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Emotional Intelligence
Richard Davidson’s Emotional Styles
Valentijn de Leeuw
v.deleeuw@controlchaingroup.net
© Copyright 2004 2
Richard Davidson’s emotional styles
Davidson affective neuroscience research revealed
n  Brain circuits...
© Copyright 2004 3
Resilience
The resilient brain
n  The more axons (white matter) you have between your prefrontal cortex...
© Copyright 2004 4
Social intuition
The socially intuitive brain
n  Lack of social intuition goes with low activity in the...
© Copyright 2004 5
Sensitivity to context
The Context-Sensitive Brain
n  Low activity of the hippocampus underlies a “tune...
© Copyright 2004 6
Self-awareness
The self-aware brain
n  High levels of insula activity support high levels of emotional ...
© Copyright 2004 7
Outlook
The outlook brain
n  Davidsons first major discovery (in 1982) was that greater activity in the...
© Copyright 2004 8
Attention
The attentive brain
n  We can focus attention by enhancing the strength of an attended signal...
© Copyright 2004 9
Assessing your emotional style
Resilience Outlook Social
Intuition
Self
Awareness
Sensitivity
to Contex...
© Copyright 2004 10
Assessing resilience style
Answer with “true” or “false
n  1. If I have a minor disagreement with a cl...
© Copyright 2004 11
Assessing the outlook dimension
Answer with “true” or “false
n  1. When I am invited to meet new peopl...
© Copyright 2004 12
Assessing social intuition style
Answer with “true” or “false
n  1. When I am talking with people, I o...
© Copyright 2004 13
Assessing the self-awareness dimension
Answer with “true” or “false
n  1. Often, when someone asks me ...
© Copyright 2004 14
Assessing the sensitivity to context dimension
Answer with “true” or “false
n  1. I have been told by ...
© Copyright 2004 15
Assessing the attention dimension
Answer with “true” or “false
n  1. I can concentrate in a noisy envi...
© Copyright 2004 16
Assessing your emotional style
Resilience Outlook Social
Intuition
Self
Awareness
Sensitivity
to Conte...
© Copyright 2004 17
Emotional styles
Resilience
n  0 –--Fast to recover --–2 ---------------------------------------------...
© Copyright 2004 18
Extremes can trip you up
From indifference to over-concerned
n  An extremely resilient person can lack...
© Copyright 2004 19
Extremes can trip you up
Self-awareness
n  People who are blind and deaf to their own emotions are not...
© Copyright 2004 20
Reference
Richard Davidson with Sharon Begley, The emotional life of your brain, PLUME
(Penguin), 2013
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Richard Davidson's Emotional Styles

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Summary of Davidson's Emotional Styles, and his assessment to determine
- how attentive we are
- how self-aware
- how resilient we are
- if our outlook is positive and in how far
- how socially intuitive we are and
- how sensitive we are to social context.
followed by a summary of what extremes on the scales of these styles can mean in practice.

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Richard Davidson's Emotional Styles

  1. 1. Emotional Intelligence Richard Davidson’s Emotional Styles Valentijn de Leeuw v.deleeuw@controlchaingroup.net
  2. 2. © Copyright 2004 2 Richard Davidson’s emotional styles Davidson affective neuroscience research revealed n  Brain circuits that make the experience of particular emotions, moods and traits more (or less likely n  Emotional style is the configuration of the way these circuits function, that determine a consistent way of responding to experiences of our lives n  Davidson confirmed Jung’s opinion that everyone is different, and believes understanding the mechanisms leading to emotions and behavior are more useful and insightful than generalizations Emotional style has six dimensions n  Resilience: how slowly or quickly you recover from adversity n  Outlook: how long you are able to sustain positive emotion n  Social intuition: how adept you are at picking up social signals from the people around you n  Self-awareness: how well you perceive bodily feelings that reflect emotions n  Sensitivity to context: how good you are at regulating your emotional responses to take into account the context you find yourself in. n  Attention: how sharp and clear your focus is
  3. 3. © Copyright 2004 3 Resilience The resilient brain n  The more axons (white matter) you have between your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala the more resilient you are n  Amygdala is specialized in negative emotions and distress (anxiety, fear or threat) n  The prefrontal cortex shows high activity when the circuit is well-developed, shortening the activity of the amygdala Resilience style: from fast to recover to slow to recover n  Can you shake off set-backs or do you suffer a melt-down? n  When you face an emotional challenge do you show determination and tenacity or do you surrender? n  I you have an argument with your partner, does it cast a pall on the remainder of your day, or do recover quickly and put it behind you
  4. 4. © Copyright 2004 4 Social intuition The socially intuitive brain n  Lack of social intuition goes with low activity in the fusiform gyrus and high activity in the amygdala §  Autists look away from faces, to calm down the panic generated by their amygdala n  Someone with high-levels of fusiform activation and moderate amygdala activity is highly attuned to social signals and capable of pickup up subtle cues. n  The fusiform gyrus is specialized in recognizing faces (and visually recognizing anything we are experts in) n  Oxytocin help creating feeling of commitment and attachment by quieting the amygdala Social intuition: from socially intuitive to socially puzzled n  Can you read people’s body language and tone of voice like a book, inferring whether they want to talk or be alone, whether they are stressed to the breaking point or feeling mellow? n  Ore are you puzzled by – even blind to – the outward indications fo people’s mental and emotional states?
  5. 5. © Copyright 2004 5 Sensitivity to context The Context-Sensitive Brain n  Low activity of the hippocampus underlies a “tuned-out” style n  At the “tuned-in” extreme, hyperactivity of the hippocampus is likely to cause an excessive focus on context, when can inhibit emotional spontaneity, or paralyze someone emotionally n  The hippocampus is more well-known for processing memory, and is also affected in cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that also causes confusion in appreciating context. n  Strong connections between the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex and other long- term memory storage regions in the cortex increase sensitivity to context Sensitivity to context: from tuned-in to tuned-out n  Are you able to pick up the conventional rules of social interaction so that you do not tell your boss the same dirty joke you told your partner, or try to pick up a date at a funeral? n  Or are you baffled when people tell you that your behavior is inappropriate?
  6. 6. © Copyright 2004 6 Self-awareness The self-aware brain n  High levels of insula activity support high levels of emotional self-awareness and lower activities mark lower levels of self-awareness. n  Specific regions of the insula receive signals from our visceral organs forming a “viscerotopic” map of the body. The somatosensory cortex is also involved in perceiving internal sensations. n  The insula monitors receives instructions from other area’s of the brain to monitor a sensation, it enlists more neurons that receive information from the organ, or from another region in the brain that monitors that organ. Higher insula activity also goes with higher awareness of physical sensations. Self-awareness: from self-aware to self-opaque n  Are you aware of your own thoughts and feelings and attuned to the messages your body sends you? n  Or do you act and react without knowing hy you do what you do, because your inner self is opaque to your conscious mind? n  Do those closest to you ask, why you never engage in introspection and wonder why you seem oblivious to the fact that you are anxious, jealous, impatient or threatened?
  7. 7. © Copyright 2004 7 Outlook The outlook brain n  Davidsons first major discovery (in 1982) was that greater activity in the left prefrontal cortex is associated with positive emotions and the right side with negative emotions n  The prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens (in the ventral stratum) form the “reward circuit” n  Signals from the prefrontal cortex maintain high levels of activity in the ventral stratum, a region critical for generating motivation and a sense of reward and thus a positive outlook n  Low activity in the ventral striatum, due to less input from the prefrontal cortex is a mark of negative outlook n  On average, people with depression are deficient not in inducing but in sustaining activity in the reward circuitry and prefrontal cortex Outlook from positive to negative temperament n  Do you seldom let emotional clouds darken your sunny outlook on life? n  Do you maintain a high level of energy and engagement even when things don’t go your way? n  Or do you tend toward cynicism and pessimism, struggling to see anything positive?
  8. 8. © Copyright 2004 8 Attention The attentive brain n  We can focus attention by enhancing the strength of an attended signal and/or by inhibiting the signals of ignored channels n  Two forms of attention are relevant to the attention style: selective attention and open, nonjudgmental awareness n  Selective attention is a key building block for other emotional dimensions, since the failure to selectively attend make it impossible to be self-aware or tuned-in. n  Open, nonjudgmental awareness makes it possible to take in signals from the external environment as well as thoughts popping up, to broaden attention and pick up sensitively subtle cues without getting stuck on any one stimulus to the detriment of the others Attention: from focused to unfocused n  Can you screen out emotional or other distractions and stay focused? n  Are you so caught up in your video game that you don’t notice the dog whining to go out until he makes a mess on the floor? n  Or do your thoughts flit form the task at hand to the fight you had with your spouse this morning or the anxiety you feel about an upcoming presentation for word?
  9. 9. © Copyright 2004 9 Assessing your emotional style Resilience Outlook Social Intuition Self Awareness Sensitivity to Context Attention 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Use the following table to enter your answers (“True” or “False”) to the questions on the next pages
  10. 10. © Copyright 2004 10 Assessing resilience style Answer with “true” or “false n  1. If I have a minor disagreement with a close friend or spouse – closer to “no, its your turn to do the dishes” than “You cheated on me” – it typically leaves me out of sorts for hours on longer. n  2. If another driver uses the shoulder to zoom up to the front of a long line of traffic waiting to merge, I am likely the shake it off easily rather than fume about it for a long time. n  3. When I have experienced profound grief, such as the death of someone close to me, it has interfered with my ability to function for many months. n  4. If I make a mistake at work and get reprimanded for it, I can shrug it off and take it as a learning experience n  5. If I try a new restaurant and find that the food is awful and the service snooty, it ruins my whole evening. n  6. If I’m stuck in traffic because of an accident up ahead, when I pass the bottleneck, I typically floor it to vent my frustration but still seethe inside. n  7. If my homes’ water heater breaks, it does not affect my mood very much, since I know I can just call a plumber and get it fixed. n  8. If I meet a wonderful man/woman ad ask if he/she would like to get together again, being told no typically puts me in a bad mood for hours or even days. n  9. If I am being considered for an important professional award or promotion and it goes to someone I consider less qualified, I can usually move on quickly n  10. At a party, if I’m having a conversation with an interesting stranger and get completely tongue-tied when he/she asks me about myself, I tend to replay the conversation – this time including what I should have said – for hours or even days afterwards
  11. 11. © Copyright 2004 11 Assessing the outlook dimension Answer with “true” or “false n  1. When I am invited to meet new people, I look forward to it, thinking they might become my friends, rather than seeing it as a chore, figuring these people will never be worth knowing. n  2. When evaluating a coworker, I focus on details about which areas he needs to improve rather than on his positive overall performance. n  3. I believe the next ten years will be better for me than the last ten. n  4. Faced with the possibility of moving to a new city, I regard it as a frightening step into the unknown. n  5. When something small but unexpected and positive happens to me in the morning – for example, having a great conversation with a stranger – the positive mood fades within minutes. n  6. When I go to a party and I’m having a good time at the outset, the positive feeling tends to last for the entire evening. n  7. I find that beautiful scenes such as a gorgeous sunset quickly wear off and I get bored easily. n  8. When I wake up in the morning I can think of a pleasant activity that I’ve planned, the thought puts me in a good mood that lasts the entire day. n  9. When I go to a museum or attend a concert, the first few minutes are really enjoyable, but it doesn’t last. n  10. I often feel that on busy days I can keep going from one event to the next without getting tired.
  12. 12. © Copyright 2004 12 Assessing social intuition style Answer with “true” or “false n  1. When I am talking with people, I often notice subtle social cues about their emotions – discomfort, say or anger – before they acknowledge those feelings in themselves. n  2. I often find myself noting facial expressions and body language. n  3. I find it does not really matter if I talk with people on the phone or in person, since I rarely get any additional information from seeing whom I’m speaking with. n  4. I often feel as though I now more about people’s true feelings than they do themselves n  5. I am often taken by surprise when someone I’m talking with gets angry or upset at something I said, for no apparent reason. n  6. At a restaurant, I prefer to sit next to someone I’m speaking with so I don’t have to see his or her full face. n  7. I often find myself responding to another person’s discomfort or distress on the basis of an intuitive feel rather than an explicit discussion n  8. When I am in public places with time to kill, I like to observe people around me. n  9. I find it uncomfortable when someone I barely know looks directly into my eyes during a conversation. n  10. I can often tell when something is bothering another person just by looking at him or her.
  13. 13. © Copyright 2004 13 Assessing the self-awareness dimension Answer with “true” or “false n  1. Often, when someone asks me why I am so angry or sad, I respond (or think to myself), “But I am not!” n  2. When those closest to me ask why I treated someone brusquely or meanly, I often disagree that I did any such thing. n  3. I frequently – more than a couple of times a month – find that my heart is racing or my pulse is pounding, and I have no idea why. n  4. When I observe someone in pain, I feel the pain myself both emotionally and physically. n  5. I am usually sure enough about how I am feeling that I can put my emotions into words. n  6. I sometimes notice aches and pains and have no idea where they came from. n  7. I like to spend time being quiet and relaxed, just feeling what is going on inside me. n  8. I believe I very much inhabit my body and feel at home and comfortable with my body. n  9. I am strongly oriented to the external world and rarely take note of what’s happening in my body. n  10. When I exercise, I am very sensitive to the changes it produces in my body.
  14. 14. © Copyright 2004 14 Assessing the sensitivity to context dimension Answer with “true” or “false n  1. I have been told by someone close to me that I am unusually sensitive to other people’s feelings. n  2. I have occasionally been told that I behaved in a socially inappropriate way, which surprised me. n  3. I have sometimes suffered a setback at work or had a falling out with a friend because I was too chummy with a superior or too jovial when a good friend was distraught. n  4. When I speak with people, they sometimes move back to increase the distance between us. n  5. I often find myself censoring what I was about to say because I’ve sensed something in the situation that would make it inappropriate (e.g., before I respond to, “Honey, do these jeans make me look fat?”). n  6. When I am in a public setting like a restaurant, I am especially aware of modulating how loudly I speak. n  7. I have frequently been reminded when in public to avoid mentioning the names of people who might be around n  8. I am almost always aware of whether I have been someplace before, even if it is a highway that I last drove many years ago. n  9. I notice when someone is acting in a way that seems out of place, such as behaving too casually at work. n  10. I’ve been told by those close to me that I show good manners with strangers and in new situations.
  15. 15. © Copyright 2004 15 Assessing the attention dimension Answer with “true” or “false n  1. I can concentrate in a noisy environment n  2. When I am in a situation in which a lot is going on and there is a great deal of sensory stimulation, such as at a party or in a crowd at an airport, I can keep myself from getting lost in a train of thought about any particular thing I see. n  3. If I decide to focus my attention on a particular task, I find that I am mostly able to keep it there. n  4. If I am at home and trying to work, the noises of a television or other people make me very distracted. n  5. I find that if I sit quietly for even a few moments, a flood of thoughts rush into my mind and I find myself following multiple strands of thought, often without knowing how each one began. n  6. If I am distracted by some unexpected event, I can refocus my attention on what I had been doing. n  7. during periods of relative quiet, such as when I’m sitting on a training or bus or waiting in line at a store, I notice a lot of the things around me. n  8. When an important solo project requires my full and focused attention, I try to work in the quietest place I can find. n  9. My attention tends to get captured by stimuli and events in the environment, and it is difficult for me to disengage once this happens. n  10. It is easy for me to talk with another person in a crowded situation like a cocktail party of a cubicle in an office; I can tune out others in such an environment even when, with concentration, I can make out what they are saying
  16. 16. © Copyright 2004 16 Assessing your emotional style Resilience Outlook Social Intuition Self Awareness Sensitivity to Context 1 T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) F(1), T(0) T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) 2 F(1), T(0) F(1), T(0) T(1), F(0) F(1), T(0) F(1), T(0) T(1), F(0) 3 T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) F(1), T(0) F(1), T(0) F(1), T(0) T(1), F(0) 4 F(1), T(0) F(1), T(0) T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) F(1), T(0) F(1), T(0) 5 T(1), F(0) F(1), T(0) F(1), T(0) T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) F(1), T(0) 6 T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) F(1), T(0) F(1), T(0) T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) 7 F(1), T(0) F(1), T(0) T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) F(1), T(0) T(1), F(0) 8 T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) F(1), T(0) 9 F(1), T(0) F(1), T(0) F(1), T(0) F(1), T(0) T(1), F(0) F(1), T(0) 10 T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) T(1), F(0) Attribute one point for each “True” answer and zero for “False” for questions marked T(1), F(0) and by attributing one point for each “False” answer and zero for “True” for questions indicating F(1), T(0). Sum up the points for each dimension
  17. 17. © Copyright 2004 17 Emotional styles Resilience n  0 –--Fast to recover --–2 ----------------------------------------------------8 ---Slow to recover----10 Outlook n  0 –------Negative-------–2 ----------------------------------------------------8 --------Positive---------10 Social intuition n  0 –-----------Puzzled-----------–3 --------------------------------------------8 ---Socially Intuitive---10 Self awareness n  0 –----Self-Opaque----–2 ----------------------------------------------------8 ------Self-Aware----—10 Sensitivity to context n  0 –-----Tuned Out------–2 ----------------------------------------------------8 -------Tuned-In-----—10 Attention n  0 –---------Unfocused----------–3 ---------------------------------------------8 -------Focussed---—10
  18. 18. © Copyright 2004 18 Extremes can trip you up From indifference to over-concerned n  An extremely resilient person can lack the motivation to overcome challenges accepting every setback with a “don’t worry, be happy” n  Being slow to recover can prevent you from moving forward after a setback, causing you to continue to fume and obsess over something that is over and done with. Sustaining positive emotion over time is linked to optimism or positive outlook n  Sometimes the inability to sustain positive emotion is so extreme that they hardly feel it in the first place. As a result people at the extreme negative pole of the dimension have difficulty experiencing pleasure for any length of time, feel chronically down and pessimistic and can be at risk for depression or addiction. n  At the opposite side of the scale, people see the positive in everything, which can blind them to warning signs in their personal and private lives. The durability of feelings has a strong carry-over effect on your overall outlook and positive types tend to be optimistic. From autism to empathy and compassion n  Extreme insensitivity to facial expressions and other social cues is characteristic of autism, but people well short of a diagnosis can be deaf and blind socially with devastating consequences for their private and professional lives. n  Acute sensitivity to the emotional state of others is central to both empathy and compassion, since being able to decode and understand social signals means we can respond to them.
  19. 19. © Copyright 2004 19 Extremes can trip you up Self-awareness n  People who are blind and deaf to their own emotions are not (necessarily) in denial, but can be honestly unaware of emotional cues in their bodies. This may be related to the strength of the signals, but also to their sensitivity to them and their ability to recognize and interpret them. [These people may cause damage to themselves by ignoring their emotions or to their relationships, e.g. by reacting emotionally before they realize it] n  The heightened sensitivity to physical aspects of emotional states (appear to) play a crucial role in empathy, and understanding your own emotions. It can help you avoid misunderstandings and conflicts, but comes at the cost of feeling the anxiety or stress of someone else physically, experiencing a surge of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as elevated heart rate and blood pressure. This is likely a factor in burnout of nurses, therapists, counselers and social workers.
  20. 20. © Copyright 2004 20 Reference Richard Davidson with Sharon Begley, The emotional life of your brain, PLUME (Penguin), 2013
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Summary of Davidson's Emotional Styles, and his assessment to determine - how attentive we are - how self-aware - how resilient we are - if our outlook is positive and in how far - how socially intuitive we are and - how sensitive we are to social context. followed by a summary of what extremes on the scales of these styles can mean in practice.

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