How emotions work


Emotions are the unconscious non-rational effect of values and meaning on our ability to create preference and take action.

Let me try to explain two instances of emotional influence on our ability to take action: Inheritance and Manipulation

Inheritance is what Judith Williamson identifies in her book Decoding Advertising as the process where a product inherits the symbols and meaning of the environment in which it is portrayed in or the object that it is presented together with
.

How this works is that in order to create meaning everything has to be related to something we already know and ascribe meaning to. A new unknown product carries no meaning and therefore placing it in the context of something that already has a meaning, which the brand would like to associate itself with, can slowly transfer the environments or objects meaning on to the product. In time thinking about the product associates it directly with the inherited values.

Manipulation happens when strong narration and sense stimuli manipulate our ability to construct meaning.

According to Dan Gilbert in Stumbling Upon Happiness all experiences are stored in the brain only as fragments. What happens when we remember an experience is that the brain picks up the fragments at the back of the brain and creates the bits between the fragments based on how we believe it would have happened.

Imagine a senior animator only animating some of the frames (keyframes) in a cartoon and junior animators stepping in and drawing all the frames in between
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Now the “problem” with memory is that it is a very weak construct, and we have seen that our ability to remember is very dependent on our own stereotypes and culture – not on what really happened.

When the brain is evaluating an action what happens is that it synthesizes future
. What this means is that it goes to the back of the brain, picks up relevant fragments, and assembles them in order to imagine a future with or without the outcome of the action

Total score 5-10 (severe); 11-15 (moderate); 16-20 (mild); 21-25 (normal).10Erectile dysfunction may occur regardless of the post- viagra.

. It then notes the emotional reaction to the assembled future.

In this process, from picking up the fragments at the back of the brain, carrying them forward and assembling them, advertising manipulates our ability to construct the “in-between” frames, and as we notice our emotional reaction of the synthesized “future”, advertising has been heavily manipulating it with it’s own contexts and derailed our ability to make our own personal “subjective” evaluation
.

… Of course this is only my own subjective view of how this works, based on a collection of books, articles and blogs I have read over the years, many of them featured in the presentation below…

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