Looking for new emotions

Added: Randle Salas - Date: 26.10.2021 12:05 - Views: 22523 - Clicks: 1739

When people think of emotions they usually think of the obvious ones, such as happiness, fear, anger, and sadness. This module looks at the knowledge emotions, a family of emotional states that foster learning, exploring, and reflecting. Surprise, interest, confusion, and awe come from events that are unexpected, complicated, and mentally challenging, and they motivate learning in its broadest sense, be it learning over the course of seconds finding the source of a loud crash, as in surprise or over a lifetime engaging with hobbies, pastimes, and intellectual pursuits, as in interest.

The module reviews research on each emotion, with an emphasis on causes, consequences, and individual differences. As a group, the knowledge emotions motivate people to engage with new and puzzling things rather than avoid them. What comes to mind when you think of emotions? Emotions such as happiness, anger, sadness, and fear are important emotions, but human emotional experience is vast—people are capable of experiencing a wide range of feelings. This module considers the knowledge emotionsa profoundly important family of emotions associated with learning, exploring, and reflecting.

The family of knowledge emotions has four main members: surpriseinterestconfusionand awe. These are considered knowledge emotions for two reasons. First, the events that bring them about involve knowledge: These emotions happen when something violates what people expected or believed. Second, these emotions are fundamental to learning: Over time, they build useful knowledge about the world.

Before jumping into the knowledge emotions, we should consider what emotions do and when emotions happen. Fear, for example, mobilizes the body to fight or flee; happiness rewards achieving goals and builds attachments to other people. What do knowledge emotions do? Sometimes the learning is on a short time scale. Surprise, for example, makes people stop what they are doing, pay attention to the surprising thing, and evaluate whether it is dangerous Simons, After a couple seconds, people have learned what they needed to know and get back to what they were doing.

But sometimes the learning takes place over the lifespan. Interest, for example, motivates people to learn about things over days, weeks, and years. What causes emotions to happen in the first place? Although it usually Looking for new emotions like something in the world—a good hug, a snake slithering across the driveway, a hot-air balloon shaped like a question mark—causes an emotion directly, Looking for new emotions theories contend that emotions come from how we think about what is happening in the world, not what is literally happening.

After all, if things in the world directly caused emotions, everyone would always have the same emotion in response to something. Does it further or hinder my goals? Can I deal with it or do something about it?

Looking for new emotions

Did someone do it on purpose? Different emotions come from different answers to these appraisal questions. Afterward, we will consider some of their practical implications. Figure 1 shows this pattern visually: Surprise is high when unexpectedness is high. Emotions are momentary states, but people vary in their propensity to experience them. Just as some people experience happiness, anger, and fear more readily, some people are much more easily surprised than others.

At one end, some people are hard to surprise; at the other end, people are startled by minor noises, flashes, and changes. Like other individual Looking for new emotions in emotion, extreme levels of surprise propensity can be dysfunctional. People are curious creatures. Interest —an emotion that motivates exploration and learning Silvia, —is one of the most commonly experienced emotions in everyday life Izard, Humans must learn virtually everything they know, from how to cook pasta to how the brain works, and interest is an engine of this massive undertaking of learning across the lifespan.

The function of interest is to engage people with things that are new, odd, or unfamiliar. Unfamiliar things can be scary or unsettling, which makes people avoid them. But if people always avoided new things they would learn and experience nothing. Interest is thus a counterweight to anxiety—by making unfamiliar things appealing, it motivates people to experience and think about new things.

As a result, interest is an intrinsically motivated form of learning. When curious, people want to learn something for its own sake, to know it for the simple pleasure of knowing it, not for an external reward, such as learning to get money, impress a peer, or receive the approval of a teacher or parent. Figure 1 shows the two appraisals that create interest. But unlike surprise, interest involves an additional appraisal of coping potential. When coping potential is high, people feel capable of handling the challenge at hand.

For interest, this challenge is mental: Something odd and unexpected happened, and people can either feel able to understand it or not. When people encounter something that they appraise as both novel high novelty and complexity and comprehensible high coping potentialthey will find it interesting Silvia, The primary effect of interest is exploration: People will explore and think about the new and intriguing thing, be it an interesting object, person, or idea.

By stimulating people to reflect and learn, interest builds knowledge and, in the long run, deep expertise. Consider, for example, the sometimes scary amount of knowledge people have about their hobbies. People who find cars, video games, high fashion, and soccer intrinsically interesting know an amazing amount about their passions—it would be hard to learn so much so quickly if people found it boring. A huge amount of research shows that interest promotes learning that is faster, deeper, better, and more enjoyable Hidi, ; Silvia, When people find material more interesting, they engage with it more deeply and learn it more thoroughly.

Individual differences in interest are captured by trait curiosity Kashdan, ; Kashdan et al. People low in curiosity prefer activities and ideas that are tried and true and familiar; people high in curiosity, in contrast, prefer things that are offbeat and new. Not surprisingly, being high in openness to experience involves exploring new things and findings quirky things appealing. Sometimes the world is weird. Confusion happens when people are learning something that is both unfamiliar and hard to understand. In the appraisal space shown in Figure 1, confusion comes from appraising an event as high in novelty, complexity, and unfamiliarity as well as appraising it as hard to comprehend Looking for new emotions, Confusion, like interest, promotes thinking and learning.

But as odd as it sounds, making students confused can help them learn better. By actively thinking through the problem, students are learning actively and thus learning the material more deeply. The tutors sometimes contradicted each other, however, which made the students confused.

Looking for new emotions

Measures of simple learning memory for basic concepts and deep learning being able to transfer an idea to a new area showed that students who had to work through confusion learned more deeply—they were better at correctly applying what they learned to new problems. In a clever application of these findings, researchers have developed artificial intelligence AI teaching and tutoring systems that can detect expressions of confusion Craig et al. When the AI system detects confusion, it can ask questions and give hints that help the student work through the problem.

Not much is known about individual differences related to confusion, but differences in how much people know are important. Some of the people were film experts, such as professors and graduate students in media studies and film theory; others were novices, such as the rest of us who simply watch movies for fun.

The experts found the clips much more interesting and much less confusing than the novices did. A similar study discovered that experts in the arts found experimental visual art more interesting and less confusing than novices did Silvia, Awe —a state of fascination and wonder—is the deepest and probably least common of the knowledge emotions.

First, people appraise something as vast, as beyond the normal scope of their experience. Second, people engage in accommodationwhich is changing their beliefs—about themselves, other people, or the world in general—to fit in the new experience. A mild, everyday form of awe is chillssometimes known as shivers or thrills. Chills involve getting goosebumps on the skin, especially the scalp, neck, back, and arms, usually as a wave that starts at the head and moves downward.

Like the other knowledge emotions, awe motivates people to engage with something outside the ordinary. Awe is thus a powerful educational tool. In science education, it is common to motivate learning by inspiring wonder. When people see beautiful and striking color images of supernovas, black holes, and planetary nebulas, they usually report feelings of awe and wonder. These Looking for new emotions then motivate them to learn about what they are seeing and their scientific importance Smith et al. Regarding individual differences, some people experience awe much more often than others.

Learning about the knowledge emotions expands our ideas about what emotions are and what they do. Emotions clearly play important roles in everyday challenges such as responding to threats and building relationships.

Looking for new emotions

But emotions also aid in other, more intellectual challenges for humans. Compared with other animals, we are born with little knowledge but have the potential for enormous intelligence. Emotions such as surprise, interest, confusion, and awe first al that something awry has happened that deserves our attention.

They then motivate us to engage with the new things that strain our understanding of the world and how it works.

Looking for new emotions

Emotions surely aid fighting and fleeing, but for most of the hours of most of our days, they mostly aid in learning, exploring, and reflecting. Share this module to:. Address. First Name. Last Name. Password Forgot your password? Remember me for two weeks.

Looking for new emotions

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Knowledge Emotions: Feelings that Foster Learning, Exploring, and Reflecting