Lecture 2 - Centralist Theories

  1. Centralist theories
    • propose CNS mechanisms for emotion
    • peripheral arousal not essential for emotion
  2. centralist model of emotion
    stimulus –> perception of stimulus –> activation of emotion brain centers –> arousal and facial expressions
  3. motivational states
    shaped by evolutionary pressures
  4. function
    • motivate certain adaptive behaviors
    • ex. fear motivates escape
  5. Fridja's Theory
  6. Hohmann's Study - spinal cord injury studies
    • results: in interview, ppl had decrease in anger, fear, sexual excitment
    • exception: greater "sentiment" since injury (wept more)
  7. Conclusion to Hohmann's Study
    Visceral feedback important for emotion
  8. Chwalisz, Cobos overall findings
    spinal cord injury does NOT decrease emo. exp. compared to those who are disabled
  9. Beta Blocker studies
    • drug given to heart patients because it reduces b.p. and h.r.
    • block ANS arousal
  10. Bernadt study
    • subject were shown snakes and spiders with beta blockers or a placebo
    • results: no difference in distance to snakes and spiders (arousal not essential)
  11. James et al (1977) - Stage Fright studies
    ppl felt less nervous and performed better on betta blockers
  12. Herley et al. (1983) - Public speaking
    Results: taking betta blockers decreases self-rating of anxiousness and observers rating also noted decrease in anxiousness
  13. Conclusion to Stage Fright Studies
    • beta blockers decreases emotion
    • appears to support Schnachter and James-Lang theory
  14. Harris Hypothesis
    • stage fright is a threat = physiological arousal
    • remove the physio. arousal take away the threat which also takes away the fear
  15. Ax (1953) exp
    Results: 7 of 14 measurements show difference btn anger and fear
  16. Schwartz et al (1981) exp
    • Results: diff. emo = diff SNS patterns
    • subtle differences
  17. Shwartz Hypothesis of Anger and Fear
    • Diff. evolutionary fxn –> diff. SNS patterns (body is getting ready for those behaviors)
    • anger:need muscle strength, min. bleeding
    • fear:increase speed and endurance
  18. Overall summary of Stage fright and beta blocker studies
    • arousal not necessary for emotion
    • arousal may intensify emotion
    • some emotions have diff. patterns of arousal (not as distinct as James imagined)
Card Set
Lecture 2 - Centralist Theories
Psyc 153 Lecture 2