Emotion and Threat Judgements

This study seeks to find out more about what underlies the self-reported emotion judgements and statements of inviduals. For example, what leads me to say that I feel happy? Is it the same thing that leads you to say you feel happy? Is the neural affect system distributed or core? Ultimately, we are interested in bridging the subjectivity gap and approximating the same emotional experience for two people. This study also investigates the processes behind threat judgements and how they vary based on level of anxiety. Are threat judgements created via “bottom up” or “top down” processes? Do anxious individuals see the same amount of threat in two situations where the threat scales are objectively different?

Evaluation of Emotions

While emotions are known to vary in how pleasant and unpleasant they are, how people evaluate such emotions in terms of whether they are good or bad or more or less important remains unclear. For instance, while individuals may agree that feeling frustrated is unpleasant, people may nonetheless disagree about whether they think it is good or bad or more or less important based on sociocultural or personal beliefs. This project aims to gain understanding of how people evaluate emotions along dimensions other than merely their pleasantness and arousal. Furthermore, we are interested in how emotion evaluations can be influenced by external cues and underlying behavioral implications.