My Emotional Spin Cycle -
The Four Options and The Two Bridges:
Annotated Bibliography
By: Alohaspirit
Date: March 14, 2002
Dr. Leon James, Instructor
Instructions for this report

- The Threefold Self.
- The Emotional Spin Cycle.
- The Four Options.
- Red/Blue Bridges.

These were new and foriegn concepts to me on the first day of Psychology 459 when Dr. James began explaining them.  "Huh?!  What is dat?!" were the thoughts that swirled around in my empty head as he talked about the threefold self, the spin cycle, the four options, and red/blue bridges.  And, as you are reading this, I am sure you are probably wondering what these terms mean and what they are.  Below is a diagram of "The Four Options On The Emotional Spin Cycle and the Two Bridges" to follow along as I explain these concepts as I understand them.

It all begins with the threefold self.  All humans go through a process of socialization where certain ways of feeling, thinking, and acting according to the norms of that society and picked up and internalized.  These habits directly affect the three areas of feeling, thinking, and acting out.  These are what the threefold self is composed of.  While each provides a different function, all three act together and create what is called the threefold self.

All of us have a threefold self and it functions in two major areas on a daily basis that encompasses every moment we are alive and living.  The first major area consists of others and the world, which everyone but the individual (family, friends, classmates, etc) and his/her surrounding environment.  This part is called the red zone.  The other major area is the self, or the individual.   This part is called the blue zone.  Individuals have to deal with both zones as they interact with people throughout the day and go through their own thoughts and feelings.  Also, the way that an individual operates in the red and blue zones can be either positive or negative.

The areas of others and the world and self and the positive and negative zones that they operate in make up what is called "The Four Options" of the emotional spin cycle.  The Four Options contain the components of the threefold self (feeling, thinking, and acting out).   The individual will "flip-flop" through these Four Options on daily basis. The thinking component is an important part of the Four Options because the way in which a person thinks directly affects the way they feel, and subsequently, their behavior (in both the positive and negative zones).  

This process is called the emotional spin cycle because an individual's emotions go through an endless cycle of delving in and out of these four options everday.  (Every human that is living and breathing has it, and goes through it on a daily basis - every day, minute, hour, and second they are alive.  It is a widespread phenomenon among humans, as each one of us is socialized accordingly from our different societies and cultures.  This results in internalizing certain habits of thinking, feeling, of behaving that are reinforced through others in the group/society/culture.  Humans are social creatures and have an innate need to socialize with others.  In order to do this, these socialized habits acquired are needed in order to maintain order and decency in social interactions.)

The individual is not helpless at the hands of their emotional spin cycle.  They have the power to choose which option and which zone they want to be in during any situation and/or time.  However, many of us, through our socialized habits, will automatically choose to be in the negative zone without giving it much of a second thought.  It is possible for an individual to change this by becoming aware of their emotional spin cycle, the four options, and the choices that are made. 

Once aware of the options that are available, the red and blue bridges can be used to cross over from the negative zone into the positive zone.  The red bridge is used to cross over from the "Negative About Others and World" area into the "Positive about Others and World" (emotionally impaired thinking --> emotionally intelligent thinking).  The blue bridge is used to cross over from the "Negative About Self" area into the "Positive About Self" area (pessimistic and cynical thinking --> optimistic and realistic thinking.  These bridges help by having the person change their thinking from the negative to the positive.  It involves using self-talk to combat negative thoughts through the use of self-regulatory prompts.  These are statements that are directly the opposite of negative thoughts.  When used, they weaken the power and belief of the negative thought.

Overall View of Project

Report 1 is part one of two research projects that will focus on exploring, learning, and understanding the human emotional spin cycle, the threefold self, the four options that consist of the daily emotional spin cycle, and the red/blue bridges.  Both of these projects set out to prove that individuals have the ability to be in control of their emotional state and what they think, feel, and act.  An individual makes the choice to feel what they want to, and if they are thinking negatively, then they have the ability to stop it and "cross over" into the positive.  Society oftens render the notion that we are powerless over what we feel, thinking, and act, but both of these projects set out to prove this notion wrong.

For this first project I defined, in my own words, four query statements that Dr. James has provided that relate to the emotional spin cycle and the Four Options.  After the statements were defined, I collected sources (websites) off of the Internet that related to each of the terms, provided a brief summary of their content, and explained their relation to the emotional spin cycle..
The second project (Report 2) will be observing the emotional spin cycle through the use of human test subjects (ourselves - we would have used actual laboratory rats, but this is cheaper).  It will run over the course of two weeks.  For one week, I will be observing my own emotional spin cycle and pick out the negative options that I choose.  This will involve choosing a daily activity over the course of  three days and recording my feelings, thoughts, and physiological functions.  By recording and analyzing this data, I will gain awareness of my spin cycle and the options that I choose.  I will then be able to use this information for my own benefit - when I identify myself in the negative zone, I will choose to use the bridge techniques to cross over into the positive.  This shall be done in the second week of the project.  The results of this project shall be posted on the World Wide Web.

Four Query Statements

The following four query statements have terms related to the three-fold self and emotional spin cycle, the backbone of Report 1 and 2.  I will define each of the following statements as I understand them, and after each set of definitions, provide a list of Internet sources that are associated with the concepts (5 sources for each of the four statements).

A. "cognitive scripts" or schemas in relation to motivation or affect

    1) Cognitive scripts (schemas) - the thoughts, feelings and emotions that we associate with things and situations.  We have many of
        these in our mind.  They help us determine what is stressful and how we react to situations.  Acquire as children.  Part of the
        socialization process and the three-fold self needs to acquire these in order to function.

    2) Motivation - the driving force behind many of our actions, that which propels us to act.

    3) Affect - to influence, change.

B. "behavioral routines" in relation to socialization or enculturation

    1) Behavioral routines - internalized routines of everyday behavior that is socially appropriate.  We normally do these
        automatically without double thinking.

    2) Socialization - the process by which we acquire our schemas by which we behave, act, and think in accordance with.
        Mainly occurs in childhood and directly influenced by family, then later in life, environmental factors.

    3) Enculturation - the process where a person learns about their own culture.
C. "cognitive appraisal" in relation to self-enhancing behavior
    1) Cognitive appraisal - The way in which we interpret a situation (label it good, bad, stressful, etc.) and the emotions that arise as
        a result of our labeling it.

    2) Self-Enhancing Behavior - behavior that benefits and is healthy for the person.  Aids in growth and stability and contributes
        to general health.  Is spurred from positive thinking which leads to positive feelings and then positive behavior.
D. "emotional intelligence" in relation to productivity and success  

    1) Emotional Intelligence - person is aware of their emotional processes and the dynamics behind it.  Able to recognize your own
       emotions and maintain control, also being aware of other's people's emotions (empathy).  Intelligence of this kind is linked
       with increased productivity and success in the workplace.

    2) Productivity -  enhanced work performance.

    3) Success - completement of a task, achievement.
Cognitive Scripts (Schemas), Motivation, & Affect

Website #1

Summary: This website provided a definition of motivation and explained the correlation between it and culture.  It also explained about how cultural schemas play an influential role in human behavior.

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle: Schemas afect our thinking habits and how we react to stressful situations.

Motivation and Culture 
"Studies of motivation try to explain the initiation, persistence, and intensity of behavior (Geen 1995; see also MOTIVATION). Culture, learned schemas shared by some people due to common, humanly mediated experiences, as well as the practices and objects creating and created by these schemas, plays a large role in nearly all human behavior. Even such biologically adaptive motivations as hunger and sex instigate somewhat different behaviors in different societies, depending on learned schemas for desirable objects, appropriate and effective ways to obtain these, and skills for doing so (Mook 1987)." 

"Motivation is a modulating and coordinating influence on the direction, vigor, and composition of behavior. This influence arises from a wide variety of internal, environmental, and social sources and is manifested at many levels of behavioral and neural organization." 


Website #2

Summary: This website focused on Jean Piaget, who is behind the term of "schema" (mental representations of the world).  It explains that behavior is driven by schemas and this relationship is rooted in a biological need to obtain balance between scheme and environment.  The site goes into an explanation of his theories on the process and stages of cognitive development.  Also provides a link to Internet resources on the subject of "Cognitive Development."

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle: Our actions are a result of the influence of social schemas (scripts) that we have.  Schemas affect how we act and react to situations, whether good or bad.
"Process of Cognitive Development. As a biologist, Piaget was interested in how an organism adapts to its environment (Piaget described as intelligence.) Behavior (adaptation to the environment) is controlled through mental organizations called schemes that the individual uses to represent the world and designate action. This adaptation is driven by a biological drive to obtain balance between schemes and the environment (equilibration)." 

"Piaget hypothesized that infants are born with schemes operating at birth that he called "reflexes." In other animals, these reflexes control behavior throughout life. However, in human beings as the infant uses these reflexes to adapt to the environment, these reflexes are quickly replaced with constructed schemes." 



Website #3

Summary:  There was an article written by Michael Free, M.D., a clinical psychologist, that went into 'reactive' depression and its cause stemming from psychological means (distorted schemas).  Depressed people have distorted schemas about themselves in relation to the world.  A cognitive therapist tries to help change this by challenging the content of this distorted schema through asking questionings or assigning homework.

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle: Challenging a schema is similar to a self-regulatory prompt that you use to counterattack negative thoughts and cross the bridge from the negative into the positive.
"One of the things that cognitive therapists attempt to do as part of reducing negative thinking is to change the negative content of a depressed person's schemas. Schemas can be thought of as sets of information relating to a particular object or concept. We have schemas for everything in our world from banal and everyday things such as tables and chairs, to abstract concepts like 'love', and 'marriage'. 

In depression the schemas that cause trouble are the schemas about the world, and ourselves. The active schema content can be about the present or the future: 

- I am worthless or I will be worthless, 
- I am alone or I will be alone, 
- The world is or will be a bad place. 

What the cognitive therapist seeks to do is to dispute or challenge this schema content. One of the techniques of doing this is to show that the belief is incompatible with a superordinate belief, that is a belief valued more highly by the client." 

"... So in therapy I draw out the conflict between the two beliefs either by asking questions that lead to the client putting the two beliefs in conflict, or by setting homework tasks. " 


Link: "Biological and Psychological Approaches In Recovery From Depression, and Cognitive Therapy Using The Teachings Of Jesus" Written by: Michael Free, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychologist)

Website #4

Summary: This website explains the concept of cognitive schemas and how we use them as to rely on them to help us perceive events and act accordingly to how we perceive them.  As we go about our everyday life, we try to fit in the situations into specific schemas that we already have - once we do that, then we can act as how the schema corresponds to the situation.  Culture and subcultures are made up of a group of people with similar schemas.

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle: Related to behavioral routines and socialization.  Most of the schemas we have are a result our parents and they get them for their own cultures.  Culture plays a large part in the schemas we internalize as children, and affect how we behave, speak, and feel as an adult.
Schemas and Stories 

"In everyday life, people rely on cognitive models, maps or schemas of how the world works, to organize their perception of events and determine how to act. These models make up much of the structure of the unconscious mind, on which our conscious thinking and decisions are based. They tell us what everyday objects are; how to identify situations; the kinds of people and roles we encounter, and the roles we are expected to perform. In the largest sense, these are models of the physical, social and psychological world we live in, and our place in it, as physical and psychological beings and members of society.* 

As we go about the business of everyday life, we identify each situation by seeing which of these schemas it fits into. One might say we are perpetually creating a second, more specific kind of schema of individual events and how they relate to the more general model. We have a schema for what a politician who is evading answering questions looks like and when we see something that fits it well enough, we create an implicit model in our minds of the specific event as an instance of a politician in cover-up mode. There are undoubtedly instances in which we tack back and forth between the specific instance and the general model, when we are unsure what we are perceiving, to see how the former fits the latter. But, more commonly, the process of identification, of fitting the particular into the general model, is automatic and instantaneous. 

When we speak or write about events or refer to them in other ways, with an audience in mind, we also convey another model of events, in which the particular aspect of the world we refer to is portrayed as a specific instance of some more general situation. This model we convey may or may not correspond to the models in our mind, given that what we think and what we tell others about what we think may be very different. Thus, in seeing a politician evading questions, we may see it as an example of the dishonesty of politicians or local politicians or politicians of a particular party. But if we know the person or work for him, then in speaking about what we observed to other people, we may be careful to hide these negative judgments, for fear of compromising our relationship and we thus, end up, conveying a model of what happened that doesn't exactly correspond to the model of events as we represent them to ourselves." 

"In short, our minds are made up of schemas, organized into stories, in which the elements are invested with value and emotion,** which are about who we are essentially as people. A collection of minds, with similarities in these schemas, is part of what makes up cultures and subcultures." 

"** In reference to the sentence: "In short, our minds are made up of schemas, organized into stories, in which the elements are invested with value and emotion." Understanding the connection between the stories, values, and emotional and psychodynamic reactions is essential to understanding human behavior and motivation." 


Link: Schemas and Stories

Website #5

Summary: "..Random collections of associations learned through experiences" is how this website defines schemas, delving more into the biological basis of schemas (genetic epistemology).  I found that this was an excellent website that showed simple visual diagrams of how schemas work.

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle: If we can understand how schemas and the feeligns and thoughts that come out of them affect our actions, then we can use this and utilize it to our advantage to go from the negative into the positive.  If we know what schema is distorted and is a cause of negativity, then we can go about challenging that schema and rationalizing it.



"The notion of schema is grounded in genetic epistemology. Rather than framing mind and brain as random collections of associations learned through experiences, its premise is that human DNA gene codes 'assume', so to speak, that the information needed to enable us to actually realize our genetic capacities for speaking, communicating, symbolizing, acting, etc., will be supplied by the specific cultures through which we grow and become persons. 

In other words, that we are incomplete beings who complete ourselves through on-going interactions with our respective cultures. 

At the heart of the concept is the frame of 'structures' through which persons make sense of, and act appropriately towards, experienced actualities. Intellect is most usefully described as sets of organized structures or schemata. These structures are built in interaction with our surrounds: objects and events are 'assimilated' to these structures expanding our existing frameworks of knowing 

When this is not possible because our existing structures are inadequate to deal with new experiences, they made modify or 'accommodate', and thus undergo structural change, enabling us to expand our understandings and see objects and events in new ways. 

Diagrammatically, the process of knowing and acting through cognitive schemas may be pictured as: 


Notice how the model is built around a process rather than a non- reciprocating, cause-effect model. The critical feature of the 'knowing circle' of schema theories is the internal structures. The actual event is assimilated, or incorporated into the structures at the same time as the structures accommodate to the particular features of the actual experience." 


"A useful way of imaging the structures and processes of schemata is the notion of cognitive maps. These can be seen as active, information-seeking structures that direct our perceptual explorations of what we see and experience. 


Guided by our general frameworks and the perceptual schemata embedded in them, we select and sample the information available in the worlds around us. This process often leads us to modify our conceptions and perceptions. Our new structures then direct renewed explorations in a continuing cyclical process: 

Cf: U. Neisser,Cogniton and Reality (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman & Coy, 1976)" 



Behavioral Routines, Socialization, & Enculturation

Website #1

Summary: This website provided a short, easy, and concise definition of enculturation and of culture.

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle: The enculturation process that we all go through internalizes many different schemas and behavioral routines that we automatically use without giving it much of a second thought.  These culturally influenced factors directly affect our emotional response to situations and how we behave and react to them.
- "Culture is the way of life of a given group of people, adapted to meet specific needs and circumstances." 

Five Characteristics of Culture 
   "a. Culture is shared. 
    b. Culture is learned (Explain that the process of learning one's culture is called enculturation.) 
    c. Culture is cumulative. (i.e. changes and adopts new practices over time. (cultural diffusion - spreading the ideas and practices from one culture to another.) 
    d. Culture is diverse. (subculture) 
    e. Culture is integrated. (Culture is the sum of its component parts: economic, social, historical, etc.)" 

Link: Enculturation

Website #2

Summary: This article by the Adoption Research Institute Association is for parents who have adopted a poorly socialized child - it goes into the socialization process and how children who are poorly socialized as babies experience behavioral problems later on.  A poorly socialized child has a difficult time forming healthy attachment bonds to other people.  They have a difficult time accepting shame and discipline - which they equate with rejection of themselves.  They have a distorted sense of self worth.

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle:  Adults that are poorly socialized will face a more difficult time navigating from the negative arena of the spin cycle to the positive one because they equate their performance with their self worth.  It would be difficult for them to distinguish between the two.
"When an infant has experienced a consistently attuned mother and has established a stable early attachment, she is able to accept and integrate the socialization demands that come with being a toddler. When her mother says "no", and thereby is misattuned with her emotional state, she feels shame, and she looks down and away. She is initially confused and troubled by her mother's failure to be attuned with her emotional and behavioral state. However, within a secure attachment, her mother quickly comforts and reassures her toddler that she remains special, that she simply is being taught that certain behaviors need to be limited, controlled or redirected. These experiences of healthy shame must occur for optimal development and a more fully developed attachment. Sequences of attunement, socialization with shame, and reassurance and reattunement lead to an integration of the young child's needs for a secure attachment with her needs for socialization and autonomy. She can become a special, unique individual, within a social world, while experiencing magical relationships with members of her family." 

"When infants have experienced a lack of attunement and pervasive shame through neglect, they are not able to accept and integrate the much more circumscribed experience of socialization-shame and they can not be reassured that they have worth. For these poorly attached children, discipline is experienced as rejection and contempt. They do not respond to routine discipline, so necessary for socialization, without rage or despair. For these children, discipline does not serve to teach. Discipline is felt to be another statement that they are worthless and that they are not special to their parents. They then habitually overreact to the distress caused by routine discipline. Parental teaching is experienced as traumatic since it recreates the original pervasive shame experience that confirms that they are worthless and that their parents are cruel or indifferent to them. Their emotional lives consist primarily in experiences of terror, rage, and despair, rather than joy and excitement that is felt by the securely attached." 


Link: Parenting a Poorly Attached Child: Understanding and Bonding

Website #3

Summary: R.J. Rummel is now a retired Professor Emeritus from the Political Science Department of the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.  He has written about a dozen books, more than a 100 professional articles, and among the many notable awards he has recieved was being a finalist for the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize.  This page I found summarized test from his book, "Understanding Conflict and War: Vol 1: The Dynamic Psychological Field."  This section goes into an explanation of human behavior beyond its biological components.  He explains about how we are results of unconscious socialization and enculturation - similar system of values, norms, etc. that has been internalized.  

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle: It is the behavioral routines that we go about throughout our daily lives that give us comfort and stability.  If they are disrupted and/or altered we become stressed and likely to enter the negative zone.
"Behavior, however, is not only the manifestation of psychological field tendencies and an act of will, but (to mangle Shakespeare) it also is an episode in the theater of humankind where we each are actors, directors, and audience. Our play is of society, of our many roles and assortments, our ranks and occupations, our loves and antagonisms, of the social dialectic that is our history--conflict, adjustment, balance, conflict. These name the play, the story of inner worlds colliding and coalescing." 

"In previous chapters I have shown the many ways in which there is continuity between our mentality--our dynamic field--and society. To outline them here: 

(1) Stimuli received and transformed by our neural system are given orientation and meanings-values by our culture matrix. This matrix is integrated with our mentality; it is the result of our socialization and acculturation and reflects our unconscious learning since birth, and perhaps even before. It is this matrix that gives us the inner direction and confidence enabling us to move effortlessly through our daily routines. Only when first thrust into an alien society and culture can we personally appreciate the regulatory value of our cultural matrices. This matrix, without which. we and other animals cannot survive, is the basic passageway between the dynamic field and our sociocultural context and environment. 

We are thus not psychologically isolated billiard balls, each colliding against the other in an endless, ever changing configuration of stimulus and reflex, of challenge and response. Rather we are each localizations of the same system of meanings, values, and norms, each adding our unique will and personality, but each within the same society and culture--not billiard balls, but points of local determination in a common sociocultural field." 

(3) "The behavioral potentials confronting us in each situation are mainly socioculturally defined. How we can act when entering the door of a stranger's house, when eating our meals, when currying congressional favor, or when negotiating with another nation--all are well ingrained, results of our socialization and acculturation into the relevant local sociocultural field. We can and sometimes do invent new behavior. We may refuse to go along with "the tyrant custom"; we may assert our individuality against "custom's idiot sway," but this requires thought, emotional investment, and will. Most often, we will accept unthinkingly our culturally bounded, behavioral potentialities." 

"In tallying the "ways" society and culture breach our mental sanctum, then, we find in the main, four. What we sense is in part transformed by our culture, to what content and role components our personality has is a product of socialization and acculturation,3 what we may do is a question of the behavioral potentials open to us, and what we will do is mainly a consequence of our socioculturally derived expectations and our will."



Website #4

Summary: This article from the Purina website stresses the importance of socialization in young puppies.  In this period, dogs need to learn proper social (canine) interactions and to become comfortable around humans.  The proper socialization, or lack thereof, on a puppy can have a large impact on their later behavior.    Traumatic experiences at a young age can be detrimental for the puppy and its later interactions.  Another controversial subject is the development of a puppy's temperament.  It is a nature (genes) versus nurture (environment) issue.  Both biology and environment interact together.  However, it has been shown that puppies whose parents had bad tempers could be raised to have good temperaments.

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle: Similar to puppies, humans face similar implications if the are poorly socialized and reap the benefits if properly socialized.
"A new puppy creates many opportunities and challenges for breeders and owners. The interaction with a puppy in the first few months can help influence whether or not the dog develops to its full potential; and, if the puppy is to be a pet, whether or not the owners will keep and cherish their pet. As the first humans that puppies encounter, the breeders' role in socialization is important. Interactions, especially those during the first three periods of a puppy's life, can have a lasting impact on behavioral growth and development." 
Canine Development 

"Canine behavioral development has been divided into five stages. These stages and approximate times are: 

Neonatal (newborn) period - 1-2 weeks 
Transitional period - 3 weeks 
Socialization period - 4-10 weeks 
Juvenile period to sexual maturity - 10 weeks 
Adult - puberty onward" 

The Socialization Period 

"This time has often been called the "critical or sensitive period of socialization." What occurs, or conversely what does not occur, during this time can have a large impact on later behavior. This is the time when puppies learn about their litter mates, the bitch and humans. This is a fluid time period - the beginning is fairly clear cut, but the ending is not. Immature dogs can still learn and be exposed to new and novel situations throughout life. 

In this stage, puppies need to spend time with other puppies and adult dogs to learn appropriate social interactions in the canine world. Play be


Cognitive Appraisal & Self-Enhancing Behavior

Website #1

Summary:  A person's thoughts provide the fuel that sets off negative feelings, like anxiety, into motion.  A process called "thought-challenging," can help a person cope with these feelings when they are suffering from anxiety or intense emotions.  "Thought challenging" involves identifying the thoughts that bring about these negative feelings and substituting them with rational ones. 

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle:  When stuck in the negative cycle, "thought-challenging" can help a person cross the bridge into positive thinking.

"A person's thoughts can set the self-perpetuating cycle of anxiety into motion. Being able to challenge one's thoughts to be more productive and enable desired behaviour, is a useful skill to be taught for sufferers of social phobia. It can be a technique useful when any intense emotions (such as anger, depression, guilt - not just anxiety) are experienced, even in everyday situations."

"Thought-challenging involves first identifying the thoughts the individual has that perpetuate their negative feelings and/or unwanted behaviours. These thoughts are known as "automatic thoughts". They are hard to recognise because they are so familiar to us."


Website #2

Summary:  This is a business article that was originally published in a law practice newsletter.  It goes into the power of negative and positive self talk and how it can affect a person's work performance in business.  The basic ideas discussed pertain to self-enhancing behavior.  It talks of how negative self talk can lead to stress, other negative emotions/symptoms and decreased work performance and positive self talk can enhances one's attitude and performance.  It also provides tips on how to practice positive (rational) self talk.

Relationship to the Emotional Spin Cycle: It is related to crossing the red bridge where we can do self talk to stop thinking negatively about something and start on the positive.  Once we are feeling positive then that will lead to positive thinking and lead to positive behavior.

"Our inner conversations have a powerful effect on our outer endeavors, including our rainmaking efforts. Positive self-talk can free us to use our talents to the fullest, while negative self-talk is likely to trip us up. By becoming aware of what you are mentally saying to yourself, you can understand how you help or hinder yourself in developing new business."

"Negative self-talk can produce symptoms of stress such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, ulcers, headaches, excessive eating and substance abuse. It can lead to lowered productivity because one's motivation can flag and, with it, one's efforts."

Guidelines for Building a Positive Mind-set

"The key to changing a negative mind-set into a positive one is to reframe self-defeating thoughts into self-enhancing ones. Don't, however, confuse positive self-talk with mindless happy affirmations or, even worse, self-delusions. What you want is accurate, logical self-talk. For lawyers, logical thinking should come naturally. So you are probably a leg up on reframing once you catch on to the process. Here are five guidelines to help you along.

1. Monitor yourself.
The first step toward changing your mind-set is to become aware of the specific self-statements you make. Monitor your self-statements for a week. Give yourself credit where credit is due, and use your positive self-statements to reframe your negative ones. Look for patterns. Do you repeat particular self-statements? Are there particular circumstances in which you use certain self-talk? If you find patterns of negative self-talk, concentrate your efforts on reframing them. If certain situations trigger negative self-talk, you may need to change those situations or adjust your self-talk to cope more effectively.

2. Identify cognitive distortions.
Determine the illogic in your negative self-statements.

3. Reframe negative self-statements.
Your aim is to be self-affirming and realistic.

4. Practice, practice, practice.
You are beginning to change habits of thinking that don't serve you well. As with any habit that you want to stop, you must keep repeating corrective behavior until it feels natural.

5. If you can't follow the guidelines, seek help.
Sometimes negative self-talk is so entrenched that we cannot hear ourselves. In some cases, we may not be able to budge from negative assumptions about ourselves. In other cases, we find ourselves in situations that are so stressful that it's hard to stay positive. For example, we may fall prey to foul play on the part of a client or experience personal problems that interfere with business development. These are times to seek professional help. Mental health professionals are trained to spot people's internal barriers to success and to help distinguish situational from intrinsic obstacles. They do so in a safe, confidential context."

Take a Risk
"Self-awareness is a powerful stimulus for implementing change. Monitoring and reframing your inner dialogue takes some effort, but perhaps not as much as you think. You can begin by following the guidelines offered here. If you don't have time to put your self-statements in writing, at least make mental notes. What you will learn about yourself will be invaluable, not only in rainmaking but in all aspects of your life."

Link: "The Inner Rainmaker: Talking Yourself into Success" Written by: Ellen I. Carni, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychologist)

Website #3

Summary: This website features a paper written by Rod A. Martin from the University of Western Ontario that discusses humor.

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle: Humor can be a self enhancing behavior in certain situations.

"Individuals with a greater sense of humor are thought to be better able to cope with stress, to get along with others, and to enjoy better mental and even physical health (e.g., Leftcort, 2001)."

Link: "Sense of Humor" Written by: Rod A. Martin, University of Western Ontario

Website #4

Summary: This is the "Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology" website that provided a running definition of cognitive appraisal (theory).  The definition explains how emotions come from how people's interpretation a situation and the differing emotions that can come out based on different interpretations of the same situation.

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle: The definition explains a concept that is relevant to the emotional spin cycle.  The way in which we interpret a situation in our mind determines what area we are at in the four options of the emotional spin cycle (negative or positive).   

"cognitive appraisal (theory)   Psychology. the theory that emotions evolve from people's subjective interpretation of the situation they are in; several emotions, even
conflicting ones, can result from one stimulus, depending on an individual's evaluation."

Link: Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology

Website #5

Summary: This website provides supplementary notes of the majority of topics covered in introductory Psychology classes.  There was one part titled "Stress and Health" that had a section about the Psychosomatic Model that had a simplified definition of cognitive appraisal.  It was easier to understand this definition because they put it in laymen's terms, explained the relationship between it and emotions, and provided a small example.

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle: The cognitive appraisal we put on certain things (situation, people, places, etc) is directly related to how we react to it and the emotions that may arise from it.  Our own cognitive appraisals to certain things in our life trigger stressful responses and can put us in the negative zone of the emotional spin cycle.  We are usually not aware of this.

B. The Psychosomatic Model

"The idea behind creating and understanding a model of stress related illness is that by knowing the steps that lead to illness, we can intervene at any of these steps to break the cycle and thwart the onset of illness. The model works like a stage theory - you must progress from one stage (or step) to the next in the proper order for the model to work. The steps in the Model are: ... "

"3) Cognitive Appraisal - process of analyzing and processing information as well as categorizing and organizing it. Recall the section on memory - at the cognitive appraisal level we put labels on things - good, bad, dangerous, pleasant, etc.

Thus, for most situations, it is the LABEL that we give to the information that determines whether it will be deemed stressful and trigger a physiological response.

In addition, appraisal is influenced by personal history, personal beliefs, morals, etc.

*** I will claim that it is this labeling processes that is the key component. We all make personal appraisals of situations and it is these labels that determine our stress level and stress response. For example, my father becomes outraged while sitting in traffic while I have no problem with it. He labels traffic as a very bad and, in his words "infuriating". I think traffic is simply a part of driving in a city...I can't do anything about it, so why label it as a "bad" thing?"


Link: Stress & Health

Emotional Intelligence, Productivity, and Success

Website #1

Summary: This website is an online bibiography containing resources in the area of emotions and emotional intelligence - it also included research findings and discussed the origin of the term emotional intelligence.  It defined emotional intelligence, it's importance, and provided links to two tests that would measure your emotional intelligent quotient.  Emotional intelligence was a term that surged in popularity in the early 1990's, thanks in a large part, to a best selling book "Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman and expanded media coverage.  While it could be dismissed as "psychobabble," a level of high emotional intelligence has been an essential component of successful people in various fields of business, politics, and religion.  A person who has a high degree of emotional intelligence is aware of their own feelings, knows how to control them, has empathy, and can utilize this knowledge effectively to better life their lives.

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle: Emotional intelligence can help us to control or steer clear of choosing the "Negative About Self" or "Negative About Others" areas of the spin cycle.  It allows us to monitor and manage our emotions - therefore, we can assess our feelings before choosing what spin cycle we go into, or if we are feeling negative then we can see whether it is worth remaining there or not.  It gives us control over our own spin cycle.



What is emotional intelligence?
Recent discussions of EI proliferate across the American landscape -- from the cover of Time, to a best selling book by Daniel Goleman, to an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show. But EI is not some easily dismissed "neopsycho-babble." EI has its roots in the concept of "social intelligence," first identified by E.L. Thorndike in 1920. Psychologists have been uncovering other intelligences for some time now, and grouping them mainly into three clusters: abstract intelligence (the ability to understand and manipulate with verbal and mathematic symbols), concrete intelligence (the ability to understand and manipulate with objects), and social intelligence (the ability to understand and relate to people) (Ruisel, 1992). Thorndike (1920: 228), defined social intelligence as "the ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls -- to act wisely in human relations." And (1983) includes inter- and intrapersonal intelligences in his theory of multiple intelligences (see Gardner for an interesting interview with the Harvard University professor). These two intelligences comprise social intelligence. He defines them as follows:

Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand other people: what motivates them, how they work, how to work cooperatively with them. Successful salespeople, politicians, teachers, clinicians, and religious leaders are all likely to be individuals with high degrees of interpersonal intelligence. Intrapersonal intelligence ... is a correlative ability, turned inward. It is a capacity to form an accurate, veridical model of oneself and to be able to use that model to operate effectively in life.

Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, "is a type of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide one's thinking and actions" (Mayer & Salovey, 1993: 433). According to Salovey & Mayer (1990), EI subsumes Gardner's inter- and intrapersonal intelligence

Observing yourself and recognizing a feeling as it happens.

Managing emotions:
Handling feelings so that they are appropriate; realizing what is behind a feeling; finding ways to handle fears and anxieties, anger, and sadness.

Motivating oneself:
Channeling emotions in the service of a goal; emotional self control; delaying gratification and stifling impulses.

Sensitivity to others' feelings and concerns and taking their perspective; appreciating the differences in how people feel about things.

Handling relationships:
Managing emotions in others; social competence and social skills.
Self-awareness (intrapersonal intelligence), empathy and handling relationships (interpersonal intelligence) are essentially dimensions of social intelligence. See the Time magazine piece for an overview of emotional intelligence. Their article basically summarizes Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence book in a few simple pages, interjecting other experts' opinions and pieces of research to lend to a more balanced critique of emotional intelligence. In addition, look st the piece on emotional intelligence from a Hindu newspaper article. It offers a more theoretical and historical perspective on emotional intelligence.

Why is emotional intelligence important?
Researchers investigated dimensions of emotional intelligence (EI) by measuring related concepts, such as social skills, interpersonal competence, psychological maturity and emotional awareness, long before the term "emotional intelligence" came into use. Grade school teachers have been teaching the rudiments of emotional intelligence since 1978, with the development of the Self Science Curriculum and the teaching of classes such as "social development," "social and emotional learning," and "personal intelligence," all aimed at "raise[ing] the level of social and emotional competence" (Goleman, 1995: 262). Social scientists are just beginning to uncover the relationship of EI to other phenomenon, e.g., leadership (Ashforth and Humphrey, 1995), group performance (Williams & Sternberg, 1988), individual performance, interpersonal/social exchange, managing change, and conducting performance evaluations (Goleman, 1995). And according to Goleman (1995: 160), "Emotional intelligence, the skills that help people harmonize, should become increasingly valued as a workplace asset in the years to come."

Tests of Emotional Intelligence
Although no validated paper-and-pencil tests of emotional intelligence exist, two "fun" versions of emotional intelligence tests have been developed."


Website #2

Summary: I found an online emotional intelligence test (70 questions) that would measure a person's e.i. based on the answers they chose.  The questions tested the degree of awareness of your emotions and asked how you would react to certain situations.  The results shown were somewhat comprehensive and showed your general emotional intelligence score, as well as how you scored in other areas o e.i.  I did take it myself and found it enjoyable and interesting.  Below are some sample questions:

1. When I feel crappy, I know what or who is upsetting me.

O  Most of the time
O Often
O  Sometimes
O  Rarely
O  Almost never

2. Even when I do my best, I feel guilty about the things that did not get done.

O Most of the time
O Often
O Sometimes
O Rarely
O Almost never

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle: This tests helps you gives you a general clue of the level of your emotional intelligence.  People that have a low level of e.i. are not aware of their emotions and do not know why they feel the way they do - if they are stuck in the negative cycle then they are most likely to stay there.  Being unaware means having no control over your spin cycle.  Whereas, if you have a higher level of e.i., then you are emotional aware of youself - if you are in the negative spin cycle, then you can knowingly choose to cross over the bridge to the positive.  You can manage your emotions and change your mindset.

"For decades, a lot of emphasis has been put on certain aspects of intelligence such as logical reasoning, math skills, spatial skills, understanding analogies, verbal skills etc. Researchers were puzzled by the fact that while IQ could predict to a significant degree the academic performance and, to some degree, professional and personal success, there was something missing in the equation. Some of those with fabulous IQ scores were doing poorly in life; one could say that they were wasting their potential by thinking, behaving and communicating in a way that hindered their chances to succeed.

One of the major missing parts in the success equation is emotional intelligence, a concept made popular by the groundbreaking book by Daniel Goleman, which is based on years of research by numerous scientists such as Peter Salovey, John Meyer, Howard Gardner, Robert Sternberg and Jack Block, just to name a few. For various reasons and thanks to a wide range of abilities, people with high emotional intelligence tend to be more successful in life than those with lower EIQ even if their classical IQ is average.

The Emotional Intelligence Test will evaluate several aspects of your emotional intelligence and will suggest ways to improve it. Please be honest and answer according to what you really do, feel or think, rather than what you think is considered right in this test. Nobody is there to judge you, just yourself...and besides, there are many trick questions."

About The Emotional Intelligence Test - Revised

70 questions, 35-40 min

Number of credits required: 3  Question type:
Self-assessment and situational

What it measures:
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize and label one's feelings and needs, and reconcile those needs with both one's long-term goals and the needs of other people. People with a high EIQ know how to control their emotions, and are also able to motivate themselves and mobilize their internal resources (energy, effort, etc) along with their external (social networks, empathy, etc.) to be successful in life. It's not "smarts" in the typical IQ meaning of the word, but it is equally powerful.

What you get:
About Emotional Intelligence
General score
Behavioral score
Knowledge score
Emotional insight into self
Goal orientation and motivation
Emotional expression
Social insight and empathy
Advice: on how to improve specific skills of EIQ (specific for each subscore).

Popular for personal interest, HR testing, and counseling purposes.

Validation study:
Sample size: 84,000

Statistics performed:
Descriptive stats and reference values/norms; correlations with various factors; reliability (Spearman-Brown split-half, Guttman split-half, Cronbach alpha), criterion-related validity (concurrent validity, method of contrasted groups); construct-related validity (internal consistency, inter-correlations of subtests, factor analysis, convergent and discriminant validity)

Link: Emotional Intelligence Test

Website #3

Summary: Emotional intelligence is about being able to monitor your own emotions and other people's emotions, and using this knowledge to as a guide for your own thinking and acting.  It also means being able to manage your emotions during situations.  Emotional intelligence has been linked with occupational success - particularly with factors of empathy, being able to control emotions in times of stress, knowing how to express your emotions.

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle: Having this awareness of your emotions will allow for an easier time to cross the bridge.  If you are monitoring your emotions, then you are better aware of how the three-fold self dynamically work together and against each other.  You can also choose your options of the spin cycle and where you want to go - if you find yourself going into the negative zone, then you know what point you are on the spin cycle and can use self-regulatory prompts to counteract it.

Emotional Intelligence: What it is and Why it Matters

"Ever since the publication of Daniel Golemanās first book on the topic in 1995, emotional intelligence has become one of the hottest buzzwords in corporate America. For instance, when the Harvard Business Review published an article on the topic two years ago, it attracted a higher percentage of readers than any other article published in that periodical in the last 40 years. When the CEO of Johnson & Johnson read that article, he was so impressed that he had copies sent out to the 400 top executives in the company worldwide."

Contemporary Interest in the Topic

"When Salovey and Mayer coined the term emotional intelligence in 1990 , they were aware of the previous work on non-cognitive aspects of intelligence. They described emotional intelligence as "a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor oneās own and othersā feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide oneās thinking and action" . Salovey and Mayer also initiated a research program intended to develop valid measures of emotional intelligence and to explore its significance. For instance, they found in one study that when a group of people saw an upsetting film, those who scored high on emotional clarity (which is the ability to identify and give a name to a mood that is being experienced) recovered more quickly . In another study, individuals who scored higher in the ability to perceive accurately, understand, and appraise othersā emotions were better able to respond flexibly to changes in their social environments and build supportive social networks.

In the early 1990ās Daniel Goleman became aware of Salovey and Mayerās work, and this eventually led to his book, Emotional Intelligence. Goleman was a science writer for the New York Times, whose beat was brain and behavior research. He had been trained as a psychologist at Harvard where he worked with David McClelland, among others. McClelland was among a growing group of researchers who were becoming concerned with how little traditional tests of cognitive intelligence told us about what it takes to be successful in life."

The Value of Emotional Intelligence at Work

"Martin Seligman has developed a construct that he calls "learned optimism" . It refers to the causal attributions people make when confronted with failure or setbacks. Optimists tend to make specific, temporary, external causal attributions while pessimists make global, permanent, internal attributions. In research at Met Life, Seligman and his colleagues found that new salesmen who were optimists sold 37 percent more insurance in their first two years than did pessimists. When the company hired a special group of individuals who scored high on optimism but failed the normal screening, they outsold the pessimists by 21 percent in their first year and 57 percent in the second. They even outsold the average agent by 27 percent.

In another study of learned optimism, Seligman tested 500 members of the freshman class at the University of Pennsylvania. He found that their scores on a test of optimism were a better predictor of actual grades during the freshman year than SAT scores or high school grades.

The ability to manage feelings and handle stress is another aspect of emotional intelligence that has been found to be important for success. A study of store managers in a retail chain found that the ability to handle stress predicted net profits, sales per square foot, sales per employee, and per dollar of inventory investment.

Emotional intelligence has as much to do with knowing when and how to express emotion as it does with controlling it. For instance, consider an experiment that was done at Yale University by Sigdal Barsade . He had a group of volunteers play the role of managers who come together in a group to allocate bonuses to their subordinates. A trained actor was planted among them. The actor always spoke first. In some groups the actor projected cheerful enthusiasm, in others relaxed warmth, in others depressed sluggishness, and in still others hostile irritability. The results indicated that the actor was able to infect the group with his emotion, and good feelings led to improved cooperation, fairness, and overall group performance. In fact, objective measures indicated that the cheerful groups were better able to distribute the money fairly and in a way that helped the organization. Similar findings come from the field. Bachman found that the most effective leaders in the US Navy were warmer, more outgoing, emotionally expressive, dramatic, and sociable.

One more example. Empathy is a particularly important aspect of emotional intelligence, and researchers have known for years that it contributes to occupational success. Rosenthal and his colleagues at Harvard discovered over two decades ago that people who were best at identifying othersā emotions were more successful in their work as well as in their social lives . More recently, a survey of retail sales buyers found that apparel sales reps were valued primarily for their empathy. The buyers reported that they wanted reps who could listen well and really understand what they wanted and what their concerns were.

Thus far I have been describing research suggesting that "emotional intelligence" is important for success in work and in life. However, this notion actually is somewhat simplistic and misleading. Both Goleman and Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso have argued that by itself emotional intelligence probably is not a strong predictor of job performance. Rather, it provides the bedrock for competencies that are. Goleman has tried to represent this idea by making a distinction between emotional intelligence and emotional competence. Emotional competence refers to the personal and social skills that lead to superior performance in the world of work. "The emotional competencies are linked to and based on emotional intelligence. A certain level of emotional intelligence is necessary to learn the emotional competencies." For instance, the ability to recognize accurately what another person is feeling enables one to develop a specific competency such as Influence. Similarly, people who are better able to regulate their emotions will find it easier to develop a competency such as Initiative or Achievement drive. Ultimately it is these social and emotional competencies that we need to identify and measure if we want to be able to predict performance."


"So is there anything new about emotional intelligence? In some ways, emotional intelligence really is not new. In fact, it is based on a long history of research and theory in personality and social, as well as I/O, psychology. Furthermore, Goleman has never claimed otherwise. In fact, one of his main points was that the abilities associated with emotional intelligence have been studied by psychologists for many years, and there is an impressive, and growing, body of research suggesting that these abilities are important for success in many areas of life.

However, rather than arguing about whether emotional intelligence is new, I believe it is more useful and interesting to consider how important it is for effective performance at work. Although I have not had the time to cover very much of it, I hope I have shown that there now is a considerable body of research suggesting that a personās ability to perceive, identify, and manage emotion provides the basis for the kinds of social and emotional competencies that are important for success in almost any job. Furthermore, as the pace of change increases and the world of work makes ever greater demands on a personās cognitive, emotional, and physical resources, this particular set of abilities will become increasingly important. And that is good news for I/O psychologists, for they are the ones who are best situated to help clients to use emotional intelligence to improve both productivity and psychological well-being in the workplace of tomorrow."

Link: "Emotional Intelligence: What It Is and Why It Matters"

Website #4

Summary: This site explains how self awareness, mood management, self-motivation, empathy, and managing relationships are the five main componenets of emotional intelligence.  The article discusses how emotional intelligence should be skills that are taught to children in school.  Many young schoolkids that are involved with conflict - in areas of low self esteem, depression, and drug use - lack these skills.  Emotional intelligence skills can have a lifelong impact on a person.  

Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle: People that lack the skills of emotional intelligence find it hard to be able to cross the bridges of the emotional spin cycle, possibly because they are unaware of their emotional choices, don't know what they are feeling, or don't know how to go about crossing the bridge.

Emotional Intelligence

"In a 1994 report on the current state of emotional literacy in the U.S., author Daniel Goleman stated: " navigating our lives, it is our fears and envies, our rages and depressions, our worries and anxieties that steer us day to day. Even the most academically brilliant among us are vulnerable to being undone by unruly emotions. The price we pay for emotional literacy is in failed marriages and troubled families, in stunted social and work lives, in deteriorating physical health and mental anguish and, as a society, in tragedies such as killings..." Goleman attests that the best remedy for battling our emotional shortcomings is preventive medicine. In other words, we need to place as much importance on teaching our children the essential skills of Emotional Intelligence as we do on more traditional measures like IQ and GPA.

Exactly what is Emotional Intelligence?

The term encompasses the following five characteristics and abilities:

1. Self-awareness--knowing your emotions, recognizing feelings as they occur, and discriminating between them
2. Mood management--handling feelings so they're relevant to the current situation and you react appropriately
3. Self-motivation--"gathering up" your feelings and directing yourself towards a goal, despite self-doubt, inertia, and impulsiveness
4. Empathy--recognizing feelings in others and tuning into their verbal and nonverbal cues
5. Managing relationships--handling interpersonal interaction, conflict resolution, and negotiations

Why Do We Need Emotional Intelligence?

Research in brain-based learning suggests that emotional health is fundamental to effective learning. According to a report from the National Center for Clinical Infant Programs, the most critical element for a student's success in school is an understanding of how to learn. (Emotional Intelligence, p. 193.) The key ingredients for this understanding are:

Capacity to communicate
Ability to cooperate

These traits are all aspects of Emotional Intelligence. Basically, a student who learns to learn is much more apt to succeed. Emotional Intelligence has proven a better predictor of future success than traditional methods like the GPA, IQ, and standardized test scores.
Hence, the great interest in Emotional Intelligence on the part of corporations, universities, and schools nationwide. The idea of Emotional Intelligence has inspired research and curriculum development throughout these facilities. Researchers have concluded that people who manage their own feelings well and deal effectively with others are more likely to live content lives. Plus, happy people are more apt to retain information and do so more effectively than dissatisfied people.

Building one's Emotional Intelligence has a lifelong impact. Many parents and educators, alarmed by increasing levels of conflict in young schoolchildren--from low self-esteem to early drug and alcohol use to depression, are rushing to teach students the skills necessary for Emotional Intelligence. And in corporations, the inclusion of Emotional Intelligence in training programs has helped employees cooperate better and motivate more, thereby increasing productivity and profits."

Link: Emotional Intelligence

Website #5


Relationship to Emotional Spin Cycle:



These terms go hand in hand with the Emotional Spin Cycle Project (Reports 1 & 2) we are doing.  By defining these statements in our own words, it will help us to better understand the concepts that are associated with the emotional spin cycle (three fold self, negative spin cycle, positive spin cycle, two bridges, self regulatory prompts), the connection between them, and how they interact together.  Once we understand the terms and concepts of the emotional spin cycle, then we will be better prepared to do Report 2.  We will be conducting a self-experiment --- actively taking our understanding of these concepts and applying them to our own lives.  If we don't understand these concepts, then we cannot correctly go about doing Report 2.
Website Citations



Citation: "Biological and Psychological Approaches in Recovery From Depression, and Cognitive Therapy Using the Teachings of Jesus." Michael Free, Ph.D.

Citation: Schemas and Stories

Citation: Cf: U. Neisser,Cogniton and Reality (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman & Coy, 1976)


Citation: "From Global to Local: Causes and Costs of Ethnic Conflict." Collection of lessons developed by participants in the teacher workshop. May 3,2000.

Citation: "Parenting a Poorly Attached Child: Understanding and Bonding." Daniel A. Hughes



Citation: "Abnormal Tutorial"

Citation: "The Inner Rainmaker: Talking Yourself into Success." Ellen I. Carni, Ph.D.

Citation: "Sense of Humor." Rod A. Martin. University of Western Ontario

Citation: Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology

Citation: "Stress and Health" 1999 (c) QTechnologies, Inc.


Citation: Emotions and Emotional Intelligence

Citation: Emotional Intelligence Test

Citation: "Emotional Intelligence: What it is and Why it Matters" Cary Cherniss, Ph.D. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, New Orleans, LA, April 15, 2000

Citation: "Emotional Intelligence"


G-16 Class Homepage
 Dr. James Homepage
 Forum Discussions

Report 1    Report 2   Book Review
Electronic submissions may be sent to:
Home Sweet Home