Chapter 4: Motivation and Emotion
Instructor's Resource Manual
|Weight and See||7|
|More to Love||8|
|Socioeconomic Status and Obesity||8|
|The Eyes Have It||12|
|The Amazing Amygdala||12|
|Le Docteur Duchenne||13|
|Speaking of Feeling||14|
|Miles of Smiles||15|
|Expression and Sensory Restriction||15|
|Is Everybody Happy?||16|
|The Medium and the Message||19|
|Icons of Emotional Expression||20|
|Icons of Emotional Expression International Version||21|
|Motivation and Emotion in Film||21|
|Demonstrations and Activities|
|Smile When You Say That||23|
|Facial Expressions of Emotion||23|
|Debate: Is Body Chemistry the Major Determinant of Eating?||26|
|Debate: Do Evolutionary and Genetic Factors Determine Sexuality?||26|
|Exploring the Motives of Everyday Behavior||26|
|Identifying Motives Using Maslow's Hierarchy||27|
|Channels of Communication||27|
|The Physiological Basis of Lie Detection||28|
|Tiny Fast Faces||29|
|Vocal Cues and Emotion||30|
|Identifying Human Motives||38|
I. What is Motivation?
A. Factors that account for arousal, direction, and persistence of behavior
II. Theories of Motivation
A. Biological theories
1. Ethology instinct, releasing stimuli, and biological underpinnings of behavior
2. Sociobiology biological basis of social behavior
3. Internal states and drive reduction striving for homeostasis
4. Optimum-level theories best performance at specific levels of arousal
B. Cognitive theories
1. Cognitive consistency theories cognitive dissonance as an example
2. Incentive theories motivated behavior is pulled by an incentive or goal
C. Maslow's hierarchy of needs
1. A pyramid scheme to reach self-actualization
D. The role of learning
1. The value of many objects or states is acquired, rather than intrinsic
III. Dealing with Multiple Motives
A. Basic conflicts approach/approach, approach/avoidance, avoidance/avoidance
B. Multiple approach-avoidance several goals with good and bad features
IV. Specific Motives
1. Lipostatic theory proposes weight fluctuations around a set point
1. External factors pheromones
2. Hormones androgens and estrogens
3. Brain mechanisms hypothalamus releases chemicals that activate glands
4. The sexual response excitement, plateau, orgasm, resolution
1. TAT an early stab at measuring achievement motivation
1. TAT also used here to measure need to be with others
V. The What and Why of Emotion
A. Defining emotion
1. Emotions involve physiological and behavioral changes elicited by stimuli
B. Relating emotions and behavior
1. Darwin's evolutionary perspective
a. Emotions prepare us, signal to others, guide our behavior
VI. The Physiological Components of Emotions
A. The first theories
1. James-Lange theory
a. Reverses "common-sense" theory of emotion
b. Argues that physiological change precedes and causes emotion
2. Cannon-Bard theory
a. Feelings and physiological change produced simultaneously
B. Physiological differences among emotions
1. Scherer and Wallbott's large scale cross-cultural study
a. Agreement in physiological change with specific emotions
2. Ekman, Levenson, and Friesen's studies of physiological changes
a. Autonomic nervous system activity distinguishes emotions
b. Cross-cultural support among the Minangkabau
C. The role of the brain
1. Limbic system is important in emotion
a. Amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus
2. Amygdala allows emotional response to begin before full awareness
3. The brain's hemispheres and emotions
a. Hemispheres may be specialized for expression and recognition
4. Lack of emotion
a. Alexithymia sheds some light on unemotionality
5. Opponent-process theory
a. Brain initiates opponent-process to achieve homeostasis
i. A and B process differ in intensity and duration
D. Evaluating the lie detector
a. Electronic device that measures multiple physiological responses
i. Idea is that lying should increase arousal
b. Guilty knowledge test, control questions test, are part of procedure
c. Countermeasures, physical and mental methods can alter recordings
d. Typical error is concluding innocent person is lying
III. The Expressive Components of Emotions
A. Universal elements in the facial expression of emotion
1. The expression of six primary emotions has a universal quality
a. Cross-cultural studies overwhelmingly support this conclusion
i. True in both literate and preliterate cultures
b. Studies of infant facial expressions also lend support
2. How many emotions are there?
a. Happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, disgust
i. Family of negative emotions have more distinct displays
ii. Family of positive emotions are less distinct
- Evolutionary advantage to this distinction
b. Usually highest recognition agreement for happiness, lowest for sad
c. Plutchik's "emotion solid" offers another perspective
i. Emotions vary by intensity, purity
3. The facial feedback hypothesis
a. Facial muscle feedback influences emotional experience
i. Facial feedback causes, or intensifies, emotional experience?
B. Display rules: The effects of culture
1. Culturally-governed rules about the display of emotion, to whom, and when
a. Differences in Japanese and American reactions to stressful film
a. Masking, false, miserable, Duchenne smiles show wide variety
b. Obicularis oculi is key to true (Duchenne) smile of happiness
i. Ignore the mouth; look for crow's feet
C. Nonverbal communication
1. Tone of voice, posture, gestures, facial expressions, gait, touch, distance
2. Body language
a. Emblems: Gestures with specific meanings
i. "Thumbs-up," "one-fingered salute," "A-OK," "bye-bye"
b. Illustrators: Gestures that accompany speech
i. Amplify, accent, reinforce verbal content
c. Regulators: Coordinate flow of communication
i. Eye contact, head nods
d. Adaptors: Manipulations for a purpose, little specific meaning
i. Scratches, picking, rubbing, fiddling, grooming
3. Paralanguage: Vocal cues that accompany verbal content
D. Gender effects
1. Women generally more accurate than men at decoding expressions
2. Women seem to have more frequent and intense experiences than men
a. Socialization, role expectations may be the real causes at work
3. Gender differences in judging sad faces of other men and women
a. Women accurate for both sexes; men accurate mainly for men
IV. The Cognitive Components of Emotions
A. The language of emotion
1. Cultures differ in the number of terms available to describe emotions
a. English has comparatively many: Some 2,000 emotion terms
2. Cultures differ in the meaning, precision, application of emotion terms
a. Some terms express emotional states that lack easy translation
3. Schachter and Singer as an example of interpreting undifferentiated arousal
4. Other appraisal theories of emotion
a. Novelty, pleasure, control may be dimensions of appraisal
B. The development of emotion
1. Emotional repertoire is established within first few years of life
2. Self-conscious emotions (guilt, shame, pride) develop later in this period
3. Emotional intelligence
a. Distinct from "cognitive" intelligence, an important skill
i. Mood regulation, impulse control, empathy are components
Students should be able to:
The popular press has recently heralded the discovery of a so-called "magic bullet" for treating obesity. Dr. Jeffrey Friedman, a molecular geneticist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Rockefeller University, led a team of researchers who successfully isolated the gene (called ob) that helps control body weight in mice. From this gene the researchers synthesized a protein hormone (called leptin) that, when injected into obese mice, caused them to lose 40 percent of their body weight within a month. Although the mice had access to ample food, Friedman reports that they simply chose to eat less. In addition to curbing the animals' appetites, leptin appeared to speed their metabolism as well. Moreover, the weight loss itself was solely from fat, and no adverse effects were observed.
Although the long term effects of leptin have yet to be studied, scientists and pharmaceutical companies are already anticipating applications to human weight loss. For example, it is known that humans produce a hormone similar to leptin. Pending human clinical trials, it is possible that leptin could be used to treat obesity and, along with sensible diet and exercise, also act to regulate weight in normal-weight individuals. In a testament to these potential applications, the pharmaceutical company Amgen has already paid Rockefeller University $20 million for a patent license, with the promise to pay many times that should the drug prove effective in treating human obesity.
Steps in that direction are already being made. Jay Erickson, also at the Howard Hughes center, recently identified the importance of one factor in producing the leptin-ob link. Called neuropeptide Y (or NPY for short; see Chapter 2 of this manual, Would you like fries with that peptide?), it is one of several elements responsible for regulating weight gain.
Mice with a flawed ob gene don't produce leptin, and as a consequence they become obese. Erickson and his colleagues gave this natural process a head start by breeding mice which lacked the leptin gene but had the NPY gene intact. After 16 weeks these animals had eaten an average of 62 percent more than normal mice. With "NPY on the brain" and no leptin to keep it in check, the mice's unrestricted eating turned into a feeding frenzy. By comparison, those mice which were genetically engineered to lack both the leptin and NPY genes ate 35 percent more than a normal weight control group. Although there are several other factors that contribute to obesity, Friedman, Erickson, and their colleagues have taken significant steps in identifying the links among some primary components of obesity.
Recer, P. (1996, December 6). At least in rats, chemical in brain linked to obesity. Austin American-Statesman, A3.
Kolata, G. (1995, July 27). Hormone trims fat, researchers discover. Austin American Statesman, pp. A1, A10.
Staff. (1995, August 14). It's a fat accompli. People, p. 93.
Wade, N. (1997, June 24). Scientists suspect obesity caused by genetic defect. Austin American-Statesman, A12.
Watson, T. (1995, August 7). The new skinny on fat. US News and World Report, pp. 45-48.
Perceptions of body weight can play a role in the motivation to eat; from the perceptual distortions seen in anorexic patients, to the inexplicable way clothes seem to shrink at the waist, to the hesitancy to have one more doughnut as we look in the mirror. A recent study suggests, however, that culture may play a role in one's perceptions of weight and body image.
Researchers at the University of Arizona asked African-American and white teenage girls to describe their version of an "ideal" girl. The white teens suggested someone blue-eyed, five feet seven inches tall, weighing between 100 and 110 pounds; in short, Barbie. The Black teens, in contrast, emphasized personal characteristics such as a sense of style, a nice personality, or having a good head on one's shoulders. When pressed for a physical description, most responded that fuller hips, large thighs, and a small waist were desirable.
The researchers also found that close to 90 percent of the white teens were dissatisfied with their weight, whereas 70 percent of the Black respondents were satisfied. In the case of the white teens, having weight as so central an aspect of their self-views may promote increased social stress and unrealistic expectations about achieving some "body ideal." The African-American women, though satisfied with their bodies, may not be concerned enough about their weight, given their heightened risk of hypertension as adults. In either case, perceptions of one's body image are clearly influenced by personal, social, and cultural standards that may vary from one subculture to another.
Staff (1994, September/October). White weight. Psychology Today, p. 9.
Mayok Mayen force-fed himself cow's milk blended with cow urine at a rate of 5 gallons a day for 12 weeks. Lying on a mat for most of the day, in an effort to avoid burning calories, he eventually became weak from inactivity and found it difficult to even speak. His heart became overworked by the huge weight gain, and he stopped counting the number of chins he'd developed. Some strange suicide ritual? A brain tumor gone haywire? Actually, these deliberate acts were in the service of Mayen's finding a mate.
In the cow-culture of Payiir, Sudan, bigger is better when it comes to mate selection. Eligible bachelors intentionally gorge themselves to obesity in an effort to attract women. The significance is that an obese man is thought to come from a very well-off family, one that can afford to spare the extra cow's milk to fatten a relative. (Big herds are an embarrassment of riches in this culture, as is singing of one's loved one as "a beautiful bull.") Judges look at both the girth and firmness of each bachelor's body, and the winner of this contest is held in high esteem by all concerned.
Mayen, by the way, was not victorious. Deng Wauor turned out to be taller, fatter, bulkier...and ultimately, more attractive.
In a related development, Margaret Bassey Ene is gorging herself in a "fattening room" in her Nigerian village. Ene, like Mayen, is in a quest to find a partner, and in her southeastern Nigerian community a woman's rotundity is taken as a sign of good health, prosperity, and desirability. Although some teenage girls do a stint in the fattening room for purely ceremonial purposes, many marriage-bound girls follow the coming-of-age tradition enthusiastically. No word yet on whether Margaret has found a partner, although Mayok may be interested.
Associated Press (1996, October 28). Tribe's women love the fat men. Austin American-Statesman, A25.
Simmons, A. M. (1998, October 18). Fat is where it's at for women in Nigerian state's tradition. Austin American-Statesman, A21.
The relationship between obesity and food intake is well established: Obesity occurs when there is a relative long-term excess in caloric intake compared to energy expenditures. However, the likelihood of obesity also varies as a function of one's culture and socioeconomic status (SES).
A recent literature review by Sobal and Stunkard examined this relationship and provides clear evidence that in highly developed countries obesity and SES are inversely related, whereas in developing countries obesity and SES are directly related. That is, in industrialized, developed countries such as the United States or Britain, high SES is associated with lower rates of obesity, but in less industrialized, developing countries such as India, Columbia, or Nigeria, high SES is associated with higher rates of obesity. This relationship should be qualified, however, by pointing out that the inverse relationship between obesity and SES in developed countries applies primarily to women.
Sobal and Stunkard proposed some possible explanations for the differing relationships of SES and obesity between developed and developing countries and between men and women in developed countries. First, the availability of food is generally not as great in developing countries as in developed countries, particularly for low-SES populations. As SES increases, food availability increases, and as a result, so does the likelihood of obesity. Second, developing countries are more likely to have concepts of beauty that value fatness, whereas developed countries tend to equate thinness with beauty.
With increased SES, the resources for attempts to attain beauty are greater. In the developing countries, higher SES allows greater access to the food necessary to achieve the desired fatness. In developed countries, higher SES provides the greater income needed to acquire more costly "diet" foods and perhaps to participate in diet programs. Also, higher SES is associated with more leisure time and the facilities for physical recreational activity that promote weight control. Higher SES might also be associated with greater education concerning nutrition and weight-control advantages. Because the concept of attractiveness for men in developed countries does not emphasize thinness as greatly as that for women, and because men are less bound to attractiveness criteria in general, they do not reliably follow the inverse SES and obesity relationship found for women.
Koopman, J. S., Fajardo, L., & Bertrand, W. (1981). Food, sanitation and the socioeconomic determinants of child growth in Columbia. American Journal of Public Health, 71, 31-37.
Mueller, W. H., & Reid, R. M. (1979). Multivariate analysis of fatness and relative fat patterns. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 50, 199-208.
Power, C., & Moynihan, C. (1988). Social class changes and weight-for-height between childhood and early adulthood. International Journal of Obesity, 12, 445-453.
Sobal, J., & Stunkard, A. J. (1989). Socioeconomic status and obesity. Psychological Bulletin, 105, 260-275.
Reprinted from Whitford, F. W. (1995). Instructor's resource manual for Psychology: Principles and applications by S. Worchel and W. Shebilske. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Chapter 4 briefly discusses Maslow's hierarchy of needs and the concept of self-actualization. One of the defining elements self-actualization is having peak experiences, or experiences that can best be defined as mystic or profound in nature.
Humanism often suffers the criticism of being vague and untestable, and many of Maslow's descriptions of human activities certainly qualify. To the best of descriptive powers, then, peak experiences can be thought of as a kind of oceanic feeling. The individual at once feels focused yet open to unlimited experiences, powerful yet weak, ecstatic, and as though time and space have slowed or stopped. These feelings are apparently experienced without a specific link back to the self, so that the feeling, rather than the feeler, is the source of the experience. Peak experiences generally lead to the perception that something important has happened, possibly that can change one's direction in life. In general, peak experiences are a momentary loss or transcendence of the self, during which a kind of revelation is experienced.
Maslow thought that most people could have peak experiences, although they were more common among those who were self-actualized. Similarly, Maslow argued that a number of different circumstances could trigger peak experiences, from communing with nature to listening to classical music to insightfully solving a problem to orgasm. Apparently there is hope for us all, both to climb the hierarchy to self-actualization and to glimpse the infinite in a peak experience.
Maslow, A. H. (1976). Religion, values, and peak experiences. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books.
Chapter 4 ends with a section on emotional intelligence (a broad collection of abilities related to understanding and utilizing affect) and alexithymia (a stunted awareness of one's emotional states). These notions share a common component, that awareness of one's moods and emotions can contribute to successful mood regulation. This idea has been pursued in a recent set of empirical studies.
Mood awareness refers to individual differences in attention directed toward one's mood states. It is measured by the Mood Awareness Scale (MAS; Swinkels & Giuliano, 1995), a reliable 10-item measure composed of two related but distinct dimensions: mood labeling and mood monitoring. Mood labeling refers to the ability to identify and categorize one's mood states, whereas mood monitoring refers to the tendency to focus on, evaluate, or scrutinize one's mood.
The processes of mood labeling and mood monitoring may be better understood by an analogy. There is a marked difference in the approaches used by a physician and by a hypochondriac when trying to assess states of health. The physician, because of training, experience, or insight, is usually successful in making an accurate diagnosis of an illness and recommending some course of treatment. In other words, the medical condition is diagnosed or categorized fairly readily, and steps are then taken to remedy the complaint (e.g., "take two aspirin and call me in the morning") or maintain the state of health (e.g., "keep jogging to work every day"). In contrast, hypochondriacs are quite concerned about the state of their physical health, and in fact may become preoccupied with keeping track of their health status. A process of monitoring physical symptoms and checking for the onset of illness may become an ongoing ritual. The problem, of course, is that although hypochondriacs may be vigilant in checking their health, they are apt to be misled many times about their condition. In other words, they check on their physical states often, but may not reach a satisfactory or final judgment about their health, concluding instead that they are suffering from some vague bodily complaint.
Several studies have demonstrated that labeling and monitoring exert different influences on other mood-relevant variables. For example, in comparison with low mood labelers, high mood labelers tend to seek and be satisfied with social support, experience positive affect, have higher levels of self-esteem, be extraverted, be less socially anxious or neurotic, and express greater global life satisfaction. High (as compared with low) mood monitors, by contrast, tend to experience more intense affective states, experience greater negative affect, have lower self-esteem, and report neurotic tendencies. Various other studies have investigated the role of mood awareness in: depression; self-views; reactions to life stress; self-reported physical symptoms; intelligence and cognitive abilities; and numerous other personality dimensions.
More importantly, mood monitoring and mood labeling play a role in the process of mood regulation. Most people are motivated to sustain a positive mood (mood maintenance) or change a negative one (mood repair), although monitors and labelers might be more or less successful at this task. One study (Swinkels & Giuliano, 1995, Study 4), for example, found that although high mood monitors agreed that their moods influenced their behavior and were important to them, they reported less success at regulating their negative mood states. Another study (Giuliano, 1995) found that the ability of mood labelers and mood monitors to repair their negative moods over time differed. High labelers were able to take relatively quick action to alter their mood states, whereas high monitors tended to wallow in their negative moods for a longer period of time.
The reason for these differences can be understood by returning to the medical analogy. The act of labeling something implies that it becomes identified or categorized for further use. The physician who has made an accurate diagnosis now knows the likely course and duration of the illness, the available treatments, and the number of subsequent office visits for which the patient can be billed. In this sense mood labeling should generally promote constructive thought and behavior in regard to one's feelings. A mood that is readily labeled is a mood that does not need to be dwelt upon in order to be understood: the mood state has been identified and the stage presumably is set for acting on that mood in some way.
In contrast, monitoring implies a certain degree of vigilance by an individual, which may or may not be productive. Like the hypochondriac who is nervously attuned to each twitch and tremor of his or her body, mood monitoring would imply a similar type of examination of or dwelling upon one's mood; for some, perhaps, to the point of unhealthfulness, but for most out of a simple concern with tracking the progress of one's feelings. The difficulty with mood monitoring, then, is that it may contribute to becoming absorbed in one's mood state, much like the overconcern with physical health experienced by the hypochondriac. The high mood monitor may check on his or her moods often, and be quite vigilant in doing so, yet may still remain a bit confused about the nature of the mood state. Just as the accuracy of the hypochondriac's diagnoses may be clouded by numerous false alarms or uncertainty about the nature of the discomfort, so too may the high mood monitor's judgments of his or her mood be clouded by too great an absorption in the mood state itself. In the case of bad moods, this absorption may produce prolonged negative affect.
Giuliano, T. A. (1995, August). Mood awareness predicts mood change over time. Presented at the 103rd Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, New York.
Swinkels, A. (1993, August). Exploring the role of mood awareness in mood regulation. In D. Tice (Chair), Self regulation of mood and emotion. Symposium conducted at the 101st Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto.
Swinkels, A., & Giuliano, T. A. (1995). The measurement and conceptualization of mood awareness: Monitoring and labeling one's mood states. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21, 934-949.
Swinkels, A., Giuliano, T. A., & Helweg-Larsen, M. (1996, August). Assessing mood awareness in diverse groups. Presented at the 104th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto.
Swinkels, A., & Giuliano, T. A. (1992a). Mood awareness and self-regulation. Presented at the Fourth Annual Convention of the American Psychological Society, San Diego, California.
Swinkels, A., & Giuliano, T. A. (1992b). [Mood clash: Negotiating interpersonal affect]. Unpublished research data.
Happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust have long been recognized as the six primary emotions. Their universality is based on several converging lines of evidence; strong cross-cultural agreement in both recognizing and producing facial expressions of these emotions (Ekman et al., 1987), specific anatomical configurations associated with these expressions (Ekman & Friesen, 1978), and autonomic nervous system activity that distinguishes between these emotional states (Ekman, Levenson, and Friesen, 1983). Although there have been some minor challenges to this universalist position (e.g., Ortony & Turner, 1990; Russell, 1994) the evidence clearly suggests that these six emotions enjoy a special status. That status should be shared, though, by a seventh emotion. Although the cartoon in Chapter 4 suggests "I didn't know it was an essay test" should have this distinction, the real winner is contempt.
Throughout much of their research program Paul Ekman and Wally Friesen, as well as most other emotion researchers, studied disgust/contempt as one "emotion family." This decision was based on the similarity of the expressions (e.g., lip curls) and on the commonalities of their experience (e.g., aspects of avoidance, judgment, disdain). In the mid-1980s, however, Ekman and Friesen gathered evidence to suggest that contempt was better understood as its own emotion, with its own distinct set of expressions, apart from disgust. Citizens of Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Scotland, Turkey, the United States, and West Sumatra were shown three photographs of each of the six primary emotions, along with two photographs each of three prototypical contempt displays. These were 1) a tightening and slight raise of the corner of the upper lip unilaterally (e.g., the Elvis Presley or Johnny Rotten look); 2) the same expression performed bilaterally (i.e., both lip corners raised); and 3) raising the entire upper lip slightly, without tightening or raising the lip corners. Their judgment task was similar to that used in previous studies of universality, and, like previous studies, there was high agreement about what emotion was displayed for the six primary expressions.
Across the 10 countries there was considerable agreement that the unilateral lip curl was an expression of contempt. Seventy-five percent of the participants (summing across countries) judged this expression as showing contempt, whereas 36 percent and 19 percent agreed that the bilateral expression or upper-lip-raise, respectively, showed this emotion. In short, citizens from a variety of Western and non-Western cultures, holding a variety of attitudes about emotional expression, showed high rates of agreement for this facial expression. The researchers were able to further demonstrate that the contempt judgments were not confused with judgments of disgust (as the previous literature would suggest) or anger (an expression often misjudged as disgust). These findings were not immune to criticism (e.g., Izard & Haynes, 1988; Russell, 1991). However, these results have been replicated among the Minangkabau of West Sumatra (Ekman & Heider, 1988), and they show the promise of replication in future cross-cultural, anatomical, and physiological studies.
Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1978). Facial Action Coding System: A technique for the measurement of facial movement. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1986). A new pan-cultural facial expression of emotion. Motivation and Emotion, 10, 159-168.
Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1988). Who knows what about contempt: A reply to Izard and Haynes. Motivation and Emotion, 12, 17-22.
Ekman, P., Friesen, W. V., O'Sullivan, M., Chan, A., Diacoyanni-Tarlatzis, I., Heider, K., Krause, R., LeCompte, W. A., Pitcairn, T., Ricci-Bitti, P. E., Scherer, K., Tomita, M., & Tzavaras, A. (1987). Universals and cultural differences in the judgments of facial expressions of emotion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 712-717.
Ekman, P., & Heider, K. (1988). The universality of a contempt expression: A replication. Motivation and Emotion, 12, 303-308.
Ekman, P., Levenson, R. W., & Friesen, W. V. (1983). Autonomic nervous system activity distinguishes between emotions. Science, 221, 1208-1210.
Izard, C. E., & Haynes, O. M. (1988). On the form and universality of the contempt expression: A challenge to Ekman and Friesen's claim of discovery. Motivation and Emotion, 12, 1-16.
Ortony, A., & Turner, T. J. (1990). What's basic about basic emotions? Psychological Review, 97, 315-331.
Russell, J. A. (1991). The contempt expression and the relativity thesis. Motivation and Emotion, 15, 149-168.
Russell, J. A. (1994). Is there universal recognition of emotion from facial expression? A review of the cross-cultural studies. Psychological Bulletin, 115, 102-141.
Eye contact is an important factor in nonverbal communication. It can serve to regulate conversations, give cues of dominance, or form the basis for suspecting a liar ("look me in the eye when you say that!"). However, as many a pupil has learned, there's more than meets the eye when it comes to meeting the eye.
Pupil size can be affected to some degree by emotional and cognitive factors. Studies of pupillometry by Eckhard Hess have found that pupil size is affected by one's general state of arousal. In general, pupil size tends to increase when people view stimuli that interest them. For example, the pupils of both men and women were found to dilate when viewing pinups of the opposite sex and to slightly constrict when viewing same-sex pinups. Similar findings have been obtained for other stimuli that were either pleasant or unpleasant (e.g., foods, pictures of political figures, pictures of a crippled child, music). Hess and his colleagues also found that increases in pupil size are positively correlated with mental activity associated with problem solving, reaching maximal dilation as one arrives at the solution. Finally, studies have demonstrated that people rate models in photographs as more attractive if the photo has been altered to make the pupil area larger, compared to the same photos of the same models in which the pupils have not been retouched.
It seems, then, that in a variety of ways the small dots in the middle of our eyes can have a big impact on our behavior!
Hess, E. H. (1975). The tell-tale eye. New York: Van Nostrand.
Scientists have long known that the limbic system is involved in emotional experience. In particular, the amygdala seems to play a crucial role in two different activities related to emotion.
David Zald, a researcher at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Minneapolis, led a research team that studied the relation between odors and emotional reactions. Zald asked 12 women to smell a variety of concoctions while undergoing repeated brain scans. Some of the odors were quite pleasant, such as the scents of flowers, fruits, or spices, whereas others ranged from garlic breath to motor oil, and a sulfurous stench crossing rotting vegetables with a sewer. The pleasant smells didn't trigger much of a reaction; only the right amygdala responded weakly. The most pungent odors, however, caused both amygdalae to respond swiftly and markedly, the equivalent of sending a "Yuck!" message to the rest of the brain. In fact, the anatomical link between the amygdala and brain centers responsible for processing olfactory sensations suggests a strong link between odor and affect. Pinpointing the amygdala's reaction may help explain why unpleasant odors can produce negative emotional reactions.
In a separate study, researchers also examined the amygdala's role in perceiving facial expressions of emotion. Researchers at the Salk Institute and the University of Iowa College of Medicine, led by Antonio Damasio, studied a remarkable woman identified as S.M. This 33-year-old was intelligent, cooperative, and had no difficulty remembering names and faces of acquaintances or people she recently met. When asked to pose an expression of fear on her face, however, S.M. found it impossible to do. Furrowing her brows and grimacing desperately, she was unable to display one of the primary emotions. Moreover, although S.M. could correctly identify expressions of happiness posed by others, she could not perceive fear in another person's facial expression. The cause of these difficulties seemed to be the destruction of cells in the amygdala due to disease. What it revealed to the research team was the importance of this particular limbic system component in recognizing and producing a very specific expression of emotion. What it reveals more generally is the evolutionary development of emotion. Fear, an emotion so crucial to survival, seems to have claimed its own niche in the brain.
Holtz, R. L. (December 24, 1994). Scientists find part of brain that reads facial expressions. Austin American-Statesman, A13.
Ritter, M. (February 9, 1997). Tests catch image of brain saying "Yech!" Austin American-Statesman, A22.
Research on facial expressions of emotion seems to have a short history. The classic work of Paul Ekman and Wally Friesen, or the late Sylvan Tomkins, or Carroll Izard, took place largely during the 1960s (and continues today). However, a long tradition of studying facial expressions waxed and waned well before that time. For example, a few of the more well-known names associated with this kind of research include: Harold Schlosberg, who developed a scale for measuring facial expressions along two dimensions (1941, 1952); J. P. Guilford, whose interest in facial expressions fed and was fed by an interest in social intelligence (1929, 1930); E. G. Boring and Edward Titchener, certainly no slouches in the history of psychology, who developed a model for demonstrating facial expressions (1923); and most obviously, Charles Darwin, whose Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals ushered in the evolutionary perspective adopted by Ekman, Tomkins, and Izard.
A forgotten name in this history, however, is one Guillaume-Benjamin Duchenne de Bologne, a French anatomist who first postulated many of the actions of the facial muscles that produce emotional expressions. Duchenne's book, Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine ou Analyse Électro-Physiologique de l'Expression des Passions, Applicable a la Pratique des Arts Plastiques, was unique for its time in that it included over 100 photographic plates (illustrating various expressions), each of which had to be pasted into the book by hand. Consequently, few copies of this work were produced at the time, and until Cambridge University Press reissued the book in 1990, copies were available only in a select few libraries throughout the world.
Duchenne's methods for studying the face involved electrical stimulation of the various muscle groups, followed by photography to capture the resulting expression. The main object of his attention was a haggard, toothless, somewhat slow-witted elderly man who apparently did not object too strenuously to having electrical currents course through his face. As Duchenne remarks, "I was able to experiment on his face without causing him pain, to the extent that I could stimulate his individual muscles with as much precision and accuracy as if I were working with a still irritable cadaver" (1990, p. 43). The result of this experimentation was a detailed mapping of the facial musculature, the combinations that produced a variety of emotional and nonemotional expressions, and a corpus of the expressions themselves. This early work was a precursor to more sophisticated facial measurement systems, such as Ekman and Friesen's Facial Action Coding System (FACS; 1978), Izard's Maximally Discriminative Facial Coding System (MAX; 1979), or Hjortsjö's (1970) anatomical system.
Boring, E. G., & Titchener, E. B. (1923). A model for the demonstration of facial expression. American Journal of Psychology, 34, 471-485.
Darwin, C. (1872 ). The expression of the emotions in man and animals. London: John Murray.
Duchenne, G. B. (1990). The mechanism of human facial expression or an electro-physiological analysis of the expression of the emotions (A. Cuthbertson, Trans.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. (Original work published 1862)
Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1978). Facial Action Coding System (FACS): A technique for the measurement of facial action. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Guilford, J. P. (1929). An experiment in learning to read facial expression. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 24, 191-202.
Guilford, J. P., & Wilke, M. (1930). A new model for the demonstration of facial expressions. American Journal of Psychology, 42, 436-439.
Hjortsjö, C. H. (1970). Man's face and mimic language. Lund, Sweden: Student-Litteratur.
Izard, C. E. (1979). The maximally discriminative facial movement coding system (MAX). Unpublished manuscript. University of Delaware.
Schlosberg, H. (1941). A scale for the judgment of facial expressions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 29, 497-510.
Schlosberg, H. (1952). The description of facial expressions in terms of two dimensions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 44, 229-237.
Chapter 4 briefly notes that emotion is a notoriously slippery thing to define. Point out to your students that the issue is far from resolved among people who study emotions for a living, and in fact many terms have been used with only little grudging consensus.
An example from David Watson and Auke Tellegen's review of the mood literature will illustrate the point. "We began by noting that mood assessment and mood research should reflect the structure of emotional experience. Now that we have demonstrated that a highly replicable structure exists, what implications can we draw to guide future affect research? (1985, p. 233, italics added). These authors use the terms affect, emotion, and mood interchangeably, suggesting that the terms are equivalent. They are not alone; many researchers assume that these are different ways of talking about the same (or similar) experiences. Others have tried to distinguish between terms such as affect, emotion, feeling, sentiment, mood, arousal, passion, and so on.
Bridging across many sources a low-level consensus has arisen. Emotions are typically transient states characterized by specific facial expressions, patterns of autonomic nervous system activity, and more diffuse behavioral responses. There is usually the presence of some elicitor of the emotion, and the number of emotions themselves is fairly small (i.e., Ekman's 6, Tomkins' 9, Plutchik's 8, Izard's 10). The adaptive nature of emotion is usually a theme running through most emotion theories. Mood, in contrast, refers to feeling states that are nonspecific, pervasive, and capable of widely influencing cognition and behavior. There is less agreement about other elements of mood, such as their lower intensity or longer duration, especially in comparison to emotions. Finally, affect is typically used as a catch-all term to refer to the very broad domain of feeling (as opposed to cognition, often a catch-all for the broad domain of thinking). The term arose from the psychoanalytic approach and is often used to describe the tone of an emotional experience, either generally positive (pleasant) or negative (unpleasant). Of the three, affect is probably most used and least specific; in fact, it has been used to refer to feelings, preferences, and states of bodily arousal.
Frijda, N. H., Mesquita, B., Sonnemans, J., & van Goozen, S. (1991). The duration of affective phenomena or emotions, sentiments, and passions. In K. T. Strongman (Ed.), International review of studies on emotion (Vol. 1, pp. 187-225). New York: Wiley.
Isen, A. M. (1984). Toward understanding the role of affect in cognition. In R. S. Wyer & T. K. Srull (Eds.), Handbook of social cognition (pp. 179-236). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Ketal, R. (1975). Affect, mood, emotion, and feeling: Semantic considerations. American Journal of Psychiatry, 132, 1215-1217.
Morris, W. N. (1989). Mood: The frame of mind. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Plutchik, R. (1994). The psychology and biology of emotion. New York: HarperCollins.
Ruckmick, C. A. (1936). The psychology of feeling and emotion. London: McGraw-Hill.
Watson, D., & Tellegen, A. (1985). Toward a consensual structure of mood. Psychological Bulletin, 98, 219-235.
Zajonc, R. B. (1980). Feeling and thinking: Preferences need no inferences. American Psychologist, 35, 151-175.
The Mona Lisa has a famous one. Your dentist encourages you to preserve yours. Jimmy Carter got elected using his. What could be more beguiling, more disarming than a smile...and yet, more complicated?
Laypeople, and many scientists, would argue that a smile is a smile is a smile. Just as happiness is a pretty uncomplicated emotion, so too is its expression. Indeed, cross-cultural research has found that expressions of happiness are most easily and most accurately detected by members of a variety of cultures (Ekman, 1984). Yet research has also demonstrated that smiles come in many varieties, many of which signal particular internal states.
For example, the smile that accompanies enjoyment (once called a "felt" smile; see Ekman & Friesen, 1982, and Frank, Ekman, & Friesen, 1993) is characterized not only by the action of the zygomatic major muscle (which serves to pull the lip corners up and back) but more importantly is characterized by the action of the obicularis oculi. This muscle surrounds the eye and produces the slight squinting and "crow's feet" seen in the eye region when happiness is displayed. This particular smile of enjoyment has been dubbed the "Duchenne smile," in honor of G. B. Duchenne de Bologne, the French anatomist who originally postulated its existence (Duchenne, 1862/1990).
In other cases, different smiles, with different corresponding facial actions, can signal other affective states. For example, Paul Ekman, Wally Friesen, and Maureen O'Sullivan (1988) studied the smiles shown by nurses who either told the truth or lied about a videotape they were watching. Whereas the smile of enjoyment could be detected (using the Facial Action Coding System) when the nurses truthfully related their positive experiences, "masking" smiles could be measured when the nurses lied. These types of smiles showed the action of the zygomaticus major, but also contained facial muscle actions shown when negative emotions such as disgust, anger, or sadness, are displayed. If considered at a surface level, however ("Is this person smiling?"), the differences in the muscle actions would be difficult to detect by an untrained observer.
Ekman has also discussed the embarrassment smile, qualifier smile, coordination smile, Chaplin smile, dampened smile, miserable smile, compliance smile, and listener response smile as variants on this supposedly simple facial action (Ekman, 1985). The picture that emerges is that there is substantial research still called for, especially across cultures, to determine when a smile is just a smile.
Duchenne, G. B. (1990). The mechanism of human facial expression or an electro-physiological analysis of the expression of the emotions (A. Cuthbertson, Trans.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. (Original work published 1862)
Ekman, P. (1982). Emotion in the human face (2nd ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Ekman, P. (1985). Telling lies. New York: Norton.
Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1982). Felt, false, and miserable smiles. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 6, 238-252.
Ekman, P., Friesen, W. V., & O'Sullivan, M. (1988). Smiles when lying. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 414-420.
Frank, M. G., Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1993). Behavioral markers and recognizability of the smile of enjoyment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 83-93.
The bulk of the evidence for the universalist position on facial expressions comes from cross-cultural studies. This is not the only avenue of investigation, however. A small literature on children who are born deaf and blind shows that they use the same facial expressions as other children do to express the same emotions. This observation works against the culture-learning view: Because these children have limited avenues for social learning within a particular culture their facial expressions must reflect innate aspects of emotional experience.
This approach to the universalist/culture-specific debate actually got its start with Darwin. As was his custom, Darwin collected informal observations of behavior from colleagues around the world, and part of this evidence was that blind children seemed to "blush with shame" and show other expressions in a manner similar to sighted children. Empirical research on this topic was conducted well before the innate-versus-acquired debate developed in the 1960s. For example, Florence Goodenough observed a 10-year-old girl who had been blind and deaf from birth, noting that she would show surprise when something unexpected happened, display sadness when a favorite toy was taken from her, or laugh and smile when given pleasant things. Jane Thompson built upon this approach, photographing 26 blind children experiencing natural emotional states. When compared to photographs of sighted children in similar circumstances there was remarkable consistency of expression across the 7-week-old to 13-year-old children in the sample. Moreover, raters accurately judged the emotional expressions of both groups of children in about 70 percent of the photographs. Both Freedman and Fulcher continued these types of investigations in subsequent years.
Perhaps the most elaborate study of this type was conducted by Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt, the well-known German ethologist, during the mid-1960s. Eibl-Eibesfeldt took motion pictures of three girls and two boys who were born deaf and blind, and one additional boy deaf and blind from the age of 1_. In addition these children, who suffered a variety of birth defects due to Thalidomide use by their mothers during pregnancy, represented a range of intelligence. Petra and Patrik both had very extensive brain damage (intelligence less than 2 deviations below normal), Beatrice and Heiko had deformed limbs and extensive brain damage (below normal range), and Sabine had no eyeballs and slight brain damage, and Harald, who had contracted meningitis at 18 months, was of average intelligence. After examining the films in slow motion and in thorough detail, Eibl-Eibesfeldt noted that in the case of each child smiling, crying, affection, embracing, frustration, conflict, pouting, distancing, surprise, and frowning could all be clearly seen and in a manner similar to expressions shown by sighted children.
Taken as a whole these studies form a nice complement to research supporting the universalist viewpoint. Eibl-Eibesfeldt's studies in particular demonstrate that even among children who are sensorily restricted, of substantially reduced mental capacity, and with deformed limbs - all factors that work against cultural learning of emotional expression - some innate capacities for expression are clearly exhibited.
Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I. (1970). Love and hate. New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston.
Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I. (1973). The expressive behaviour of the deaf-and-blind-born. In M. von Cranach & I. Vine (Eds.), Social communication and movement (pp. 163-194). London: Academic Press.
Fulcher, J. S. (1942). "Voluntary" facial expressions in blind and seeing children. Archives of Psychology, 38, Whole No. 272.
Freedman, D. G. (1964). Smiling in blind infants and the issue of innate versus acquired. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 5, 171-184.
Goodenough, F. L. (1932). Expressions of the emotions in a blind-deaf child. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 27, 328-333.
Thompson, J. (1941). Development of facial expression of emotion in blind and seeing children. Archives of Psychology, 37, No. 264.
Life...liberty...the pursuit of happiness. These goals seem as universal as...well, apple pie, to twist a phrase. But what makes us happy? The editors of Psychology Today asked four leading researchers of happiness, or subjective well-being, these questions: How do you define happiness? What are the best ways to get there? Who is happy, happier, happiest? What doesn't lead to happiness, that we mistakenly think will? Has the definition of happiness changed significantly over the last few decades? The experts submitted essays exploring these topics, and offered suggestions about the circumstances and experiences that contribute to happiness:
Staff (1994, July/August). The road to happiness. Psychology Today, pp. 32-37.
The study of nonverbal gestures and their meaning has received extensive research attention in psychology, sociology, and communication. Through basic research we know a great deal about what gestures convey, how they are culturally variable, and how they act as cues to emotional and other internal states of a communicator. Roger Axtell, former international business executive and now professional speaker and author, has cataloged a variety of gestures and their appropriate uses in cultures around the world. His collection of examples shows clearly that an intended message may not always be communicated successfully. Some common miscommunicated meanings include:
Axtell, R. E. (1991). Gestures: The do's and taboos of body language around the world. New York: Wiley.
Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1969). The repertoire of nonverbal behavior: Categories, origins, usage, and coding. Semiotica, 1, 49-98.
Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1972). Hand movements. Journal of Communication, 22, 353-374.
Studies of the expression of emotion tend to focus on the face, and for good reason. Although posture and gestures can also communicate, the emotional information they provide tends to be rather gross and undifferentiated. Standing with one's arms crossed, for example, can convey a negative emotional state, but whether it is boredom, impatience, anger, sadness, or fatigue is up for grabs. The face, in comparison, can signal very specific information about specific emotional states.
But what happens when that medium for communication changes? We recognize that facial expressions can change, but how do changes in the face itself affect the clarity of the expressions conveyed? Paul Ekman has written about static facial features, or physiognomic characteristics that give the face a perpetual type of look. Some people with particularly pronounced brows, for example, may appear to have an angry expression even when their faces are at rest, or someone with a jowly lower face may appear sad even when he or she isn't. Medical advances, of course, have made it possible to do something about jowls, crow's feet, and unflattering noses, and that is the basis of this assignment.
Have your students investigate this question by collecting examples of famous faces that have changed dramatically. For example, Michael Jackson, Roseanne, Phyllis Diller, and Joan Rivers have all admitted that they've undergone plastic surgery (in some cases, quite extensively). How has this modification to the communication channel (i.e., the face itself) changed the communication of the message (i.e., the facial expressions of emotion)? For example, if one were to look at a photograph of Michael Jackson posing an expression of happiness (i.e., smiling) from 10 years ago, and a similar photograph of him taken recently, what differences would be immediately apparent? Does the expression seem more intense? Better-defined? What about the interaction of the obicularis oculi around the eyes and the zygomaticus major around the mouth, comparing nipped-n-tucked to pre-nipped-n-tucked? In short, how has changing static facial features changed the interpretation of facial expressions of emotion?
A similar effect can be had by having your students examine photographs of themselves, their parents, or family friends taken recently and taken some time earlier (e.g., 5 or 10 years ago). There should be some changes to static facial features which in turn may affect the expression of emotion. It may be easier for students to collect a greater variety of facial expressions (representing the six primary emotions) from this source.
What your students might conclude is that in some cases the change is very minor, whereas in others it is more dramatic. If they were to examine photographs of themselves taken 5 years ago and taken recently, for example, the most striking differences would no doubt be due to basic maturational processes; baby fat is lost, facial features become more mature, and so on. In the cases of plastic surgery the differences should be more pronounced; let's face it, Roseanne looks like an entirely different person! (and so too might her emotional expressions seem quite different). This assignment will help students to disentangle static facial elements from the emotional expressions themselves, and to see how some elements of expression are truly universal.
Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1975). Unmasking the face. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Researchers studying mood and emotion are often faced with the daunting task of how to capture the experience of fleeting feeling states. Psychophysiological recordings can measure the bodily experience of an affective state; however, these methods say little about the cognitive, social, or "feeling" components of emotion, and some feelings trigger only weak levels of arousal (and thus avoid detection). Besides, being wired from head to toe in the laboratory generalizes poorly to emotion situations experienced in daily life. Self-reports of naturally-occurring moods and emotions are often used, but these have the same limitations as any retrospective accounts; they may be subject to distortion or other inaccuracies. The trick, in a nutshell, is to find a brief, easily-administered technique that can capture the experience of an affective state as it happens or shortly after.
One step in this direction that has become increasingly popular is the use of "pager studies" and mood diaries. Subjects are given pagers, beepers, or timers that are randomly programmed to go off during normal waking hours. When signaled, the participant jots down whatever he or she is feeling at the moment or completes a brief standardized measure of affect. In this way a broad sample of natural emotions can be measured while minimizing biases due to retrospective accounts or time of day. A low-tech variant of this technique is the diary study. Subjects are instructed to record their emotions at randomly predetermined times of day. Again, some brief measure of affect is used to collect the recordings over an extended period of time.
As an out-of-class assignment, have your students complete a mood diary over a period of several weeks. The design of the project and level of elaborateness is up to you.
In the simplest case, students could complete a checklist of various emotions that they experience at preset times during the day. You might use Izard's Differential Emotions Scale (a checklist of several emotions), Nowlis' Mood Adjective Checklist, or any listing of common moods (where students simply place a check next to each mood they are experiencing at that time). Alternatively, students could complete the measure each night before going to bed, providing a global account of their moods during the day. A more elaborate strategy might involve having students rate the type and intensity of emotions that they experience. A simple list the six primary emotions, along with a 5- or 7-point scale measuring the intensity of each emotion, can be completed in less than a minute.
The timing of the data collection can also be as simple or elaborate as you'd like. For example, you might have students record their emotional experiences each hour (or two, or three), or you might randomly assign different, equivalent reporting periods across each twelve- or fourteen-hour period (e.g., Person 1 records at 8:10, 10:46, 12:30, 2:21, etc.; Person 2 records at 9:14, 11:06, 1:39, etc.). Finally, your treatment of the data can be simple or sophisticated. At a bare minimum students can compute the frequency of each emotion experienced across the total reporting period, or their mean levels of intensity. More elaborate treatments would include plotting the experience of emotion across the period, or correlating intensity ratings with time of day, or comparing the overall frequency of positive to negative emotions. This assignment can potentially generate a lot of data, which can be examined in a variety of ways.
The benefits of this assignment are that 1) students will gain a greater understanding of the complexities of measuring naturally-occurring moods and emotions, 2) they will gain a better understanding of experimental methods and the complexities of design, and 3) they will be able to chart the variation in their affective states. Seeing the pattern of one's moods can help with tasks such as mood regulation or stress reduction; if students also record (or remember) the events that sparked intense affective reactions they can gain insight into the causes and consequences of their mood states. A short report of their findings or an in-class discussion would complete this assignment.
Izard, C.E. (1977). Human emotions (pp. 123-128). New York: Plenum Press.
Nowlis, V. (1965). Research with the Mood Adjective Checklist. In S. S. Tomkins & C. E. Izard (Eds.), Affect, cognition, and personality. New York: Springer.
Examples of universal facial expressions of happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust, posed on human faces, are scattered throughout Chapter 4. For this assignment, have your students collect examples of these expressions that stand as icons. In other words, ask them to find facial symbols for these six primary emotions from artwork, graphic design, the popular press, and whatever other sources they can find.
Here are some examples of such icons:
In each case an emotion is expressed using a minimum of information. For example, a clown's painted face is typically little more than two arching lines above the eyes and lines extending the mouth corners, yet it very clearly expresses happiness. The simplest icon for surprise - two dots for eyes and a circle below them - is recognized immediately.
In completing this assignment have your students focus on questions such as these: What is the minimum amount of information needed to convey an emotion on the face? Do the elements of the icons correspond to the muscle patterns identified by research psychologists? What evolutionary significance is there to being able to identify emotional expressions quickly and accurately? Why are these icons successful for their specific task (e.g., entertainment, warning, advertising)? Your criteria for judging the success of this project should include the creativeness with which students collected icons. For example, students who gathered icons for several different emotions from several different sources should be rewarded more than students who picked only a few obvious examples. Look for themes: Are the examples primarily from art? From advertising? Reward students not for the sheer number of examples they can assemble but for the depth of their thinking regarding the meaning behind the icons.
As an extension of the previous assignment, discuss with your students the trend in Japanese emoticons. They are more complex (and, finally, in the correct orientation!) than the winks, nods, and leers your students might be familiar with, and they reveal aspects of nonverbal communication in Japanese culture.
Your students may be intrigued by these depictions of emotional expressions. They might even find that the cross-cultural communication they allow is Exciting(*^o^*).
Pollack, A. (1996, August 17). Japanese turn e-mail 'smiley faces' right side up. Austin American-Statesman, C1, C5.
Listed below are several excellent films that can provide students with the opportunity to apply some of the topics discussed in Chapter 4, including hunger and eating, aggression, and of course, Maslow's hierarchy of motives. Ask your students to select one of these films (or, if you prefer, you can assign one of your choosing) and to write a thought paper discussing how motivational concepts from the text and lecture apply to the film.
Chapter 4 includes a discussion of language and emotion, focusing on cultural differences for affect terms. But language and emotion are linked in another way, one that capitalizes on the metaphors we use for feeling states.
Several researchers, such as linguist George Lakoff, cognitive psychologist Andrew Ortony, or social psychologist Klaus Scherer, have noted the bond between the experience of emotion and the way we describe it to others. As just one example, when we're angry we feel ready to blow up, our blood is boiling, and we need to let off steam. In other words, we're likely to do a slow burn whenever we're hot under the collar. Understandably, we'd have a short fuse if we were hotheaded, although eventually we'd simmer down once we'd stopped fuming. These metaphors are not accidental; the internal experience of anger is marked by a kind of agitated increase in internal pressure, much like the lid of a boiling pot bouncing up and down on a hot stove. In fact, George Lakoff and Zoltán Kövecses have detailed the many metaphors we use for anger. Anger is an internal pressure (bursting a blood vessel; eyes popping out), a particular area of the visible spectrum (seeing red; red in the face), an interference (can't see straight; blind with rage), an explosion (hit the roof; blew my top; flipped my lid), a dangerous animal (snarling; hackles up; bite my head off), and, apparently, a precursor to insanity (fit to be tied; tearing my hair out; climbing the walls; foaming at the mouth; driving me crazy). The same can be said for other emotions: The metaphors we use for fear, sadness, happiness, surprise, and disgust try to capture the internal experience of those emotions.
Have your students generate examples such as those just listed. As a start, consider how and when we talk about being cool, calm, and collected, or what gag me with a spoon is meant to convey, or why we're frozen with fear, dumb with surprise, and jumping for joy. To make the activity more involved, have students work in small groups to categorize the metaphors within each emotion, as Lakoff and Kövecses did for anger.
This activity can be a nice lead-in to talking about cultural similarities and differences in emotional experience (i.e., ask your bilingual students for other similar idioms and their meanings), or about the physiological components of emotion. It's difficult to measure exactly what the body's doing when various emotions are experienced, but our language can give us some insights: Boiling blood is unlikely to describe the experience of great happiness!
Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Lakoff, G, & Kövecses, Z. (1983). The cognitive model of anger inherent in American English. Berkeley Cognitive Science Report, 10.
Ortony, A., Clore, G. L., & Collins, A. (1988). The cognitive structure of emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
For a lively and crowd-pleasing introduction to facial expressions of emotion, perform the following demonstration in your class. Prior to class, write each of the following emotions (along with the given number) on 12 separate index cards.
|1. Happiness |
|7. Sadness |
After you begin your lecture on emotional expression, explain that you are going to conduct a live demonstration of facial expressions, and that you need 12 students to volunteer to pose or send emotions while the rest of the class attempts to receive or decode them. Solicit 12 student volunteers who aren't shy about posing facial expressions in front of the class (preferably expressive or outspoken people who will "ham it up"), and randomly distribute to each an index card containing the target emotion that they are to pose. Instruct the remainder of the class to number a blank sheet of paper from 1 to 12 and tell them to try to accurately decode the emotion being posed in the facial expression of each volunteer. Remind student senders that they are restricted to facial expressions only, and caution them not to use vocal (e.g., sighs or groans) or postural cues (e.g., slumping) in sending their emotion.
When your 12 volunteers are ready, have them pose their emotions one-by-one (in numerical order), leaving enough time for class members to clearly see each emotion and record their responses. After going through all expressions once, have each volunteer again pose their target expression (this time getting the crowd to share their guesses) and then reveal the correct response. Student should correct their own guesses and count the number of responses correct out of 12. After all volunteers have revealed their target emotion, dismiss them to this seats (preferably with a thundering round of applause to show your appreciation!). Then, review the results with your class and discussion their implications. For each emotion, ask for a show of hands for students who interpreted it correctly. How accurate were there guesses? Were some emotions easier to decode or understand than others? Were some emotions easier to send or pose than others? You should find that students were more accurate at decoding the odd-numbered emotions than the even-numbered ones. Similarly, many volunteers often grumble or show discomfort when trying to send the even-numbered emotions. This is because the odd-numbered emotions (happiness, surprise, disgust, sadness, fear, and anger) are primary emotions associated with universally recognized facial expressions, whereas the others are idiosyncratic and not universally recognizable. Discussion can focus on the origins of universal expressions, accuracy in sending and receiving emotional expressions (including a consideration of gender differences), the role of empathy in understanding others' emotional reactions, and the difficulty and quality of posed vs. spontaneous facial expressions.
Whitford, F. W. (1995). Instructor's resource manual to accompany Psychology: Principles and applications, by S. Worchel and W. Shebilske. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Stephen Kosslyn, of Harvard University, offers a brief demonstration of an emotion-potentiated startle response. This exercise can be used to relate biological processes to emotional outcomes, to discuss biology and behavior, or simply to draw closer ties between psychological and physiological processes.
Dim the lights in the classroom, and ask students to hold hands tightly with the person next to them. If any students have heart problems or high blood pressure they may wish not to participate. With their eyes closed, ask students to listen and visualize themselves experiencing the events of the following passage that you slowly read:
"You are alone, it is late at night, and you are in an amusement park. You have just gotten on a Ferris wheel, and feel the air against your face as the wheel goes up. As you rise higher, you see the park laid out before you with numerous colored lights and crowds of bustling people. The sound level diminishes as you rise higher. As you reach the top, the Ferris wheel jerks, and suddenly everything stops. Your chair is swaying gently as you hang suspended. You look over the side and realize that you are dizzingly high off the ground. You hear a sound, which seems like the sound of scraping metal. You sense that the chair is not swinging freely. The chair seems to be shifting, with the left side beginning to sag down, you look up and see that the metal support is...KAZANG!"
Your cue on "KAZANG!" is to make a loud, sudden noise. You may pop a balloon, bang a cane on the podium, slam a book shut, or produce some other startling sound.
As students snap to attention, ask them to let go of their partner's hand and notice if they feel any moisture (a crude GSR) and if they were indeed startled. Those actions represent the amygdala doing its job. From there you can begin a discussion of a very simple question with very complex ramifications: how can a story and accompanying imagery cause reactions in one's body? Might there be images and stories that, presumably, cause reactions that heal or are otherwise beneficial? What is the link between mental activity (such as mental imagery) and physiological responses? Use this demonstration to foreshadow a discussion of health psychology.
Kosslyn, S. M. (1999). The brain and your students: How to explain why neuroscience is relevant to psychology. Presented at the 21st Annual National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology, St. Petersburg Beach, FL.
Paul Rozin has conducted groundbreaking research on the nature of disgust, linking it to such varied topics as appetite and eating behavior, the acquisition of preferences for novel foods, contamination, oral incorporation, cross-cultural comparisons, and developmental processes. There are several ways you can demonstrate for your class some of the principles behind Rozin's research to introduce the topic of emotion, to talk about developmental stages in emotion, or to discuss cultural norms in relation to emotional experiences.
Bring to class an empty pitcher, a container of water, some paper cups, and some powdered drink mix (e.g., Crystal Light, KoolAid). Also bring a brand new, never-before-used, preferably wrapped, plastic fly swatter. As you engage the class in some snappy patter (e.g., you get thirsty when you lecture and thought you might as well share some drinks with everyone...you're feeling magnanimous and wanted to give the class a treat) combine the drink mix and water in the pitcher. As the coup de grâce, slowly unwrap the fly swatter and use it to stir the concoction. At this point you should hear a chorus of groans and see a roomful of Ekman-quality disgust expressions, but that's the idea. If you now offer your students a drink from the pitcher you'll probably get a few hearty souls willing to try, but most students will no doubt decline. (Note that you can get the same effect by using a brand new plastic comb to stir the mixture, making sure to lick the comb vigorously after you're done stirring.)
The principle at work is contagion, one of the primitive "laws of sympathetic magic." It states that things that were once in contact with one another continue to be in contact, presumably through the transmission of some "essence." In this case, the disgusting properties of fly swatters are magically transferred to the drink mix. This could be true in a very real sense; roach legs and fly guts do have a tendency to cling to fly swatters. But in this case the piece of sanitary plastic you unwrapped before your students eyes has the properties of any plastic spoon that you might have used to stir the juice; it's an inert substance with no prior history or possibility of contamination.
Another demonstration involves more work on your part, but tastes much better. If you're the baking type, whip up a batch of your favorite chocolate fudge. Before you present it to your students, though, mold and shape some pieces so that they look like dog droppings. Assure your students that it's all fudge, all from the same recipe, and all made in your sanitary kitchen by your loving hands. Chances are you'll get plenty of takers for the traditionally-shaped fudge and comparatively fewer willing to take a chance on the "feces fudge." The principle here is similarity, or that things that resemble one another share fundamental properties. Fudge is fudge; plainly, the shape of it should not matter. But as you'll discover, your students are likely to assume that the similarity of some of the fudge to a disgusting substance renders it equally disgusting.
Authors' note: We've had success at parties serving guacamole in a clean, sanitized baby diaper. We've also served a delicious dessert made of vanilla pudding, whipped topping, cream cheese, and ground-up Oero cookies in a flowerpot, looking exactly like a big bucket of dirt. Now that you know the principles, write us for the recipes!
Rozin, P., & Fallon, A. E. (1987). A perspective on disgust. Psychological Review, 94, 23-41.
Rozin, P., Fallon, A. E., & Augustoni-Ziskind, M. (1986). The child's conception of food: The development of contamination sensitivity to "disgusting" substances. Developmental Psychology, 21, 1075-1079.
Rozin, P., Millman, L., & Nemeroff, C. (1986). Operation of the laws of sympathetic magic in disgust and other domains. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 703-712.
Chapter 4 notes that hunger, a primary motive, is driven by a biological need for nutrition yet is also influenced by cues in the environment. Although both physiological and environmental factors undoubtedly play a role in eating behavior, there is some debate about the relative influence of these two variables. On the one hand are scientists who argue that eating behavior (including food preferences, eating disorders, and weight problems) is primarily determined by neurochemicals in the brain. On the other hand are scientists who stress that psychological factors (e.g., stress, social norms) play a crucial role in eating behavior as well. This debate has a variety of interesting implications that range from understanding the causes of eating disorders and obesity to how they should best be treated to how the stigma attached to being overweight might be changed. Use the debate procedures suggested at the beginning of this manual (or develop your own) and assign students to research and defend both sides of this issue. Taking Sides contains excellent articles both pro and con on this topic (see Issue 2), or you may want to assign articles of your own (or students') choosing.
Slife, B. (1994). Taking sides: Clashing views on controversial psychological issues (8th ed.). Guilford, CT: Dushkin Publishing Group.
Evolutionary psychology is a theme that runs throughout the textbook, and is particularly relevant in Chapter 4. Reproductive success forms a large part of the evolutionary perspective, and in turn sexual relations form the basis of reproductive success. But the forces that drive our sexual behaviors are far from agreed upon. In particular, the role of evolutionary or genetic factors in shaping our sexuality has become a matter of some debate. One argument suggests that an evolutionary perspective can help explain complex behaviors such as monogamy, mate selection, and child-rearing. A different perspective suggests that evolutionary explanations ignore the advantages of more proximal explanations for the same behavior. Issue 5 of Taking Sides provides a starting point for your students to explore this topic and formulate arguments on both sides of this debate.
Slife, B. (1998). Taking sides: Clashing views on controversial psychological issues (10th ed.). Guilford, CT: Dushkin Publishing Group.
The text discusses several different categories of motives, including biological motives or drives (such as hunger, thirst, and sex), stimulus motives (such as exploration and curiosity, manipulation, and contact) and learned motives (including aggression, achievement, affiliation, and power). Bill Hill (1995) suggests an activity that is designed to get students to explore these various sources of motivation by examining their own behavior. Ask students to take out a sheet of paper and to write down 25 specific things that they did over the last 24 hours. For example, they might write down items such as getting out of bed, walking to class, having lunch, watching TV, or brushing their teeth. After giving them about 5 minutes to complete their list, explain that you now want them to categorize their behaviors into one of the three types or sources of motivation, biological, stimulus, or learned. When they have completed this task, lead the class in a discussion of the difficulties they may have had in identifying the motive for some of the behaviors, asking class members to share some behaviors they had difficulty categorizing.
Hill, W. G. (1995). Instructor's resource manual for Psychology by S. F. Davis and J. J. Palladino. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Gray and Gerrard (1981) described an activity that helps student identify behaviors that are be related to different levels of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. After you've discussed Maslow's hierarchy, photocopy and distribute to students copies of Handout 4-1 and go over the instructions with them. Give students about 5 minutes to complete the exercise and then ask volunteers to share their responses (correct answers are given below). You can then use the students' responses to help clarify and elaborate on Maslow's theory.
Answers to the Motives Questionnaire:
|1. Psychological Need |
2. Belonging Need
3. Self-actualization Need
4. Esteem Need
|5. Safety Need |
6. Esteem Need
7. Esteem Need
Gray, W. A., & Gerrard, B. A. (1981). Understanding yourself and others: A student activity book of psychological experiments and activities. New York: Harper & Row.
James Polyson (1985) suggests having students write about their peak experiences as a way of helping them understand Maslow's theoretical construct (i.e., by relating it to meaningful events in their own lives). After discussing peak experiences (see the Lecture Suggestion in this chapter), ask students to describe a peak experience as vividly and accurately as possible. As part of a short, in-class essay, they should describe where they were at the time of the experience, what they were doing, how they felt before and after the experience, and what the experience means to them then and now. Polyson uses Maslow's (1962) original instructions, which implore students to "think of the most wonderful experience of your life: the happiest moments, ecstatic moments, moments of rapture, perhaps from being in love, or from listening to music or suddenly 'being hit' by a book or painting, or from some creative moment" (p. 67). Polyson also reminds students that any one peak experience may not include all of the physical, cognitive, and emotional components contained in Maslow's composite description. Give students about 15 minutes to write their essay, and then solicit student volunteers who are willing to share their experiences with the class. Use their descriptions as a springboard to consider peak experiences in greater detail, including their importance in students' lives and their role in Maslow's hierarchy. Polyson notes that students are impressively thoughtful and enthusiastic about this assignment, and that they find it helpful in facilitating their understanding of Maslow's theory. [Note that this exercise also works well as an out-of-class assignment. Polyson suggests limiting the paper to a maximum of two typed pages and grading it according to the quality of the writing and the applicability of the personal experience to Maslow's theoretical construct.]
Adapted from Polyson, J. (1985). Students' peak experiences: A written exercise. Teaching of Psychology, 12, 211-213.
Maslow, A. H. (1962). Toward a psychology of being. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand.
Nonverbal behavior is often taken for granted, probably because it occurs so effortlessly in our interactions that we fail to notice it. It provides such a valuable aspect of communication, however, that it is definitely noticed when it is missing. You can illustrate the importance of nonverbal behavior to your students with a simple demonstration.
Start by drawing a simple dichotomy between verbal channels of communication and nonverbal channels. The verbal channel is easy; it is the words used, or perhaps a transcript of them. Ask your students to list the nonverbal channels of communication as you write them on the blackboard. The first response will usually be a generic "body language," but tell them to be more specific; body language is a catch-all term incorporating many nonverbal channels. In short order you should find that students list facial expressions, eye contact, vocal cues (mainly tone of voice), and gestures, and with a little prodding they will add touch, interpersonal distance, speech dysfluencies, posture, gait, or appearance (such as hair or clothing style) as ways of communicating nonverbally. Seeing the board fill up with one verbal means of communication and 5 to 8 nonverbal channels will illustrate clearly the importance of nonverbal behavior.
After generating these ways of communicating illustrate what kind of information each adds to a message. This will take some acting on your part, but it is easy to master with a little practice. Start by saying a very emphatic message ("I'm absolutely thrilled to be here today!") while keeping all other channels of communication constant. In other words, hold your body perfectly still (arms at your side), keep a neutral facial expression, and say the words in a monotone. It should be clear that although the verbal channel is quite enthusiastic, the nonverbal channels belie the impact of the message. Next repeat the message, adding the appropriate vocal inflections and tone cues, but keeping all other channels constant. Add a happy facial expression in the next iteration, and finally repeat the gushing message with inflection, a happy face, and a broad sweep of your arms. Your students will get the idea that words actually "say" very little; most of this message is carried by other channels.
A variation on this idea is suggested by Richmond and McCroskey, focusing on the vocal channel. You can demonstrate this yourself or by enlisting the help of 4 or 5 students willing to ham it up in front of the class. Consider the following phrases: "Gee, thanks," "This turned out to be a fine day," "I just love it when you do that," "Way to go, dude," "I would like nothing better," "Wow, this is fun," "Wonderful," "That's my favorite," "Truly awesome," "Real nice," "This stinks," and "Rhonda's a real winner, isn't she?" Ask your students to say each phrase using a variety of vocal styles, and have the class comment on the change in meaning that results. In each case the most obvious difference will come from the use of sarcasm, where the vocal inflection runs opposite to the verbal content. But many of these phrases (as well as others you might generate that are more specific to your university or to your class) can carry other meanings as well. For example, "Real nice" can convey sarcasm, sincerity, or sexuality depending on how it is delivered. Like the facial expression demonstration described earlier, these are fun and easy ways to introduce the topic of nonverbal behavior.
Richmond, V. P., & McCroskey, J. C. (1995). Nonverbal behavior in interpersonal relations (3rd ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Before taking this course your students will no doubt have heard of lie detectors and the lie detector test. Unfortunately, many of them will have concluded that the procedure is infallible, or widely used, or an accurate "pipeline to the truth." A simple demonstration, along with reading the material in Chapter 4, will help disabuse them of these notions.
The equipment needed for this demonstration is a polygraph that can record at least one (and preferably more) physiological responses, such as GSR, heart rate, respiration, or finger pulse volume. Chances are good that someone in your department has (or knows where to find, back in the dusty old storeroom) such a machine. If not, you might ask your colleagues in the Biology or Criminal Justice departments for a loan; at worst, a competent biologist could fairly easily rig up a simple GSR recorder.
Ask for two student volunteers to be "suspects" in a murder case. Give each suspect an index card that has either "Not Guilty" written on it or "Guilty - You committed the murder with an ax in the living room." Instruct each suspect to respond "I don't know" to all questions they will be asked. Next, hook up each suspect (one at a time) to the polygraph and allow some time for their activity levels to stabilize. Then administer a guilty-knowledge multiple-choice test in the following form:
|1) Was the murder committed in the:||a) hallway?|
|b) living room?|
|c) dining room?|
|2) Was the murder committed with:||a) a pipe?|
|b) a knife?|
|c) an ax?|
|d) a gun?|
Be sure to mark the polygraph record as each question is asked and answered.
Have students inspect the polygraph record and see if they can identify the guilty party, the scene of the crime, and the murder weapon. This demonstration is bound to succeed. If students fail to correctly identify the aspects of the crime, you've demonstrated the fallibility of the polygraph technique. If students are accurate, you've demonstrated the physiological basis of emotion and the rationale of the polygraph procedure. In either case, you'll generate questions and discussion amongst your students.
Based on Diekhoff, G. (1993). Demonstrations and activities for Psychology. New York: Macmillan.
Collecting people's judgments of facial expressions of emotion in the laboratory is a fairly easy task. Typically, subjects are given clearly visible depictions of faces and ample time to make their judgments. In real life, however, facial expressions must often be judged from greater distances or with very little time. This demonstration examines how recognition accuracy is affected when image size or image duration are changed.
To prepare this demonstration you'll need pictures of facial expressions. One source is Ekman and Friesen's Unmasking the Face; pages 175 to 201 contain photographs of facial expressions. Additional sources include textbooks, newspapers or magazines, or posed photographs taken of friends and colleagues. Be sure that the six primary emotions expressed are clear and accurately portrayed.
To demonstrate the effects of image size on judgments use a photocopier to successively reduce the pictures to half-size, quarter-size, or as many increments as you'd like. Next, make transparencies of all the facial expressions and bring them to class. From here you can make the procedure as simple or elaborate as you'd like. For instance, at the simple end you might present one example of each facial expression at original, half-, and quarter-size, varied randomly across the 18 presentations (6 depictions x 3 sizes). More elaborate strategies would include using more image sizes and/or more depictions of each expression. (Ultra-elaborate strategies would involve complete counterbalancing using a double-reverse, triple-hammerlock design...) Be sure to keep the exposure time relatively constant. Your students' task is to simply identify which of the six primary emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, or surprise) is depicted in each case.
If your students are like the subjects in Paul Ekman, Karen Brattesani, Maureen O'Sullivan, and Wally Friesen's experiment they should have little trouble identifying the faces. These researchers varied image size between one-fifth that of a normal human face to twice the area of a typical human face, and found that little information was lost when subjects viewed the small facial expressions. Similarly, Joe Hager and Paul Ekman demonstrated that at distances between the observer and expressor of 30, 35, 40, or 45 meters, observers could maintain high rates of accuracy. However, this was especially true for the positive affects of happiness and surprise. Interestingly, a man's expression of anger was judged equally well as the positive affects, even at 45 meters. Extrapolating from the data Hager and Ekman estimated that recognition accuracy could be maintained at distances up to 100 meters, beyond the range that hand-propelled weapons could be thrown.
To demonstrate the effects of image duration on judgments choose one set of pictures (i.e., the full-size set or perhaps the half-size set). The presentation of the faces can again be as simple or elaborate as you'd like. At the elaborate end, for example, you could purchase Ekman's Pictures of Facial Affect (a set of more than 100 slides of facial expressions) and display them using a timer-driven slide projector. At the simple end, you can re-use the transparencies and develop a quick wrist to cover and uncover the overheads rapidly! In any event, present a series of expressions with a very short duration and have students identify the expressions. If your students are like the subjects in Gilles Kirouac and François Doré's experiment their accuracy should be quite good. Kirouac and Doré varied exposures between 10 and 50 milliseconds and found that 1) as duration increased, accuracy increased; 2) at 40 msec accuracy rates were already in the 60 to 80 percent range, and 3) happiness showed the highest accuracy (about 83 percent) at 30, 40, or 50 msec, whereas disgust showed comparatively worse accuracy (about 60 percent). An earlier study by these authors found accuracy rates in the 80 to 90 percent range using a 10-second exposure time. In short (literally!), brief exposures do not seem to hinder recognition of facial expressions of emotion.
Of course, your students may not be like the subjects in any of these experiments. Examine their accuracy rates for different types of presentations. Discuss with your students why some facial expressions remain easy to identify even from far away or with short durations. What adaptive significance might this have? Why is it more adaptive to be able to recognize the "all is well" message of a smile or the "I'm going to kill you" message of anger from a greater distance, than it is the "I'm in distress" message of a sadness expression?
Ekman, P. (1976). Pictures of facial affect. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Ekman, P., Brattesani, K. A., O'Sullivan, M., & Friesen, W. V. (1979). Does image size affect judgments of the face? Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 4, 57-61.
Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1975). Unmasking the face. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Hager, J. C., & Ekman, P. (1979). Long-distance transmission of facial affect signals. Ethology and Sociobiology, 1, 77-82.
Kirouac, G., & Doré, F. Y. (1984). Judgment of facial expressions of emotion as a function of exposure time. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 59, 147-150.
Several of your students have probably heard "I love you" said to them in a way that meant anything but the connotation of those words. Words are the meat and potatoes of oral communication, but paralanguage adds the spice. "I love you" could be the prelude to a breakup, a response made out of fear, a drunken slur between friends, a statement of empathy, or the expression of a genuine sentiment. Vocal cues, such as inflection, tone, speech rate, or pitch, convey much of the meaning behind words.
Your students can demonstrate this with a simple exercise, borrowed from Richmond and McCroskey. Ask students to stand at the front of class in pairs, and tell them that their job is to communicate different emotional states to one another. (You might have one pair demonstrate this for the rest of the class, or use different pairs of people for different sets of emotions, or have partners within a pair trade-off.) Here are the rules. First, the students must stand back-to-back, facing away from one another. Second, the person communicating the emotion is allowed to use only one statement: "These pretzels are making me thirsty." Hearing this phrase only, it is the partner's job to guess each of the following emotions:
Given the restrictions of the rules, students often are surprised to find that they guess any of the emotions correctly; in fact, they'll probably identify a significant number of them. That's because the vocal expression of emotion is found in paralinguistic cues rather than the actual speech content. Studies of content-free filtered speech demonstrate that nervousness, anger, sadness, and happiness are the easiest emotions to detect from vocal cues alone, whereas surprise, fear, and love are much more difficult. Have students keep track of the number and type of emotions successfully communicated, and use this as a basis for discussing paralanguage.
Richmond, V. P., & McCroskey, J. C. (1995). Nonverbal behavior in interpersonal relations (3rd ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Sex for Sale (14 min, Series III). It's been called the world's oldest profession, but as this 20/20 segment shows, prostitution is becoming more professional every year. There is a move afoot in several quarters to legalize prostitution; this video segment examines the issues involved in that decision.
So Angry You Could Die (11 min, Series III). This 20/20 segment presents people on the edge, and some who are well past it. A variety of stress-related illnesses are linked to anger (and its inappropriate expression); this brief video piece explores ways to ward them off by reducing hostile responses to the world.
You Have to Be Perfect (10 min, Series III). What happens when "good enough" isn't good enough? This 20/20 segment looks at a handful of people for whom the quest for perfection has taken on life-altering proportions. The psychological, behavioral, and health consequences of perfectionism are explored from a series of first-person accounts.
Advertising Alcohol: Calling the Shots (30 min, CAM). A critical unveiling of the persuasion tactics used by the alcohol industry.
Aggression (1989, 30 min, IM). Examines various aspects of physical and social environments that predict violent reactions.
Aggression: The Explosive Emotion (1975, 58 min, IU). Considers anger, constructive and destructive aggression, and various outlets for aggressive impulses.
Anger (1986, 15 min, COR/MTI). This segment from ABC's 20/20 explores the nature of anger; how it is activated, different manners of expression, how it is handled or resolved, and the results of losing control.
Beyond Words (1974, 40 min, NETCHE). Examines nonverbal behavior in interpersonal and cross-cultural settings.
Body Language: An Introduction to Nonverbal Communication (1994, 25 min, LS). This video presents an overview of kinesics, personal distance, eye contact, and the interpretation of gestures. Cross-cultural nonverbal miscommunication is also examined (in the spirit of Roger Axtell's book mentioned in the lecture suggestion above). An accompanying booklet includes summaries of the key points on the tape and suggestions for further activities. This video is very well produced, although the pacing and level of presentation may make it more appropriate for use in a high school or community college course.
The Brain, Part 3: Rhythms and Drives (1984, 60 min, ANN/CPB). The segment in this program that focuses on the relationship between brain functioning and sex are relevant to this chapter.
Communication: The Nonverbal Agenda (1975, 30 min, CRM). Explores nonverbal communication in a management setting. Discusses posture, tone of voice, and eye contact.
Crime and Human Nature (28 min, FHS). It's a small step from discussing "motives for aggression" to discussing "crime and human nature." This video facilitates that discussion as host Phil Donahue asks anthropologist Ashley Montagu and others to share their thoughts on this subject.
Cross-Cultural Communication in Diverse Settings (1992, 60 min, IM). Values, beliefs, and world views can influence the communication patterns between people, especially between members of different cultures. This video examines this important issue.
The Differences Between Men and Women (23 min, FHS). Nature versus nurture is invoked to examine (and sometimes explain) the behavioral and cognitive differences between women and men. A discussion of recent research on sex differences in the brain is also included.
Discovering Psychology, Part 12: Motivation and Emotion (1990, 30 min, ANN/CPB). Distinguishes between emotion and motivation and describes how they interact. Biological and psychological aspects of motivation are examined through research on sexual behavior and optimistic beliefs.
Emotion (1990, 28 min, IM). The universality of emotional expressions is demonstrated by Paul Ekman, including a discussion of his general research program. Carol Tavris discusses the nature of anger and effective ways to manage and deal with that emotion.
Emotional Development: Aggression (1973, 20 min, PENN). Presents the social learning theorist's view that aggression is a behavior whose nature, form, timing, and extent are learned largely in a social context. Discusses theories that relate aggression to anger, frustration, instinct, and learning.
The Face: The Evolution of Beauty (1999, 52 min, FHS). Experts from Harvard, Yale and the University of California explore the many aspects of facial expressions, universal and specific conceptions of beauty, facial disfigurement, recognition of facial expressions, and even prosopagnosia.
Face Value (38 min, FLI). Cross-cultural comparisons of facial expressions of emotion are presented, and the link between the physiology of the face and emotion is explored.
Gender and the Interpretation of Emotion (1997, 25 min, FHS). A science-based look at gender differences in interpreting emotions expressed in a variety of verbal and nonverbal channels.
Human Aggression (1976, 22 min, HRM). Real-life aggression is related to empirical findings, such as those of Bandura, Milgram, and others.
Human Communications Theory (1998, 24 min, IM). The verbal and nonverbal transmission of information via source, message, channel, and receiver is explored, as are the varieties of written, spoken, and electronic communication. The cultural context of communication is spotlighted.
The Human Face: Emotions, Identities, and Masks (1995, 31 min, UC). This important channel of communication receives an in-depth examination in this film by Dane Archer.
The Human Voice: Exploring Vocal Paralanguage (1993, 30 min, UC). This companion to The Human Face looks at elements of paralanguage and their role in communication.
The Human Body: Appearance, Shape, and Self-Image (1998, 37 min, UC). Why limit yourself to The Human Face or The Human Voice when you can have the whole package? The Human Body explores issues of self-image, anorexia, scarification, weightism, beauty pageants, and cultural views of beauty, among other topics.
Icons and Symbols: Communication Shorthand (1997, 22 min, IM). In our fast-paced world information is digested at an increasingly rapid rate. Icons and symbols help accomplish that, and this video explains how and why that process takes place.
The Interpersonal Perception Task (40 min, UC). Thirty brief video segments are presented, and viewers must decode the nonverbal behavior in each. Themes of deception, status, kinship, intimacy, and competition are represented. More information can be found in Costanzo, M., & Archer, D., 1991, A method for teaching about verbal and nonverbal communication, Teaching of Psychology, 18, 223-226.
Invisible Walls (1969, 12 min PENN). Highlights the importance of nonverbal communication in daily social interaction.
Japanese Nonverbal Communication (1978, 20 min, IU). Studies common Japanese facial and body gestures in a variety of social settings.
Judging Emotional Behavior (1975, 24 min, IU). Shows emotional responses to emotion-eliciting stimuli. Clips are first shown without sound, then with narration.
Kinesics (1964, 73 min, b&w, PENN). Presents Birdwhistell's system of categorizing nonverbal behavior.
Language by Gesture (1966, 28 min, b&w, UMICH). Two people who do not understand the other's language communicate solely by gesture.
Liar: Deception in Society (1997, 50 min, FHS). This BBC production looks at lying in business, love, and international affairs, and the devices used to detect it. The benefits of lying and the limits on its detection are also discussed, among other topics.
Lies and How To Spot Them (1997, 23 min, IM). The basics of human lie detection are taught by an (unnamed) expert in the field, whose initials are probably Paul Ekman.
Love and Sex (52 min, FHS). Part of The Human Animal series (featuring Phil Donahue), this program focuses on monogamy, love, homosexuality, and heterosexuality.
Motivation (1990, 30 min, IM). Examines factors influencing motivation including curiosity, need for achievement, and intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. The program also addresses cognitive, learning, and biological theories of motivation and summarizes Maslow's hierarchy.
Motivation: The Classic Concepts (1985, 21 min, CRM). Provides an excellent overview of five classic motivational theories and while the focus is on the work place, the application to other areas is obvious. Covers McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Herzberg's hygienes and motivators, McClelland's motivational profiles, and Skinner's behavior reinforcements.
A New Look at Motivation (1980, 32 min, CRM). This film looks at the ways a good leader recognizes employee needs, and appeals to those needs in order to get the maximum performance a worker can give. Looks at needs for power, affiliation, and achievement and demonstrates how they might be the leverage in a program of reinforcement and motivation.
Nonverbal Communication (1975, 24 min, IM). Hall, Argyle, Rosenthal, Eibl-Eibesfeldt, and others discuss all aspects of nonverbal behavior.
Questions About Behavior (24 min, PENN). Illustrates the role of instincts in behavior through Niko Tinbergen's research with the male stickleback fish.
Paralanguage and Proxemics (1986, 28 min, IM). A film focusing on paralanguage; tone of voice, inflection, emphasis. The use of these vocal cues in different interpersonal contexts (i.e., intimate, social, public) is emphasized.
Pleasure (23 min, FHS). The many paths to pleasure are traveled, including exercise, sex, pain, effort, and the pleasures of the senses.
Reading People: The Unwritten Language of the Body (1997, 23 min, IM). Eye contact, paralanguage, personal space, and facial expressions are considered in this video on nonverbal communication.
Siamese Fighting Fish: Displays of Aggression (1976, 17 min, UMICH). The fish are shown attacking inanimate objects and one another. Focuses on the innate qualities of aggression.
The Truth About Lies (60 min, PBS). Deception in childhood, in the family, in daily interactions, and at a national level. From the Bill Moyers: The Public Mind series.
Verbal/Nonverbal Congruence (1973, 12 min, TELS). Students are encouraged to become aware of the nonverbal messages our bodies convey.
Without Words (1977, 23 min, PENN). A general overview of many types of nonverbal behavior.
A World of Differences: Understanding Cross-Cultural Communication (1997, 30 min, UC). Produced by Dane Archer, this film and accompanying instructional material presents students with 14 key elements of cultural miscommunication.
A World of Gestures (1991, 28 min, UC). The diversity of gestures and their meanings is illustrated by members of a variety of cultures.
Identifying Human Motives
Instructions: Identify the specific motive illustrated in the following examples by placing the appropriate abbreviation in the blank next to the item. Use the following code:
Self-actualization Needs (SA) Esteem Needs (ESTEEM) Belonging Needs (BELONG) Safety Needs (SAFE) Biological Needs (BIO)
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs:
Self-actualization Needs (SA)
Esteem Needs (ESTEEM)
Belonging Needs (BELONG)
Safety Needs (SAFE)
Biological Needs (BIO)
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