Isn’t love just grand?
The way your heart races and your stomach gets all full of butterflies.
You can ’ t sleep or eat or … wait, wait,
that sounds terrible!
In fact, it kind
of sounds like the nerves you get before a big test or that brief moment
of panic just before a roller coaster plummets.
That ’ s because emotions like love, anxiety,
and fear can feel really similar.
事实上 它们感觉很类似 以至于你有时会弄混
In fact, they can feel so similar that you sometimes mix them up.
It ’ s called misattribution,
and understanding why it happens can tell you a lot about how
and why you experience emotion.
Psychologists have a bunch of different theories about how emotions work,
but there ’ s one
in particular that might help explain why we sometimes get our emotional wires crossed.
It ’ s called the Schachter-Singer two-factor theory of emotion,
and it ’ s based on the
idea that emotions are the sum of two factors:
your physical reaction and a cognitive label.
So you could be standing on the edge of a cliff,
but if your body is totally relaxed,
you might not feel scared.
And on the flip side,
if there ’ s no obvious explanation for your physical arousal — what
psychologists call that amped-up feeling where your heart
’ s racing and you ’ re more alert
and energized than usual — you ’ ll
use environmental cues to figure out what you ’ re
feeling and why you’re feeling it.
Which means you might sometimes pick the wrongreason.
In 1962, Schachter and Singer
showed their theory in action by injecting 184 students
with either adrenaline or a placebo.
Some of the people who got adrenaline were
told how their bodies would react, while others
were told some made up side effects, or nothingat all.
They then spent time doing a bunch
of silly tasks or filling out a frustrating questionnaire
with a trained plant — someone who was secretly an experimenter, I mean. Not,
like, ficus jumping hula hoops.
Those who knew
that adrenaline would make them feel more amped up reported feeling less
happiness or anger, and according to the researchers,
that was probably because they blamed their
pounding heart on the drug. Meanwhile,
the others misinterpreted the drug ’ s effects
as emotions — in other words, they
misattributed them. Now,
there ’ s still a lot
of debate about whether the Schachter-Singer model is accurate,
partly because it’s been hard to replicatetheir original experiment. Regardless,
there is plenty of evidence that misattribution is a real thing,
even if we
aren’t sure about the exact mechanism behindit.
And studies have shown that we can misinterpret our emotions
in all kinds of ways.
For example, one study found
that people who would normally get really nervous before tests
were less anxious when they were given a
placebo they were told would make them antsy, probably
because they attributed their sweaty palmsto the pill.
They also did better on the tests,
scoring as well as people who didn ’ t have test anxiety.
And a 1975 study of 45 male college students found
that those who watched erotic films
immediately after exercising rated the porn less sexually arousing,
probably because they
attributed some of their physical symptoms of arousal to the workout instead.
One of the most well-known studies
on the misattribution of arousal is the so-called
1974年所谓的 “危桥” 研究
“ shaky bridge ” study from 1974,
which looked at the connection between attraction
85 male subjects were asked to
tell a female interviewer what they thought was happening
in a kind of ambiguous image of a woman holding
onto a door with her face in her hand.
The thing is, the interview took place
进行 无论是宽桥 稳固的桥 混凝土桥
on a bridge—either a wide, stable, concrete
还是高桥 危桥 悬索桥都可以 之后
bridge or a high, shaky, suspension bridge. Afterwards,
the interviewer offered the subjects her number,
you know, in case they needed
to “follow up about the study.”
The men on the shaky bridge saw more sexual content
in the images and were more likely
to call the interviewer.
According to the researchers,
that was probably because being on the unstable bridge produced anxiety,
which the subjects interpreted asattraction. Similarly,
a 2003 study found
that people were more likely to find a photo of a stranger
attractive after they’d been on a rollercoasterthan before.
Of course, this isn ’ t to say that
if you went to a horror movie on your first date,
your relationship is ALL A LIE or anythinglike that.
And it definitely doesn ’ t mean
that you should take your date somewhere creepy just
to make them more attracted to you.
Do not do that.
And it ’ s not like we ’ re always terrible
at figuring out what we ’ re really feeling.
Most of the time, we get this stuff right.
If a situation is familiar or what ’
s causing your physical reaction is super obvious, you ’ re
not going to have too hard of a time figuring it out.
It ’ s only when you can ’
t easily explain how you feel that you might pick the wrong emotion,
and what feels like romantic butterflies
in your stomach might not have anything to
do with your date.
Thanks for watching this episode of SciShowPsych.
If you want to learn more
about the weird ways our minds affect our bodies, you can
go to youtube.com/scishowpsych and subscribe.