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Summarizing the Principles of Emotions and Health

How Are Emotions Adaptive?
1. Facial expressions communicate emotion: The perception of the nonverbal communication of basic emotions in facial expression is cross culturally similar. However, culture governs the rules for the display of emotions.

2. Emotions serve cognitive functions: Emotions serve as heuristic guides in decision making. Emotions command attention and act as somatic markers in making choices. Emotions also aid memory.

3. Emotions strengthen interpersonal relations: In relationships, guilt can prevent harmful behavior, demonstrate caring, and can be used to manipulate. Interpersonal emotions develop out of socialization. Blushing is uniquely human and communicates apology. Jealousy signals commitment.

How Do People Experience Emotions?
4. Emotions have a subjective component: Primary emotions are adaptive; secondary emotions are a blend of primary ones. The circumplex model posits that emotions vary by valence and activation. There are neurochemical responses associated with emotions.

5. Emotions have a physiological component: The James- Lange theory of emotion states that physical changes are interpreted as specific emotions. According to the facial feedback hypothesis, facial expressions trigger the experience of emotions. The Cannon-Bard theory of emotion states that emotion-producing stimuli simultaneously activates physical and emotional reactions.

6. Emotions have a cognitive component: Stanley Schachter's two-factor theory of emotion proposes that a situation evokes a physiological response that is cognitively interpreted with an emotional label. Therefore, people may misattribute arousal states, and transfer their excitement to a new event.

7. People regulate their moods: People cognitively appraise and frame events in order to cope effectively. Humor is effective for regulating negative mood. Rebound may occur from emotional suppression. Rumination may prolong negative mood.

What Is the Neurophysiological Basis of Emotion?
8. Emotions are associated with autonomic activity: Emotions cause changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and skin temperature. Facial expressions, through facial musculature, may control the warming or cooling of the brain.

9. The amygdala and the prefrontal cortex are involved in emotion: The amygdala processes stimuli and generates an immediate emotional response. It deciphers the emotional content of facial expressions. The prefrontal cortex processes emotional cues related to interpersonal experiences.

10. Emotion systems are lateralized in the brain: Cerebral asymmetry exists with regard to emotions (i.e., the left brain processes positive emotions and the right brain processes negative ones).

How Do People Cope with Stress?
11. The general adaptation syndrome is a bodily response to stress: Hans Selye's general adaptation syndrome model consists of the alarm stage, resistance stage, and exhaustion stage-the three-stage response to stress. Stress has physiological components.

12. People encounter stress in daily life: Major life stressors are disruptions that strain people's lives. The more minor, but ubiquitous, daily hassles can have a cumulative effect on health.

13. Stress affects health: Stress and negativity increase the likelihood of heart disease. The Type A behavior pattern of personality traits is a strong predictor of heart disease. Stress compromises the immune system.

14. Coping is a process: People engage in primary appraisals of stressors before the secondary appraisal of coping strategies. Emotion-focused coping changes the emotional responses to stress; problem-focused coping seeks to solve the problem. Positive reappraisal helps people deal with stress. Hardiness is a personality characteristic that is helpful in stress resistance. Social support is a stress buffer.

What Are Some of the Behaviors That Affect Physical Health?
15. Obesity results from a genetic predisposition and overeating: Genetics sets body mass index range but the environment determines the final values. Culture determines whether obesity is stigmatized.

16. Restrictive dieting can be problematic: Set-point values regulate weight gain after restrictive dieting. Eating behavior that breaks a diet often leads to excessive eating. Disordered eating can lead to anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

17. Smoking often begins in childhood: Social influences are the leading cause of adolescent smoking. "Being a smoker" is associated with some positive qualities and these perceptions can influence smoking onset behavior. Genetics influence nicotine addiction.

18. People do not get enough exercise: In general, the more people exercise, the better their physical and mental health. Older adults who exercise regularly retain mental functioning longer.

ZAPS: The Norton Psychology Labs

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