Cognitive, social and physiological determinants of emotional state - Schachter, S. and Singer, J.E. (1962)
Have you ever felt frightened, or happy, without really knowing why? Why are highly pressurised environments more likely to lead to sudden outbursts of emotion or highly passionate relationships? Our emotional state may have more effect on our behaviour than we realise. But where does this emotion come from? What causes it? Schachter and Singer helped us to find out...
A summary of the study is available here.
Test your knowledge:
Big Issue - Qualitative and Quantitative data
Quantitative data is data involving numbers. Anything involving frequencies, numbers and measurement will produce quantitative data. Methods that produce quantitative data include experiments, likert scales and psychometric tests.
Qualitative data is data involving descriptions. Methods that produce qualitative data include case studies and interviews.
Some methods, such as observational studies and questionnaires, could produce either or both types of data, depending on the design and the DV being investigated.
Many modern studies (and many of the studies here) will collect both types of data, using qualitative observations to back up quantitative statistics.
Assignment 1 - Qualitative and Quantitative data revision
Create a table with three columns, entitled:
'Quantitative' 'Both' and 'Qualitative'
Into the appropriate column write the names of the studies you have done so far.
Submit your table through the form on the home page.
An emotional journey...
Emotions didn't get much of a look in for much of the history of human thought. Philosophers such as Descartes and Kant ignored emotions and focused on humans as rational beings, who made decisions using logic. William James was one of the first psychologists to study emotion scientifically. The debate between two early theories of emotion formed the background to Schachter and Singer's experiment. Watch a video introduction here.
Assignment 2 - You are the examiner
A past paper 1 exam question focused on the experimental method of the Schachter and Singer study.
Read the answer in the document below, and mark it using the mark scheme given below. Click it to enlarge the picture.
For each question, write a mark and a brief justification for why you've give that mark.
Submit your marks through the form on the home page.
Assignment 3 - Paper 1 short questions
Answer the questions in the document below. Submit your answer through the form on the home page.
Introduction to the two-factor theory...
Drawing links between studies...
Can you use Schachter and Singer's two factor theory to explain the behaviour of participants in Piliavin et al's field experiment on helping behaviour?
Alternative Study - Schachter and Singer as a field experiment.
Schachter and Singer conducted a lab experiment to investigate their two-factor theory of emotion. An alternative method of conducting an investigation with a similar aim would be to perform a field experiment.
1. Describe the field experiment as a research method in Psychology. (5)
2. Write a description of the study, including the who, what, where and how. (10)
3. What would the advantages and disadvantages of such an experiment be, compared to the original? Evaluate this new study in methological and ethical terms. (10)
Submit your assignment through the form on the home page.
Listen to the podcast below from Michael Britt's 'PsychFiles' podcast. As you do, make a mindmap of the key details of the study.
Antonio Damasio is a neuroscientist who has worked on emotion for the last thirty years and who, through the study of brain damage and the negative effects it can have, has shown how emotions are needed for even the most basic of life skills. His 'somatic marker' hypothesis states that we cannot even make logical decisions without emotions to guide us.
Watch an introduction to the theory here.