SEKU Disaster Psychological Aspects of Disaster Discussion

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Discussion Board Question:
(DB wk 4) Understanding Emotion – a continuing dialogue
Listen to Invisobilia (NPR) Podcast from June 1, 2017 titled “Emotions: Part
1”: http://www.npr.org/2017/06/01/530928414/emotions-part-one
~ it is sometimes easier to listen while driving, doing chores like folding laundry or doing dishes!
1.
2.
What struck you about the contents of this podcast?
Some of the ideas about emotions and the way trauma impacts the brain might be
controversial. How did you react to these ideas?
3. How would you challenge them or how might you be intrigued to explore more?
Respond to at least 3 other classmates.
My post :
One thing that struck me most in this podcast is the position of the law regarding emotions. It
startles me that the court accepted charges against Mrand MrsJones even though they are the
ones who lost a child. Traditionally, the legal system has been an uninviting ground for the study
of emotion, viewing it as an enemy of reason. The courts considered a complaint of emotional
distress if only it were backed by evidence of physical harm. It is therefore interesting to see that
Tommy despite surviving the accident completely unhurt won the case on the grounds of
emotional distress against the Jones who lost their daughter in the accident (Emotions pt. 1,
2017)
A controversial idea about emotions in this podcast is that emotions are not reactions to
the world, but rather they construct the world. Lisa, a renowned psychologist, maintains that
emotions do not just happen and overwhelm us, but they come from within us based on
preexisting concepts in our brains. She claims that the body is made up of interceptions through
which the brain develops numerous theories based on past experiences and is, therefore, able to
predict what is going on. This argument is quite disputable since emotional triggers are bound to
happen any time, some of which we have never experienced before. We may not have control
over some of these emotions since they occur in the extreme. Therefore, Lisa’s argument that we
have complete control over our emotions is contentious since we are not ourselves in the face of
some extreme situations.
For instance, According to Emotions part 1 (2017), MrsJones, on losing her daughter,
would make breakfast only to stare at it. She was overwhelmed by the loss of her daughter,
which she describes as unfathomable pain that she physically felt. In such a situation, it is
difficult to say that these emotions are built out of concepts in her brain and that she has control
over them. I believe that emotions remain to be reactions to the world for which we may not
always have control over.
Reference
Emotions part 1 [Television series episode]. (2017, June 22). In J. Rogers (Producer), Invisobilia.
Washington, DC: NPR.
Student 1 post:
Once I listened to the content of the podcast, I learned a lot about emotions and the contribution
they have to humans. First, the podcast has expressed how they control human behavior. The
reaction displayed out of emotions is an indicator of personal behavior. For instance, the
relevance in the reaction of the parent when a stranger comes by indicates the behavior of the
parent. First, the parent is shocked, and the baby laughs at the parent, then the latter changes in
noticing the reaction of the child. Besides the parent who narrates the incident about the accident
is scared displaying her emotions. The memories about the incidence displayed the emotions of
the person every time they think about the incidence.
Moreover, in the accident incidence, the truck driver left the scene unhurt but was the one who
sued the family who had lost their child. Yet, the justification about the case was made on the
pain caused to the truck driver. However, at first, I felt the judgment was not fair to the family
that had already lost a child. Nevertheless, I learned about the trauma associated with being
involved in an accident. He also felt that he had no control of the truck after the incident, which
prompted him to sue the family. He could barely recover from the emotions and the experiences
of the accident. The effect of the incident was haunting on the truck driver even though he was
not guilty of the death of the baby.
Dealing with the effects of emotions and trauma may be difficult to challenge. The events in our
life may always make us remember the incidences that keep haunting us. Dealing with emotions
may be difficult, especially when we are not engaged or have busy schedules.
Student 2 post:
As explained in the Invisobilia (NPR) Podcast, emotion is a sophisticated human
experience of bodily sensation, consciousness, and behavior that depicts the individual’s response
to the state of affairs or an event. According to Barrett (2017), emotions are automatic and
uncontrollable reactions to our experiences and thoughts. When we are faced with certain
situations in life, we are often filled with feelings that influence our judgment, which can bring
us pain or pleasure. From the podcast, I learned that emotions seem to rule our day to day lives,
and they have a significant influence on the decisions we make. Another important message from
the podcast is that emotions are compelling and one may not have control over how they feel and
therefore, may stay stuck in uncomfortable experiences for a long. An important aspect to
remember is that we cannot cause emotions to go away by pretending that we do not feel the pain
of certain emotions. Besides, leaving the pain unaddressed would, in most cases, get worse over
time. Therefore, acknowledging our feelings and at the same time, recognizing that our emotions
do not have to control us is the first step towards dealing with our emotions.
It is indisputable that some of the ideas about emotions and the way trauma affect the
brain might be controversial. Our reactions to trauma vary from one individual to another, as
revealed in Tommy’s case. The loss of his child as a result of the accident was so traumatizing to
him to the extent that he developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PDST) (Emotions, 2017). It
is therefore evident that emotions and trauma can affect the brain in predictable ways, and
everyone should be informed about it. In some way, we should change the culture in the ways we
think about our emotions. I am intrigued to determine how best we can cope with the unique
challenges that we experience as a result of traumatic events that we experience in our lives.
References
Barrett, L. F., (2017). How emotions are made: The secret life of the brain. Houghton Mifflin
Harcourt.
Emotions [Video file]. (2017, June 1). Retrieved from
https://www.npr.org/2017/06/01/530928414/emotions-part-one
Student 3 post:
1. What struck you about the contents of this podcast?
From the listening of the podcast, I learned a lot. What struck me most about the contents of this
podcast is the power emotions can have over our lives. Initially, I thought human beings can get
hold of their emotions but from the content of this podcast, it may not be possible if all human
beings were wired like Tommy. A good illustration of how emotions push us to do things
we never thought could is the analogy of police shooting black boys due to stereotypes that black
boys are dangerous. This kind of emotions can result in the suffering of innocent people just like
the way the parents who lost their daughter in the podcast had to suffer a second time after the
lawsuit by Tommy. Lastly, I was amazed emotions can be obsessive for years until the time we
get to an agreement with reality.
2. Some of the ideas about emotions and the way trauma impacts the brain might be
controversial. How did you react to these ideas?
In my view, I think there is no uniform way to describe emotions or the way trauma impacts the
brain hence it might be controversial. In my view, the idea about emotions and the way trauma
impacts the brain depends on one’s cultural orientation. For example, in the case of Tommy, he
was culturally oriented to believe a man should take control over everything around him. This
could be the reason he was convinced he had caused the death of Amanda’s daughter because he
was unable to control his truck and prevent death. Besides, I think some of the ideas about
emotions and the way trauma impacts the brain might be controversial because it may change
over time. After many years of emotional distress, Tommy healed from the guilt of being a
murderer and resumed driving the truck. This was after conviction the death of the young girl
was not his fault but rather the other driver’s fault. This implies emotions and how trauma
impacts the brain may have controversy due to changes in time and perception.
3. How would you challenge them or how might you be intrigued to explore more?
I personally, don’t agree with them because I believed an emotion is an individual characteristic.
This could the reason two different individuals exposed to similar emotional distress would have
completely different reactions. To some, the emotional distress would last for hours while to
others it could last forever. Second, although emotions could be impacted by cultural orientation,
the gender aspect is central. In my view, women are more emotional than men. This could be the
reason Tommy regained his conscious after conviction but for Amanda, the memories about the
death of her daughter could remainforever.

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