How Actors Create Emotions: A Problematic Psychology

first_imgThe Atlantic:Early on in her career, Deborah Margolin realized that she was a woman nobody liked, not even herself. She was a “homely person who was pregnant all the time”—not because she enjoyed sex, according to Margolin, but because of a sense of self-loathing that led her toward the same dead end, over and over again. She was married to a man but wished that she were with a woman. Or, rather, she wished that she were a woman—a different one. She wished she were Patience or Sarah, two women whom everyone around her seemed to want.Historical-fiction buffs might recognize the name Patience and Sarah as a novel set in the 19th-century adapted for stage. Others might recognize Deborah Margolin not as a bitter, perpetually expectant woman, but as a playwright, an Obie-award winning performance artist, and an associate professor in Yale University’s undergraduate theater studies program.…In truth, cognitive scientists and psychologists have been reluctant to embrace acting as a serious subject of study. But researchers like Thalia Goldstein, an assistant professor of psychology at Pace University, have recently started to investigate the links between the two fields with the idea that both disciplines can be enriched by a study of their commonalities. In a joint paper from Goldstein and Yale professor Paul Bloom, “The mind on stage: why cognitive scientists should study acting,” Goldstein argues that psychologists can look to how actors create emotions in order to understand human nature in a new way.“I think that at their cores, psychology, cognitive science, and theater are all trying to do the same thing, which is understand why people do the things they do, our range of behavior, and where it comes from,” Goldstein says. “It’s just two different ways of looking at the same question.”…To actors who might laugh that off and present acting as being purely physical, Goldstein says other research in psychology suggests that they, too, might experience emotional aftereffects from performing. She points to findings from Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy, who has said that just putting yourself into an assertive position, a “power pose,” like sitting in a chair with your chest puffed out, not only affects the way that you feel, but actually changes hormonal levels, with stress cortisol decreasing and testosterone increasing.Read the whole story: The Atlantic More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Ghani Gases schedules third ASU

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Keen: We’ll decide whiplash damages, not the judges

first_imgLord KeenIn responding to the amendments – and ultimately having them withdrawn for now – Keen said the government had received ‘expert input’ about how to deal with the claims culture that had built up, and the tariffs were designed to address a specific problem.‘We have to take a policy view as to how we can disincentivise not just fraudulent claims but what I would call unmeritorious claims – very minor and exaggerated claims,’ he said.‘Our view is that it is right to set the tariff through regulations, which will help to control those costs and ensure greater certainty to both claimants and defendants when they come to deal with these claims.’Keen added: ‘This is essentially a matter of policy to deal with a very particular problem. It is a political decision; it is not one that we consider is for the judges; it is one that is ultimately for the lord chancellor to deal with in his capacity as a minister.’The minister said a tariff system was already implemented in European jurisdictions such as Italy, Spain and France.He maintained that in both houses of parliament, politicians would have the opportunity to debate the details of any regulations put forward.Liberal Democrat Lord Sharkey (John Sharkey), who laid some of the amendments being debated, said members were ‘still worried and puzzled’ about the way in which the figures were devised, and there was nothing to suggest they were not arbitrary.Met with Keen’s explanation they were a response to a policy requirement, Sharkey said it sounded ‘a bit like the back of a political envelope’.The next committee stage for the bill will be on Tuesday. Justice minister Lord Keen of Elie (Richard Keen QC) has rebuffed attempts to include greater input of judges into the setting of whiplash damages.This week, the government set out in a statutory instrument the expected levels for compensating soft tissue injuries after the passing of the Civil Liability Bill.During committee stage in the House of Lords on Thursday, peers laid amendments attempting to have the fixed tariffs set in line with Judicial College Guidelines, or to restore a greater degree of discretion to the court to uplift the amount of damages payable.These changes, it was generally agreed, would increase payments above those proposed by the government.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#last_img read more