The Psychology of Evaluation: Affective Processes in Cognition and Emotion

The Psychology of Evaluation: Affective Processes in Cognition and Emotion

The Psychology of Evaluation: Affective Processes in Cognition and Emotion

The Psychology of Evaluation: Affective Processes in Cognition and Emotion

Synopsis

The affective connotations of environmental stimuli are evaluated spontaneously and with minimal cognitive processing. The activated evaluations influence subsequent emotional and cognitive processes. Featuring original contributions from leading researchers active in this area, this book reviews and integrates the most recent research and theories on this exciting new topic. Many fundamental issues regarding the nature of and relationship between evaluations, cognition, and emotion are covered. The chapters explore the mechanisms and boundary conditions of automatic evaluative processes, the determinants of valence, indirect measures of individual differences in the evaluation of social stimuli, and the relationship between evaluations and mood, as well as emotion and behavior. Offering a highly integrated and comprehensive coverage of the field, this book is suitable as a core textbook in advanced courses dealing with the role of evaluations in cognition and emotion.

Excerpt

Evaluative and affective information processing in individuals has long been a fundamental issue in social and cognitive psychology. The concepts affect, valence, and attitude are all fundamentally linked to the most basic psychological dimensions of good versus bad, positive versus negative, approach versus avoidance. The processing of stimulus valence, that is, the act of determining the location of a stimulus on the affective dimension, is at the heart of most current theories in cognition and emotion. Accordingly, there has been a dramatic increase in interest evaluative processes the late 20th century. Research on the nature of evaluative processes is now one of the most rapidly growing endeavours of psychology and provides a unifying focus for researchers working in a variety of disciplines such as social, cognitive, and personality psychology.

Of particular interest has been the question whether evaluations are elicited automatically, without intent, effort, and conscious awareness, how these evaluations influence subsequent information processing. Much of this research has been conducted in the framework of the affective priming paradigm and has sought to identify conditions under which evaluations are processed automatically. Another major concern has been the consequences of the activated evaluations on the perceiver's judgments and behaviors. In addition, theoretical progress has revealed a number of surprising parallels and connections between affective priming other paradigms such as evaluative conditioning, Stroop-analogous tasks, the Simon task, and the mere exposure paradigm, to name just a few. Finally, these in-

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