Alexithymia, A Critical Review and Empirical Test of Vocal Emotional Expressive Differences in Alexithymic and Non-Alexithymic Undergraduate Students
Date of Award
Dissertation - Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Topetzes, Nick J.
What does it mean to be emotional? Do human emotions have utility, purpose or meaning? Do all individuals experience emotion in a similar manner? What makes emotions problematic? What do they teach us about the nature and meaning of our existence? Although these questions have been raised since the dawn of western civilization, the emotional life of man remains enigmatic. It could be argued that it is emotional experience, rather than cognitive process, that creates the possibility of self-awareness and individual identity. Yet we seem to hold membership in culture that has no place for the perennial questions that have haunted the psychology of man. In a post-modern society, where rationality, control, and manipulation are the dominant values of day, emotional and imaginal dimensions of human existence are given an inferior status or simply denied as having any value at all. This general indifference to subjective experience may have grave implications for the future. The end of the century looms on the horizon like a spectre. In spite of technological triumphs that have literally transformed the face of the planet, our cultural moment is characterized by an anxiety; our mania for external control loses meaning when we no longer recognize from whence we came or where it is leading. Psychology in general, and educational psychology in particular, has expanded our understanding of intellectual function, cognitive development and learning. Our complex educational systems are testament to this achievement. However, if education can be defined as the attempt to effectively transmit culture from one generation to another, the paradox of our current situation becomes clear. The sheer magnitude of information accessible to any given individual at any moment in time continues to increase exponentially; while at the same time cultural changes have been so radical and rapid that it is virtually impossible to predict what type of knowledge and intellectual skills will have adaptational value for future generations....