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Three components of emotion and the universal emotions

Video transcript

so let's talk about a topic important to songwriters everywhere emotions emotions are felt by everyone but how they are expressed and experienced is very different depending on the individual which makes them complicated to understand but simply put in psychology we understand emotions to be subjective experiences that are accompanied by physiological behavioral and cognitive changes and reactions something explain each of these in a bit more detail first let's look at the physiological components of an emotional experience every emotion produces different physiological responses within the body which can include distinct changes and patterns of brain activation neurotransmitter production and autonomic nervous system activity for example let's use you as an example here let's say you're standing here minding your own business in a room and then all sudden surprise everyone jumps out and surprises you because it happens to be your birthday so you the individual here may have a distinct physiological reaction your heart rate may increase as a result of being startled your muscles may be temporarily tensed and then relaxed and your skin temperature may increase as well at the same time there are cognitive processes going on as well that are very different person to person in culture to culture so cognitive reactions are mental assessments that can include appraisals of what is happening expectations about the situation and general thoughts about the experience so in this example with a surprise party someone who has been to a surprise party before may have the expectation that'll be fun or they might be thinking about the people who are there or maybe they're just saying oh my god because they're so surprised this is an example of a cognitive experience happening as a result of emotions these cognitive experiences can also bring about emotions so for instance if you happen to think about how much you dislike parties now I don't know why that would be but if you really don't like parties for some reason you might feel like dread at the prospect of a surprise party set of joy that motion was brought on by your cognitive experience and lastly each emotion produces different behavioral responses which can be evident in body language or facial expression so in our surprise example an individual may smile clap their hands and delight or open their arms to hug their friends and relatives again these expressions vary by individual and can be interpreted differently culture to culture so let's return to our chart here and review the basics emotions are made up of cognitive behavioral and physiological changes that are all interrelated but what else do we know about emotion well first emotions are temporary they have relatively clear beginnings in relatively short durations unlike moods which can last much longer and are not necessarily discrete secondly emotions can be negative or positive so as an example someone can be happy sad angry or delighted along those same lines emotions can vary in intensity so a person can experience a little bit of sadness or a deep feeling of depression they can be extremely ecstatic or just a little pleased and lastly emotions generally are involuntary meaning that you can't decide what you will experience which is why we use these phrases such as someone falls in love or explodes with rage or is overwhelmed with excitement these expressions kind of illustrate how emotions are involuntary so with all that in mind here's a question for you how many emotions are there well the answer is there's probably an infinite number but a researcher named Paul Ekman found that there are a special set of six emotions that can be easily identified by individuals all around the world and these are known as the universal emotions and these Universal emotions our happiness sadness fear disgust anger and surprise you might be wondering why they called universal motions now they aren't called universal motions because everyone feels in the same way they're called universal motions because they have consistent facial expressions across cultures and so they're easily recognizable no matter what cultural background you come from so here's an example of the six Universal emotions I'm going to give you a few seconds here to look at it maybe pause this video and see if you can guess what each of these six represent I'm going to go through each of these expressions here and show how they relate to the emotion that they represent not I get kind of a kick out of this because I'm going to explain emotions that we all experience every day and I'm going to explain them in a very clinical cold sounding manner but I think it's kind of interesting to kind of break it down like this so here's happiness it's representing happiness because they're raised cheeks you can see elevated corners in the mouth sometimes teeth are exposed so knives wrinkles on the outward corners of the eyes so that's happiness and here we have sadness sadness is represented by an uplifted inner corner of the eyebrows some downturn lips and here's fear fears represented by eyebrows being raised and drawn together wrinkles in the middle of the forehead eyes are open and tense the mouth is open lips are drawn back tightly so that's fear and now we have anger anger is represented by like this penetrating stare that they have here your eyelids are tensed your lips are pressed together so that's anger here's disgust disgust is represented by raised cheeks wrinkled nose your brows are lowered and with surprise just like we saw in that little cartoon we drew earlier surprise has raised eyebrows eyes are open wide the jaw is dropped so it has an open they have an open mouth so that's surprise now here's another question to consider why were these emotions be universally recognizable well the answer comes to us from Charles Darwin you probably know of Darwin and studies and evolution well Darwin hypothesized that the ability to express and understand emotion is an innate ability and it helped individuals to act in ways that gave them a better chance of survival so emotions actually have an adaptive value and this makes a lot of sense think about a newborn baby if they're surprised or frightened they often react in ways that are very similar to how grown-ups act but newborn babies are brand new to the world they've never been taught how to do these things their bodies just react that way and what's really interesting is that individuals who have been blind their entire lives and have never been able to see what a human face looks like they also have similar facial expressions to people who can see even though they've never seen a smile or a frown and this also supports the idea that the expression of some emotions are innate so when it comes to emotions think of the three components the cognitive the physiological and the behavioral and remember that Universal emotions exist