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Psychology of Emotions


MEDIATION 1. History: S R explanations do not address full range of psychological phenomena. In many cases, S O R makes more sense. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Psychology of Emotions

MEDIATION   1. History S ? R explanations do
not address full range of psychological
phenomena. In many cases, S?O?R makes more
sense.   2. Function Mediational analyses
designed to test for S?O?R causal paths.   3.
Mediation Defined the effects of stimuli on
behavior are mediated by various transformations
internal to the organism.   4. Utility
Mediators directly explain why events occur (but
can also provide clues to how and when they
occur).   5. Character Mediators are latent
variables, or latent constructs.
Attributes of Mediators 
1. IV predicts DV 2. Changes in IV account for
changes in mediator   3. Changes in mediator
account for changes in DV.   4. When links
between IV to Mediator, and between Mediator to
DV are established, the link between IV and DV
becomes non-significant, or becomes significantly
Immuno- compromise
Mediational Model
When Mediation is present r (a) is
significant r (b) is significant r ( c ), which
was significant before the mediator was
included, is either not significant or is
much weaker after mediator is
Mediational Model and Feedback Studies
Race of recipient
Positive bias
Self-image concerns
No. "b" must also be sig, AND...
"a" is significant. Mediation shown?
When "a" and "b" considered, "c" no longer
What shows mediation here?
Scary Movie
Scary Movie
Moderator to mediator Knowing how external
variables affect outcomes can imply the existence
of mediators.   Mediator to Moderator Knowing
why underlying mechanism affects outcomes can
suggest ways of addressing, remedying, altering
the outcome.
Movie X Fitness
Pos. Mediator Physio. reactivity
Physio. reactivity
Scary Movie
Pos. Moderator Fitness
Why Do People Need Self Esteem? Converging
Evidence that Self Esteem Provides an
Anxiety-Buffering Function   Greenberg, et al.,
2000    Three studies assessed the proposition
that self-esteem serves an anxiety-buffering
function. In Study 1, it was hypothesized that
raising self-esteem would reduce anxiety in
response to vivid images of death or neutral
images. In support of this hypothesis, subjects
who received positive personality feedback
reported less anxiety in response to a video
about death than did neutral feedback subjects.
Greenberg, et al. 2000
Scary Images

Self Esteem

Scary Images X Self Esteem
Anxiety as a Function of Threat Salience and
Level of Self Esteem   Greenberg, et al., 2000
Visceral Perception and Nonconscious Fear
Conditioning   Katkin, Wiens, Öhman,
2001   Previous research shows that people
conditioned to fear certain kinds of stimuli such
as snakes or spiders are subsequently better able
to detect hidden images of these stimuli compared
to people who are not conditioned. The current
research predicts that this heightened
sensitivity is restricted to people who are good
at detecting their own heartbeats (good heartbeat
monitors). This prediction was confirmed when
good heartbeat monitors are excluded from
analysis the effect of fear conditioning on
stimuli sensitivity disappears. ABSTRACT
Katkin, Wiens, Öhman, 2001
Heartbeat Monitors
Stimuli Sensitivity
Conditioned Fear
Path Analyses and Causal Models
  • Attend. in 21st Century program ? improved
    performance by minority students.
  • 21st Century program based on theory of
    stereotype-threat. When threat is high, minority
    students do less well.
  • Stereotype threat is itself a problem because it
    causes minority students to disidentify with
  • What is the causal model? What would be strong
    and weak correlational links in this model?

First Semester Grades as Predicted by Stereotype
Threat, Identification with School, and
Participation in 21st Century Program
ID with School
Stereo. Threat
21st Cent. Prog.
Task What are IVs, DVs? What are
moderators (if any)? What mediators (if any)?
Put these in correct path
Estimate relations between variables, outcome
21st Century Program, Stereotype Threat, and
Identification with School
Ultimate Mediation? The Epistemological
Challenge of Science    Multiple underlying
causes   Disclosure --gt Emotional resolution --gt
less stress --gt immune boost --gt health   Race of
recipient --gt egalitarian concerns --gt self-image
concerns --gt bias     Ultimate underlying
causes   Disclosure ---gt coping (Pennebaker,
1989) Disclosure --gt ???? --gt coping Disclosure
--gt self-affirmation --gt coping (Cresswell, et
al., 2007) Disclosure --gt self-affirmation --gt
???? --gt coping  
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Independent Variables
Class 08
IV Conceptual vs. Experimental
Conceptual IV General class of causes relevant
to underlying theory. Examples Insult,
Fear, Perceived Control Experimental IV
Specific operations used to represent the
conceptual IV.
Bumped and sworn at by confed, handling a live
snake, given stop button to stop stressful
Independent Variable Conceptual and Empirical
Conceptual IV
Empirical Realization
Race of essay writer
Writers Description Sheet
Poorly executed performance
Poorly written essay
Experimenter saying give shocks
Authority commanding obedience
Demeaning clothes, ankle chains, numbers rather
than names.
Prisoner experience
Fate of Ghakistani boy
Ethical dilemma
Experimental IV, continued
Experimental IV typically of no theoretical
value However, Exptl IV can be of great
PRACTICAL value. 1. Stop button on pain
manipulation affects pain tolerance Practical
Value? 2. Writing thoughts and feelings
reduces hostility Practical Value?
Subset of IVs that can be of both conceptual and
experimental 1. Demographics Gender, race,
nationality 2. Personality Attachment
style, self-esteem, etc.
Experimental IV May Change, Conceptual IV is
Constant Insult, 1715 Your mother shops
without a handmaid! Insult, 1815 Your mother
is a free thinker! Insult, 1915 Your mother
wears army boots! Insult, 2015 Your mother is
a junk-bonds trader!
Goals in Designing IV   Select IV that represents
conceptual IV   1. Good IV is a good metaphor
(Hurry to talk on Good Samaritan before
encountering stranger in need.) 2. But, may
also have direct practical value (Consider own
virtues before dealing with threat)   Present
IV in a way that maximizes effect   1. For
subjects a. To induce interest (e.g. you will
receive shocks.) b. To keep true purpose of
study hidden from Ss   2. For outside audience
Want to tell good story (holding spouses
hand, experimenters hand )
Instructions Form of
IV   Written, verbal info. that conveys the
IV     Advantage 1. High control 2. Work
with populations un-suited for event
manipulations 3. Convenience, ease of use,
economical  Success depends upon 1.
Commanding Attention 2. Comprehension of
instructions a. Keep design simple b. Keep
language simple  
Prospect Theory Kahneman Tversky,
1984 Demonstration of "Instructions" IV) Newark
is preparing for the outbreak of an unusual
air-borne disease, which is expected to kill 600
people. Two alternative programs are available
to combat the disease, but they cannot be used
simultaneously. Which do you choose?

I pick ____ Program A ____ Program B
Prospect Theory Kahneman Tversky,
1984 Demonstration of "Instructions" IV) Newark
is preparing for the outbreak of an unusual
air-borne disease, which is expected to kill 600
people. Two alternative programs are available
to combat the disease, but they cannot be used
simultaneously. Which do you choose?

I pick ____ Program A ____ Program B
Vignette as Within-Subjects Manipulation Adapted
from Adler-Russell, 1983
Situation 1 Officer Clements is a third year
patrol officer. HE/SHE responded to a domestic
violence report, found husband threatening his
wife due to over-draft. Officer Clements first
confirmed that the wife was not injured nor
feared injury, and informed her of protections
and rights. Officer Clements then told husband,
in front of wife, that further threats may lead
to arrest. How effectively did Clements respond
to this situation?
Situation 2 Officer Williams is a third years
patrol officer. HE/SHE responded to an armed
robbery at a local convenience store. HE/SHE saw
suspect waving a pistol at the clerk, while
backing out of store. Officer Williams waited
until suspect cleared the doorway and the clerk
was out of danger. However, this provided suspect
an opportunity to flee, and suspect is still at
large. How effectively did Clements respond to
this situation?
Problems with Instructions Forms of IV
1. Lack external validity (e.g., Kahneman
Tversky) 2. Too abstracted (Joshua Greene
moral choices) 3. Enlists subjects from the
neck up
Event Form of IV   Event Actual situation that
conveys the conceptual IV   Advantages 1.
Absorbing 2. Can approximate real world
IV 3. Tell a more compelling
story   Problems 1. Not clear it exclusively
conveys IV 2. Not easy to standardize 3.
Not economical, difficult to run  
Common Forms of Event IV
1. Accident, unplanned occurrence a. Smoke
from vent b. Person collapses in next room 2.
Confederate a. Culture of Honor (Cohen
Nisbett) 3. Whole experiment as manipulation
(ethical problems here) a. Failed
egalitarian, then meet panhandler (Dutton
Lake) 4. Experiment w/n experiment a . Self
affirmation and lab coat (Steele) 5. Real
world events War of Worlds, Y2K, Gulf
War I, Movies, etc.
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Standardization Procedural and Psychological
Stimulus Event ? This is event we can standardize
Stimulus Perception ? This is event we
ultimately want to standardize, but cant
directly control
Response This is event intended to reflect only
intended stimulus, and not any unintended
Standardization Procedural and Psychological
Stimulus Perception ?
Stimulus Event ?
Standardization of IV     Goal All subjects
experience the IV in the same way.   Procedural
standardization Standardize IV as given by
E   Flexibility in IV presentation Standardize
IV as experienced by S Problems with
flexibility? Eine kleine knock-knock music
  Pilot Testing of IV     Purpose ID problems
before experiment begins   1. Power of
manipulation 2. Clarity Alternative
interpretations? 3. Presentation a.
Believable? b. Production value? 4.
Artifacts Expt'l IV introduces unintended
stimuli 5. Ways to bolster IV  
Methods of Piloting
  • 1. Interview subjects
  • a. Subs are great info source
  • b. Highly motivated to help
  • c. Probe after IV, NOT at end of study (WHY?)
  • d. Problems with interviewing?
  • 2. Test against objective criterion
  • a. Stress IV bio measures
  • b. Use experts Feedback task, professional

Pilot Testing Using Objective Criteria
Prediction Distress will lead urbanites, but
not rural folk, to disclose personal
feelings. Conceptual IV Distress Empirical
Realization of IV Disturbing movie (e.g.,
Titanic sinks) Pilot Test Goal Is movie
upsetting? Post-Expt. Interviews Limited value
if prediction is true, rural folk might not
provide reliable info. Objective Criteria
Non-verbal reactions (HR, GSR)
  Internal Analysis     Purpose To find out why
experiment didn't work   Tools a. Manipulation
Checks b. Post hoc data analyses   Limits to
conclusions from internal analyses   Internal
analyses valuable even when experiments "work"
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Subliminal Priming Special Class of
IV     Purpose Short cut to psyche direct path
into black box   Get past conscious
editor Activate otherwise inaccessible
mental processes   Nature Exist between
instruction and event manipulations.   Example
s   Mommy and I are one Silverstein ?
lower psych. symptoms ? Improve
learning   Happy/sad faces
Winkielman ? Ratings of Kool-aid ?
Consumption of Kool-aid
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