Motivation, Emotion, and Cognition: Integrative Perspectives on Intellectual Functioning and Development

Motivation, Emotion, and Cognition: Integrative Perspectives on Intellectual Functioning and Development

Motivation, Emotion, and Cognition: Integrative Perspectives on Intellectual Functioning and Development

Motivation, Emotion, and Cognition: Integrative Perspectives on Intellectual Functioning and Development

Synopsis

The central argument of this book is that cognition is not the whole story in understanding intellectual functioning and development. To account for inter-individual, intra-individual, and developmental variability in actual intellectual performance, it is necessary to treat cognition, emotion, and motivation as inextricably related. Motivation, Emotion and Cognition: Integrative Perspectives on Intellectual Functioning and Development: *represents a new direction in theory and research on intellectual functioning and development; *portrays human intelligence as fundamentally constrained by biology and adaptive needs but modulated by social and cultural forces; and *encompasses and integrates a broad range of scientific findings and advances, from cognitive and affective neurosciences to cultural psychology, addressing fundamental issues of individual differences, developmental variability, and cross-cultural differences with respect to intellectual functioning and development. By presenting current knowledge regarding integrated understanding of intellectual functioning and development, this volume promotes exchanges among researchers concerned with provoking new ideas for research and provides educators and other practitioners with a framework that will enrich understanding and guide practice.

Excerpt

What enables us to function effectively in society, to acquire and generate knowledge, to develop intellectual prowess and high-level expertise, to create and invent? Psychologists have attempted to answer this question for generations. Historically, intellectual functioning and development have been largely viewed as cognitive phenomena, to be explained in terms of cognitive capacity, structures, and processes. Motivation and emotion are often seen as peripheral or epiphenomenal in that regard, or worse, as potentially detrimental to reason and sound judgment. We call this view a cognitive-reductionistic perspective. We argue that an exclusive emphasis on cognition misses some essential components of intellectual functioning and development. We wonder whether such a narrow focus has started to yield diminishing returns in generating viable accounts of various intellectual phenomena.

In this volume, we pursue a different tack, an integrative approach, which views motivation, emotion, and cognition as inextricably related, for good or ill, in intellectual functioning and development. This road has been less traveled but holds the promise of providing insights as to how people operate and adapt themselves intellectually in real functional contexts instead of just performing laboratory tasks. An emphasis on integration naturally brings the enactive person as a whole to the forefront. In other words, such an emphasis puts perception and cognition back in the context of human adaptive efforts to effect changes in their environments as well as in themselves, and related emotional reactions and affective experiences.

Specifically, this volume represents integrative efforts along four lines of psychological research.

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