Cognition and Emotion: From Order to Disorder

Cognition and Emotion: From Order to Disorder

Cognition and Emotion: From Order to Disorder

Cognition and Emotion: From Order to Disorder


The relationship between thinking and feeling has puzzled philosophers for centuries, but more recently has become a dominant focus in psychology and in the brain sciences. This second edition of the highly praised Cognition and Emotionexamines everything from past philosophical to current psychological perspectives in order to offer a novel understanding of both normal emotional experience and the emotional disorders.

The authors integrate work on normal emotions with work on the emotional disorders. Although there are many influential theories of normal emotions within the cognition and emotion literature, these theories rarely address the issue of disordered emotions. Similarly, there are numerous theories that seek to explain one or more emotional disorders (e.g., depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobias), but which rarely discuss normal emotions. The present book draws these separate strands together and introduces a theoretical framework that can be applied to both normal and disordered emotions. It also provides a core cognition and emotion textbook through the inclusion of a comprehensive review of the basic literature. The book includes chapters on the historical background and philosophy of emotion, reviews the main theories of normal emotions and of emotional disorders, and includes separate chapters organised around the five basic emotions of fear, sadness, anger, disgust, and happiness.

Cognition and Emotion: From Order to Disorderprovides both an advanced textbook for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in addition to a novel approach with a range of implications for clinical practice for work with the emotional disorders.


In the 10 years since we published the first edition of this book, the area of emotion in general and affective neuroscience in particular has expanded rapidly and deservedly. However, there is always a risk that an area does move on, and that one’s treasured views and theories have to be abandoned or substantially altered because of progress in relevant fields. It was with some trepidation, therefore, that we approached the writing of this second edition: Would the basic emotions approach around which we had built our spaars framework for emotion need to be revised? Would more recent developments in multi-level modelling of emotion require substantial changes to the processes outlined for SPAARS? Would the findings from cognitive neuroscience or anthropology or clinical interventions lead us back to the drawing board?

As we went through the more recent literature, it became clear that some of the debates we had assumed were done-and-dusted had in fact been refreshed from new work both in philosophy and in neuroscience, and that Plato and the modern “feeling theorists” were making a strong comeback. in our embracing of the basic emotions approach, we had also underplayed the importance of dimensional aspects of emotions, when in fact we believe that, like wave and particle physics, both approaches are necessary to describe the emotion system fully. However, we still firmly believe that a focus on basic emotions offers new insights and understandings into the emotional disorders. Therefore we have retained the structure of the first edition in which the second part of the book examines the five basic emotions of fear, sadness, anger, disgust, and happiness and their related disorders on a chapter-by-chapter basis. One thing that we do warn from the start, however, is that we have not written a book about affective neuroscience; we touch on issues from . . .

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