Conative and Affective Process Analysis

By Richard E. Snow; Marshall J. Farr | Go to book overview

the appraisal of emotions in others' facial expressions may be localized but the differential experience of emotion may not.


REPRISE

A cognitive capacity model of attention and effort by Kahneman ( 1973) was used to organize the discussion of five diverse papers. The model suggests that individual differences in processing are overdetermined and subject to modification through experience as well as task demands, motivational manipulation, feedback, and emotional states. The analysis implies that individual differences are context dependent but maybe show more stability, at a given point in development or learning, for a given domain.

It should be pointed out that the particular cognitive model chosen is one that focused on attention, effort, and resources. It is clear that this is not a sufficient representation of cognitive psychology or cognitive science. As both Sarason's and Isen et al.'s studies indicate, it is necessary to take into account what the learner knows and how this knowledge is structured. The representation of knowledge (see Anderson, this volume) is of central concern to modern cognitive psychology. It is of concern for good reason since what is known and how it is organized has profound effects on what is acquired and how it is acquired. The present analysis only touched upon this central fact.

In addition, I have omitted entirely decision processes that are central to the model. In addition to knowledge and its representation, the learner has to make decisions constantly. Decision making was taken into account only with respect to allocating resources. However, decisions about being vigilant, editing, defending, relaxing criteria etc. are what are being affected by factors that lead to emotional states.

Despite these limitations, it is hoped that the general model of attention served its purpose: to reflect upon the claims being made in the chapters within a systematic framework.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

During the 1982-83 academic year, the author was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and received support from the Spencer Foundation. The stay at the Center made possible his attendance at the conference. In addition, support for the writing of this commentary came from grants from the Spencer Foundation and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Grand HD 17431, United States Public Health Service. Please send reprint requests to: Tom Trabasso, Judd Hall, 5835 S. Kimbark Aveune, Chicago, IL 60637.

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