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Week 5

by: Jessica Compton
Jessica Compton
GPA 4.0
Global Psychology
Dr. Shannon Quintana

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Covering chapter 4 readings and assigned article "Emotions and Happiness"
Global Psychology
Dr. Shannon Quintana
Class Notes
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This 13 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jessica Compton on Friday February 13, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOP 4731 at Florida International University taught by Dr. Shannon Quintana in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 120 views.


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Date Created: 02/13/15
Global Psychology Week 5 Notes byJessica Compton Covering the chapter 4 reading and assigned article quotEmotions and Happinessquot Chapter 4 Brief Notes on major points quotIn general examining psychological processes across cultural groups is complicated because of the widespread belief that biology causes psychology the common substitution of race for culture and general bias in research that occurs as a result of a particular political or personal agendaquot Biological Bases People seem to have the same structural anatomy across cultural groups and the same psychological functions but there are some differences in the relative size of the structure and in the the psychological and behavioral expression of physiological function We look at the biopsychosocial model which focuses on the con uence of biological psychological and social factors in human functioning especially in the context of disease and illness Things that are learned at an early age such as diet type of parenting and environment can modify any predisposing physiological factors and ultimately alter brain chemistry which suggests that culture and corresponding practices and customs may play an important role in the biological composition and vice versa 3 types of gene environment interactions 1 environment interactions where parents provide both the genes and environment Ex Parents are musically skilled and pass it on genetically to their child and also encourage a musical environment 2 environment interaction The inherited characteristics that evoke certain responses from the environment Ex Opportunities are given to the child in order to play music example instruments or classes 3 environment interaction seek environment that supports inherited characteristics Ex They seek it for themselves and the child May ask the parents to join a children39s choir Another example demonstrating the link between psychology biology and social factors is the disease process and sports Most individualistic had higher rates of heart disease and those more collectivistic had lower rate which suggests that social support is a great protective factor contributing to lack of heart disease and compared to people in an individualistic cultures people living in collectivistic cultures are more likely to be connected with others and thus suffer less from social isolation making them less susceptible to heart disease Cognition quotCulturally there are many alternative views of intelligence and although it is viewed through the lens of western psychology it has mostly been considered a constellation of intellectual abilities emphasizing verbal and analytical tasksquot Gardner39s theory of multiple intelligences Focus on ways that one can be intelligent including areas beyond traditional de nitions of intelligence Sternberg39s theory of intelligence based on three types of process intelligence 1 Contextual intelligence ability to solve problems in one39s environment 2 Experiential intelligence The ability to develop new ideas and merge unrelated facts 3 Componential intelligence abstract thinking and processing and the ability to gure out what needs to be done There has been debate on intelligence testing in cultural research because quotinterpretation of the performance of different cultural groups and cognitive test vary and some have argued that the differences are based on innate competencies making some racesethnicities more intelligent than othersquot Common viewpoint cognitive processes are embedded in and in uenced heavily by culture gt it is based on ecological necessity and sociocultural context and different types of intelligence are expected Cognitive testing is also debated because of questions of the validity of measure and interpretation of test scores For example standardized test are not typically constructed in a way that takes into account cognitive skills that are molded by a particular cultural environment and most are biased against other cultural groups Criteria should be met and guidelines should be followed for the translation and adaptation of tests and should be developed by the international test commission which includes four domains context test administration construction and documentationscore interpretation Cognitive style is different from intelligence because it is the way that a person uses information to solve problems or simply hisher thinking style Another aspect of cognition is creativity however creativity is fostered in different ways depending on culture Emotion Emotion involves physiological arousal subjective evaluation and behavioral expression quotThe identi cation interpretation and displaying of emotions are culturally determinedquot There are many theories on emotion in Weston psychology ranging from William James and James Lange39s theory to Cannon and Bard 9980 Common question asked are humans emotions universal or culture speci c or a combination of both gt Ekman and others have found universal similarities in how we display emotions through facial expressions There are six identi ed universal emotions happiness sadness surprise fear anger and disgust Through culture and socialization we learn about the rules and expressing emotions and what is forbidden expected and what intensity of emotion is appropriate with whom Ex Here in our more individualistic world we encouraging motions including pride superiority anger and frustration but in contrast to many nonWestern cultures they encourage emotions such as social cohesion respect and guilt Perception The interpretation of sensory experiences Perceptions are relative and become distorted easily based on sociocultural factors What one person perceives as painful for example another may perceive in the complete opposite Findings show that people learn to sense certain stimuli and not others and have preferences for and familiarity with particular culture related images smells tastes and sounds Examples of how culture has an effect on the way that we see the world includes The Mueller Lver illusion people in Western culture perceive the line with the arrows pointing in as longer even the lines are exactly the same length On the other hand more nonWestern places did not make the same perception English people made which indicates that some cultures are accustomed to seeing certain things Pg82 Devils fork example people who lack familiarity with interpretation of depth cues perceive the picture as twodimensional whereas others seem to have improved depth perception if they have received education and training Most info about cultural differences of sensation and perceptual processes has been directed at vision with signi cantly less information available regarding other types of sensations and related perception such as hearing taste smell and touch Hearing perception different cultures attach various meanings to different sounds Taste perception All people respond to taste of sweet sour bitter and salty but there is a widespread variation taste preferences across cultures Time perception in the Western world time is treated very precisely while in other cultures time is received in a very malleable and exible way Language Language and culture affect each other Culture is use for structure of language and language is thought to be a direct re ection of culture Big debate around culture and language is quotto what extent language in uences closer and vice versaquot Sapir Whorf hypothesis suggests that speakers of different languages think differently because of the differences in the construction and function of their languages Another debate is whether children should learn more than one language States of consciousness Author says human consciousness and culture are inseparable Consciousness includes the awareness of one sensation perceptions and other mental events and it39s typically depicted on a continuum with full awareness at one end and loss of consciousness on the other end Sleep which is a nonworking state of consciousness and dreams different from culture to culture The content of dreams is said to vary signi cantly based on our culture and what we experience in our daytoday life Altered states of consciousness including mystical perception and sensory experiences such as meditation and hypnosis while one is accepted in this culture it may not be in another And so forth the science of happiness Research on happiness tends to fuzzy and unscienti c however now under the umbrella of positive psychology social science researchers are increasingly certain that happiness does in fact have key determinants can be measured and has a substantial explanatory theory The author says that we are often wrong about what makes us happy Six core virtues table 41 pg 88 Wisdom and knowledge Courage Humanity Justice Temperance Transcendence Who is most happy People who enjoy abundance and political freedom Having certain heritable traits such as extroversion Those actively involved in faith communities The top 20 happiest nations and three released happiest nations table 42 page 90 Results happiness is most closely associated with health followed by wealth and then education Brief notes on article quotEmotions and Human Happinessquot Emotions tell us a lot For example it informs us about negative or positive stimuli informs us about the quality of our relationship with others Emotions consist of responses that in addition to our subjective feelings also include expressive facial reactions changes in tone of voice the use of gestures and physiological reactions including faster heart beats or sweating of the palms Emotions also have cognitive aspects They evolved because we need them to survive and help us react and learn in different situations The fact that we are able to speak use language and that we are social beings makes our motion more complex and differentiated compared to animals or other species There are some difficulties in quotcrosscultural comparisons since members of different cultural groups do not have all the same words or descriptions with which to interpret or understand emotionsquot But what research has consistently shown is that quotemotions are closely connected to speci c physiological reactions in the autonomic and central nervous systemquot Research has demonstrated a relationship between emotions and biological processes as Darwin argued that quothuman beings are evolved from earlier primate ancestors and emotions exist as part of our behavioral repertoirequot In other words there are basic emotions that are pretty much hardwired to our brain How we understand the emotion of others Facial expressions Darwinian Theory on facial expressions says that they are part of biological inheritance and adaptive because they convey important emotional information and humans all over the world use exactly the same facial expressions to convey these emotions Similarly he argued that our expressions are similar to those of primates like chimpanzees Ekman s studies took pictures of basic facial expressions that represent universal emotions that are recognizable in every culture Respondents in ve countries represented and asked to provide a label for photographs that correspond with the six emotions Results showed that they were pretty much in agreement with identifying the same emotional expressions from the photographs They concluded that cultural diffusion and not biology contributed to that apparent universality of emotion display After further studies these results were supported l The studies together support that humans innately possess basic emotions as part of a genetically determined inheritance The social context can modify responses but without contextual differences facial expressions are universally similar The Effect of Language and Learning Criticisms of Studies Supporting Genericaly Based Facial Recognition quotBirdwhistell argued that emotional expressions are learned in the process of socializationquot There were many arguments and disagreements between several researchers including Russell and Ekman Criticisms of Ekmans model using photographs tells his little about facial expressions occurring naturally in social relationships and fail to take into account the social context of emotions Researchers have disagreed about the source of basic emotional facial expressions whether learn spontaneously through social learning or automatically and depending only on biology Some argue that universality could result from similar social learning processes as children learn to express emotions spontaneously and automatically from watching others The De nitive Answer to the Source of the Facial Expressions of Emotions Biology is the Determinant The question commonly asked whether learning has a role or whether facial expressions of emotions are fundamentally caused by biology can be answered by a study with the blind people because they have had no opportunity to observe the expression of others if born that way Matsumoto and Willingham did studies on spontaneous visual expressions of sighted athletes and then compared it in the second study with blind athletes Results showed that there is a similarity between sighted and blind spontaneous facial expressions which offered support that quotthese reactions are genetically coded and not socially learned and is universal in all culturesquot Universal Agreement and Cultural Emphasis in Other Emotion Constructs Human emotions involve various components quotIn recent research an attempt was made to distinguish different components of emotion and several crosscultural factors have been identifiedquot Research on elicit emotions called antecedents Refers to the events or themes that elicit the emotion After conducting research on how participants felt when they last thought about the six basic emotions after which subjective feelings were coded into broad antecedent categories found that the same categories that produce basic emotions occurred in all cultures and that culture speci c events were not required in order to code the antecedents They also found happiness as a frequent product of relationships with other people in all cultures Vocalzation and Intonation in Emotional Expression quotPeople use intonation in order to emphasize subjective feelings and as an indication of the intensity of emotional involvement Several studies were done comparing the vocal expression used in different cultures in nearly all cases the various emotions were recognize a better than chance level from the intonation alonequot Appraisal of Emotion quotWhile emotions are experienced rapidly The antecedents are more or less automatically evaluatedquot As supported and research the basic emotions appear to be appraised the same way in different cultures Study by Scherer pp asked to think about an emotional experience connected to the basic emotions and the Asked to appraise it whether the event was pleasant frustrating or affected their life Results showed that quotoverall there is a strong support for the universality of the appraisal of emotionquot gt furthermore coherence in subjective responses betas Various components including intonation and physiological responses show that they are related in meaningful ways quot The Role of Culture in Emotional Reactions In addition to cultural in uences on emotions there are also biological quotln Averill39s view emotions are socially constructed roles that are determined by what is acceptable in a given culturequot Emotional meaning can be complex because some cultures have many emotion labels which in turn produce more complex emotion meanings Overall though the author points out that there is support for emotion universals and in uence of culture The Display of Emotions quotCultures have speci c norms that govern the display of emotions in facial expressionsquot Results from several studies show that quoteven basic universal expressions are modi ed by cultural values and by what is considered appropriate emotional behavior in the social contextquot Study done showed that the US sample was more open to display negative emotions compared to those from Eastern Europe who believed in more positive emotions so all cultural groups experience similar emotions but there are differences in the display of emotions in which are governed by social norms and expectations 722 lndividuaistic Versus Collectivistic Cultures Display Rules in Emotion Intensity ano Negativity Ratings ln collectivistic cultures quotsaving the face of othersquot and preserving face is important and is done by suppressing or withholding one39s negative reactions Studies show Asian respondents rated emotions at a lower level of intensity compared to Western samples Because in Japan the display of negative emotions is discouraged as they are considered disruptive of social relations On the other hand the US participants were more open to expressions of negativity and better able to recognize the negative emotions in photos Collectivistic cultures differ from individualistic because they promote the display of more positive emotions and inhibit negative expressions toward the ingroup quotResearch supports the idea that all humans possess the same inherited emotional template of the basic emotions but how they are exhibited depend on socialization in culturally de ned display rulesquot Personal Space anol Gestures Cultural In uences in Nonverbal Communication Space is de ned differently in all societies culture is a determinant of the amount of personal space required when communicating with others People from countries such as Latin America and Saudi Arabia require less personal space but compared to countries like northern Europe and the US they need a more personal distance and become comfortable when others invade their uninvited personal space Gestures forms of nonverbal communication Some are universally understood but not all gestures are It could be confusing and misunderstanding when you were trying to comprehend a gesture from another culture For example the gesture signifying okay in the US means money in Japan and zero in France CrossCultural Differences in Evaluating Emotions in Other People Studies found individualism is correlated signi cantly with the intensity ratings for fear and anger supporting the idea that individualistic cultures are more open to negative emotions and therefore better at recognizing these compared to respondents of collectivistic cultures Studies comparing Japan and US found that the American pp were more effective in identifying negative emotions like anger fear and disgust but did not differ from the Jape see in identifying positive emotions like happiness People are better at recognizing emotions in their own cultural group then those of other groups The Cultural Context of Emotional Communication Emotions are important in our lives and our happinesswellbeing Most of the time we want to know how others feel because it may be hard to understand their facial expression A lot of times emotions can be suppressed because they show others how we are really feeling inside which can sometimes be less regulated by culture Culture in uences how we perceive emotions and how we choose to regulate those emotional responses quotCultures conceive of emotions and regulate the display of expressions in different ways necessitating sensitivity in cross cultural communicationquot gt shapes our behavior and our emotional life One important difference individualistic focus on the self emotions considered selfrelevant subjective experiences telling us important info about our status and selfde ned goals Collectivistic focus on relationships center emotional meaning in relationship between people quotCultures determine to a large extent the way emotions are experienced through the appraisal process that is culturally dependent and through display rules that determine how the emotions may be expressed in the company of others It also affects emotional life through the presence or absence of linguistically relevant concepts Toward a Positive Psychology of Emotion Happiness and Wellbeing Recently there has been an increased interest in building positive psychology There is no universally accepted de nition of happiness independent of culture but happiness consists of both cognitive and affective components identi ed by the degree to which pleasure dominates in life experiences and whether basic human needs and wants are metquot Although happiness is to some degree experienced everywhere culture determines what is considered to be pleasant and how to satisfy needs Western cultures happiness is connected to personal achievement and reaching important personally relevant goals East Asia happiness there is perceived to be a consequence of social harmony and positive relationships In the West selfesteem lies at the corner of happiness and personal wellbeing On the other selfesteem is less salient in collectivistic societies quotCulture shapes our understanding of the very meaning of happiness whether it is to be found in social harmony or more in the selfde ned well being of the individualquot Methodological Issues in De nitions of Happiness and Wellbeing What constitutes wellbeing is dependent on scienti c disciplines however there are other things such as wellbeing and economics and good health and medicine quotOf the two sources of happiness subjective is most importantquot Cummins and Lau argue that both internal and external buffers help the individual maintain stable positive moods External buffers include presence of close relationships and money lnternal buffers in the west include connections to achievement Focus is on helping people think differently about personal failures and minimize them in their life Sources of Wellbeing Happiness is higher when members of society enjoy basic norms of wellbeing including social security healthcare political rights and also material wellbeing quotWhile culture can perceive happiness differently depending on language and values material and social inequity plays a role in relative unhappinessquot The Trending of Happiness Scores and Economic Crises and Transitions quotHappiness is linked to meeting basic human needs that include basic security as well as material wellbeing which is rarely present in deprived countriesquot research has found increase in worlds happiness however these results were found before the Great Recession The Impact of Culture on Happiness and Subjective Wellbeing Problems difficult to make crosscultural comparisons bc translations are not necessarily accurate culturally based response biases in research quotPrimary difference between Western cultures compared to Asian or African societies is the focus on the individual vs the group Happiness cannot be achieved without the framework of your culture since your source of happiness may have little effect on others quotCultures differ greatly in values and behavior and it is therefore logical to expect a cultural impact on subjective wellbeing Cultural values are often expressed through the medium of religion that is ubiquitous in the world so religion may have a positive impact on wellbeing in some cultures but a negative relationship and othersquot Creating Social Policies that Promote Wellbeing Wellbeing is so and then I39ll rather than organizations and government institutions should develop policies supporting this objective Psychologist can also play a role by assessing the wellbeing and trying to determine what relevant life experiences work climate social institutions and such promote a happy life Public research can also identify areas where populations are satis ed and those that need change The United Nations developed and measure called the human development lndex that re ects poverty wealth and social development in the world countries rank according to the happiness measure Results from the measurement suggested the importance of subjective experiences and happiness to some degree independent of social development The Role of National and Local Government on Wellbeing The economy is central to happiness is a link in meeting human needs Government could promote policies that reduce the working week support early retirement and develop educational systems to include programs supporting wellbeing support parenting with parental leave for mothers through early childhood should seek active participant of citizens in decisionmaking


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