Chapter 13 discussion

Practicing the Assignment This Week

Since the Contemporary Model of Emotion explains the source of our emotions, we are going to use it this week to take control of your emotions.

Thus, for the assignment this week, we are going to use the Appraisal to change your emotions during the week.

Pick any emotion you wish that you want to change, such as removing a negative emotion, or reaching a positive emotion. For example, perhaps you want to be less stressed about an upcoming quiz, or you want to be more grateful this week, or you want to stop being angry at your friend or family member, or you want try to stop feeling sad or guilty about something, or anything else you wish. Since the CME is a powerful tool, and thus extremely helpful, why not pick a goal this week that is meaningful and important to you, such as a deep and personal emotion you are trying to change.

Then, identify the current appraisal leading to your emotions, and change the appraisal to see if it changes your emotions. For example, perhaps you think of an upcoming quiz as a threat, and thus you get fearful and stressed. In other words, you think to yourself things like: I don’t think I have enough time to do well on the quiz, and I don’t anticipate doing well on the quiz, or I also don’t think I know the material well enough, and I worry about getting a bad grade, and so forth.

A way to change the appraisal is think about it in new ways such as reminding yourself you do have enough time to study if you plan ahead, or thinking of the quiz as an opportunity to see how you are doing in the course rather than focusing on the grade, or realizing one quiz is not worth that many points, or how there are many quizzes in the course, or how in the past you took a number of quizzes and did fine in the course, so this one quiz is not a threat to your grade, and so forth.

You must identify the current appraisal, and then change it to something else, to see if it changes your emotions.

The Contemporary Model of Emotion states that appraisal from a stimulus creates emotions, thus if you want to change your emotion you change the appraisal.

Instructions for the Strategies Assignment

The Strategies assignment each week involves picking a goal for this week, using a strategy, and then reflecting upon the outcome. Each of the steps is important and necessary. I am trying to teach you a new and formal way of “Implementing” concepts in your life, and thus having this new skill once the course is over.

For this week the strategy is the Contemporary Model of Emotion.

Write your submission in the following way, with each item a separate PARAGRAPH (even if that paragraph is only one sentence) and using this LABELING:

GOAL: Start by stating your goal. Pick any goal you wish involving an emotion, such as trying to change a negative emotion (stress, anger, sadness, guilt, and so forth) or reach a positive emotion (joy, happiness, empathy, compassion, and so forth). This part is just a single sentence describing your goal.
STRATEGY:Then, explain what steps you implemented to use that strategy to accomplish your goal. For this week that means explaining your original appraisal, and then explain how you changed your appraisal. You must explain both your original appraisal that lead to the emotion, and then the new appraisal you are using to change that emotion.  (FYI – the “outcome” of the experience is explained in the NEXT section) so this part is just a short or medium length paragraph explaining your strategy (original appraisal, new appraisal) using the Contemporary Model of Emotion.
REFLECTION: Explain the outcome of your experience. Did that strategy (changing your appraisal) help you achieve your goal, or not? And then most importantly, reflect upon the experience. The reflection is the most important part of this formal process because it provides awareness, and thus growth and improvement. As part of the reflection, you MUST explain how you could do the experience again in a way that would improve the experience for yourself.  (Reflection is so important I have a separate page about it in case you want more help with it or the assignment.)
(FYI – It is important to point out that during this semester the Strategy does not need to be successful in achieving your goals. You are not being graded on successfully changing your emotions. You are being graded on articulating the appraisal process in the written assignment.)

As a quick summary, the first part is just a single sentence of your goal, the second part is a concise explanation of your actions, and the third part is a critical analysis of the outcome and reflection on how to do it again in the future.

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