Misattribution and Fear Anxiety

Nisbett and Schachter (1966) followed the lead provided by Schachter and Singer's informed subjects in a subsequent study of pain. Nisbett and Schachter argued that part of the experience of pain is fear, and that the intensity of fear experiences is in part due to arousal. Thus in this study, they asked subjects to endure an increasingly intense series of electric shocks until the shocks became too unpleasant. All subjects were given a pill that they were told would either increase arousal or...

The Causal Role Of Externality

Charming and elegantly simple as the externality theory of obesity was, it appears to have been wrong. A number of strands of evidence all suggest that, although overweight people are often more responsive to external cues, many normal-weight people are also more responsive to external cues. Furthermore, normal-weight people are not reliably more responsive to internal cues than are overweight people (Rodin, 1981). Of course, one potential reason is relatively obvious Many people diet to...

Qualia Or How Physical Stimuli Produce Perceptual Experiences

In the last chapter I discussed the way in which mental contents like emotions, desires, and attitudes can lead to action. We might think of this as the downward problem of how higher order properties affect lower level actions. The corresponding problem is that of upward causation, of how physical energies and events can produce the mental experiences we have of the world. One way this problem is confronted is around the issue of qualia. A quale is the direct, immediate experience of...

Chemicals Increasing Arousal

For practical reasons, many of the studies that followed Schachter did not use epinephrine. However, at least two studies did use epinephrine, and these produced results that raised some questions about Schachter's theory. In these studies (Marshall & Zimbardo, 1979 Rogers & Deckner, 1975), subjects were injected with adrenalin and placed in conditions that should have aroused euphoria or at least happiness. Instead, participants reported increased negative emotions. In company with...

Internal And External Causes Of Eating

Much of the interest in the mechanisms of eating arises from attempts to understand eating disorders. Twenty-five years ago, Stanley Schachter moved on from emotions to propose an explanation of obesity that stimulated a great deal of research. His theory eventually began to seem too simple and is no longer seen as an adequate explanation of obesity or other eating disorders (Lowe, 1992 Rodin, 1981). However, some of the main implications of his theory seem as reasonable today as they did then,...

External Validity Does Selfperception Occur Outside The Laboratory

Granted that behaviors lead to feelings in experiments, is this direction of the relationship the norm in everyday life The alternative is, of course, that this unexpected, backward sequence might occur only in the exotic, artificial conditions of the psychological laboratory. Like a number of other questions, we can frame a stronger answer about external validity after considering a wider range of phenomena in the next few chapters, but we can begin to answer it now. First of all, a few...