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Personal Memories and Social Associations: How Positive Emotions Influence the Activation of Implicit Prejudices

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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two positive discrete emotions, awe and nurturant love, on implicit prejudices. After completing an emotion induction task, participants completed Implicit Association Test blocks where they paired photos of Arab

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two positive discrete emotions, awe and nurturant love, on implicit prejudices. After completing an emotion induction task, participants completed Implicit Association Test blocks where they paired photos of Arab and White individuals with "good" and "bad" evaluations. We hypothesized that nurturant love would increase the strength of negative evaluations of Arab individuals and positive evaluations of White individuals, whereas awe would decrease the strength of these negative evaluations when compared to a neutral condition. However, we found that both awe and nurturant love increased negative implicit prejudices toward Arab individuals when compared to the neutral condition.

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2018-05

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Do Awe and Enthusiasm Affect Stereotyping?

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Emotions have been defined as coordinated and functional changes in subjective experience, motivation, physiological activation, instrumental behavior, expressive behavior, and cognition that are evoked by important threats or opportunities in the environment. The proposed study looks at cognitive changes associated

Emotions have been defined as coordinated and functional changes in subjective experience, motivation, physiological activation, instrumental behavior, expressive behavior, and cognition that are evoked by important threats or opportunities in the environment. The proposed study looks at cognitive changes associated with the experience of several positive emotions, with a specific focus on awe. Prior research shows that positive emotions tend to increase people's use of cognitive heuristics (i.e. mental shortcuts used to simplify information we intake from the environment) and changes how they apply rules of thumb from stored knowledge to make decisions. Stereotypes, or assumptions about the characteristics held by individual members of a group, are one such heuristic. Awe, in contrast to other positive emotions, has been found to reduce people's tendency to rely on heuristics, rather than increasing its use. Thus, awe should tend to reduce stereotyping specifically. Participants made judgments on three characteristics and two types of theoretically valuable true/false statements. However, for both our measures, awe had no significant effect on stereotyping. Participants in the enthusiasm condition were significantly more likely than those in the awe condition to correctly identify stereotype-inconsistent statements present in the biography, which is the opposite of the predicted direction. Patterns for all four emotion conditions trended similarly to our predictions for stereotype-consistent statements correctly marked as being absent in the biography. There were no significant differences in ratings of three traits. Implications for enthusiasm and awe are discussed in the context of stereotypes of social objects and schemas of nonsocial objects.

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2017-12

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Feelin' Good...And Then Some: A Functional Evolutionary Approach to Positive Emotions in Sport

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Sport is a widespread phenomenon across human cultures and history. Unfortunately, positive emotions in sport have been long vaguely characterized as happy or pleasant, or ignored altogether. Recent emotion research has taken a differentiated approach, however, suggesting there are distinct

Sport is a widespread phenomenon across human cultures and history. Unfortunately, positive emotions in sport have been long vaguely characterized as happy or pleasant, or ignored altogether. Recent emotion research has taken a differentiated approach, however, suggesting there are distinct positive emotions with diverse implications for behavior. The present study applied this evolutionarily informed approach in the context of sport to examine which positive emotions are associated with play. It was hypothesized that pride, amusement, and enthusiasm, but not contentment or awe, would increase in Ultimate Frisbee players during a practice scrimmage. Further, it was hypothesized that increases in pride and amusement during practice would be differentially associated with sport outcomes, including performance (scores, assists, and defenses), subjective social connectedness, attributions of success, and attitudes toward the importance of practice. It was found that all positive emotions decreased during practice. It was also found that increases in pride were associated with more scores and greater social connectedness, whereas increases in amusement were associated with more assists. The present study was one of the first to examine change in positive emotions during play and to relate them to specific performance outcomes. Future studies should expand to determine which came first: emotion or performance.

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2014-05

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A new foundation for the disciplines of philosophy and psychology: unification without consilience

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Do emotions help explain our behaviors? Can they condemn us, excuse us, orr mitigate our moral responsibility orr blameworthiness? Can they explain our rationality and irrationality, orr warrant such attributions? Can they be justified orr warranted? Are they constitutive aspects

Do emotions help explain our behaviors? Can they condemn us, excuse us, orr mitigate our moral responsibility orr blameworthiness? Can they explain our rationality and irrationality, orr warrant such attributions? Can they be justified orr warranted? Are they constitutive aspects of our consciousness, identity, characters, virtues, orr epistemic status? The answer to these questions, at least to a significant extent, depends on what emotions are. This illustrates the importance of what emotions are to academics across multiple disciplines, as well as to members of governing bodies, organizations, communities, and groups. Given the great importance of emotions to various aspects of our lives, this dissertation is about the relevance of the topic of emotion as an area of study for the discipline of philosophy. This dissertation is also broadly about the need to bridge the interests, concerns, and collective bodies of knowledge between various distinct disciplines, thereby contributing to the process of unifying knowledge across the various disciplines within the realm of academia.

The primary aim in this dissertation is to initiate the unification of the interests, concerns, and collective bodies of knowledge across disciplines of academia. To do so, however, this dissertation aims to bridge some disciplinary divides between the disciplines of philosophy and psychology. I fulfill this aim by first demonstrating that interdisciplinary research and theorizing is needed within the disciplines of philosophy and psychology. I do this by considering how the problem of skepticism arises within these two disciplines. I also derive, propose, and argue for the acceptance of a new foundation for academic research and theorizing in response to the problem of skepticism. I refer to my proposal, in general, as The Proposal for Unification without Consilience (UC).

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2014