Are Expressions Necessary For Emotional Experience

I have discussed a great many studies that show that expressions are sufficient to produce emotional feelings If people are induced to adopt expressions, they will feel the corresponding emotion. This is the first, essential step in the empirical testing of self-perception theory. If expressions did not produce feelings, then we could dismiss self-perception theory instantly. However, self-perception theory makes a stronger claim. The claim is not quite that expressions are also necessary for...

Increasing Arousal Through Misattribution

The opposite effect of misattribution has been observed at least equally as often. In these studies, naturally occurring arousal produced by exercise or an emotional stimulus is misattributed to a different emotional stimulus, and it produces a stronger second emotional feeling as a result. (Note that, of course, the logic of these studies is exactly like the research that manipulated arousal through epinephrine or other drugs. The only difference is that in these misattribution studies, the...

Familiarity And Other Episodic Memories

A useful, if somewhat controversial, distinction among memory systems is between semantic and episodic memory (Tulving, 1985). Semantic memories are for facts, such as the definitions of words and answers to questions that were the focus of the feeling-of-knowing research discussed in the previous section. Episodic memories are for events in our lives. So, when you recall that one of Roosevelt's vice presidents was Harry Truman, that is a semantic memory, whereas your recollection that you...

Nonemotional Feelings Confidence Pride and Self Esteem

Early in my career, Ron Comer and I each happened to have similar, disturbing experiences. Ron had been working in a hospital emergency room, providing psychological support for people in distress. A young husband had rushed his wife to the hospital with a sudden illness. Ron was present when the doctor told the husband the totally unexpected news that his wife had died. The husband's first reaction was to ask something like, What did we do to deserve this My experience was less direct, but of...

Single Factor Theories

Among the theories proposed to explain the effects of behavior on feelings, some have been directed at only one kind of response system, such as facial expression (e.g., Tomkins, 1982 Zajonc, 1985) or arousal (Schachter & Singer, 1962). Although these theories were proposed for a single kind of response system, in principle they might be extended to account for other kinds of behavior-feeling relationships after all, any theory must begin somewhere before it expands its scope. In fact,...

Misattribution and Cognitive Dissonance

One of the phenomena in which misattribution has been most frequently and consistently demonstrated is cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger, 1957) proposed that when people found themselves acting in a way that was inconsistent with their beliefs, they would experience an aversive motivational state, known as cognitive dissonance, and would be motivated to reduce this state. For example, in many experiments, people would be induced to write or speak an argument that was...

The Problem Of Immaterial Existence

Commonsense dualism holds that people consist of two interacting but very different kinds of things mental and physical, mind and body. The problem with dualism is that mind and body seem too different from each other to ever be able to interact. For example, physical, material objects exist in particular places and times. In contrast, mental entities are not so clearly locatable in space and time. Where, for example, is my fondness for mystery stories or my ability to speak and write English...

Muscles and Liking

The leanest, most minimal description of liking and disliking might be as the subjective experiences of approach and avoidance. The obvious self-perception implication of that characterization is that if people could be induced to approach, they should report liking, and if they avoid, they will report disliking. On a smaller scale, if someone is drawing an object toward them, it suggests attraction, whereas pushing the same object away would imply repulsion. Consistent with this conception,...

The Causal Role Of Externality

Charming and elegantly simple as the externality theory of obesity was, it appears to have been wrong. A number of strands of evidence all suggest that, although overweight people are often more responsive to external cues, many normal-weight people are also more responsive to external cues. Furthermore, normal-weight people are not reliably more responsive to internal cues than are overweight people (Rodin, 1981). Of course, one potential reason is relatively obvious Many people diet to...

Beta Blockers and Anxiety Fear

One class of drugs is an exception to the uncertainty about central versus peripheral effects. The beta-adrenergic blocking agents are specifically presumed to work peripherally in the body outside the central nervous system. These drugs act by interfering with the action of adrenalin at the peripheral neural sites, where adrenalin produces the characteristic visceral arousal symptoms. If Schachter is correct, then these antiadrenergic drugs that act peripherally should effectively reduce...

Confidence And Appearance Stereotypes

Confidence is a close family relation of self-esteem, although perhaps it is a bit more temporary and hence an even more likely candidate for self-perception processes. One lever into the self-perception of confidence is through stereotypes. Self-perception theory asserts that we know our own attributes in the same way that we know about the attributes of others. If that is the case, then stereotypes about appearance that affect our judgments of others should affect our judgments of ourselves...

Overjustification And Motives To

The overjustification research is based on a principle we have already seen applied numerous times to produce misattributions. The principle is that behavior produced naturally as part of an emotional or other feeling episode may be disqualified as a source of feelings if it is attributed to some other source. For example, Nisbett and Schachter (1966) gave people a placebo pill that was supposed to produce increased arousal and then asked them to endure painful electric shocks. The result was...

Awareness Of The Elements Of The Counterattitudinal Behaviorattitude Change

The advantage of focusing on awareness is that awareness, unlike accessibility, applies equally to other components of the counterattitudinal situations. If self-perception occurs when people are unaware of their original attitudes and cognitive dissonance when they are aware, then we can predict different associations between the other variables in the induced-compliance attitude change procedure. When awareness of original attitude is low or unlikely, then we would expect that there would be...

Gaze And Love

The next step was to see what would happen if we induced the gazing in the laboratory (Kellerman et al., 1989). Pairs of opposite-sex strangers were recruited and asked to gaze into each other's eyes for 2 minutes. At the end of the 2 minutes, they were put in separate rooms and asked to describe how they felt about their partner. As a comparison condition, we asked different groups of participants to gaze at each other's hands. This meant that they were equally focused on each other, but on a...

Posture And Emotional Feelings

Probably the most distinctive expressive feature of happiness is the smile. In contrast, the facial expression of sadness is much less distinctive. Instead, the most striking expressive behavior of sadness is the slumped, curled-up posture. Self-perception theory would certainly expect that postures would play the same role in producing emotional feelings as any other kind of expressive behavior. In a number of studies, Riskind Riskind, 1983, 1984 Riskind amp Gotay, 1982 asked participants to...

Spinal Cord Injury

The most cataclysmic interference with autonomic feedback occurs when people suffer injury to the spinal cord and lose feeling in part of the body. Without sensations from the body, people cannot feel the effects of autonomic arousal, such as a pounding heart or butterflies in the stomach. Thus, individuals with spinal cord injuries would be expected to feel less intense emotions. The first study of this sort was conducted by Hohmann 1966 . Hohmann interviewed people who had suffered spinal...