Affect and Cognition: The Seventeenth Annual Carnegie Symposium on Cognition

Affect and Cognition: The Seventeenth Annual Carnegie Symposium on Cognition

Affect and Cognition: The Seventeenth Annual Carnegie Symposium on Cognition

Affect and Cognition: The Seventeenth Annual Carnegie Symposium on Cognition

Excerpt

In late May, 1981, the 17th annual Carnegie Symposium on Cognition brought 16 cognitive and social psychologists to Carnegie-Mellon University. Their topic was affect and cognition. For only the second time, the Carnegie Symposium had been organized by social psychologists. John Carroll and John Payne chaired the first social cognitive symposium in 1975. Their conference came precisely at the time when social cognition was beginning to take root within social psychology. Since then, the area has blossomed. We hope that the present volume on affect and cognition proves to be as propitious as their volume.

Our decision to hold the symposium on affect and cognition had two sources. First, 2 years previously we had discovered a joint interest in this topic, stemming from separate projects we were involved in at the time. In our reading, we have found that many people have been considering emotion and cognition's relationship (or independence or identity)--some for a long time. However, much of their work is surprisingly uninformed by one another. Second, there has been a recent upsurge of interest in the interface between affect and cognition among psychologists in general. Both cognitive and social psychologists, especially those in social cognition, have been concerned over the fact that the researchers in those areas have lately focused on cognition to the exclusion of affect. Cognitive psychologist Donald Norman (1980) captured this concern clearly: "What is the role of emotion in cognition? We leave it to the poet, the playwright, the novelist. As people we delight in art and music. We fight, get angered, have joy, grief, happiness. But as students of mental events, we are ignorant of why, how." (p. 18) And similarly, although social psychologists have always been concerned with attitudes, attraction, stereotyping, and other . . .

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