happy state
• Cross-Cultural Evidence
• Genetic Evidence
Cross-Cultural Evidence
– Recognition of facial expressions in different cultures
suggests that there are innate universal facial
– Examples: happiness, fear, surprise
Genetic Evidence
• Infants in all cultures develop facial
expressions at about the same age
• At 4-6 weeks, babies smile
• At 3-4 months, babies show angry & sad
facial expressions
• At 5-7 months, babies show fear
Functions of Emotions
Send social signals
– Facial expressions communicate your
personal feelings
Help you adapt & survive
– Psychoevolutionary theory of emotions
• We inherit the neural structure & physiology to
express & experience emotions
• Emotional patterns evolved to help us adapt to
our environment & promote survival
Arouse & motivate behaviors
– Yerkes-Dodson law
• Task performance is an interaction between
physiological arousal and task difficulty
– For most tasks, moderate arousal helps
Can Money Buy
• Adaptation Level Theory
– When we experience a good fortune, we quickly become
accustomed to it
– The initial impact fades & contributes less to long-term level
– Therefore, money can’t buy happiness because we adapt to the
continuous satisfaction of having a lot of money
Influences on Long-Term
• Genetic Factors
– About half your level of happiness comes from
genetic influences
• Identical twins reared together or apart showed sig. higher
happiness correlations (.44 to .52) than fraternal twins
reared together or apart (-.02 to .08)
• Personal/Environmental factors
– Long-term level of happiness is associated with:
• enjoying simple daily pleasures
• setting & achieving personal goals (purpose in life, network
of friends)
Psych Sim
Helplessly Hoping &
Showing Emotions: Why
Don’t Men Cry?
• Display Rules
– Specific cultural norms that regulate how,
when & where we should express emotion
and how much emotion is appropriate
– Example:
• Japanese & Chinese have more difficulty
identifying facial expressions of fear and anger
compared to North Americans
What is Emotional
• Ability to perceive and express emotion,
understand and reason with emotion and
regulate emotions in one’s self and others
• Researchers are in the early stages of
trying to define & measure emotional
Lie Detection
• Polygraph tests are based on the theory that if a person
tells a lie he/she will feel some emotion that can be
• Polygraph
– Lie detector that measures:
• chest & abdominal
muscle movement
during respiration
• heart rate
• blood pressure
• galvanic skin response (GSR)
– Changes in sweating of the
fingers or palms that accompany
emotional experiences
Lie Detection
Control Question
• Lie detection technique in which the examiner asks 2
kinds of questions:
– Neutral Questions
• general questions that elicit little emotional response
• “Is your name Floyd?”
– Critical Questions
• specific questions about some particular crime that only the
criminal would know
• “Did you rob the liquor store on 5th and Vine?”
• Examiner compares differences in physiological
responses between neutral & critical questions
How Accurate are Lie
Detector Tests?
• Researchers have been unable to identify a
physiological response pattern that is specific to
• It is estimated that lie detector tests are wrong
25-75% of the time
• Most state & federal courts prohibit the use of
polygraph evidence
• Federal law prohibits most employers from
using polygraph tests to screen employees
Intelligence Test
Intrapersonal Activity
Positive Psychology
APA Unit Plan