Essay, Research Paper: Emotions


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Emotions are part of a management system to co-ordinate each individual's
multiple plans and goals under constraints of time and other resources. Emotions
are also part of the biological solution to the problem of how to plan and to
carry out action aimed at satisfying multiple goals in environments, which are
not always predictable. Emotions are based on non-propositional communications
that can be called 'emotion signals’. An interesting aspect of research is
“Can emotions exist and exert influence at the unconscious level?” Freud's
view was that emotions could not be unconscious, that their experience is bound
with the conscious experience, and that only predispositions towards certain
emotions can exist in the unconscious (contempt, disgust, and shame); supplying
it’s own unique kind of motivating information. According to our textbook (Bukato
& Daehler 1998) emotions have three components. The physiological component
involves body changes. This includes respiration, increased heart rate and
sweating. Smiles, grimaces, frowns and laughter are all facial displays that are
part of the expressive component. How a person interprets and evaluates their
emotional state is the experiential component. Development of Emotions The
question to scientists is whether or not emotion and mood is formed through mind
processes or biologically innate traits. Scientists are searching the brain for
a particular area that stimulates emotion in humans. They have changed their
idea that it might be the hippocampus and now feel that part of it may come from
the amygdala. Supposedly when something known by our senses comes in interaction
with us, an impulse is sent to this amygdala and it sends another impulse to our
cortex. We either form a positive or negative response to what we see, hear,
taste, or touch. It seems more logical for a particular region of our brain to
create this feedback, than for some biological cause. The mind basically tells
the body how to react to a specific stimulus by processing it through the brain.
We experience certain emotions from engaging in positive and negative actions
throughout life so when stimulated again we know how to react. During the first
hour after birth an emotional tie begins between the infant and mother. From an
early age infants are alert to the people around them. From 0-4 months babies
show the majority of their emotions through crying. For example, a baby that
smiles and is looking around is generally showing signs that they want to
interact with others. Not responding to an infant’s emotional signals can slow
down their social development and impede their development of trust. Research
has found that without this emotional attachment a baby may have problems
communicating with others later on in their development. Attachment theory,
which originated in studies of the mother-infant relationship, is widely viewed
as having applications across the life span. Researchers have examined the links
between quality of attachment to parents and late adolescents' psychological
well-being and experiences of romantic love; adults' attitudes toward love and
work; and parents' likelihood of establishing secure verses insecure attachments
with their own young children (Armsden and Greenberg, 1987; Hazan and Shaver,
1987.) Often at 5- 7 months infants develop a sense of fear or shyness of
strangers. Infants at this age will sometimes cling to their parents and will
not want to be touched by people who they see as being unfamiliar. From 4-8
months infants begin to express a wider range of emotions. Pleasure, happiness,
fear, and frustration are shown through gurgles, coos, and babbling. Babies
emotions are show through movements such as kicking, arm waving, rocking and
smiling. At 8-18 months babies develop a sense of self. They begin to recognize
their image in a mirror and start to become more independent. Babies at this
stage have a wide range of emotional states. One minute they could be happy and
playing and the next minute they could be kicking and screaming. Impact of
Emotions on Children Moral development begins early in an infant’s life. Moral
development depends on the type of training and attention an infant gets through
his or her parent. If they are disciplined early enough in age they will grow up
knowing the differences between right and wrong. If a parent ignores a child,
allowing them think that the inappropriate behavior is acceptable, the parent
will risk having the child develop a dysfunctional moral and/or value system.
Self Esteem & Self- Concept Healthy self-esteem is a child's armor against
the challenges of the world. Kids who feel good about themselves seem to have an
easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. They tend to
smile more readily and enjoy life. These kids are realistic and generally
optimistic. In contrast, for children who have low self-esteem, challenges can
become sources of major anxiety and frustration. Children who think poorly of
themselves have a hard time finding solutions to problems. If they are plagued
by self-critical thoughts, such as "I'm no good" or "I can't do
anything right," they may become passive, withdrawn, or depressed.
Everyone, from the youngest child to the oldest adult, experiences anxieties and
fears at one time or another. Feeling anxious in a particularly uncomfortable
situation never feels very good. However, with children, such feelings are not
only normal, they are also necessary. Experiencing and dealing with anxieties
can prepare young people to handle the unsettling experiences and challenging
situations of life. Punishment verses Discipline Children develop concepts of
self from different sources. One way that children learn to feel good about
themselves is through parental discipline. Although it may not feel good at the
time, it is absolutely necessary for children to feel safe. Discipline is not
the same as punishment. Punishment is one technique used in discipline.
Punishment can be physical, such as hitting and slapping and verbal abuse or it
can be psychological as in disapproval, isolation, loss of privileges or
shaming. While such punishment may seem to get fast results, in the long term it
is more harmful than helpful. Physical punishment can discourage and embarrass
children and develop low self-esteem in them. Some experts argue that it also
promotes physical aggression in children by showing them that violence is
acceptable. Punishment focuses on past behavior and does not always teach a
child the lesson that needs to be learned when making your own mistakes. My
personal experience with discipline and punishment goes from one extreme to
another. As a small child, to age nine, I was spoiled and allowed to do what I
wanted. My mother would allow me to stay out of school, stay up late and not
complete my homework whenever I whined for long enough. The Catholic School that
I went to was very strict and used physical punishment and guilt to get students
to behave in class. After my parents died, from nine to sixteen, I was
disciplined through strong physical and verbal abuse. My aunts and uncles became
so enraged at times that I was never sure what I was in trouble for. These
situations were definitely absent of a lesson learned. Needless to say, my
parental role models method of punishment was not something I chose to use as
part of parenting techniques. Instead I chose to use discipline (on most good
parenting days!) Discipline means to teach. It should be a positive way of
helping and guiding children to achieve self-control, self-esteem and
confidence. Children need discipline for many reasons some of that are
protection, to get along with others, and to understand limits. Discipline helps
children understand the logical consequences of their actions and learn common
rules that everyone must live by. It can help teach a child values that are held
by the family and community. "The purpose of discipline, then, is to teach
children acceptable behavior so that they will make wise decisions when dealing
with problems." Emotional Intelligence Interpersonal intelligence is the
ability to understand other people: what motivates them, how they work, how to
work cooperatively with them. Successful salespeople, politicians, teachers,
clinicians, and religious leaders are all likely to be individuals with high
degrees of interpersonal intelligence. Intrapersonal intelligence is a
correlative ability, turned inward. It is a capacity to form an accurate,
veridical model of oneself and to be able to use that model to operate
effectively in life. Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to an ability to
recognize the meanings of emotions, and to reason and problem solve on the basis
of them. EI involves the capacity to perceive emotions, assimilate
emotion-related feelings, understand the information of those emotions, and
manage them. EI can be assessed most directly by asking a person to solve
emotional problems, such as identifying the emotion in a story or a painting. EI
is a type of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own
and others emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to
guide one's thinking and actions (Mayer & Salovey, 1993). According to
Salovey & Mayer (1990) EI involves abilities that may be categorized into
five domains: · Self-awareness: Observing yourself and recognizing a feeling as
it happens. · Managing emotions: Handling feelings so that they are
appropriate; realizing what is behind a feeling; finding ways to handle fears
and anxieties, anger, and sadness. · Motivating oneself: Channeling emotions in
the service of a goal; emotional self control; delaying gratification and
stifling impulses. · Empathy: Sensitivity to others' feelings and concerns and
taking their perspective; appreciating the differences in how people feel about
things. · Handling relationships: Managing emotions in others; social
competence and social skills. Emotional intelligence does not mean giving free
rein to feelings; rather it means managing feelings so that they are expressed
appropriately and effectively, enabling people to work smoothly toward their
common goals. It is my belief that compared to IQ and expertise, emotional
intelligence matters twice as much to achieve excellence in different
professions and it is particularly central to leadership qualities. Measuring
emotions is completed through measuring all three components. A researcher may
measure one’s heart rate after that person has been told no to something the
have request. They may conduct studies to see the different facial expressions
on children when participating in the same activity. Research of the
experiential component could be concluded by self-report. A researcher may ask a
child how they feel after certain incidents. Measures that utilize all three
components, expressive, physiological and experiential can be found in some
emotional testing instruments but not all. Below is a list of some of the most
popular instruments for assessing emotions: · Multiple Affect Adjective
Checklist-Revised - Zuckerman, Marvin and Lubin, Bernard · Scale for Shallow
Affect - Jackson, Douglas N. and Payne, I. Reed · Positive - Negative Affect
Scale - Bradburn, N. M. · Emotions Profile Index - based on Plutchnik's theory
of emotions. There are over one hundred instruments that assess depression.
Several examples are listed below. · Beck Depression Inventory · Beck Scale
for Suicide Ideation · Beck Hopelessness Scale · Hamilton Depression Rating
Scale There are over 200 anxiety instruments, many focusing on specific types of
anxieties. · Beck Anxiety Inventory · Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale · The
Anxiety Symptom Rating Scale · Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale · Penn State
Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ) Assessing affect has not fared as well in the
assessment field as cognition and cognitive processing. With the exception of
depression and anxiety, there are few instruments for the assessment of
affective functioning in general. Although there is controversy regarding a
widely accepted `scorecard` to measure children's emotional intelligence,
psychologists say a parent should look for clues. Here are some signs a child
may have a low emotional IQ: · Child is often angry. · Child behaves
frustrated easily. · Child withdraws into himself and isolates himself from
others. · Child becomes violent; kicks, hits or bites. Conclusion Emotional
intelligence starts with knowing oneself; not just skills and vocational
aptitudes, but what emotional baggage a person brings to any given situation. A
person may know that X plus Y equals Z but if that person does not present
himself or herself in a positive way, they risk not getting what they want. For
example, my husband is very smart and can answer almost any type of question.
But if he is put him in a room at a social event where he must “win people
over” and he will not be very good. On the other hand, I believe that I have
very good emotional skills. I think that is one reason I am a good leader. I
have the ability to see the bigger picture and react to each situation by
reading the other persons emotional signals. Yet in relation to IQ, I would say
I am of the average intelligence. If asked about accounting, history or other
factual related questions, I would most likely draw a blank. My sense of
self-awareness can be attributed to my involvement with a 12-step program where
I am asked to complete inventories and always look internally for answers and
responsibility. People that are emotionally intelligent tend to react positively
to a potentially troublesome situation, such as our company’s possible merger.
I may not like what is happening, but at least I will not be overwhelmed by the
situation and will take measures to make the best of it. Those that appear to be
emotionally unstable are reacting in anger and frustration without any
discussion of their feelings. Because of their unacceptable emotional behavior,
they risk promotions and their job. Emotions are complex responses to internal
or external events. Being aware of the effects of emotions on self and on others
will help a person to deal with everyday life situations

BibliographyArmsden, G. C., and Greenberg, M. T. (1987). The inventory of parent and peer
attachment: Individual differences and their relationship to psychological well
being in adolescence. J. Youth Adolescent Bukatko, D., & Daehler, M.W.,
(1998). Child Development: a thematic approach (3rd ed.). Massachusetts:
Houghton Mifflin Company Salovey, P. & Mayer, J.D. (1990). Emotional
Intelligence: imagination, cognition, and personality, Volume 9
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