Handbook of Cognition and Emotion

By Tim Dalgleish; Mick J. Power | Go to book overview
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Keith Oatley

Cognition and emotion—this phrase connects two concepts, but it is ambiguous. For some people it means the cognitive approach to emotion. For others it means the joining of two domains, cognition and affect, that were previously thought to be disparate. Understandings of cognition and emotion, under both meanings of the phrase, now occupy a prominent place in psychology and psychiatry, and this useful book is a result.

In their excellent textbook, Cognition and Emotion: From Order to Disorder, Mick Power and Tim Dalgleish offered, for the first time, a cognitive treatment that was systematically applied all the way from normal emotions through to emotional disorders. Fresh from that success, Dalgleish and Power have now assembled this impressive handbook which, again, is a first. With a transparent organization, it offers a broad coverage of cognition and emotion by a set of distinguished contributors, many of whom have been instrumental in establishing the field.

Books such as this are important in any science: they mark the phase in which enough is understood to define a field. Research on emotion generally has progressed from a state in which there were scattered publications, infrequent conferences and occasional edited books, to one in which there are journals devoted to emotions, an international society, textbooks, and handbooks such as this one.

After a lull during the first half of the century after it came to be dominated, at least in America, by the theory of William James and by opposition to it from his son-in-law Walter Cannon, research on emotion branched into new directions. In 1951, John Bowlby published his first book on attachment, the theory of which came to be based on the cognitive idea of mental models. From that time, emotions and their functions came to be of interest to developmental psychologists. Emotional development, which turns out also to be social development, has now achieved an importance at least equal to intellectual development. In this volume, developmental research—with a cognitive emphasis—is


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