Cognition and Emotion: Reviews of Current Research and Theories

Cognition and Emotion: Reviews of Current Research and Theories

Cognition and Emotion: Reviews of Current Research and Theories

Cognition and Emotion: Reviews of Current Research and Theories

Synopsis

Emotions are complex and multifaceted phenomena. Although they have been examined from a variety of perspectives, the study of the interaction between cognition and emotion has always occupied a unique position within emotion research. Many philosophers and psychologists have been fascinated by the relationship between thinking and feeling.

During the past 30 years, research on the relationship between cognition and emotion has boomed and so many studies on this topic have been published that it is difficult to keep track of the evidence. This book fulfils the need for a review of the existing evidence on particular aspects of the interplay between cognition and emotion.

The book assembles a collection of state-of-the-art reviews of the most important topics in cognition and emotion research: emotion theories, feeling and thinking, the perception of emotion, the expression of emotion, emotion regulation, emotion and memory, and emotion and attention. By bringing these reviews together, this book presents a unique overview of the knowledge that has been generated in the past decades about the many and complex ways in which cognition and emotion interact. As such, it provides a useful tool for both students and researchers alike, in the fields of social, clinical and cognitive psychology.

Excerpt

Emotions are complex and multifaceted phenomena. This is reflected in the multitude of perspectives from which emotions are studied. Theories have focused on physiological, developmental, social, cultural, differential, behavioural and many other aspects of our emotional life. Within this variety of approaches, the study of the cognition–emotion interaction has always taken a rather unique position. Though the relationship between cognition and emotion has been the fascination of many philosophers and other great thinkers, empirically oriented researchers have considered them an odd couple for a long time, and have mostly studied them separately. Even after the advent of new experimental techniques for studying cognitive processes like attention, perception and memory in the early 1970s, emotions were seldom included as an object of study.

Since the 1980s, research on cognition and emotion has expanded and, more importantly, differentiated. Researchers started to investigate interactions between emotion and attention, memory, learning, judgements, decisions and other cognitive processes. Others translated these findings and insights to the study of emotional pathologies with an emphasis on anxiety and depression. The growing evidence on, for instance, attentional and memory biases in these disorders lay at the basis of a domain that is now also known as “experimental psychopathology”. Other lines of research focus on cognitive aspects of emotion regulation and emotion elicitation, and the biological underpinnings of the cognition–emotion interaction. Particularly, the causal status of cognitive processes in the elicitation of emotions has been (and continues to be) one of the major domains in this area.

Research on the relation between cognition and emotion is booming. So many studies on this topic are being published that it is difficult if not impossible to keep track of all the relevant evidence. There is thus a great need for papers that review the existing evidence on particular aspects of the interplay between cognition and emotion. The aim of the present book is to provide researchers and students with a collection of state-of-the-art reviews of the most important research topics in cognition and emotion research. All of the review papers in this book (except our own) have recently been published in the journal Cognition & Emotion. By bringing these reviews . . .

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