Agenda for February 3 • Administrative Items/Announcements • Attendance • RPP prescreening due tomorrow • 1st Presentation today • Continuation of 1st Debate: Are Cognition and Emotion Separate Systems?
Are Cognition & Emotion Separate Systems? • Arguments Supporting 2st View: Independent Systems • Neuroscientific evidence: differences in neural pathways • Qualitative evidence: differences in functions, forms, and features
Neuroscientific Evidence • There is a direct pathway from the visual system to the thalamus and then to the amygdala, bypassing the visual cortex. • We can respond emotionally before we recognize what we are responding to.
Qualitative Evidence of Differences Between Affect & Cognition (Zajonc, 1998) • An infinite number of distinct cognitions but not of distinct emotions. • Theorists assume that “basic emotions” exist but not “basic cognitions.” • Emotions are readily classified into a limited set of dimensions (positive/negative; approach/avoidance) but cognitions to not lend themselves to this organization.
Qualitative Evidence of Differences Between Affect & Cognition (Zajonc, 1998) • Protarchus: “Reasoned thought can be wrong but passions cannot.” • Cognitions are always about something but affect does not always have a target. Example: free-floating anxiety. • Emotions trigger action but cognitions do not necessarily do so unless they activate an emotion.
Qualitative Evidence of Differences Between Affect & Cognition (Zajonc, 1998) • We share emotions with lower animals but cognitions are probably uniquely human. • Emotions are readily communicated by their expressions; cognitions are covert. • Emotions are fairly universal across cultures; cognitions, especially their communicative medium (language) are not.
Qualitative Evidence of Differences Between Affect & Cognition (Zajonc, 1998) • Most cognitions have discernible antecedents but affective preferences do not necessarily have antecedents. • There are “cognitive virtuosos” (mathematical prodigies, etc.) but there are no “emotional virtuosos”.