Toward understanding the role of emotion played in cognitive processing, an emotional model has been proposed to quantify the computation involved in assessing the disparity between the expected and the actual outcomes. This study provides the experimental evidence to validate the above emotional model. In this model, emotion serves as an internal feedback to assess the disparity between the internal predicted outcomes and the actual (external) outcomes in reality. It predicts that emotion provides a feedback to reduce the discrepancy between the expected (subjective) reality and actual (objective) reality. The hypothesis for this model is that the intensity of emotional response is proportional to the disparity between the expected outcome and the actual outcome (i.e., gain/loss magnitude). Happiness is an emotional feedback that indicates the congruency between the predicted and actual outcomes. In order to validate this theoretical model of emotion, the classical Ultimatum Game (UG) is used as an experimental paradigm to elicit self-generated (endogenous) emotions in response to a monetary offer, so that the emotional responses with respect to the perceived monetary gain/loss can be assessed by the stimulus-response function. The results showed that the self-reported happiness intensity is directly proportional to the magnitude of the desirable monetary gain. An empirically derived emotion stimulus-response function is shown to quantify the specific emotional biases graphically by the emotional-disparity graph. The results validated the hypothesis that the intensity of self-reported happy emotion is directly proportional to the monetary gain. The analysis also showed that the happy emotional sensitivity is also changed by the perception of fairness (whether the offer is fair or unfair), which can be represented graphically by the emotional-disparity graph
Nicoladie D. Tam,
Quantification of Happy Emotion: Proportionality Relationship to Gain/Loss, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences.
Vol. 3, No. 2,
2014, pp. 60-67.
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Psychology and Behavioral Sciences 2014; 3(2): 68-74.