Posts Tagged ‘Affective domain’

People remember the way we make them feel …

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Last week David Bowie sadly passed away. There was much sadness expressed, and some people questioned the level of the impact his death had on others. I had a discussion with a colleague on Facebook as to the reasons why Bowie’s death impacted on people in the way it did.

It was a theoretical discussion. I had seen him in concert, possess many of his albums and have been fascinated by the way he seemed to re-invent himself every 5 years or so. I was immensely impressed by his ability to demonstrate such imagination and creativity. I was saddened but not distraught, as some people seemed to have been.

Then, earlier this week, I learned of the death of Glenn Frey of the Eagles. As such a key member of The Eagles, they can never be the Eagles again now, so they have died too.

It took me straight back to my childhood. I recalled how my mum bought my dad a radio for his car in the early 1970’s – a car radio was a rarity at the time and I can vividly recall the bright red light that awkwardly and unevenly lit the waveband. The radio was so dad could listen to music as he drove around East Anglia – and The Eagles were his band. He never really took to the often compared Fleetwood Mac – his only other band was the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), but not even they matched the Eagles. Still to this day he loves their music, he loves their sound and he loves their lyrics. When their most recent album was released – “Long Road out of Eden” – he was full of praise for the ‘poetry’ they created in their lyrics, and I bought him Don Henley’s new album “Cass County” for Christmas as it is very much rooted in the music of the Eagles.

I think I have been to four Eagles concerts with him, with roughly five years between each. The last one was in the Summer of 2014, when the picture at the top was taken. As dad was approaching 80 at the time, I thought he might not want or be able to get to another one, so I paid a ridiculous price (he still has no idea how much!) for tickets in the second row from the front. I never thought it would be his last Eagles concert due to one of the band passing away. It was a marvellous concert and he loved it. We both loved it.

The Eagles have been part of the fabric of my life, part of the fabric of my family’s life, from as early as I can remember … me sitting in shorts on the back seat of our Ford Cortina on those plastic type seats cars had then, watching that little red light – and listening to the Eagles. Right through to taking the train last year to Winslow, Arizona – not such a fine sight to see, I can assure you, as my photo might show – due to its connections with the band.

I am distraught. I am gutted. I feel like part of the foundation of my family and its history has been unexpectedly taken away from me.

That discussion I had with the colleague on Facebook? – now I could discuss it based on my feelings.  And that’s the difference between the deaths of Bowie and Frey for me personally.

For Bowie, I remembered what he had done. For Frey, I remembered the way he made me feel. All my memories are based on those feelings.

That is the way it is, and should be – people will always remember the way we have made them feel; happy or sad, angry or elated. Not necessarily what we have done.

We should never forget that.



Re-United – the 1992 Committee

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

© Reuters

Music bands reform on a reasonably regular basis – usually with the aim of making as much money over as short a period of time as possible. As I write this, Fleetwood Mac are soon to tour with Christine McVie back in the line-up, re-creating the band as it was for the Rumours album, and there is talk that Oasis are about to reform after five years apart. Similarly, Monty Python are taking the same approach in July this year – quite openly with the exactly same financial objective – with their “One down, five to go” shows.

And in the same way that Monty Python are down to 5 out of its 6 members, through the sad death of Graham Chapman, Manchester United’s  Class of ‘92 are too, but in a different way. Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt have bought Salford City FC, keen to offer support to a local football venture, whilst David Beckham is creating a different vision in Miami.

More immediate than that, however, is their re-united presence at Old Trafford. The short reign of David Moyes is over and Ryan Giggs is in charge. Phil Neville – one of Moyes’ assistants – has been retained; he’s not to blame apparently, he can’t be – he’s a part of the Class of ’92 – what is now being referred to as the 1992 Committee. Paul Scholes has returned this week, too, and Nicky Butt is more involved. That only leaves Gary Neville, but he may well be there commentating for Sky whilst also being part way through his football coaching badges.

The scene is set – for a thunderous atmosphere at the game against Norwich later today. But the logic and theory for such an atmosphere doesn’t add up – it is completely irrational. Giggs has far less experience as a manager than Moyes, and is apparently not being considered for the permanent role. His lieutenants do not have much more experience. So what do they have? They have three things.

Being the 1992 Committee. They are that home grown crop of players who were central to United’s successes between roughly 1995 and 2010. They are the history that the supporters yearn for – they played completely differently to how Moyes’ teams played. They are seen as the saviours – both potentially on the pitch and because the rumours are that they are leading a bid to buy Manchester United back from the Glazers. In the week we have celebrated St George’s Day, they are returning to slay some dragons.

Symbolism. Giggs moved his pre-match press conference back to the time and place that Sir Alex held them. The news channels were running a picture of the four of them together – Giggs, Scholes, Phil Neville and Butt – there could have been more as there are more coaches (for example, the goalkeeping coach who has been retained as he has helped De Gea considerably). But just the four in the photograph.

Use of Emotional intelligence. When exploring EI in speeches, I often use Henry V’s St Crispin’s Day monologue, or some of Barak Obama’s, but what about Ryan Giggs’ press conference?

“I am proud, I am happy and a little nervous” (Self-awareness).

“My mind-set is on Norwich first and then the remaining three games”, and It’s been a frustrating season and I want to end it on a high” (Self-management).

“I can’t wait for Saturday – I know the place will be rocking and know the fans will be behind us” and “My philosophy is the Manchester United philosophy,” (Social awareness).

“I’d like to thank David [Moyes] for giving me my first chance in coaching” and “I trust the players, I know what they are capable of and I want them to go out and show it against Norwich” (Relationship Management).

He was clear and passionate about what he wants to achieve: “I want players to play with passion, speed, tempo and be brave, with imagination, all the things that are expected of a Manchester United player. I want to see goals, tackles, players taking players on and getting the crowd up. I want the passion that should come with being a Manchester United player”.

Whatever happens during the game, the atmosphere and build up will be electric. Not for any rational reasons – purely for emotional ones. It will demonstrate the power of emotion attachments and symbols. Who knows what the result will be – I don’t (and I have published this before the game) – but it has huge potential based on emotional motivation.

Will it be another example of how dreams, potential and belief can be brought to fruition in completely irrational ways?

My son was in a class of 18 two weekends ago at St George’s, the FA HQ. He was on a coaching course. When the un-named guest speaker arrived, it was Ryan Giggs – to be assessed for his UEFA ‘A’ Coaching qualifications. (As an aside, I wonder whether he will have been more nervous for that or his first game in charge?).

I asked Alex whether he said anything to Giggs at the end of the session; “I just shook his hand and said that I hoped he got his goal for the season … (Giggs is the only person to have scored in every season since the Premier League was introduced in 1991) … and he said that it would be good but he was running out of games”.

Perhaps, just perhaps …


Being Santa

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

This blog post carries a warning. Its content is unsuitable for anyone under the age of about 10.

My first ever paid employment was in Santa’s grotto. I was an elf. It was at the now defunct Co-op on George Hudson Street, York. Whilst I am proud that we were voted the third best grotto in the north of England that year, I can’t claim too much responsibility – as an elf, I had to be neither seen nor heard.  My role was to listen to the conversations that Santa was having with each child and then decide what gift to send down the chute to Janet aged 6, Stephen aged 4, etc. When faced with problems such as Sam or Jo(e) aged 2, a peek at the colour of clothing was also required – and then I hoped for shades of blue or pink as opposed to yellow …

The job lasted about 2 months. In the last week of December, visitor numbers plummeted. Santa was old news – for the moment – and we elves had to move on.

But having caught the bug, it stayed with me. About 15 years later, I saw a solitary Santa outfit in a Homebase January sale – for £2.50. Seeing it took me back to my time in the grotto. I briefly reminisced about the fun that was had, I smiled to myself, and quickly decided that I was ready to move up from elf to Santa, and so rescued the lonely and forlorn outfit. There was also no doubt in my mind that the amount of fun I could have with it would be an ample return on investment for me. And I was so right!

That was many years ago. I now have additional accessories – such as a bag for presents – and a back-up outfit in case I get any problems with the No 1 suit.

I have been Santa for individuals, and I have been Santa for groups of over a hundred. I never cease to be amazed by the reactions that I (or, probably more accurately, Santa) generates. It works on all ages, with the best reactions generally being from the relatively young and the relatively old – most people aged between about 13 and 33 seem to go through a ‘serious phase’ that precludes them from having any Santa related fun.

It’s not all fun though – Santa has to have his wits about him. Last year an eight year old girl asked Santa if he had to speak lots of different languages. Santa replied that of course he did. “Speak to me in Latin, Santa”, she retorted. Santa explained that he didn’t need to speak that language as nobody else did now, and quickly moved on to other less challenging customers.

And once Santa has visited, the magic can continue. A few years ago, Santa was asked to give an unexpected surprise to Lou. Whilst the encounter took place on a pavement next to a busy road in north west England, Lou loved it. What made this encounter different was that about a year later Lou came on one of my courses – and up to that point she only knew me as Santa!

Lou is now my Chief Elf, undertaking what she believes are genuine Elf qualifications (if she reads this, perhaps the magic will not continue much longer!), and during each December we have a number of Elf / Santa related email exchanges.

Santa’s most recent gig was with some forty-something and fifty-something year old training consultant colleagues. As expected, they were quickly exercising their child ego-states and had regressed to single digit ages – particularly when they received selection boxes from Santa.  I sadly missed the visit of Santa – I had to make a 15 minute phone call – but they told me all about it when I returned.

As the conversation returned to more mature exchanges, we reflected on how Santa can change people’s moods so quickly. We talked about the old Venetian Masquerade Balls where one of the primary reasons for the masks was so that everyone felt they could relax and say what they wanted to say. As we are all into training and improving performance, we then started discussing the benefits of being able to achieve such anonymity and freedom of expression in a classroom environment. We also discussed how Santa was (and is) able to bring about such a ‘state change’ in people and that this would also be a powerful tool in many situations if it was possible to replicate it. Is it possible?

It certainly highlights the benefits of using innovative methodologies and using the affective domain in learning situations.  As the saying goes, “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”

And that is as true at Christmas as it is in the classroom environment all year around.

A very Happy Christmas Lou, Peter, Judith, Adrian, Susan – even the 8 year old girl – and everyone else who reads Paul’s blog! Must dash – I’ve got a busy day ahead. Ho, ho, ho! …


Vouching for the Benefits of Rapport

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Eighty-seven in one go!  That’s definitely a record. I got sixty-five in one go last year, and forty-something earlier this year, but I’m very pleased with eighty-seven! I’m talking about the ‘Active Kids Vouchers’ and ‘School Vouchers’ that the large supermarkets give out at this time of year. It’s usually one for every £10 you spend in the store. And all down to rapport and first impressions!

Rapport. The ability to build rapport is such a useful and powerful skill, but one that is often given too little value.

I can recall so many occasions at work when early in the day I passed people in the corridor and they would say “How are you?”, or “How’s things?” – and in the vast majority of instances didn’t really mean it and weren’t at all interested. Because if you reply, “I’m not too good, actually” or “Could be better, really”, they generally don’t stop and show concern or ask what they could do to help.

Some carry on walking having not even heard your response. They weren’t listening because they didn’t really want to know the answer – they were on auto-pilot.

Some hear the reply and carry on walking but verbally respond with something like “Well I hope things get better for you soon”. These people probably think to themselves, “Phew, that was a close shave – nearly had to get into a conversation there …”. They don’t, however, think about what they could do next time to ensure that they don’t get into that same situation again.

Others feel obliged to stop, having heard the response, but aren’t really sure what to say next. Perhaps because it’s too unstructured an area for them, perhaps because of the public location, perhaps because they are busy and need to be somewhere else.

So why do they say it if they’re not interested? They should just say, “Hello”, and stop trying to make out they’re interested when they are clearly not. They have little understanding of rapport.

I used to play a game with our children when they were younger – say 12, or 13 years old. When we stayed at certain hotels and if there was some spare time, I would challenge them to see how many hotel shampoos or bars of soap they could collect. The rules were that they could not take them without permission – the only way they could get them was by asking for them. And in asking for them they could not use deceit – for example, they couldn’t claim that there weren’t any in our room when we got there. And the challenge was to see how many they could get. Often they did very well, and having counted how many they had got (and awarded any promised prize) we then discussed how they did it – and it always came down to building rapport.

My son has since used this to good effect in the “Marks and Spencer Challenge”. This is a family game that takes place annually in York just a few days before Xmas. From about October, my father creates a set of questions, the answers to which can all be found in M&S. (For example, ‘Buy 3 different bags of sweets from the 3 for £1 section, and the person with the highest total of sweets from the three bags wins 15 points’ – so quite detailed questions). Each of his 5 grandchildren then has an hour to complete the questions and tasks. There is an engraved trophy awarded to the winner each year – and my son has won it for the past two years. This is mainly because he first finds the largest group of M&S staff, then explains to them what he is doing and then seeks their assistance. They seem to love the idea and so set off in all directions to get the answers for him! His success is built on rapport.

And the 87 vouchers? I got those on Saturday at a Tesco petrol station. But I didn’t buy £870 worth of fuel, I only bought £30 worth. But I did build a little rapport. There is always something to talk about – which is the skill of rapport. Not the weather, something a little different. It might be commenting about how there are usually two staff there and you hope they are not getting worked too hard , or that all 8 cars being filled up are silver and how often does that happen, or something  about a headline in one of the newspapers. It needs to be a question, not just a statement, so that you interact. And as you leave, if you haven’t already been offered them, you ask for your vouchers. And in this case I was just handed the remainder of a booklet.

So, should you choose to accept it, this is your challenge  – how many vouchers can you get on your next visit to your supermarket, and if you get a goodly amount tell me about it. And, most importantly, what was your rapport building question?

And finally you find a grateful school to accept your vouchers!


Story of a life

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

When I was doing my ‘A’ levels many years ago here in England, there was a guy in my English Literature group who had just transferred from a school in New York. I can’t remember his name. There was always an air of mystery as to how and why he had arrived at our school. He was regarded as being very street-wise and was a key member of the in-crowd.  I didn’t mix with him too much, but did walk with him towards our homes on a few occasions – generally after we had an English lesson at the end of the day.

I have two key recollections of him. The first was when we were walking past some horses and before I could tell him not to walk behind them, he did and got booted to the floor. He may have been street-wise, but was not animal-wise. The second was that he introduced me to the words and music of Harry Chapin. He was a big fan, a very big fan.  I am now a big fan and have been for many years, and I have him to thank for introducing me.

Harry Chapin

Within the training context I have used Harry’s music and words on many occasions over the years. They can be really impactive for delegates in some key learning areas, and the affective nature of the experience can leave a lasting impression – as long as it is debriefed with skill and care. The two songs that I have used most regularly are “Flowers are Red” and “Why do Little Girls?” They are great for exploring diversity issues.

I used one this week that I have never used before. It’s “Mr Tanner” and it tells the story of Martin Tanner, who loves to sing. Singing wasn’t his profession – he ran a cleaning shop – but singing made his life whole. And apparently he was pretty good at it. He knew he had a few flaws, but all his friends said he could take it further. I suppose in today’s world, he would have been encouraged to audition for The X Factor or similar. Mr Tanner listened to the friends, and decided to give it a go, and so hired a hall and gave a concert. The critics lambasted him. As a result he never sang again. “Music was his life”, Harry tells us, and in the space of a couple of hours at the concert, this had been lost and his life continued incomplete.

I used it to illustrate the impact a trainer – or manager – can have when giving feedback and encouraging people to take risks.  With false encouragement and (or) poor quality feedback that is imbalanced, there can be a huge negative impact for those we should be helping to develop. That’s not to say we shouldn’t encourage people to develop, just that we should do it with care and empathy.

And I’m pleased to say it went really well with the group of trainers I was working with – very impactive, created some great discussion and left a lasting impression.

As for Harry Chapin, I got to one of his concerts. An altogether different affair.  It was back in 1981, and I just wish I had known more of his songs before I went. After the show he signed programmes and was happy to go to the bar with people – all driven by his desire to sell as much merchandise as possible to help the World Health Organisation. He did about 100 concerts a year purely for raising money for charity.

Very sadly, three months later he died in a car crash in New York – which geographically takes us back to where I started from in this post.  As Harry used to sing to end his concerts, “All my life’s a circle …”


The Affective Domain – a little more detail

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Since blogging a couple of times about matters connected to the Affective Domain of Learning, I have had a discussion with one trainer who informed me that it was not covered at all in their course – I find that concerning.

I believe that a trainer is missing a vital tool if they do not understand and use the Affective Domain. In my blog of 26 July I gave an example of how it could be used in a learning event.

So, what exactly is it? Well, the Affective Domain (together with the Cognitive and Psychomotor Domains) came about as a result of work by Benjamin Bloom and other colleagues

There are five levels to the Domain, and these are:

  1. Receiving
  2. Responding
  3. Valuing
  4. Organisation
  5. Characterisation

As it is a Taxonomy (an ordered list), a person can only progress to a level as a result of having ‘passed through’ the lower levels. Let me give you an example.

Let’s say you are watching an appeal programme on TV such as Children in Need or Comic Relief. For anyone who hasn’t seen any such programmes, they tend to be several hours in duration and comprise a combination of celebrity appearances, films showing the suffering of various sections of the world’s population, the presentation of cheques towards these causes and details of how the viewer can also financially contribute.

By watching the programme, you are ‘Receiving’ and so are willing to watch what is being shown. You are at the first level. You may then have a conversation with a person watching with you in relation to what is being shown, which would take you to the ‘Responding’ stage. If, during that conversation, you expressed a view such as, “That’s terrible, that shouldn’t happen to anyone”, you would have progressed to the ‘Valuing’ level. A short time later you add, “In fact that’s so bad, I’m going to ‘phone in and give £10”. At this point you have reached the forth level, that of ‘Organisation’.  When you wake up the following morning you add, “I was thinking about that film last night. I have decided that I’m going to give an amount each month so that I can help a little”. Later that day, you arrange to pay an amount each month – at which point you have arrived at ‘Characterisation’ as you have demonstrated this new value.

When watching such programmes, the celebrities are sometimes – and understandably – in tears or visibly upset when witnessing some of the suffering. Within the Affective Domain they are probably at ‘Valuing’ at that point. Whether they move to a deeper level will depend on whether they do anything with their new learning after the event. Does it change their value system, or, once they return to their home, do they put it to one side and do nothing else with it.

As trainers or training mangers, we need to ensure that what we deliver has the maximum possible effect, and the maximum potential to improve performance. The Affective Domain gives a great framework for planning a methodology that will improve the retention of learning by the affect upon the learner.


Playing with feeling and playing to learn

Monday, July 26th, 2010

In my last post I talked about the value that can be gained from affective learning methodologies, and the reluctance of some trainers to use such methodologies. One such methodology is the role play, and in this post I will give a brief run through on how to do it well.

Some role plays are very tightly scripted or structured – almost being the acting out of a scenario, or a simulation – and such activities are not intended to, nor are they likely to, achieve any affective based learning.

In order to create learning through the use of the Affective domain, the role play needs to be as unstructured as possible – and even then there is no guarantee it will achieve this. As the title suggests, it needs to involve ‘play’. We first learn to ‘play’ as children – and this generally takes place within very loose parameters, generates feelings and is one of the principle ways for children to develop their understanding of the world around them. Not unlike a good role play!

When I think back to learning events that I have really enjoyed delivering because of the intensity of the learning that has taken place, several involve unstructured or semi-structured role plays. When prepared, delivered and – most importantly – de-briefed effectively, they are an impactive way to improve interpersonal and decision making skills in a safe environment, generating long lasting learning.

Here are some key points to incorporate into your planning if you want to stand the best chance of creating an affective role play.

  • Be clear about why you are choosing the methodology – does it link in to your desired outcomes or objectives?
  • Role plays tend to be most impactive once the group is settled and relatively comfortable with each other.
  • Use volunteers – the more relaxed and willing the participants are, the more likely they are to ‘get into the role’.
  • Use written instructions so that the participants don’t know what the briefs are for each other.
  • Use names that can be for either gender – Sam or Pat for example – so that you can use whoever volunteers.
  • Where you are using an unstructured role, it is important to give the role a person’s name (i.e. Sam). This will make it clear to the person playing the role that their skills are not being assessed by those watching. In order to generate real feelings, they need to understand that they are not being asked to ‘perform’.
  • Give sufficient instructions so that the participants know how to get started, together with the licence to react as they feel fit as the role play unfolds – so you give them a ‘role’, and encourage them to ‘play’.

When might you use one? Well, one example could be in customer service training where you are wanting (1) delegates to be able to explain the potential effect on customers of a particular course of action and (2) to give feedback to a delegate on how he or she deals with a situation they may be faced with in the future.

Your briefing for the employee who will receive feedback on how they deal with a scenario could be that they are required to deal with a customer complaint in the role in which they are employed – in this instance as a Borough Council ‘front desk’ clerk.  The complainant’s brief could be that they are Sam and have neighbours who have had noisy parties for the last three weekends which have stopped Sam from sleeping. As a result Sam has spoken to the neighbour who has said that they will carry on having them, and so Sam wants the Council to address the matter before the weekend. Sam can react as he or she sees fit dependent upon how Sam is dealt with by the clerk.

Having run the role play to its natural conclusion you come to the all important de-brief. Important because you may have generated feelings in individuals and as the instigator (and trainer) you have a responsibility to discuss and give meaning to these. Important because this is where the learning is for all who are present. This is the order in which I would de-brief the scenario – and the order is important for the benefit of all those involved.

  1. Go to ‘Sam’ and ask them what they are feeling / what emotions they have.
  2. Go to Council employee (using real name) and ask the same
  3. Ask if the role play has generated any feelings for the rest of the group, and if so what feelings.
  4. Go to ‘Sam’, and this time using his / her real name, ask why Sam had the feelings described in point 1. Explore what created each of those feelings. (The name change is important here as it starts to take the person out of role).
  5. Using their own names, ask the same questions of the Council clerk and any others from the group.
  6. Points 4 & 5 above have enabled you to extract the affective learning and enabled you to debrief those involved.
  7. You can then debrief the rest of the role play in a similar way to how you might have done if you had used as a case exercise or case study as your methodology. If there are no feelings generated, you would again de-brief in a similar way to a case exercise.
  8. Ensure the group has taken all the learning from the scenario.

That’s my 5 minute guide to running and de-briefing a role play with the intention of incorporating the Affective domain of learning. Did it make sense? If not, or you need more information, please get in touch.


To the Affective and beyond …

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010


Toy Story 3

Buzz, Woody and co are back! Toy Story 3 has arrived and is at a cinema near you. Reports say that it is a quite brilliant film, with the ability to appeal to both young and old. I’m getting excited just writing about it (and on a personal note, I’m surprised it has taken me until my fifteenth blog post to mention anything Disney)!  

Whilst it appears that Toy Story 3 will appeal to all ages, I get the impression that it’s one of those films where the adults will get more emotional than the children, and the children probably will not understand why the parents are getting all tearful – so some explanation or meaning may be required.

As many trainers know, this could be a great example of some affective learning. I’m also aware that many trainers know very little about the affective domain, and even when they do they are reluctant to use it. This is often due to the perception of such scenarios being complicated to de-brief, or that they may lose control of what takes place and not be able to gain the learning.

The majority of trainers will have a good understanding of Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy (or ‘ordered list’) of Cognitive learning which describes the 6 levels we, as trainers, can seek to attain with our learning methodologies. Many of us also use the Psychomotor domain of learning – the domain through which people learn how to use, for example, tools. So, when we learn to drive we learn through the Cognitive domain (what signs mean, when to indicate) and the Psychomotor domain (how to change gear, how to steer the vehicle along a correct course).

I can also recall a few affective experiences during my time driving. The one that immediately springs to mind involves a level crossing near Barnsdale Bar, but the less said about that the better – suffice to say it didn’t involve any trains or vehicles other than mine.  The Affective domain relates to feelings, and Affective learning is when we learn from those feelings.  Due to feelings having been involved, it can make the learning far longer lasting and far more potent than would otherwise be the case. Consequently, due to how much I scared myself at that level crossing, and the fact I understand what I did wrong, I haven’t made the same error again.

The use of the Affective domain can be a really powerful tool in situations such as role plays, when using an evocative piece of music or when asking people to imagine themselves in a certain scenario. I will explain in another post how to run these as effectively as possible.

The most important thing to remember, however, is that a person doesn’t actually learn whist experiencing the feelings – they learn from being de-briefed. They learn in the cognitive domain from understanding their feelings – and in learning situations people will often not fully appreciate why they have experienced certain feelings.  And the rest of the group – who may not have experienced any feelings – will learn vicariously from the effective de-briefing of the situation.

The reviewer of Toy Story 3 at commented, “You might bring a handkerchief along. Or some tissue. Whatever you have. A long-sleeved shirt will do. You’re going to need it. My viewing companion openly sobbed during the entire final five minutes”.

If you go and see Toy Story 3, I’m pretty sure that you will understand where any feelings come from – but those around you may not, particularly if they are young. You will be able to increase their understanding of the world with a helpful explanation of what happened for you – once you’ve stopped sobbing!