This is a series that I have really wanted to start for a while, mainly because I love psychology and I am studying it so I thought I could share some psych knowledge with people, or really review articles about psychology that I read. Therefore, if you have any recommendations of topics etc then feel free to comment with them below!
Firstly I wanted to start with “emotions” because this is my speciality area and I am currently undertaking a project investigating social emotions and language skills in children.
However, I also came across this article on “Science Daily” which suggested that ‘negative emotions can reduce our capacity to trust’ (you can read that article here). This article states that even if our emotions have nothing to do with the situation it can reduce how we trust others.
I have read previous research studies before which suggests a link with certain emotions such as “embarrassment” and how trustworthy we view another person. This being that if we see an “embarrassed” person we are more likely to trust them. But you can also research this a bit more if you are interested.
Firstly as the article states emotions are influenced or triggered by events. For example, this could be running late for a meeting or angry for being stuck in traffic. These frequently occur daily and sometimes without us even being aware of them, but our emotions just happen naturally as a reaction. Also we can experience emotions with our interactions with others, so when we communicate with others. Therefore, emotions do play such a massive role in our everyday lives, even just being able to identify our own emotions or understand other peoples emotions is important.
The article then goes on to talk about the study. The researchers investigated whether “incidental aversive affect can influence trust behaviour and the brain networks relevant for supporting social cognition” (you can read the original study here). Basically does “incidental emotions” (the ones I mentioned above) influence how we trust others and can this also be shown within our brain activity.
In the study participants were given a “threat of shock” (but they weren’t actually going to be shocked), because this is known to induce anxiety (as the article states). After this threat they were then asked to take part in a trust game. The findings suggested that participants trusted less when they were anxious of receiving a shock.
As mentioned before their brain activity was also recorded whilst they were making the “trust decision”… this suggested that the area of the brain associated with “understanding others’ beliefs” was significantly “suppressed” during this decision making when they felt threatened. Therefore, these results suggest that negative emotions (in this case “feeling anxious”) can impact how we trust others, which if occurring within social situations could impact how we interact with another person.
What do you think about this article?
This is all very interesting and obviously needs more research and investigating. Feel free to do your own research and let me know if you find anything in the comments! But I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I do.
Thanks for reading, give a like, comment and follow for more posts! You can catch up on my previous post here. I shall see you soon.