On the Dynamics of Thinking and Feeling
The model developed in my laboratory links components of emotion (Arousal and Valence) to cognitive processes (Attention and Memory). Specifically, the model proposes that Arousal (shifts in autonomic activation) is related to shifts in attention. Increases in arousal orient our attentional systems towards signals from our external environment, while decreases orient our attention to our internal environment. Valence affects whether the activation pattern produced by the signal is strengthened (through repetition and rumination) or integrated (through elaboration and reflection) with other activation patterns. Further, it is suggested that shifts in attention act to amplify the signals from the specified source, either external or internal. Increases in arousal lead to amplification of attended signals from our external environment, while decreases amplify internal signals (we tend to focus on one or the other). An additional hypothesis stemming from the model is that emotional
experiences can have different sources in their generation; emotions are attributable to an external source (seeing the spider produces a fear response) or an internal source, emotions in the absence of external stimuli (thinking about a spider can also produce fear). The model will be presented along with research testing various aspects of the model.
Dr. Estrada graduated with a Doctorate in Psychology from Cornell University in 2010. He is an assistant professor at Stephen F. Austin State University and is currently conducting research on topics of anticipation, affect, mood, memory, risk taking, and decision making.Click here for more information