In 1999 in the country of Jordan 35 year old Sirhan tells the story of how he murdered his sister, he is relaxed, happy, and proud of the fact that he saved his family from suffering the shame of her rape. His sister Susan was only 16 years old. Sirhan says she made a mistake; and even though it was not her fault, it is better for her to die than the whole family to die of shame. How could a brother kill his sister and feel no remorse? What emotions and feelings are involved in such a crime? How does society influence this type of behavior?
There are many emotions, feelings, and moods involved in committing such an act; it is learned behavior from a collectivist society, doing what is best for the family as a whole, not the individual. Emotions are such feelings as fear, joy, anger, and guilt, with a physiological arousal component involved; when people are fearful their hearts pound, they breath quickly their facial expressions change, and their bodies produce biochemicals. Complex thoughts often accompany emotions as when feelings of shame carry with them beliefs of inadequacy and self-loathing (Kenrick, Neuberg, & Cialdini, 2007, p. 143). Genetic heredity influences emotions and moods forming our attitudes; genes contribute greatly to feelings. Cultures teach their members when and how to experience and express their feelings. Genes and culture together create the foundation for our experiences and expression of feelings (Kenrick, Neuberg, & Cialdini, 2007, p. 145). Mood, like emotion, is an affective state. Emotion tends to have a clear focus, while mood tends to be more unfocused and diffused. Mood, according to Batson, Shaw, and Oleson (1992), involves tone and a structured set of beliefs about expectations of a positive or negative outcome in the future. Moods can last for days, weeks, months, or even years and demonstrate an individual's emotional state (Schucman, 1975).
Individualistic cultures such as the United States, people are seen as...
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