5/10/2008 Psych 110
Extra Credit Pages 9&10
A Mind of its Own
As discussed in chapter 2, our emotions do not come with a key as to explain why we feel a certain way. Instead, we have to match it up with a cause ourselves. If you feel uncomfortable for some reason you are unsure of, you will come to rest with any possible explanation. A psychologist, Zimbardo, believes that this illustrates how madness can fib. He hypnotized a group of Stanford students and told them they would feel aroused at the sound of a buzzer. Sure enough, the body reacted accordingly. When asked what triggered the emotion, many tried to point the finger at the environment. All-in-all, their thoughts were the same as the thoughts of patients who had been diagnosed with clinical phobias. Some students were encouraged to look at their bodies for answers. These students were beyond that of clinical phobia patients. The most extreme responses were seen by such patients who were told to focus on other people. They became so violent and paranoid. For that moment, clinicians diagnosed 80% of these students as “pathologically disturbed.” Moments later, when their memory of the hypnotic event came back, their regular personalities also came back. It is disturbing to see how we can react to an unexplained feeling of arousal. What would happen if we naturally became aroused for no reason? How would we react?
Now let us take a look at the “alien hand” experiment in order to see if the thoughts associated with capgrass can also enter the minds of the same. Volunteers had to track a target with a joystick, and they were able to view their performance on the screen. On particular trails, however, the target was purposely set to miss the target, allowing the volunteers to feel as if they were seeing a false hand. After the trials, the volunteers were asked to give an explanation for their poor performances. Various volunteers offered explanations such as,” my hand was...