Thursday, December 9, 2010

Final Post--Moods

In this blof, I will be explaining the differences between Moods and Emotions.  A mood is a subjective experience similar to, but not identical with, emotion.  Moods are usually considered to last longer than emotions.  However, there is no consensus on the duration.  Usually, moods are considered to last on the order of hours and days.  Enotions on the other hand tend to last for seconds or perhaps minutes.  Also, the intensity of moods is less than that of emotions.  Moods are considered more global and diffuse.  In fact, moods are considered milder versions of emotions.  Then, a person is less likely to be aware of the stimulus that produced a mood and more aware of the stimulus that produced an emotion.  Moods follow from stimulus events that occur slowly over time.  Emotions follow stimuli that occur more quickly.  An example of this would be that the seasons of the year change slowly, and peoples moods change with the seasons.  An emotion stimulus is more sudden, like the punch line of a joke.  Another distinction between mood and emotion relates to a demension versus a category view of affect.  Moods belong either positively valenced or negatively valenced.  Moods have no specific affective feel like prototypical emotions do.  Moods have either a pleasant or unpleasant feel or affect that can vary in intensity. 

Moods are linked to systematic changes in the environment, especially time of day.  Moods are also associated with seasons of the year.  Moods can vary from being the happiest in the Spring, positive affect declines flowly in Summer and Fall to its lowest point in the Winter.  Then there is the revival of happiness the following Spring as the weather warms and the vegetation greens.  Some individuals are extremely affected by changes in the season.  These individuals have a disorder called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  This disorder is characterized mostly by depression in Winter.  Sometimes individuals may experience SAD in the Summer.  Wintertime depression appears associated with a decrease in sunlight, while summertime depression is associated with heat.  These affects may alter a person's eating and sleeping habits with the seasons. 

1 comment:

  1. I have read an article about Seasonal Affective Disorder and it said that melatonin in the body. Sunlight produces melatonin in the body and it creates positive feelings that many people associate with tanning. During winter when people are less exposed to the sun the lack of melatonin created the depression associated with SAD. The UV rays in tanning become addictive because of the increase in melatonin in the body they create. I thought that this article would relate nicely to your post so I have included the link.