Surprising facts about human emotions

Surprising facts about human emotions

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Posted: September 27, 2013
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Understanding human emotions and especially our own emotions might give us a greater control over our behavior and particularly over our economic decisions. Many truths that scientists discovered show surprising facts of our emotional side.

human emotions

Intelegerea emotiilor umane si in particular a propriilor noastre emotii constituie unul din factorii principali care ne influenteaza comportamentul si, implicit, deciziile economice. Multe dintre adevarurile descoperite de oamenii de stiinta despre latura noastra emotionala sunt insa surprinzatoare.





  1. Emotions are generally associated with stimuli that trigger physiological responses: increases in the pulse rate, body temperature, skin conductivity level or a change in respiration rate.



  2. In Greek mythology, emotions such as rage, envy, revenge or jealousy were believed to cause the diseases that Goddess Pandora released to punish mankind.

  3. Antique healers believed that every main body organ controls specific emotions. Happiness was thus a product of the heart, rage – of the liver and fear came out of the kidney.

  4. A study published recently in The Journal of Consumer Research proved that, compared to pragmatic individuals, people who think in abstract terms experience a more intense reaction to commercials that use different emotions.

  5. Studies showed that one of the most efficient marketing techniques is the creation of a strong link between brand image and a certain emotion, such as happiness, wealth, solidarity, intimacy etc..

  6. Our society promotes exclusively positive emotions, developing techniques to annihilate negative ones. However, studies show it is important to be able to process negative emotions and thoughts in order to ensure individual psychological and mental health. Denying or discharging negative emotions on the other side has long-term pathological effects. Moreover, processing negative emotions is important for the realistic evaluation of our own experiences.

  7. According to a study cited by Popsci.com, sadness and rage are among the hardest to control emotions. Unlike the classical social smile that most of us are able to display at any time, negative emotions are hard to fake. In order to groundlessly express fear, sadness, rage or surprise, we need a real acting talent, as they do not come out naturally.

  8. Although for a long time anthropologists believed that morality and its systems influenced the emotional flow, recent studies prove that, in reality, our emotional responses have led to the creation of a moral sense. We do not experience negative feelings when we witness an abuse because we know it is wrong. It is the other way round. We regard the abuse as being wrong because it triggers a negative response.

  9. Any emotion has three components: 1) physiological changes (changes in the heart rate); 2) behavioral response – the tendency of avoiding the situation or of reacting to it; 3) a subjective experience, such as anger, happiness or sadness.

  10. Most scientists believe that basic emotions are innate and not culturally learned.

  11. Emotions generate a certain expression pattern on facial muscles. What is interesting is that the process works the other way round, too. People who mime certain emotions might end up feeling them.

  12. fMRI studies proved that negative expressions and the experience of negative emotions (rage, anxiety etc.) trigger a more intense brain activity in the right frontal cortex and within deeper brain structures (such as the amygdala). Meanwhile, positive emotions trigger a more intense activity in the left frontal cortex, as Paul Ekman explained in Emotions Revealed.

  13. The emotion associated to a certain event can last longer than the mental recall of that experience. According to a recent study, those suffering from Alzheimer can remember the emotions connected to certain events but fail to recall the event itself.

  14. Although facial expressivity is the same throughout most of the existing cultures, there are particularities. For example, Japanese have a difficulty in recognizing facial expressions that communicate rage and tend to better hide negative emotions than Westerners.

  15. The smile is the expression covering the largest range of emotions, and also the trickiest one. 18 types of different smiles have been identified: from the candid or ironic smile to the polite or the self-sufficient one. The one expressing real happiness has been named the Duchenne smile, in honor of the French neurologist who wrote the theory, Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne.


 


1. Emotiile sunt in general asociate cu stimuli ce provoaca un raspuns fiziologic: creserea pulsului, a temperaturii corpului, nivelul de conductibilitate al pielii, activitatea anumitor glande, schimbarea ritmului respiratiei etc. Toate aceste modificari impulsioneaza individul sa actioneze.


2. in mitologia greaca, multe dintre boli erau considerate produse ale unor emotii precum furia, invidia, razbunarea sau gelozia, eliberate de zeita Pandora pentru a pedepsi omenirea.


3. Vindecatorii din antichitate credeau ca fiecare organ principal controleaza anumite emotii: fericirea este produsa de inima, furia de ficat iar frica de catre rinichi.


4. Un studiu publicat recent in Journal of Consumer Research a demonstrat ca oamenii care au o gandire abstracta mai dezvoltata au o reactie mai puternica la reclamele care apeleaza la expunerea unor emotii diferite, comparativ cu cei care au o gandire practica.


5. Studiile au aratat ca una dintre cele mai eficiente tehnici de marketing este generarea unei asocieri puternice a brandului cu anumite emotii precum fericirea, bunastarea, solidaritatea, intimitatea etc.


6. Desi societatea noastra promoveaza o cultura a emotiilor pozitive, dezvoltand diferite tehnici pentru eliminarea emotiilor negative, studiile subliniaza importanta abilitatii de a procesa emotiile si gandurile negative ca factor cheie in sanatatea psihica si mentala a indivizilor. Negarea sau defularea emotiilor negative, pe de alta parte, are efecte patologice pe termen lung. in plus, procesarea emotiilor negative este importanta in evaluarea realista a propriilor experiente.


7. Conform unui studiu citat de Popsci.com, tristetea si furia sunt emotiile cel mai greu de simulat. Spre deosebire de clasicul zambet social pe care marea majoritate dintre noi si l-au insusit, emotiile negative sunt cel mai greu de mimat. Pentru a exprima, fara temei, teama, tristetea, furia sau surprinderea avem nevoie de talent actoricesc adevarat, pentru ca de obicei nu ne ies natural.


8. Desi, mult timp, antropologii au crezut ca simtul moralei si sistemele morale influenteaza fluxul emotional, studiile recente au demonstrat ca, in realitate, raspunsurile noastre emotionale au dus la crearea simtului moral. in realitate, noi nu avem sentimente negative atunci cand suntem martorii unui abuz pentru ca stim ca acest lucru este gresit. Avem perceptia acelui lucru ca fiind gresit tocmai datorita faptului ca ne declanseaza un raspuns emotional negativ.


9. Orice emotie are trei componente: 1) schimbari fiziologice (modificarea ritmului cardiac); 2) raspunsul comportamental - tendinta de a evita situatia sau de a reactiona; 3) o experienta subiectiva, cum ar fi sentimentul de furie, fericire sau tristete.


10. Majoritatea oamenilor de stiinta considera ca emotiile de baza sunt mai degraba innascute decat dobandite cultural.


11. Fiecare emotie imprima un anume tipar de expresie muschilor faciali, insa acest proces functioneaza si in sens invers: oamenii care se straduiesc sa mimeze, la nivel facial, anumite emotii, pot ajunge sa simta emotiile respective.


12. Studiile prin RMNf au demonstrat ca expresiile si experienta emotiilor negative (furie, anxietate etc.) determina o activitate cerebrala mai intensa in zona cortexului frontal drept si in structurile de adancime ale creierului, precum amigdala, in timp ce emotiile pozitive determina o crestere a activitatii in cortexul frontal stang. Sursa: Paul Ekman, Emotions Revealed.


13. Emotia legata de un eveniment poate avea o durata mai lunga decat amintirea mentala a acelei experiente. Conform unui studiu recent, cei care sufera de Alzheimer pastreaza mai mult timp emotiile legate de anumite evenimente decat amintirea acelor evenimente.


14. Desi expresivitatea faciala corelata cu emotiile este similara in majoritatea culturilor, exista totusi particularitati. De exemplu, japonezii recunosc mai greu expresiile faciale legate de furie si au o tendinta mai puternica de a-si ascunde emotiile negative decat occidentalii.


15. Zambetul este expresia care acopera cea mai vasta paleta de emotii, dar si cea care ne poate induce cel mai usor in eroare. Au fost identificate in jur de 18 tipuri diferite de zambet, de la cel ingenuu la cel ironic, politicos sau autosuficient. Cel care exprima fericirea autentica a fost numit zambetul Duchenne, in onoarea neurologului francez care a teoretizat acest fenomen, Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne.

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