PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation
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Mapping Emotions On The Body: Love Makes Us Warm All Over

Mapping Emotions On The Body: Love Makes Us Warm All Over | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
Being happy is indeed a total body experience, according to maps of where people feel emotions.
Jill Williams's insight:

..adding to the debate about to what extent different emotions are distinct categorical entities or just vary on the dimensions of aorusal and valence and 'blur' into one another. This research also fits with the Wk 7 lecture on emotional decision making and the somatic marker hypothesis (SMH) - and you'll see that Damasio (the author of the SMH, the most influential neurobiological theory of emotional decision making) has commented on this research.

 

Still a way to go - for example this research has not matched people's subjective reports of where emotion is felt to known physiological patterns of any of the different emotions, but interesting all the same.

 

The questions are online if you want to have a go at 'mapping out' your own emotions!

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Why We Make Resolutions (and Why They Fail)

Why We Make Resolutions (and Why They Fail) | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
It turns out that timing is important in determining whether or not our resolutions succeed.
Jill Williams's insight:

It's that time of year again - we overestimate our self control and set unrealistic goals, setting ourselves up for failure ..which then saps our motivation. Our own worse enemies?  

 

Be kind to yourself to get best results  in changing behaviour: 

- Form realistic, specific and timely goals

- Recognise there will be tough times and obstacles and make contingency plans ahead of time

- Tempting though the idea of an immediate 'whole new you'  seems, it is unlikely to work -  instead use your self control to avoid falling into this trap and develop a plan of small incremental changes.

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Before You Reach for Your Wallet, Check Your Emotions

Before You Reach for Your Wallet, Check Your Emotions | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
When convention attendees head to the airport at the end of the week, they’ll likely feel a little sad to leave Hawaii’s tropical paradise. They might go to the gift shop and buy something -- say, ...
Jill Williams's insight:

On how emotions can shift us towards more impulsive spending - don't go shopping when stressed or sad!

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Tony Wagner’s Seven Survival Skills

Tony Wagner’s Seven Survival Skills | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
Jill Williams's insight:

A reminder of the rationale behind your blogging coursework assessment.....

 

Dr. Tony Wagner of Harvard's Change Leadership Group  identified a "global learning gap" - a deficit between university teaching and essential workplace skills of the future.

 

He believes that the skills for continuous learning and the skills for a sucessful career are the same:

- Critical thinking and problem-solving

- Collaboration across networks and leading by influence

- Agility and adaptability

- Initiative and entrepreneurialism

- Effective oral and written communication

- Accessing and analyzing information

- Curiosity and imagination

 

 I believe most of these skills fit well with the blogging course assessment on PNP3002. You have a lot of autonomy on this module  - run with your curiosity, assess your chosen area critically, collaborate with your peers and the wider online world and take pride in your blog as a career-enhancing online presence. Challenge yourself, find a way to communicate your findings in an effective and engaging way to those naive to your topic, adapt to peer critique.

 

As the module ends, reflect on your PNP3002 learning and then, when it comes to employment or postgrad study, recognise and big up the skills you've honed - not all assessment methods were created equal!

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Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination - Association for Psychological Science

Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination - Association for Psychological Science | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
Jill Williams's insight:

Currently working on a way to reduce the gap between good intentions and action in our undergraduate students. Current plans include students volunteering to pre-commit to draft deadlines and sharing those deadlines on social media (no-one likes to lose face!). Could also explore the role of different assignment types and intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation in academic procrastination

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Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend | Video on TED.com

Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case.
Jill Williams's insight:

Really interesting talk which challenges some of our views on stress and highlights how individual differences in how we interpret stress mediate its potentially harmful effects on us. Also discusses relatively new research exploring how seeking social support may actually change our neurobiological reaction and protect against the cardiovascular disease associated with chronic stress. Worth watching!

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Sleep 'cleans' the brain by flushing out toxins

Sleep 'cleans' the brain by flushing out toxins | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
The brain uses sleep to clean away waste toxins that have collected during the day, a new study has shown. 
Jill Williams's insight:

Considering how important it is to physical and mental health and to cognitive function, we know surprisingly little about the function of sleep. This recent study proposes some answers -

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Stress-Busting Smiles

Stress-Busting Smiles | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
Scientists are finding that wearing a smile brings certain benefits, like slowing down the heart and reducing stress.The work follows research that established that the act of smiling can make you feel happier.
Jill Williams's insight:

Complements some of the material in lectures 1 and 2 - emotional expressions feed into subjective feelings of emotion

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Phobias may be cured by watching others, study shows

Phobias may be cured by watching others, study shows | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
Researchers say that people may be able to overcome their phobias by watching others interact with the object or scenario that scares them.
Jill Williams's insight:

Vicarious learning (learning from watching others) is important in 'unlearning' phobias. Maybe not an especially unexpected finding - I think as parents we instinctively have our children watch us do thngs that they are frightened of doing themselves in the hope they will feel less fearful about them...but always good when science confirms the anecdotal.

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TV So Good It Hurts: The Psychology of Watching Breaking Bad | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network

TV So Good It Hurts: The Psychology of Watching Breaking Bad | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
After a five season run, tonight marks the conclusion of the critically acclaimed Breaking Bad -- one of the most tragic, stressful, gut-wrenching television experiences I ...
Jill Williams's insight:

Breaking Bad - do you find it utterly emotionally draining ... and yet totally addictive? Some theories on why we are motivated to watch something that elicits negative emotions...

 

(The idea of 'excitation transfer' is very similar to Schacter & Singer's two factor theory and misattribution of arousal, which is covered in Wk 2's lecture)

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Anger is viral: new research shows angry messages influence people online more than any other emotion

Anger is viral: new research shows angry messages influence people online more than any other emotion | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
If you spend much time browsing online forums or Twitter (or even The Independent’s own comment sections) then it might not surprise you to know that anger is a powerful emotion online.
Jill Williams's insight:

Much of our study of emotions is about the neurobiology, but we also talk about their purpose. One purpose of emotions is to aid social communication - before we had language we had emotional facial expressions....before they even open their mouth you can tell when someone is very angry. I found this article interesting because it demonstrates the communicative power of emotions even in the modern virtual world. If you've seen how quickly an argument escalates on facebook this won't come as any surprise! 

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21 Reasons Why Students Should Blog

21 Reasons Why Students Should Blog | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
Blogging is such a powerful learning tool, and there are many great reasons why you may wish to encourage students to blog. Here's a few extra reasons you may wish to consider.
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Rachel Roberts-Jones's comment, September 18, 2013 11:12 AM
I think one of the biggest positives to blogging is it's ability to open up discussion. Having the time to read and consider other perspectives and research on a topic enhances learning in an interactive and positive way. Although the essence of blogging is ,from my perspective, an informal discussion on a topic, i believe incorporating research supported opinion widens the knowledge base of the write and the reader. Everyone will have an opinion and will seek out the appropriate research to back up their own perspective!
Jill Williams's comment, September 24, 2013 2:46 AM
Firstly, nice to see your enthusiasm! Blogging was originally thought of as an informal medium, but an increasing number of influential researchers use blogging to communicate their ideas. In some ways, though, it is still viewed as relatively informal, so you may feel comfortable commenting on a person’s blog when you would never consider emailing the person directly.

I think you’re right, that it is very easy to concentrate on research that fits with your own perspective or purpose. And also, the most diligent student just couldn’t keep up with all the research out there. The internet now means we have a vast amount of knowledge at our fingertips, but someone compared looking for information on the web to taking a sip of water from a fire hydrant! So this is where social media can help you out – don’t expect to know everything but build up a set of reliable resources that can help you through the information jungle. In our blogging on PNP3002, if you are genuinely interested in a topic, having your views challenged will pave the way for alternative perspectives, a more informed view and deeper learning (as well as informing the reader).

You may also find that there are students you haven’t interacted with much who have similar interests to you, and staying in contact via some form of social media in the future may help you both progress.
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Does a bad night's sleep make you likely to overeat?

Does a bad night's sleep make you likely to overeat? | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
Few people would argue with the idea that sleep is good for us, but not many of us know that a lack of sleep can cause weight gain. The health benefits of sleep are extremely well-documented.
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stickK − Take a Tour

stickK enables users to form commitment contracts to help them achieve their personal goals. These goals may be to lose weight, run a marathon, exercise regularly or quit smoking.
Jill Williams's insight:

Fancy using this to improve your motivation to reach a desired goal and help avoid bad decisions along the way? You publicise specific goals, invite people to watch your progress, set up a referee to decide regularly whether you are keeping to your commitments and then pay up when you don't - no-one likes to lose face (or money!). An interesting evidence-based site from the area of behavioural economics based on the idea that pre-commitment, specific goals and social norms/pressure are the ways to make people change their behaviour ... because information and self control are often not enough!

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The Moral Brain - BrainFacts.org

The Moral Brain - BrainFacts.org | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
Scientists don’t claim to know how people determine right from wrong. However, they can study how the brain responds when an individual judges another’s actions.
Jill Williams's insight:

Further evidence of the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (orbitofrontal cortex) in higher order behaviour - morals, future coonsequences, complex decisions. This evidence fits nicely with the eividence we looked at in the Emotion & Decision-making lecture in whih ventromedial prefrontal patients are impaired in emotion decision-making. also mentions the ultimate game, which you played in class

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How Stress Gets Under the Skin: Q&A With Neuroscientist Bruce McEwen | TIME.com

How Stress Gets Under the Skin:  Q&A With Neuroscientist Bruce McEwen | TIME.com | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
A professor of neuroscience at Rockefeller University, Bruce McEwen investigates how stress affects the mind and brain.
Jill Williams's insight:

Interesting blog showing that finding good coping mechanisms can lead to helpful changes in brain structure - fits well with Wk 5 lecture on Stress. This neuroscience approach discusses how potentially toxic stress can actually be turned to our advantage

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Exposure to cortisol-like medications before birth may contribute to emotional problems, brain changes

Exposure to cortisol-like medications before birth may contribute to emotional problems, brain changes | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
Neonatologists seem to perform miracles in the fight to support the survival of babies born prematurely.
Jill Williams's insight:

Relevant to this week's lecture on stress - a study suggesting that exposure to cortisol medications prenatally can affect the child's emotional brain structures. (Cortisol medications are often given to women in early labour to speed up the baby's lung development).The brain area examined here is the anterior cingulate cortex - not an area we are focusing on much but an area of cortex known to be involved in emotional processing

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Who’s afraid of the amygdala? Research blows away "fear center" myth - Boing Boing

Who’s afraid of the amygdala? Research blows away "fear center" myth - Boing Boing | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
Jill Williams's insight:

Fits nicely with Wk 3 and 4 lectures - Big name neuroscientist Whalen is interviewed on how researching the amygdala and its connections with other brain areas could help us understand and treat  human anxiety disorders

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The Ascent: A Brief History of the Brain

A brief history of the brain, featuring a few of the major scientists and findings that have contributed to modern neuroscience. The objectives of this video...
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Studying the Effects of Playing Violent Video Games

Studying the Effects of Playing Violent Video Games | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
New research suggests violent games can stir hostile urges and aggressive behavior in the short term, but it is not clear whether the habit increases the likelihood of committing a violent crime.
Jill Williams's insight:

It's easy to blame violent games and films for real life violent acts - but the evidence is not that clear cut

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Rachel Roberts-Jones's comment, October 9, 2013 4:31 PM
This always leads me to the chicken and egg analogy! Are people who are predisposed to agression/violence drawn to such games? Does the game allow the aggression etc to be reinforced as acceptable in those already predisposed? I can't seem to get my head round a non aggressive person being 'changed' by playing these games, but then does that show that we ALL have some level of agression within us and the game allows us in a way to release this agression through the gaming. Is it the case that some people can't inhibit the behaviour once play has stopped? Is that why for some it is a matter of minutes, but with others it is prolonged! Such an interesting topic - will we ever know which way the correlation flows?
Jill Williams's comment, October 15, 2013 2:50 AM
It is a complicated issue, and a perfectly designed study to get the answers we want would be so unethical! The psychoanalytical view would probably be that we can displace our aggressive feelings onto the game in a safer way. I wonder if anyone has studies cortisol and testosterone levels of an angry person before and after playing to see if it can reduce aggression compared to an aroused person who doesn't play? One lab study showed that playing violent games led people to be more likely to inflict a unpleasant hot tasting sauce in another, but I'm not sure that equates with the kind of serious violence within society that we worry about. Surely this has to be a combination of factors - maybe excessive playing with ineffective/ neglectful parenting ( so that the game's influences are not challenged) could lead to aggression? (in the same way that 'brainwashing' can occur when all other sources of influence are removed?) And possibly more likely to occur with individuals with psychopathic tendencies who are less easily socialised? Intriguing stuff....
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Alcohol breaks brain connections needed to process social cues

Alcohol breaks brain connections needed to process social cues | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
(Medical Xpress)—Alcohol intoxication reduces communication between two areas of the brain that work together to properly interpret and respond to social signals, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.
Jill Williams's insight:

We'll be covering this more in lectures 3 & 4. The amygdala is a critical emotional structure which responds to salient emotional events (positive as well as negative) the prefrontal cortex is an area of 'higher order' processing where we use that more basic emotional information in a more complex way - in social interaction, comparing events and in planning ahead and in appreciating future conequences. This study is saying that when you drink alcohol the communication between amygdala and OFC is damaged, which affects the way you interpret social cues and behave socially. (An neurobiological explanation for the 'What's your problem? Are you looking at me' type scenario??)

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Facial Expressions Of Emotion Are Innate, Not Learned

Facial Expressions Of Emotion Are Innate, Not Learned | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
Facial expressions of emotion are hardwired into our genes, according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Jill Williams's insight:

After their sport, blind (since birth) paralympians display same facial emotional expressions as sighted athletes. Evidence for the innateness of facial expressions

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Why is Guardian Students doing an employability section?

Why is Guardian Students doing an employability section? | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
Editors blog: We know students are worried about finding a job - so we're focusing on how you can use your time at uni to make sure you're employed when you leave
Jill Williams's insight:

New student employability section in the Guardian. Might be worth keeping an eye on...

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The Amazing Scientific Experiment Guaranteed to Make You Happier | Living on GOOD

The Amazing Scientific Experiment Guaranteed to Make You Happier | Living on GOOD | PNP3002 Emotion and Motivation | Scoop.it
What makes you happy? Have you ever wondered why? The people behind Soul Pancake decided to conduct an experiment about what makes people happy based on a 2005 study of positive psychology.
Jill Williams's insight:

Let's kick off on a happy note! Here's a fun replication of a positive psychology experiment. Expressing gratitiude to another has been shown to significantly increase your happiness levels, even when measured a month later.

 

Positive psychology = the scientific study of what promotes positive emotions, creativity and emotionally-rewarding aspects of life. 

This module does not specifically cover the discipiline of positive psychology, but it may be something you want to explore in your blog writing.

 

The paper they refer to is a 2005 review of positive psychology by one of the area's key researchers, Martin Seligman. The paper is available here http://www.ppc.sas.upenn.edu/articleseligman.pdf

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