Essay: Cognitive Psychology: Emotions and Cognition

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Cognitive Psychology: Emotions and Cognition

Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that is predominantly occupied with the mental process. These would include how people think, perceive ideas and things, recall and also learn. It is related to other disciplines like philosophy, neuroscience and linguistics. According to Kendra Cherry (2011), cognitive psychology has to do with acquisition, encoding and storage of information in the human brain. It is worth noting at the onset that what makes cognitive psychology stand out is that, different from the behaviorism that predominantly focuses on the behaviors that can be seen, cognitive psychology will go beyond this by taking the observable behavior as a key to the internal mental status which is the main focus of cognitive psychology.

Of central concern here is the relationship between emotions and cognition since there have been varied arguments and discussion on the line between these two. Apparently the line between emotion and cognition seems faint and temporary. The two often go together or one evokes the other and in turn the response of an individual to a situation is as a result of both. There is also need to understand that there is not a fixed order that the emotion and cognition must come but there is variance depending on the situation or the event. Zajonc's R., (1984) indicated that emotional response to a large number of events occurred almost immediately, even before the event is processed in the cognitive part of the brain. Here, it was found out that man can emotionally respond to stimuli that are so subliminal that it can pass the human cognition and consciousness. When perceptual information is received, it is first, even before the cognitive processing, evaluated as good-bad judgment. Incase the stimuli is assessed as a bad one or a threat, then the physiological arousal and avoidance response is triggered. However, this initial response can be revised subsequently upon cognition. To illustrate this is the case where one flinches on a loud bang, before relaxing upon realizing it was not a firearm but a tire burst. Here there was an emotional response before the cognition came in later to clarify the stimuli hence changing the response as well. Here, in as much as the emotional response came first,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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