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The (Un) Desirability Of Happiness: Pathogen Threats Predict Differences In The Value Of Happiness, Sharon Li Hua Koh Dec 2014

The (Un) Desirability Of Happiness: Pathogen Threats Predict Differences In The Value Of Happiness, Sharon Li Hua Koh

Dissertations and Theses Collection (Open Access)

People in some parts of the world find positive emotions more desirable than others. What accounts for this variability? We predicted that happiness would be valued less under conditions where the behaviors that happiness promotes would be less beneficial. We analyzed international survey data and United Nations voting records and found that happiness was valued relatively less in environments that had been historically pathogen-rich. Using a series of experimental studies, we showed that people who were experimentally primed by the threat of pathogens judged happiness in others less favorably and found happiness less appropriate. Our findings contribute to research on ...


Gender Difference In Emotional Reactions To Media: Examining Self-Report During Bittersweet Video Clips, Catherine C. Brown Dec 2014

Gender Difference In Emotional Reactions To Media: Examining Self-Report During Bittersweet Video Clips, Catherine C. Brown

Chancellor’s Honors Program Projects

No abstract provided.


Cognitive And Emotional Abnormalities In People With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Philip Watson Oct 2014

Cognitive And Emotional Abnormalities In People With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Philip Watson

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multi-system autoimmune disorder characterized by the production of autoantibodies (ABs). Approximately 30-50% of patients produce ABs directed against N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid receptors (NMDARs). Previous research with animals has identified these ABs as being associated with amygdala damage and a deficit in fear conditioning. People with SLE can have damage to the amygdala. This study aimed to determine if emotional processing deficits occur in people with SLE and to associate such deficits, if they exist, with anti-NMDAR AB presence, length of disease, cognition, and mood. Fifty-eight (11 AB+, 24 AB-, 23 healthy) women participated in tasks ...


Emotion In Adoption Narratives: Links To Close Relationships In Emerging Adulthood, Holly A. Grant-Marsney Sep 2014

Emotion In Adoption Narratives: Links To Close Relationships In Emerging Adulthood, Holly A. Grant-Marsney

Doctoral Dissertations

An adopted person develops a narrative or story to help make sense of his or her adoption. This narrative provides a window into how the adoptee understands the role of adoption in his or her life and articulates feelings and thoughts about it. Adolescent and emerging adult adoptees’ data from the Minnesota-Texas Adoption Research Project (MTARP) were examined. MTARP longitudinally followed 190 adoptive kinship networks, with varying levels of openness in the adoption, from childhood to emerging adulthood. The current study sought to understand how emotion (affective valence and specific emotions), as identified in the adoption narratives during adolescence and ...


Cognitive Malleability: Does Disgust Act As A "Stop" Signal On Currently Accessible Cognitive Processing Styles In Perceptual And Conceptual Tasks?, Elicia C. Lair Sep 2014

Cognitive Malleability: Does Disgust Act As A "Stop" Signal On Currently Accessible Cognitive Processing Styles In Perceptual And Conceptual Tasks?, Elicia C. Lair

Doctoral Dissertations

Much of the research on feeling and thought supports the notion of a fixed relationship between affect and cognition, specifically that particular affective experiences promote particular ways of thinking (i.e., information processing styles). Surprisingly, little is known about the relationship between disgust and cognition, and this dissertation sought to rectify this omission. The recently proposed Cognitive Malleability approach (Clore, et al., 2001; Huntsinger & Clore, 2007; Isbell, 2010; Isbell, Lair, & Rovenpor, 2013) calls the fixed nature of the affect-cognition relationship into question, and instead argues that affect confers value on whatever information processing style is currently dominant. This new approach suggests that ...


Auditory Processing Deficits In Bipolar Disorder With And Without A History Of Psychotic Features, Ryanna Verbiest Aug 2014

Auditory Processing Deficits In Bipolar Disorder With And Without A History Of Psychotic Features, Ryanna Verbiest

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Auditory perception deficits have been identified in schizophrenia and linked to dysfunction in primary auditory cortex. There is also evidence that primary auditory cortex abnormalities are associated with positive symptoms, particularly auditory hallucinations. Given the evidence that individuals with bipolar disorder frequently experience auditory hallucinations, it may be that individuals with bipolar disorder who also exhibit psychotic symptoms demonstrate similar impairment in auditory perception tasks. Additionally, these deficits may contribute to impaired social interactions, as they are likely to interfere with accurate perception of emotion from spoken words. The current study examined this matter by comparing performance of 50 individuals ...


Emotional Interference Of Response Inhibition In Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Thomas Grover Adams Aug 2014

Emotional Interference Of Response Inhibition In Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Thomas Grover Adams

Theses and Dissertations

Researchers have hypothesized that failures of inhibition are partially responsible for habitual and perseverative symptoms that are unique to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It is also well known that sequelae of emotional processes are also implicated in the etiology and maintenance of obsessions and compulsions. However, little research has tested how emotional processes moderate inhibitory functions in OCD. In the present study, high contamination phobic (HCP, n = 17) and low contamination phobic (LCP, n = 30) participants completed an emotional go/no-go task, which measured the interfering effects contamination-threat processing on action restraint. The present study had a two level between-subjects-quasi-independent factor ...


From Crime To Punishment: Moral Violations And The Social Function Of Emotion, Michael Ray Brubacher Jun 2014

From Crime To Punishment: Moral Violations And The Social Function Of Emotion, Michael Ray Brubacher

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Punishments that are issued by the criminal justice system can enhance factors related to recidivism or contribute to offender rehabilitation. Investigating the ecological element of public attitudes toward punishment can inform efforts of second-order change for reducing recidivism and improving offender and community wellbeing (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Kelly, 1966; Watzlawick, Weakland, & Fisch, 1974).

The form and duration of punishments can be influenced by the goals that punishments are meant to achieve. Punishment goals include retribution, incapacitation, individual deterrence, general deterrence, rehabilitation, and restorative justice. Each of the goals can lead to sanctions that impact offender behavior differently yet substantive predictors of when the different goals are pursued have yet to be discovered.

An important stakeholder in the operations of the criminal justice system is the general public, and public opinions regarding sentencing practices can impact the punishments that are issued (Roberts, Stalans, Indermaur, & Hough, 2003). This paper will whether the moral characteristics of crimes along with social functional accounts of emotion can predict public support for the goals of punishment.

Social functionalist accounts of emotion suggest that different emotions are elicited by appraisals that are made of events in the environment. Emotions then lead to different action tendencies for responding to the appraisals. The action tendencies are goal oriented and may take the form of punishment goals.

The appraisal of a crime by the public can include an assessment of its moral qualities. Moral Foundations Theory suggests there are five categories of moral concern: harm, fairness, ingroup, authority, and purity (Haidt & Graham, 2007). This paper examined whether public appraisals of the five types of moral violation predict three appraisals of the offender: whether the offender committed an immoral act, whether the offender was morally incompetent, and whether the offender possessed an immoral nature. These secondary appraisals were then used to predict five emotions that people may experience when being informed of a crime: anger, fear, contempt, sympathy, and disgust. Finally, the emotions, each with their own goal-oriented action tendency, were used to predict the goals of punishment desired by the public.

Predicted relations between the appraisals, emotions, and punishment goals were combined to form a path model. To test the model, 546 participants completed an online survey and a path analysis of the model was conducted. A majority of the predicted relations were significant; however, the model did not fit the data. Additional analyses were then performed to develop a model that did fit the data.

Violations of authority and purity moral principles indirectly predicted support for all the punishment goals. Furthermore, while the appraisal of an immoral act lead to anger and support ...


Anger In The Courtroom: The Effects Of Attorney Gender And Emotion On Juror Perceptions, Christian B. May Jan 2014

Anger In The Courtroom: The Effects Of Attorney Gender And Emotion On Juror Perceptions, Christian B. May

University Honors Program Theses

This study sought to examine the effects of gender stereotypes of emotional expression on jurors’ perceptions of an attorney’s competence. Participants watched a video of a closing statement of a male or female attorney expressing either anger or neutral emotions and were asked to give a verdict and rate the attorney’s competence. Participants rated an angry male attorney highest in competence and an angry female attorney lowest in competence. Results also showed that participants who viewed a male attorney were more likely to attribute the attorney’s emotions to the situation compared to participants who viewed a female ...


Socially Connecting And Socially Distancing Consumer Choices, Cindy Chan Jan 2014

Socially Connecting And Socially Distancing Consumer Choices, Cindy Chan

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Can people use consumption to manage their social relationships? Across three essays, this dissertation explores why and how people make consumer choices that socially connect or distance themselves from others. Essay 1 examines how motives to signal social identity and uniqueness can lead people to make choices that both connect and distance them from other members of their social group. People are often conflicted between wanting to fit in and be different. This research demonstrates how consumers simultaneously satisfy competing motives for group identification and individual uniqueness along different dimensions of choice, thus allowing them to be similar and different ...


Facial And Body Emotion Recognition In Infancy, Leah Oberst Jan 2014

Facial And Body Emotion Recognition In Infancy, Leah Oberst

Theses and Dissertations--Psychology

Adults are experts at assessing emotions, an ability essential for appropriate social interaction. The present study, investigated this ability’s development, examining infants’ matching of facial and body emotional information.

In Experiment 1, 18 6.5-month-olds were familiarized to angry or happy bodies or faces. Those familiarized to bodies were tested with familiar and novel emotional faces. Those habituated to faces were tested with bodies. The 6.5-month-old infants exhibited a preference for the familiar emotion, matching between faces and bodies.

In Experiment 2, 18 6.5-month-olds were tested with faces and bodies displaying anger and sadness. Infants familiarized to ...