Topic 9: Cognitive, Behavioral, and Biological mechanisms important to the regulation of emotion
Topic 9: Cognitive, Behavioral, and Biological mechanisms important to the regulation of emotion PSY 311
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alicia Rinaldi on Tuesday September 8, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 311 at University of Miami taught by Ray Winters in Spring 2015. Since its upload, it has received 32 views. For similar materials see Emotion in Psychlogy at University of Miami.
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Date Created: 09/08/15
Topic 9 Cognitive Behavioral and Biological mechanisms important to the regulation of emotion Affect Regulation 0 the processes by which individuals control the type and intensity of emotions and moods that they experience and express 0 Savoring maintainingmost important Dampening Repairing negative affect Amplifying affective experience by behavioral or cognitive means 000 Major Ways to Regulate Affect o cognitive reappraisal cognitive coping o changing the personal meaning of the event 0 examples rejection by a loved one can be viewed in a positive way by reappraisal quotl didn t like him anywayquot spiritual people trust that god has a different purpose for them or believe that a lost loved one is in a better place 0 niche picking proactive coping situation selection 0 behaviors that act either to control exposure to various aspects of the environment related to emotional expenence example of a socially anxious individual choosing not to attend social events friend not watching an important basketball game neurophysiological mechanisms 0 for dampening of responses to stress serotonin secretion dampens amygdala activity amp anxiety and regulates BAS activity 0 for sustaining an emotion moodcongruent thoughts and retrieval of mood congruent memories declarative memories biases in appraisal dispositional theory of mood amp appraisal tendency theory 0 Attention shifting and focusing by effortful control 0 Example of pleasurable distraction parties exercise music video games lms 0 Moodincongruent thoughts and retrieval of mood incongruent memories mood repair serotonin secretion dampens amygdala activity when stressed 0 important to decisionmaking when emotionally distressed diminished effectiveness of serotonin in people with anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder antianxiety medications selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors increase serotonin functioning in the brain Serotonin o regulates activity in BIS by attenuating activity in the amygdala regulates BAS by its effects on the nucleus accumbens o if there s weak control of BIS and BAS by serotonin BIS and BAS gain control in the personality triangle and the effortful control system has diminished in uence on decisionmaking low serotonin places the person at the mercy of BIS and BAS so 0 people with previous history of depression become depressed when serotonin levels are low low BAS sensitivity from heightened stress 0 people with a history of violence become violent high BAS sensitivity l in uences aggression 0 people with a history of substance abuse develop cravings high BAS sensitivity Summary People with low serotonin have a difficult time regulating mood because the strength of the effortful control system is diminished relative to the reactive reward system BAS and the reactive punishment system BIS Mood Can Bias Appraisal Dispositional theory of mood mood affects the process of appraisal and hence emotion Dispositional Theory of Mood and Appraisal Tendency Theory the process of appraisal is biased to maintain the current affective state Mood congruent thoughts and mood congruent memories savormaintain moods Sustaining an Emotion o Allows the individual to solve the current problem 0 Anger elicited by friend s actions 0 Anxious and studying for an exam 0 Threatened fear by meeting a bear in a walk through the woods Why is affect regulation important 0 Social relationships and social interactions 0 Reactive undercontrol situations where the approach system BAS dominates De cits in attentional control De cits in activation control Relates to impulsive and externalizing disorders Effortful control system cannot override the reactive approach system in reactive undercontrol o Reactive overcontrol situations in which the reactive avoidance system BIS dominates Behavioral inhibition Shyness Withdrawn lnternalizing disorders anxiety Affect regulation is seen as a social process that occurs within the context of social relationships and social interactions 0 Social competence and low levels of behavioral problems are expected to be observed in individuals who can modulate via effortful control BIS and BAS People who show reactive undercontrol or overcontrol show adjustment problems Emotion Regulation 0 Important in forming amp maintaining rewarding interpersonal relationships 0 People can be engulfed in an escalating cycle of negative affectivity if they are unable to regulate affect The quality of interpersonal relationships is also dependent on the ability of an individual to contribute to the regulation of affection other people by words and actions 0 Studies by Lopes et al and Eber amp Eber are concerned with role of emotion regulation in interpersonal relationships Findings of Lopes et al Used a subscale of the MayerSaloveyCaruso Emotion Intelligence Test MSCEIT to assess emotion regulation ability 0 assesses people s intrapersonal amp interpersonal emotion regulation abilities asks them to analyze and solve problems that have emotional signi cance 0 Respondents rate the effectiveness of different strategies for regulating one s own feelings ln speci ed situations ln managing emotionally challenging situations Examples 0 Someone who just came back from vacation feeling peaceful o In order to preserve her mood Made a list of things at home she needed to do Began thinking about where and when to go on her nextvacann Called a friend to tell her about her vacation 0 Measurement of the Quality of Social Interactions 0 Also assessed interpersonal sensitivity and prosocial tendencies by selfreport Are you good at understanding other people s point of view Do you express feelings appropriately 0 Six peer nomination scales evaluated how participants were perceived by their peers assessed interpersonal sensitivity and prosocial tendencies Who is the most sensitive to the feelings of others Who goes out of their way to help others 0 Results of Lopes et al Study 0 Individuals scoring high on emotion regulation Viewed themselves as interpersonally sensitive and prosocial Viewed more favorably by peers more interpersonal sensitivity and prosocial tendencies Regulating your own emotions by Attention Shifting Attention shifting and focusing by effortful control 0 pleasurable distraction by choice parties exercise music video games lms 0 Moodincongruent thoughts and retrieval of mood incongruent memories by choice Attention shifting research by Eber amp Eber example 1 0 Sad mood induction from watching Sophie s Choice Sadness reduced by solving difficult math problems 0 Happy mood induction from watching comedy routines Happiness reduced by solving difficult math problems 0 Exercise also reduced sad or happy mood 0 Solving anagram problems reduced anxiety from anticipation of giving a speech on sexually transmitted diseases Eber amp Eber s Interpretation of ndings 0 Distracting activities Solving mathanagram problems or exercising prevent mood congruent thoughts and memories from sustaining the sad anxious or happy moods Regulating your own emotions by AttentionShifting example 2 0 Social constraints model amp how it s applied to social interactions in their research 0 Eber amp Eber studied mood regulation speci cally mood dampening prior to social interactions with a stranger Told that they were to work on a task with a stranger or alone Happy and sad moods were induced by cheerful or sad music Given the option to read a set of newspaper stories identi ed as humorous and uplifting sad and depressing or neutral Resu s 0 Subjects who were to work alone preferred mood congruent material and remained sad or happy default position is to keep mood constant 0 Subjects who were to work with a stranger the coolness effect picked material that was mood incongruent so they could change to an emotionally neutral mood Other ndings 0 Subjects were to solve a problem with their romantic partner or a stranger of the opposite sex Mood congruent behavior from reading newspaper articles was observed for sad or happy subjects for those who were to be with their partner Moodincongruent behavior for those who were to be with a stranger to remain quotcooquot Hedonistic Model of Affect Regulation 0 We seek positive moods to maximize pleasure and avoid negative moods to minimize psychosocial pain 0 Greatest impact on social interactions the ability of the person to regulate his own affect iCIicker Findings of Eber amp Eber studies do not support the hedonistic model 0 Subjects will decrease their happiness when interacting with strangers 0 Subjects will remain sad after a sad mood induction if they believe they will be with someone they know or know that they will be alone Dual Process Model of Mood Regulation by Forgas and Colleagues Reactive processing o maintains current mood by retrieving mood congruent memories and by biasing appraisal o Accomplished automatically by biological mechanisms Re ective processing effortful control requires mood incongruent information to change mood state 0 In terms of depression 0 The depressed mood state people experience in response to emotionally stressful life events is the result of reactive processing 0 Emotionally healthy individuals use re ective processing to return their mood state to its normal positive level 0 The person vulnerable to depression becomes more and more negative until symptoms of depression are expenenced 0 Negative selfreferent emotional memories play a major role in this downward spiral that leads to depression How do emotionally healthy people respond to stressful life expedences People generally experience negative mood states in response to stress 0 Reactive processing produces this negative mood state 0 Re ective processing repairs this negative mood state 0 This is not a problem for emotionally healthy individuals because they can use executive control mechanisms to repair their mood 0 People may change an ifthen rule after failure that resulted from procrastination 0 Cognitive reappraisal someone could change the way they look at the situation so as to not be bothered by it 0 People can seek emotional support from family and friends who can help in cognitive reappraisal Effect of the Stress of FailureRejection on People who are vulnerable to depression Depressedprone people s emotions are dictated by reactive processing Re ective processing is required to bring mood back to its normal level 0 Cognitive therapy promotes re ective processing Antidepressants increase re ective processing by helping regulate reactive processing by their effect on serotonin Affect Regulation in Extraversion and Neuroticism o Trait differences in neuroticism and extraversion are thought to result from o Emotional reactivity differences 0 Differences in baseline affect o The ability to regulate affect Neuroticism 0 individuals high in neuroticism react more strongly to negative stimuli show high tonic levels of negative affect regardless of circumstances 0 associated with poor emotion regulation 0 tendencies to reduce or eliminate one s negative emotions or turn them in a more positive direction correlate negatively with neuroticism 0 use of the affect regulation strategy of cognitive reappraisal correlates negatively with neuroticism and positively with extraversion iclick Why are extraverts happier than other people 0 Are in a more positive mood state which biases appraisal in a positive direction to savor the mood Are more sensitive to incentives that lead to social rewards so are more likely to experience positive emotions o Are better at regulating mood which facilitates interpersonal interactions which is a major source of happiness Tendencies to reduceeliminate one s negative emotions or turn them in a more positive direction correlates positively with extraversion TraitCongruency Theory Proposes that people are motivated to experience and maintain traitcongruent moods even if those mood states are negative 0 Note difference with affect valuation theory traitconsistent mood states facilitate cognitive processing 0 trait congruency theory individuals high in neuroticism perform better on complicated cognitive tasks if their mood state is negative 0 Findings 0 Subjects high in extraversion reacted faster in categorizing information when in a positive mood 0 People low in extraversion were faster in a negative or neutral mood 0 People high in neuroticism made evaluations more quickly when in a negative mood state 0 High neuroticism individuals preferred to increase their level of worry when expected to perform cognitively demanding tasks and this was bene cial to their performance 0 These ndings are not consistent with the hedonistic model of affect regulation