Admiration for Virtue: Neuroscientific Perspectives on A Motivating Emotion
Contemporary Educational Psychology, doi:10.1016
By Mary Helen Immordino-Yang and Lesley Sylvan
Social emotions like admiration for another person’s virtue are often
associated with a desire to be virtuous one’s self, and to engage in
meaningful and socially relevant activities against any odds (Haidt & Seder, 2007).
These emotions can profoundly inspire us, sometimes motivating our most
significant life-course decisions. Yet despite the cognitive maturity
and complexity of knowledge required to induce an emotion like
admiration for virtue, our recent study of the brain and
psychophysiological correlates of experiencing this emotion revealed
significant involvement of low-level brain systems responsible for the
feeling of the gut and the maintenance of basic life regulation (Immordino-Yang, McColl, Damasio, & Damasio, 2009).
These findings contribute an interesting jumping-off point for
reexamining the educational study of motivation states because they
suggest that, contrary to current conceptions in educational research,
nonconscious, low-level physiological processes related to survival and
bodily sensation may be critical contributors to intrinsic motivation.
Read the article.
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(Something interesting I found)Posted: Wednesday, September 15, 2010