How do you define contempt

Fear, Disgust, and Contempt in Sports Psychology


1 Introduction

2. Fear
2.1. Difference between fear and anxiety
2.2. Anxiety, Selective Attention, and Hypervigilance
2.3. Area specificity and components of the experience of fear
2.4. Fear, achievement and efficiency
2.4.1. Fear and leadership as classics in fear research
2.4.2. Processing efficiency theory
2.5. Fear and coping with fear
2.5.1. Fear coping strategies: "First tradition"
2.5.2. Fear Management Strategies: "Second Tradition"

3. Disgust
3.1. Definition and basic mechanism
3.2. Development of the emotion of disgust
3.3. The facial expression of disgust
3.4. Neuroanatomical localization of facial expressions of disgust
3.5. Psychobiological reactions after induction of disgust
3.6. The question of disgust sensitivity

4. Contempt
4.1. Definition and classification in emotion systems
4.2. The facial expression of contempt and its recognizability
4.3. Individual differences

5. Summary

6. Bibliography

1 Introduction

For some time now, psychology has been concerned with emotions; Above all, psychologists have long been concerned with the subject of fear - be it with the psychoanalysis used by Freud, with the behaviorism practiced by Mowrer or with the cognitive psychology practiced by Eysenck.

In the following I will concentrate on the emotions fear, disgust and contempt, give an insight into the listed emotions and examine whether feelings, moods, desires and passions are expressed in the same way in people, and whether Piderit's theory that says that "The facial expressions would be the same for all people, although the languages ​​of the peoples are very different" can be proven (Stangel, 2004).

2. Fear

2.1. Difference between fear and anxiety

The emotion fear can be defined as follows:

"Anxiety is an affective state of the organism that is characterized by increased activity of the autonomic nervous system as well as the self-perception of excitement, the feeling of tension, an experience of being threatened and increased concern." (Stöber & Schwarzer, 2000, p. 189)

Various data are available to researchers to study anxiety. In particular, data from behavioral observation, data from physiological measurements and data from self-reports should be mentioned. Distorted facial expressions can be attributed, for example, to behavioral observation, with sweating or accelerated breathing being subject to physiological measurements.

On the whole, however, it can be said that self-reports are the best way to assess anxiety. When observing behavior, distorted facial expressions do not inevitably have to go hand in hand with the emotion of fear, since humans can usually control their behavior well and influence the facial expressions with their will.

Anyone who deals with the emotion of fear is inevitably confronted with the terms "fear as a state" (also known as fear reaction or state anxiety), as well as "fearfulness as a personality trait" (also known as fear tendency, characteristic fear or readiness for fear).

In the former, any situation leads to an emotional reaction in a person, whereas in the latter a person reacts anxiously in the majority of situations. Anxiety, then, describes a person's tendency to be anxious in a variety of situations. In 1972 Spielberger combined these approaches into a “trait state fear model”.

Spielberger made a distinction between people with high levels of anxiety (so-called highly anxious people) and people with low levels of anxiety (low levels of anxiety). People with high levels of anxiety perceive situations that pose a threat to self-esteem as threatening; the fear of states increases very sharply. People with low levels of anxiety, on the other hand, perceive situations that pose a threat to self-esteem to be less threatening; the fear of states increases only slightly.

2.2. Anxiety, Selective Attention, and Hypervigilance

Despite its empirical weaknesses, this trait-state fear model became very popular.

Since 1990, researchers such as Eysenck, Mathews, Mogg & Bradley and cognitive fear research have dealt intensively with the question of the function of created fear. Especially worth mentioning here is the modified stroke test. Here, test participants are presented with words in different colors. Some of the words are neutral, some are threatening. Neutral words (such as table or chair) are shown in green, words with threatening content (such as death or plague) are shown in red. It was found out that very anxious people need much longer to name the colors of the respective word if their content is threatening.

The also played an important role in cognitive fear research Probe recognition task. Here the test participants are shown threatening and neutral word pairs; then one of the words is replaced by a period. The test participants must now discover this point as quickly as possible. It is interesting here that the point is recognized much faster by the highly anxious in contrast to the low-anxiety when it replaces a word with threatening content. Highly anxious people concentrate very strongly on threatening events and can therefore recognize threatening information more quickly than those with low anxiety.

“The selective attention of the highly fearful to threatening information seems to be automatic and preconscious” (Mogg & Bradley, 1998).

In 1992 Eysenck developed the Hypervigilance theory of fear. He found that highly anxious people are hypervigilant (that is, they continuously search their environment for threatening cues and focus on them after detection) and recognize potential threats more quickly than those with low anxiety, based on the basic assumption that “the main function of fear is the rapid detection of threats is "(Stöber & Schwarzer, 2000).

2.3. Area specificity and components of the experience of fear

Different people perceive threats differently. For example, person A has arachnophobia, but person B does not, whereas person B has test anxiety, which, on the other hand, does not cause any problems for person A.

Most fears can be divided into two broad areas, namely the Threat to self-worth or the physical threat.

Various anxiety inventories have been developed over the past few years to capture different fears. The self-esteem threat was divided into social anxiety and achievement anxiety, the social anxiety in turn into audience anxiety and shyness, achievement anxiety could e.g. be subdivided into math anxiety and sports anxiety. In this way, a multitude of fear inventories can be further developed - with practically unlimited possibilities.

Fear is experienced differently. Liebert and Morris distinguished two components; the excitement (e.g. sweating, palpitations) and the concern (e.g. doubt, worry). Research into concern has largely proceeded independently of two traditions; those from the clinical psychology (which deals with everyday worries and chronic overconcern) and those from the educational psychology (dealing with concerns associated with performance anxiety).


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