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Introduction to psychology – emotions

Watch prof. Nanette Stroebele-Benschop explain some basic concept about emotions: how are they defined? What are primary and secondary emotions?
Hello, my name is Nanette Stroebele-Benschop and I am professor for Nutritional Psychology at the university of Hohenheim, in Germany. Today, I would like to give you a brief introduction into the science of emotions Because the relationship between our emotions and our eating behaviour is one of the topics we will discuss in more detail troughout this course. An emotion is a mental and physiological feeling state that directs our attention and guides our behaviour. The most fondamental emotions are those of Anger, disgust, fear, sadness, happiness and surprise The basic emotions have a long history in human evolution And they are developed, in large part To make us make rapid judgments about stimuli and to correctly guide appropriate behaviour.
Researchers assume that they primarily evolutionary determined and therefore experienced and displayed in much the same way across cultures. Researchers assume that they primarily evolutionary determined and therefore experienced and displayed in much the same way across cultures. I assume that you are quite accurate ad judging the facial expressions of anger, disgust, fear, happines, sadness and surprise displayed on these faces. Besides these basic emotions scientists have described a larger, more complex set of secondary emotions. These emotions are accompanied by cognitive appraisal and range from low to high level of arousal and from unpleasant to pleasant, which is also called valence.
For instance, as shown in this figure here, feeling relaxed is described as being rather pleasant accompanied with a mild level of arousal. It is therefore positioned closer towards the feeling of pleasantness and mild arousal in this figure. The distinction between basic and secondary emotions is on the speed of processing. Our response to a basic emotion such as fear, for instance, is immediate and fast. We see a child running in front of our car, we immediately push the brakes. our hearth races and adrenaline is released. Our response to a secondary emotion is slower, such as the sadness we feel over the loss of a beloved pet. These emotions are usually more complex and more refined.
In the relation to our eating behavior, the secondary emotions play a large part in determining if and what we eat. They can cause an eating behavior response caused by ingested food or the sight of food. And those aspects will be discussed and explained in more details in two more lectures throughout this course

What are emotions? How are they classified?

This is our first video introducing psychological topics. We start by giving an introduction to the concept of emotion, including the six primary (and universal) ones. We will also discuss a model to classify secondary emotions. These notions will come back in week 3 – especially in the first activity, where we will discuss emotional factors and eating behaviour.

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