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This session on human emotion features Helen Fisher (Rutgers University).
Helen Fisher is an anthropologist specializing in the study of interpersonal romantic attraction. Her research into love and behavior leads her to the conclusion that the desire for love is a universal human drive, stronger than even the drive for sex. She has conducted extensive research into the evolution of sex, love, marriage, gender differences, and how your personality shapes who you love. Fisher believes that there are three main systems in the brain that deal with mating and reproduction: the sex drive, romantic love, and long-term attachment. Understanding the different qualities and goals of these three systems is crucial for navigating the ins and outs of love and relationships. It’s especially important to realize that the evolutionary background of love relationships is all about reproduction of the species, which at times may conflict with our wishes and expectations. As Fisher puts it, “I don’t think we’re an animal that was built to be happy; we are an animal that was built to reproduce.”
Affective aspect of consciousness. The emotions are generally understood as representing a synthesis of subjective experience, expressive behaviour, and neurochemical activity. Most researchers hold that they are part of the human evolutionary legacy and serve adaptive ends by adding to general awareness and the facilitation of social communication. Some nonhuman animals are also considered to possess emotions, as first described by Charles Darwin in 1872. An influential early theory of emotion was that proposed independently by William James and Carl Georg Lange (18341900), who held that emotion was a perception of internal physiological reactions to external stimuli. Walter B. Cannon questioned this view and directed attention to the thalamus as a possible source of emotional content. Later researchers have focused on the brain-stem structure known as the reticular formation, which serves to integrate brain activity and may infuse perceptions or actions with emotional valence. Cognitive psychologists have emphasized the role of comparison, matching, appraisal, memory, and attribution in the forming of emotions. All modern theorists agree that emotions influence what people perceive, learn, and remember, and that they play an important part in personality development. Cross-cultural studies have shown that, whereas many emotions are universal, their specific content and manner of expression vary considerably.
Hi Dartek. Just wrote a reply to this lecture and then read your comment. Surely you know that Carl Gustav Jung did clinical work on typology -one of the first, and his results are capable still (from 1940's) to relate to the information we are now getting about the brain. I have a sneaking suspicion though that by the time something is present as an evolved chemical system in the brain, we are seeing the END of thousands of years of repetition of a certain behaviour and not a concrete pillar of personality. Unless we feel that evolution has stopped. Teenagers will tell us otherwise. Jung's concepts -seeing as they address the Psyche, almost tie together string theory or particle physics with biology, and suggest that the relationships are ongoing -some particle some synapse connection or thing out of nothing, or one position taken out of an infinity of potential positions. Schroedinger's poor dead/alive cat.
Just as an added point. MB took their types from Carl Jung who presented them (Thinking, Feeling -both rational functions butopposites- and Sensation and Intuition -both Irrational functions) almost 70 years ago. He wanted to explain the differences he found in his own personality and in his clients', in the way the Psyche functions or processes the world around them. (the fact that he, as a medical doctor, considered the Psyche and Body to be organically related removes his work from the flaky to the scientific). Importantly, and the speaker alludes to this in her "down-sides" of each type, though we are all equipped with all four functions, Jung suggested that only one function is dominant with a secondary function sort of hopping alongside. The third function is not really comfortable and the fourth is completely in the unconscious. Because of his "system" that meant that what someone calls "evil" is usually the fourth function coming up unexpectedly out of the darkness, and wounding a person's comfortable modus operandi. If this speaker wants to "use it in business" she would do well to take into account this Shadow aspect of each type. Another additional feature of his typology is that he introduced to the world the idea of orientation to the world, introversion and extroversion, and he added this to EACH function. His understanding of introversion is not as we have now reduced it to. The introvert MUST process the world through the self before being able to share the results, so that when they are sitting at a Board table seemingly tongue tied and unavailable, they are working very hard to make a quiet space around their requirement to process everything internally. The extrovert uses the noise and activity as fuel! I think that the final difference between MB and this Chemical construction of types, is that they are static and Jung's was applied to a concept of a person who was always seeking a relationship with the unknown aspects of themselves that needed to be "met" at crucial times in life especially, in order for that person to be healthy.
The Marvel is that we do not have a centralized consensual model from which to assert a position. We should be able to marry psyhology with these observations but there is a chasm almost capernician in character. Clinical science vs the proposed clinical science of psychology. Using Plato as a reference is both classical in practice but somehow frightfully inadequate 2300 years later. I am not sure whether the practice of taxonomy re: classification is a predominantly feminine trait or masculine trait. Sociologically it would appear the most embraced authors of "who we are" in the last 50 years have been woman. In summary we must conclude that our neuro-chemistry transitions from state to state of these 4 predominate cerebral-soups. Let us treat the spongy gray mass as the organ that it is. Watch for work from Antonio Damasio. Daniel Dennett is on to something too.
My observation is that these 4 types match the Myers Briggs types and the developmental Stages/ Values in Spiral Dynamics.
The MBTI correlation is probably most easily captured on the Kiersey.com website where the 16 MBTI subtypes have been grouped into 4 main types with 4 subtypes
Artisans = Explorers = Red = Dopamine
Guardians = Builders = Blue = Serotnin
Rationals = Directors = Orange = Testosterone
Idealists = Negotiators = Green = Estrogen / oxytocin
Simplistic, but evocative nevertheless. Has a population of several 100K who have completed the survey instrument, and may successfully and realibly sort people. However, she never establishes the connection between whatever her instrument may be detecting and different levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Are there any studies (by Dr. Fisher or anyone)based on actually measuring relative neurotransmitter levels in the brain as a whole or in different regions? How could we measure neurotransmitter levels in vivo?