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Expressing and Detecting Emotion – Self-Presentation and Interacting With Others (PSY,SOC)

by Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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    00:00 Let’s get into self-presentation and interacting with others.

    00:04 How is it that you present yourself? when you’re in front of others.

    00:07 And how do others present themselves to you? So we’re going to get sort of by looking at some of the ways that we actually detect emotion.

    00:15 And this is something that you do even when you’re not thinking about your projecting yourself and the emotions that you’re portraying when you interact with somebody.

    00:24 Even when you’re not verbally interacting with them, you’re actually letting off emotion.

    00:29 So we’re going to start up by looking at the differences between men and women, gender roles and gender differences.

    00:35 But I want to highlight one point first before we dive in to this. And that it’s not that women are actually more emotional than men but they tend to be a little bit more expressive and better at detecting emotion.

    00:46 So I think, there's a common misconception that women are very emotional.

    00:50 I think a lot of guys we agree that they tend to express their emotion more than us.

    00:55 We tend to be a little bit cold and dead inside. Where women tend express themselves.

    00:59 So some other points are we going to talk about here or highlighting some of those differences.

    01:03 First, of women tend to be a little bit more proficient at reading emotional cues.

    01:08 Guys who have a lady friend, or wife or sister, or mother, you might know Times where they have said things to you like, “Is there something wrong?” And you’re like “No, why?” They are like, “I can see it in your face.

    01:22 Or the way you’re looking at me or the way you’re standing, something’s wrong.” And you’re like “Is there? I’m not sure maybe there is.” So, they’re really good at reading those emotional cues. Where a lot of times, gents, we might not pick up on some of those cues.

    01:36 Women have a greater sensitivity to non-verbal cues.

    01:40 This is just straight up looks or in your stance. And we’ll breakdown what non-verbal means in just a moment. But they’re really really good at that detecting that.

    01:49 They also have a greater emotional literacy and better at expressing their emotions.

    01:53 What I mean by literacy is, guys, we might have in our mind in terms of how we communicate 4, 5 broad been of how we describe emotion.

    02:02 Kind of think cave man ways. And you’re like mad, happy, sad.

    02:07 Whereas, women will further categorize and know have various types of happiness, and various type of sadness, and various types of expressing love.

    02:17 So that sort of difference does not necessarily mean we are not experiencing those emotions.

    02:21 We just are not the greatest at expressing that emotion.

    02:24 Now, not surprising, but anger seems to be one of those emotions that actually gets tied to men.

    02:31 When you look at, some kind of need experiments that look at somebody who’s really not gender specific, some images of folks that are not gender specific.

    02:42 They don’t overtly look like a female or male. So there is kind of in-between.

    02:47 And they – this images are shown to somebody. And if I show them to you, and you really – again, you couldn’t really tell whether he's a guy or a girl.

    02:56 And this face was emotionless. You would really have a lot of trouble.

    03:00 If I said, “You going to pick one, male or female, you would have trouble.

    03:04 And know, the results show that it’s almost 50/50.

    03:07 So the people are arbitrarily saying, “I think that’s a girl or I think that’s a guy.” Now, if you get that androgynous person to make an expression, and that expression is anger.

    03:17 So making an angry face, more times than not The majority of individuals looking at those images will say that that’s a male.

    03:26 Even though, previously they were unable to detect whether it’s male or female, that look of anger actually leads us to believe that it is a male.

    03:34 So we can say, looking at that evidence that anger seems to be considered a masculine emotion Or at least correlated to a male.

    03:43 Empathy, which is when you feel sorrow and compassion for somebody else seems to be equally expressed between gender… shown in gender, experienced in gender but it’s expressed higher in the women.

    03:57 Again, I think if you’re a male or female you could probably relate to that.

    04:02 And you think of say somebody who’s hurt or something that’s cute.

    04:07 I’m thinking kittens, or I’m thinking an old man who’s tripped and fallen.

    04:12 It’s not that guys we don’t feel bad for the old man who’s fallen, or the kittens and all that kind of stuff.

    04:19 But we might not say, “Oh look at the cute little kittens.” or you going to say, “Oh my God that poor guy fell.” Would be right there ready to help as well.

    04:26 but women would express that empathy that they’re feeling.

    04:31 Women also experience emotion more deeply, have more recall.

    04:35 And experimentally, we’ve shown that they have more brain activation.

    04:39 Again, let’s not relate this to they’re experiencing more emotion it’s just different characteristics.

    04:45 And we all mean by deeply is that it really impacts them, it stays with them.

    04:49 and it might resonate a little bit longer.

    04:50 Think of romantic movies or emotional books, paintings even emotional interactions.

    04:59 It sits with women; it tends to generally speaking a little bit longer.

    05:03 And for male they experience the same emotion but they quickly kind of -- I don’t want to say forget, but they move on into a newer emotion and a different interaction.

    05:12 Women also tend to remember the emotion experience a little bit longer.

    05:16 And this is shown with that brain activation, in which is indirect evidence showing that, if you usually what we say is that there's a greater brain activation that means greater processing and maybe greater storage or in term of memory.

    05:31 Now, let’s look at – we look at gender.

    05:33 Let’s take a look at what culture does in terms of expression and types of emotion.

    05:37 So we know that culturally speaking, there's variation between the meaning of emotional gestures.

    05:44 So if you travel the globe and you were able to only use your hands, And use some of that symbology to say, “Hey, now what do you think?” The one that’s comes up a lot is thumbs up.

    05:56 So that’s a fairly [inaudible 0:05:57.7] it was almost anywhere you go.

    06:00 If you say “right on”, that means good job or I like it.

    06:06 It’s considered basically a positive thing.

    06:09 As opposed to say the middle finger, I’m not going to do it to you right now in camera but if you read between the lines you see them doing something that might offend you.

    06:17 It might be considered a derogatory or negative remark and lot of parts of the world.

    06:22 But then other parts of the world it means nothing.

    06:25 It has no meaning other than the fact that it’s one of the fingers on your hand.

    06:28 So here’s a great example of something that’s been culturally appointed in terms of having a meaning almost arbitrarily.

    06:37 Why that finger? Why that orientation? Why is that mean something? Whereas in other parts of the world it’s literary the meaning and that it’s a finger.

    06:43 So really really interesting to kind of look at that across cultures.

    06:48 Another thing in terms of alignment is that we know that certain facial expressions are actually universal across cultures.

    06:55 So, if you’re making a smiling face, it’s fairly consistent around the world that a smiling face means I’m happy or I’m smiling at you. Like hello.

    07:05 It’s a nice gesture. And this doesn’t mean, I’m going to kick your ass or I’m very upset with you.

    07:12 It’s more along the lines of, “Hi, how are you? It’s nice to see you.

    07:15 And you’re being happy and nice.

    07:17 So this is reinforced with sort of two populations that you look at.

    07:21 You have babies and you have blind people.

    07:23 So let’s look at babies first.

    07:25 Babies really don’t know anything other than what we teach them.

    07:30 If you look at a baby early on before they’ve been inundated and exposed with learned behaviors and learned emotions things that we teach them they innately know smiles, crying -- smiling and gurgling And doing those happy things equal I’m content, and wailing, and crying, and screaming mean I’m hungry, I have a dirty diaper or this situation is not ideal for me.

    07:54 So that’s really consistent.

    07:56 Again, because babies who really have no learned emotion are telling us thus that tells us that, that’s really consistent and innate.

    08:05 Blind individuals. Now, they can't really see anything.

    08:08 So they have troubles, they would have trouble learning that this equals me being happy.

    08:13 That was kind of creepy or this means I’m very upset.

    08:17 They wouldn’t see that. They just do it.

    08:20 So how does a blind individual know that when their guide dog take them to their appropriate place, and they’re very happy. They are like “good dog” They can't see really what they’re doing other than they do it.

    08:32 So two pieces of evidence that kind of support the fact that certain facial expressions are universal across cultures.

    08:39 Now, opposing to the point that we just said earlier, is that we have something that called emotional expressivity.

    08:46 Which is you expressing emotions that can actually vary across certain cultures.

    08:50 In the example, I was going to present here is east versus west.

    08:54 In the west, we are very expressive with our emotion.

    08:58 And you do a lot of hugging, a lot high fiving or very loud, a lot of kissing.

    09:03 And then you get a certain eastern or Asian culture where you’re much more subdued.

    09:09 And you’re not overtly screaming like “Yes, Amazing!” Instead they’re like, “This is very nice, thank you”.

    09:14 And you go to your room and you maybe show emotional but differently there.

    09:18 But you’re not overt with your expressivity in terms of how you’re actually expressing that to the outside world.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Expressing and Detecting Emotion – Self-Presentation and Interacting With Others (PSY,SOC) by Tarry Ahuja, PhD is from the course Social Interactions.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Greater emotional literacy
    2. A simple range of emotions
    3. Difficulty expressing emotions
    4. An impaired ability to understand nonverbal cues
    5. More practice
    1. It is equal in men and women.
    2. It is expressed more in men.
    3. It is expressed as anger in men.
    4. It gives insight in detecting emotions.
    5. Men have greater brain activation.
    1. Surprise
    2. Hopefulness
    3. Frustration
    4. Grief
    5. Depression

    Author of lecture Expressing and Detecting Emotion – Self-Presentation and Interacting With Others (PSY,SOC)

     Tarry Ahuja, PhD

    Tarry Ahuja, PhD


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