What is emotion? Emotion is a response of the whole organism, involving physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and concious experience. Emotion and Physiology Whether you are eager for a long-awaited vacation, grieving the death of a loved one, or even falling in love, you need little convincing that emotions involve your body. To provide energy, your liver pours extra sugar into your bloodstream. To burn the sugar, your respiration increases to supply the oxygen needed. Your digestion slows, and diverts blood from your internal organs to your muscles. With blood sugar driven to the larger muscles, running is easier. Your pupils immediately dilate, to let in more light. To cool down your body, you perspire. If you're wounded, your blood would clot much more quickly. Without any concious effort, your body's response to danger was perfectly coordinated and adaptive, preparing you to either fight or to flee. Our autonomic nervous system controls our arousal. Its sympathetic division directs the adrendal glands atop the kidneys to release the stress hormones, Epinephrine, or Adrenaline, and Norepinephrine, or Noradrenaline. The surge in the eipinephrine and norepinephrine increases your heart rate, blood pressure, and sugar levels. When the crisis has passed, the parasympathetic neural hibits rufther release of stressed hormones, those already in the bloodstream linger awhile, so arousal diminishes gradually. Specified Emotions The Lie Detector The polygraph, or the lie detector, was once mainly used for national security and law inforcement work. By the mid 1980's, though, 2 million Americans annually were reported being tested, usually by corporations trying to screen applicants for honesty, or to uncover employee theft. What do polygraphs do, I bet you're wondering. Firstly, they do not literally detect lies. As apposed to that, they measure several psysical responsees that accompany emotion, such as changes in breathing, cardiovascular activity and persperation. When you're trying to relax, the examinor monitors all of these responses as you answer the questions given. Some, called control questions aim to make anyone even a little nervous. If asked, "In the last 20 years, have you taken something that didn't belong to you?", many people will tell a simple lie, and just say no. This causes arousal that the polygraph would easily detect. If your physiological reactions to the critical questions, "did you ever steal anything from your previous employer?" are much weaker than to the control questions. The examiner infers you are telling the truth. The assumption is, that only a thief becomes agitated when denying a theft. Expressed Emotion All of us communicate nonverbally, as well as verbally. A firm handshake will immediately convey an ourgoing and expressive personality. With a gaze, an averted glance, or a stare we can communicate intimacy, submission, or dominance. Among those who are passionately in love, "gazing into one another's eyes is typically prolonged and mutual" (Rubin, 1970) Psychologists Joan Kellerman, James Lewis and James Laird wondered if such intimate gazes would stir such feelings between strangers. To find out, the asked unacquainted male-female pairs to gaze intently for two minutes either at one anothers hands, or into one another's eyes. After seperating, the couples reported feeling a tingle of attaction and affection. Wat if you do not want people to know how you feel, or if you do not even want to feel that way in the first place? Sometimes, we try to suppress our emotional expressions. But as Jane Richards and James Gross discovered in 2000, suppressing expression comes at a cost. Compared with those who simply watched a distressing film, those who diverted mental energy and attention into suppressing their emotional expressions showed impaired memory for details in the film. The majority of humans are good enough at reading nonverbal cues to decipher the emotions in an old silent film. We are especially good at detecting nonverbal threats. When hearing emotions conveyed in other languages, anger is the most readily detecable emotion. In a crowd of faces, a single angry face will "pop out", faster than a single happy one. By exposing