Emotion and cognition: Lecture 7 notes

Social function of emotions is underestimated in other theoriesUniversality is overestimated (cultural differences)Emotions are not biologically driven Emotions are social constructions that give shape and meaning to our social worldEmotions are learned behaviors that can be acquired if people are exposed to them within a particular cultureEmotions have an important social role, i.e., they exist to inform and influence each other Broad definition: Capacity to perceive, share, and understand other’s affective states=sympathy, emotional contagion, personal distress, and cognitive perspective takingSympathy (compassion): affective state related to the other, but does not require affective isomorphism. I feel sorry for you because you are sad, but I am not sad myself. -> Link between empathy and prosocial behavior is meditated by sympathy.Personal distress: negative affective state (e.g., anxiety, worry, discomfort) that can be elicited by the affective states of others, but it is self-centered rather than other-oriented. No isomorphic, it sometimes results from emotional contagion (no self-other distinction). When you see other people suffering you might react with a negative affective state motivating you to turn away in order to feel better -> can be reversed by learning how to turn empathy into compassion (can be seen as an emotion-regulation strategies)Emotional contagion: affect sharing that is isomorphic, but does not meet the self-other distinction requirement, nor perspective taking. You feel happy because everyone around you is happy (no knowledge that the others are the source of this state)Cognitive perspective taking: the ability to understand the feelings of others, to represent the mental and affective states of others, without being emotionally involved. Cognitive...

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