[Paleopsych] Positive emotions and perceptual accuracy
Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D.
ljohnson at solution-consulting.com
Tue Feb 15 14:49:30 UTC 2005
The limbic system plays a role in positive emotions, but they 'source'
from the left prefrontal lobe. Meditators show much higher left
prefrontal activity and test as happier. Activity in the right
hemisphere is associated with more worry and dread emotions.
Negative emotions are experienced in the limbic system, and during
fear/anger/despair the frontal lobes are 'off line' so to speak, on the
sidelines and consuming less oxygen.
Steve Hovland wrote:
>Do most of the positive emotions arise from the limbic?
>From: Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. [SMTP:ljohnson at solution-consulting.com]
>Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 9:20 PM
>To: The new improved paleopsych list
>Subject: [Paleopsych] Positive emotions and perceptual accuracy
>Disclosure: Johnson in press release is not related to me.
>Feb. 1, 2005
> Positive emotions slash bias, help people see big picture details
>ANN ARBOR, Mich.--Positive emotions like joy and humor help people "get
>the big picture," virtually eliminating the own-race bias that makes
>many people think members of other races "all look alike," according to
>new University of Michigan research.
>"Negative emotions create a tunnel vision," said U-M psychology
>researcher Kareem Johnson. "Negative emotions like fear or anger are
>useful for short-term survival when there's an immediate danger like
>being chased by a dangerous animal. Positive emotions like joy and
>happiness are for long-term survival and promote big picture thinking,
>make you more inclusive and notice more details, make you think in terms
>of 'us' instead of 'them.'"
>To simulate getting a quick glance of a stranger, scientists flashed
>photos of individuals for about a half second, finding subjects
>recognized members of their own race 75 percent of the time but only
>recognized members of another race 65 percent of the time, Johnson said.
>However, researchers found positive emotions boosted that recognition of
>cross-race faces about 10 to 20 percent, eliminating the gap.
>The findings will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal
>Johnson, who is completing his PhD work in psychology, and Barbara
>Fredrickson, a U-M psychology professor and director of the Positive
>Emotion and Psychophysiology Laboratory, specialize in the power of
>Researchers asked a group of 89 students to watch a video either of a
>comic to induce joy and laughter, a horror video to induce anxiety, or a
>"neutral" video that would not effect emotions. They then looked at 28
>yearbook style photos of college-aged people in random order for 500
>Subjects who watched the comedy tested for having much higher positive
>emotions, while those who saw the horror video had far more "negative"
>emotions. In a testing phase, more images flashed by and they were asked
>to push buttons to indicate whether they'd seen the pictures earlier.
>Those in a positive mood had a far greater ability to recognize members
>of another race, while their ability to recognize members of their own
>race stayed the same.
>The researchers conclude that positive emotions bring with them a
>"broadening effect" that helps people see a bigger, broader picture of
>the world around them.
>Positive Emotion and Psychophysiology Laboratory
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