Arousal in the psychological sense is not limited to sexual situations. It can envelop you in many ways. You felt it: increased heart rate, focused attention, sweaty palms, dry mouth, deep breaths, followed by bigger sighs. It is this feeling of wideness, electricity in your veins that you get when the wind picks up and the rain starts raining. It is a state of alertness, more alert and conscious than normal, in which your mind gives its full attention to the present moment. It`s not the sense of action you feel when a fire alarm wakes you up from a deep sleep. No, the excitement is prolonged and total, it accumulates and saturates. The excitement comes deep inside the brain, into those primordial regions of the autonomic nervous system where incoming and outgoing signals are monitored and the glass above the big fight-or-flight button waits to be broken. You feel it like a soldier waiting for the next mortar to bear your name, like a musician taking the stage in a sold-out stadium, like a spectator lifted up by a powerful speech, in a band circling around a fire and singing and drumming, like a church member swimming in the gospel and waving his hands raised, in a couple in the middle of a full dance floor.
His eyes water with ease. You want to cry and laugh at the same time. You could just explode. The misattribution paradigm has been used by social psychologists as a tool to assess whether arousal accompanies psychological phenomena (e.g., cognitive dissonance). For students of social psychology, the message is that, in line with many findings in social psychology, certain aspects of the situation can have a profound impact on individuals – in this case, the emotions an individual experiences. Therefore, you may want to take your date to a horror movie and hope that your date interprets its sweaty palms as an attraction for you, but be careful because in this context, the excitement caused by real feelings of attraction can also be attributed to fear in response to the horror movie. Schachter and his colleague Jerome Singer tested the false attribution of the excitation hypothesis in a classical experiment conducted in 1962. They told participants they were testing the effects of a vitamin on people`s vision. In reality, however, some participants were injected with adrenaline (a drug that causes arousal, such as increased heart rate and tremors). Among these participants, some were warned that the drug causes excitement and others were not. Schachter and Singer predicted that participants who were not informed about the effects of the drug would look at the situation to find out how they felt.
Therefore, participants who unknowingly received the arousal-causing drug had to show emotions that were more consistent with situational cues than participants who had not received the drug and accurately inform participants of the drug`s effects. The results of the experiment supported this hypothesis. Compared with participants in the other two conditions, participants who received the drug without information about its effects were more likely to report being angry when waiting in a room with a Confederate (a person who appeared to be another participant but was actually part of the experiment) who was angry about the questionnaire. that he and the actual participant should complete. Similarly, when Confederates acted euphorically, participants were also more likely to feel happy in that state. In the absence of information about the actual source of their arousal, these participants examined the context (their fellow participants) to get information about how they really felt. In contrast, participants who were informed of the effect of the drug had a precise explanation for their arousal and therefore did not misattribute it, and participants who did not receive the drug had no excitement to assign. These results follow the example of the professor, who did not know that caffeine was responsible for her tremors and therefore felt nervous instead of humming. In any case, attributing the excitement to an erroneous source changed the emotional experience. Misattribution of excitement is just one piece of a larger attribution puzzle.
Attribution is a big topic in psychology. How does the mind attribute causes to actions or behaviors? What experiments or thought patterns lead us to draw conclusions about why things happen? The human mind doesn`t just wonder why we feel excited or excited. Attribution also helps us judge why people do good things, bad things, and everything else. If you are curious about attribution or studying attribution in your psychology course, familiarize yourself with the following terms. We are significant creatures. Our brain wants an explanation of how we feel. On a date, we may mistake our sweaty palms and beating heart for sexual arousal while we`re really nervous about climbing or watching a horror movie. The researchers hypothesized that the participants misattributed their excitement of the scary bridge and thought they were more attracted to a woman they had met during the study.
More males contacted the experimenter when they had just descended the suspension bridge, probably due to their misattribution of their arousal (they believed they felt sexual arousal at the sight of the female, rather than feeling the residual physiological arousal of fear of crossing the suspension bridge). This was interpreted by the researchers to mean that men found the woman more attractive when they were more afraid to cross the bridge. There were no significant differences on either bridge when the researchers used a male ally to provide the thematic apperception test and his phone number for further questions about the experience. The excitement you tend to misattribute can also come from within, especially if you`re on questionable moral ground. Mark Zanna and Joel Cooper gave placebo pills to a group of subjects in 1978. They told half of the pill takers that the drug would relax them, and they told the other half that they would feel tense. They then asked the subjects to write an essay explaining why free speech should be banned. Most people hesitated and felt bad when they expressed an opinion that contradicted their true beliefs. When the researchers gave all participants a chance to go back and change their papers, those who thought they had taken a drop of bitterness were much more likely to accept the offer. Those who thought they had taken a quick pill assumed that the heat under their collars came from the drug rather than their own cognitive dissonance. so that they do not feel the need to change their position. The other group didn`t have a scapegoat for their emotional states, so they wanted to rewrite the paper because they suspected it would calm their minds and bring their excitement back to normal.
Cognitive dissonance that behaves in a way that seems to go against your beliefs stimulates excitement in a way that seems terrible. The subjects of Zanna and Cooper`s experiments wanted to mitigate this, but only those who thought they had taken the downer were able to identify the source of their psychological complaints. For the other group, the false rod served as a distraction that sent them out of the way of their own negative emotions. Some men underwent stress tests before the videos to create a state of arousal. The researchers found that “aroused” men were not only more likely to rate “attractive” women as more attractive than the control group. They also rated “unattractive” women as less attractive. In 2008, psychologist James Graham of the University of North Carolina conducted a study to see what kind of activities kept partners linked. He asked 20 couples living together to carry digital devices while they went about their normal daily activities. Every time the device came out, they had to use it to write to the researchers and tell them what they were doing. They then answered a few questions about their mood and how they felt about their partners. After more than a thousand of these moments of introspective buzz report text, he looked at the data and found that couples who regularly performed difficult tasks together as partners were also more likely to love each other. During his experiments, he found that partners tended to feel closer, more attracted to each other, and more in love with each other when their skills were regularly put to the test.
He argued that the excitement you feel when you break up a frustrating ordeal and pass, what Graham called flow, is directly related to the bond. It`s not enough to spend time together, he said. The type of activities you do is crucial. Graham concluded that you are motivated to grow, develop, expand your skills and knowledge. Satisfying this motivation for personal expansion by incorporating aspects of your romantic partner or friend into your own abilities, philosophies, and yourself will strengthen your bond more than any other act of love. This opens the door to one of the best things about misattributing emotions. When you`re going through a challenge, whether it`s renovating a kitchen yourself or learning how to make Dougie, that bright feeling of becoming wiser, that keen sense of personal expansion, is partly attributed to the other person`s presence. You become conditioned over time to see the relationship itself as a source of these types of emotions, and you become less likely to want to break your connection with the other party.