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This chapter combines developments in the emotion literature with developments in cross-cultural methodology in order to formulate four recommendations that can bridge the gap between relativist and universalist views on cultural variation in emotion. We recommend that researchers (1) specify the emotions or facets of emotions they study, preferably using a multi-componential approach to assessing emotions; (2) check the equivalence across languages and cultures of the emotion vocabulary they use, either by existing data bases or by including the measurement of meaning in their design; (3) specify the level at which they compare emotions across cultures ranging from descriptions of culture-specific constructs to direct comparisons of mean scores, and apply adequate methods to demonstrate the level of comparability claimed; and (4) account for both similarities and differences when they formulate hypotheses, as well as when they interpret their data. These recommendations are illustrated with historical and contemporary cross-cultural emotion research.
Affective states and their representational forms have been as crucial to critical constructions of modernism as to the writing we associate with its multiple movements, moments, and legacies. At the confluence of represented feeling and registrations of affect, ambitions of otherwise historically distinct writers come into conversation. To see how this conversation might enhance modernist studies’ critical-affective literacies, this chapter follows a transhistorical rather than a discretely periodized arc, gauging the conceptual challenges and interpretive opportunities that come with close reading affective representation as it interlaces modernism’s stylistic aspirations and political valences. It considers how changing disciplinary priorities are transforming the ways in which modernist studies addresses affect’s critical purchase. And it encompasses both early twentieth- and twenty-first-century figures (Virginia Woolf, Wyndham Lewis, Storm Jameson, Ian McEwan, and Rachael Cusk) to explore analytical synergies between vocabularies of feeling and evolving strategies of experimental form.
Despite broad evidence suggesting that adversity-exposed youth experience an impaired ability to recognize emotion in others, the underlying biological mechanisms remains elusive. This study uses a multimethod approach to target the neurological substrates of this phenomenon in a well-phenotyped sample of youth meeting diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Twenty-one PTSD-afflicted youth and 23 typically developing (TD) controls completed clinical interview schedules, an emotion recognition task with eye-tracking, and an implicit emotion processing task during functional magnetic resonance imaging )fMRI). PTSD was associated with decreased accuracy in identification of angry, disgust, and neutral faces as compared to TD youth. Of note, these impairments occurred despite the normal deployment of visual attention in youth with PTSD relative to TD youth. Correlation with a related fMRI task revealed a group by accuracy interaction for amygdala–hippocampus functional connectivity (FC) for angry expressions, where TD youth showed a positive relationship between anger accuracy and amygdala–hippocampus FC; this relationship was reversed in youth with PTSD. These findings are a novel characterization of impaired threat recognition within a well-phenotyped population of severe pediatric PTSD. Further, the differential amygdala–hippocampus FC identified in youth with PTSD may imply aberrant efficiency of emotional contextualization circuits.
The emotion of pride appears to be a neurocognitive guidance system to capitalize on opportunities to become more highly valued and respected by others. Whereas the inputs and the outputs of pride are relatively well understood, little is known about how the pride system matches inputs to outputs. How does pride work? Here we evaluate the hypothesis that pride magnitude matches the various outputs it controls to the present activating conditions – the precise degree to which others would value the focal individual if the individual achieved a particular achievement. Operating in this manner would allow the pride system to balance the competing demands of effectiveness and economy, to avoid the dual costs of under-deploying and over-deploying its outputs. To test this hypothesis, we measured people's responses regarding each of 25 socially valued traits. We observed the predicted magnitude matchings. The intensities of the pride feeling and of various motivations of pride (communicating the achievement, demanding better treatment, investing in the valued trait and pursuing new challenges) vary in proportion: (a) to one another; and (b) to the degree to which audiences value each achievement. These patterns of magnitude matching were observed both within and between the USA and India. These findings suggest that pride works cost-effectively, promoting the pursuit of achievements and facilitating the gains from others’ valuations that make those achievements worth pursuing.
There has been relatively limited work focused on understanding whether relatives of individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) have difficulties in the regulation of emotion, particularly in relation to perceptions about whether emotions can be effectively regulated, or trait behaviours that acknowledge emotions as self-regulators themselves. In this study, we assessed the presence and extent of difficulties in these dimensions of emotion regulation in individuals with BD compared to unaffected first-degree biological relatives (FDR) for the first time.
In total, 161 participants, including euthymic individuals with BD, unaffected FDRs, and healthy controls, were compared on the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) – a multi-dimensional measure of habitual emotion regulation. Clinical data were also collected and examined in relation to DERS scores in a secondary analysis.
In the BD group, difficulties were evident for most dimensions of emotion regulation as measured by the DERS; and correlated with an earlier onset of illness and more mood episodes. FDRs displayed generally normal emotion regulation, except in terms of their beliefs that emotions can be effectively regulated; on this dimension, their reported difficulty was intermediate to the BD group and controls.
Habitual emotion regulation difficulties in BD persist irrespective of mood state, are related to the course of illness, and should be targeted in psychological interventions. Further, the perception that emotions cannot be effectively regulated during times of distress seems to represent an endophenotype for BD.
Emotions are deeply embedded into the social contexts in which they occur. Emotional responses differ largely among various cultures, but also among various social subgroups and individuals. At the same time emotions typically include crossculturally stable bodily and behavioral features and have homologs in other animals like the facial expression in anger or the release of adrenaline in fear. This article will focus on the interplay of bodily responses and social structure that brings about emotions, habits, and skills and their interrelations. Emotions are constituted by a complex pattern of bodily responses that prepare one for action. The relevant bodily responses are tied together through a complex process of socialization in a way that produces typical emotional reactions in certain types of social scenarios that are of relevance for the individual. These social scenarios can be described as affordances that together make up a social structure to which individuals habitually respond.
This article analyzes the increased visibility and frequency of public weeping by the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Building on the literature that conceptualizes populism as a particular political style, I argue that crying in public can be understood as a populist performative act of legitimation, serving to dramatize the basic components of the populist discourse. I also contend that the increased frequency of public weeping by Erdoğan relate to two major dilemmas that populists in power encounter. Both dilemmas stem from the growing discrepancy between populist rhetoric and practice, diminishing the credibility of the populist leader. Signaling emotional authenticity, Erdoğan’s tearfulness serves to communicate a message of closeness to the people and sustain the anti-elite rhetoric at a time when his political power and economic wealth increasingly set him apart from the politically and economically marginalized. It also attempts to justify authoritarian practices while sustaining the claim to rule in the name of popular power and mobilize constituents against the opposition.
This chapter looks at emotion in Shakespearean cinema by considering two Bollywood adaptations through the lens of Indian aesthetic theory and narrative traditions. Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj adapted Macbeth and Othello as Maqbool (2003) and Omkara (2006). Both include a masala mix of genres characteristic of Indian popular cinema (melodrama, romance, tragedy, comedy, gangster film), and both break down the boundaries of genre established in the western narrative tradition by Aristotle. Bhardwaj adapts Shakespearean tragedy into tragic tales of contemporary India that traverse quickly between different Hollywood-defined genres and affective tones, pulling the audience through intense emotional terrain evoked by vivid audio-visual stimuli. Bhardwaj’s work can usefully be approached through the co-ordinates of ancient rasa theory which has dominated aesthetic approaches to the arts in India for over two thousand years. The rasas, or emotions, offer an important lens through which to understand how Indian popular cinema communicates powerfully to its enormous global audience, both resident and diasporic, many of whom are drawn to Bollywood’s emotional intensity and generic hybridity. Rasa theory sheds light on Bhardwaj’s achievement, then, but also provides a valuable and fertile apparatus through which to explore Shakespeare’s works more generally on page, stage, and screen.
This essay argues that the traditional (and not just Romantic) association of Shakespeare with nature and passion ties his work to a non-doctrinaire politics and morals. As ‘the poet of nature’, in Dr Johnson’s phrase, Shakespeare is linked to an anti-systematic, open, essentially tolerant worldview. The essay brings this point into sharper focus by recounting how one of the poet’s strangest and most ardent admirers, the twentieth-century French-Rumanian writer E.M. Cioran, understood Shakespeare as an artist fundamentally hostile to philosophy and even to reason itself. For Cioran, Shakespeare, along with kindred authors such as Dostoievsky and Nietzsche, exploded systems and the pretensions of thought. It was Shakespeare’s commitment to the passions and experience, his basic irrationalism, that made his work such a powerful antidote to the murderous and programmatic utopianism that, Cioran believed, had blighted so much of human existence, not least in the twentieth century.
Shakespeare was writing his plays and poems just as the word ‘emotion’ was emerging into common currency. In its first usages, traceable back to the 1590s, the term referred to the general disturbance suggested by the Latin term emovere (to move out), and Shakespeare and his contemporaries indeed often described as motions the impulses that aroused the mind, body and soul. The introduction to Shakespeare and Emotion explains the rationale for giving serious and sustained attention to the emotions as a way of approaching Shakespeare’s works as art from the past, as well as the place of these works in the present. It offers a brief survey of Shakespeare’s classical and early modern sources for his understanding of affect, and an account of how the present-day surge of interest in emotional experience builds on earlier strands of Shakespearean scholarship from the early to mid-twentieth century. The Introduction concludes with a survey of the volume’s chapters, organised around the assumption that emotion offers a deeply promising (and often challenging) prospect for imagining and enacting change.
Many U.S. states have proposed policies that restrict bathroom access to an individual’s birth sex. These policies have had widespread effects on safety for transgender and gender-nonconforming people, as well as on state economies. In this registered report, we assessed the role of disgust in support for policies that restrict transgender bathroom access. We found that sensitivity to pathogen disgust was positively associated with support for bathroom restrictions; sexual and injury disgust were unrelated. We also examined the role of disgust-driven moral concerns, known as purity concerns, as well as harm-related moral concerns in support for bathroom restrictions. While concerns about harm to cisgender and transgender people predicted support for bathroom restrictions, purity was a much stronger predictor. Also, purity partially mediated the link between pathogen disgust and support for bathroom restrictions, even after accounting for harm concerns. Findings and implications are discussed.
This essay analyses the sole extant chapter of a fourth/tenth-century Faḍā'il al-Ṣaḥaba work by the ḥadı̄th critic and scholar Al-Ḥasan ʿAlı̄ ibn ʿUmar ibn Aḥmad Ibn Mahdı̄ ibn Masʿūd al-Dāraquṭnı̄ (d. 385/995). As scholars have noted, faḍā’il literature beyond the chapters on religious merits of the Companions in the Ṣaḥı̄ḥayn is among a number of sub-genres of tradition-based literature (alongside, for example, targhı̄b wa tarhı̄b), which tends largely to be comprised of weak, non-canonical ḥadı̄th. This has generally been interpreted as evidence of the acceptability of “lower standards” for the inclusion of ḥadı̄th in exhortatory or edifying literature (lower when compared to standards for the authentication of ḥadı̄th in relation to law). This conceptualization both centres law as the dominant lens through which to view the reception of ḥadı̄th in general, and contributes to the marginalization of faḍā’il literature as merely folkloric. Using a history of emotions perspective to elucidate the nature and mechanisms of edification and pious instruction in faḍā’il texts, this essay argues that far from being marginal, faḍā’il works were central to the formation of emotional communities and to the construction of pious subjects in the Būyid period. Al-Dāraquṭnı̄'s fragmentary text reflects how a well-known and highly respected fourth-century ḥadı̄th scholar capitalized on the emotional resonances and sectarian ambiguities made available by the abundance of non-legal and non-prophetic ḥadı̄th generated during the second and third centuries ah.
In cultural anthropology, ethnographic film is useful for documenting diverse cultural practices and presenting research. Film’s ability to capture behavior in its holistic context is a key contribution to interests of cultural neuroscience, which has been challenged to better illustrate the impact of its findings outside the laboratory. Still, ethnographic film might go further by accounting for the interaction of culture, mind, and brain in the embodied aspects of the film experience. Neuroscientific inquiry into various storytelling genres reveals the embodied effects of storytelling, which activates neural mechanisms putatively evolved to strengthen social and cultural bonds. In this, storytelling strategy and structure are important; effective stories both engage sustained attention and elicit empathetic response. Character-driven emotional stories following a dramatic arc have greater impact than dispassionate ones. This translates directly to film, which also affords opportunities for emotional attunement and sensory-motor resonance with characters onscreen. Ethnographic film conventions have not adequately developed a methodology responsive to this nuanced understanding, despite anthropology’s long-standing investment in the power of storytelling. A “visual psychological anthropology” approach produces emotionally resonant, character-driven film stories in a dramatic narrative structure. Such films can convey cultural information and impart key concepts in a more immersive way.
Music exists in all cultures and appears to elicit intense emotions and pleasure in the vast majority of people. Recent scientific advances have linked the pleasure of music listening to biological mechanisms associated with rewarding or reinforcing stimuli, including the activation of the brain’s reward system. Specifically, we and others have shown that the neurotransmitter dopamine is central to this phenomenon, and that it engages one subregion of the reward system in anticipation of pleasurable musical events and another during its realization. This dissociation implies that musical pleasure operates via some predictive mechanism that creates expectations, which the music then either fulfills or not. Accordingly, a growing body of evidence highlights the prevalence of prediction-based neural processing and its importance for learning about and adapting to one’s environment. Drawing on these findings and on related research into the optimization of learning, we propose that musical structures recruit neural systems of reward and emotion by evoking sufficiently uncertain expectations to build anticipation, and sufficiently surprising events to foster learning, reward, and pleasure. We explore the role that musical experience and culture play in engendering expectations, and offer suggestions for future research into the neuroscience of musical aesthetics and reward.
In this chapter, we discuss the hypothesis people help to regulate each other’s bodies (for better or for worse), and this is a main mechanism through which culture wires a human brain. Cultural transmission prepares the developing brain and body to meet recurrent demands within a particular cultural context, thereby supporting the development of an internal model that is sufficiently tuned to specific environments. In this way, a human brain becomes wired to run a model of the world that will control the body in an efficient, predictive manner. Our approach provides an empirically inspired account of how a human brain becomes a cultural artifact.
An introductory exploration on the nature of emotions, and examination of some of the critical issues surrounding the emotional life of God as they relate to happiness, empathy, love, and moral judgments. Covering the different criteria used in the debate between impassibility and passibility, readers can begin to think about which emotions can be predicated of God and which cannot.
The symptoms of functional neurological disorder (FND) are a product of its pathophysiology. The pathophysiology of FND is reflective of dysfunction within and across different brain circuits that, in turn, affects specific constructs. In this perspective article, we briefly review five constructs that are affected in FND: emotion processing (including salience), agency, attention, interoception, and predictive processing/inference. Examples of underlying neural circuits include salience, multimodal integration, and attention networks. The symptoms of each patient can be described as a combination of dysfunction in several of these networks and related processes. While we have gained a considerable understanding of FND, there is more work to be done, including determining how pathophysiological abnormalities arise as a consequence of etiologic biopsychosocial factors. To facilitate advances in this underserved and important area, we propose a pathophysiology-focused research agenda to engage government-sponsored funding agencies and foundations.
Economic globalization brings increasing demands and opportunities for intercultural training and education that produce novel consequences on people’s mind, behavior, and life quality. Why and how do intercultural training and education change mind and behavior? This chapter aims to address these issues from a cultural neuroscience perspective. By reviewing recent brain imaging findings of East Asian/Western cultural differences in neural underpinnings of cognition and emotion, we discuss the neural basis for understanding intercultural training and education by examining changes of functional brain activity underlying cognitive and affective processes. We propose a theoretical analysis of intercultural training and education based on the culture-behavior-brain loop model of human development. Future issues related to intercultural training and education are discussed.
The topic of non-native language processing has been of steady interest in past decades. Yet, conclusions about the emotional responses in L2 have been highly variable. We conducted a large-scale rating study to explicitly measure how non-native readers of English respond to the valence and arousal of 2,628 English words. We investigated how the effect of a rater's L2 proficiency, length of time in Canada, and the semantic category of the word affects how L2 readers experience and rate that word. L2 speakers who had lived a longer time in Canada, and reported higher English proficiency, showed emotional responses that were more similar to those of L1 speakers of English. Additionally, valence differences between L1 and L2 raters were greater in words that L2 raters do not typically use in English. These findings highlight the importance of behavioural ecology in language learning, particularly as it applies to emotional word processing.
This chapter focuses on the idea of constructive engagement, an umbrella term for mediated and non-mediated forms of communication in which differences can be expressed, respected, and resolved. Hartmut Wessler identifies three ways current scholarship can shift to better address the topic: first, to move from research that emphasizes voice to the practices associated with listening; second, to turn from disruptive conflict toward identifying the potential for integrative conflict; and third, by moving from modes of argumentation to research that examines the “self-transcendent emotions” that fuel constructive interaction with individuals across social divides. Wessler suggests that focusing on constructive engagement can link long-standing concerns articulated by theorists like Habermas focused on rational-critical deliberation with efforts made by social theorists like Georg Simmel, Lewis Coser, and Helmut Dubiel to highlight the integrative and constructive potential of robust but contained conflicts.