The Study of Cognitive & Affective Bases of Psychology
Cognitive and affective psychology is the empirical branch of psychology, which aims to answer all questions regarding human activities, related to knowledge and emotions, such as, how we think, learn, and remember. It is grounded on the theory that thoughts and emotions affect our behavior; furthermore, behavior can be changed through a modification of our thoughts or emotions. Cognitive psychologists examine how our minds obtain, apply, organize, and retrieve information. In addition, the topics of attention, decision-making, critical thinking, reasoning, creativity, memory, perception, problem solving, thinking, and the use of language, all reside under the branch of cognitive psychology.
The personal and transpersonal models are the two general categories of cognitive-affective models. Personal models assert that consciousness is a product of the brain. Whereas transpersonal models assume that cognitive and affective, abilities can be changed or manifested into something higher. Cognitions refer to the mental procedures or processes by which knowledge is acquired and understood. The focus behind the study of cognitive psychology is learning how the internal states of the human mind operate in the brain and nervous system, in order to contribute to our behaviors. Cognitions are an important part of many different disciplines including: psychology, philosophy, linguistics, science, and computer science.
The study of cognitive psychology is centered on how perception, attention, memory, language, and thinking, interplay within the human mind to make sense of our surroundings, attribute meaning to our worlds, and then feel an emotional pull. The relationship between emotion and cognition has been debated for centuries, and has received many different conclusions, such as: emotion is the opposite of reason (Weber, 1946), emotion is deeply interwoven with reason (Ashforth and Humphrey, 1995), emotion can occur independently of reason (Zajonc, 1980; Izard, 1992). Cognition is the process of thought that occurs in awareness of stimuli, before moving toward a behavioral response. In contrast, emotions are immediate responses to environmental stimuli that are important to the individual and tend to be short. Although similar, emotion is not mood. Moods are not linked to specific events or objects; they are also lower in intensity than emotions yet longer lasting. Affect encompasses emotion, mood, and temperament.
Motivated by scientific curiosity, the desire for practical applications, and the need to provide a solid foundation for the other fields of social cognitive sciences, As a formal branch of study, modern cognitive psychology has been intensely influenced by the work of Noam Chomsky, Albert Bandura, and Ulric Neisser. However, the topics of knowledge accruement have been an area of psychological inquiry long before Lightner Witmer declared the term “clinical psychology.” Nineteenth century philosophers, Aristotle and Plato endeavored to understand the human-mind and how it functions in the beginning of experimental psychology. Cognitions remained a salient piece of scientific inquiry until the Behaviorism Movement dominated the psychological scene in North American. At this time and throughout the 1950s many psychologists restricted themselves to the examination of only observable stimuli.
A critical turning point in the history of psychology (specifically, cognitive psychology) occurred in 1956 with the emergence of both cognitive psychology and cognitive science as major disciplines. The contributing forces behind this movement included: George Miller who explained numerous studies showing that the capacity of human thinking is limited. Additionally, at this time computers had been around just a few years, yet cognitive psychologists Allen Newell, and Herbert Simon were founding the field of artificial intelligence. Noam Chomsky also rejected...
References: Ashforth, B.E. and Humphrey, R.H., (1995). Emotion in the workplace: a reappraisal, Human Relations, 48(2), pp. 97 – 125.
Boden, M.A., (2008). Mind as machine: A history of cognitive psychology. Minds and Machines, 18(1), pp. 121-125.
Sternberg, R. J., (1999). Cognition and instruction. In F. T. Durso (Ed.), Handbook of cognition (pp. 571–593). New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Weber, M., (1946). From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, New York: Oxford University Press.
Zajonc, R.B., (1980). Feeling and thinking: preferences need no inferences, American Psychologist, 35(2), pp. 151–175.
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