Foundations of the field.

Foundations Of The Field

Consider the following everyday scenarios:

  • You are in a meeting trying to concentrate on a presentation, but a conversation in the hallway outside the conference room threatens to distract you.
  • You look up a phone number and repeat it to yourself while you go get your phone so you will not forget it.
  • You are driving in an unfamiliar city and consult a street map to find your destination.
  • You always associate a particular piece of music with a particular girlfriend or boyfriend with whom you had a bad breakup, and every time you hear that music, you feel sad.

Each of these familiar situations illustrates some aspect of cognitive-affective psychology: attention, short-term recall, visuospatial problem solving, and the role of emotion in memory, respectively. In fact, cognitive-affective psychology involves the study and understanding of day-to-day functions such as memory, language, and other similar processes that are usually transparent to us because our brains mostly carry out these processes automatically.

COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY’S INFLUENCE

While Ulric Neisser is usually credited with coining the term “cognitive psychology” in his book Cognitive Psychology, published in 1967, the so-called cognitive revolution in psychology had been developing since the 1950s. Noam Chomsky’s critique of the behaviorist approach to language (Chomsky, 1959) and Donald Broadbent’s seminalPerception and Communication(1958) were already challenging the behaviorist orthodoxy that had determined what material was acceptable for the field of psychology to study throughout the middle part of the twentieth century. Cognitive psychology’s influence grew throughout the 1960s and 1970s as it drew on the growing fields of computer science and neuroscience to develop more powerful and persuasive explanations of cognitive phenomena. And in the 1980s and 1990s, the growth of positive psychology and the therapeutic approach of cognitive-behavior therapy moved the field of cognitive psychology to include the role of affect in its understanding of cognitive processes.

However, cognitive-affective psychology is not just a product of the twentieth century. In fact, it can trace its roots back to ancient Greek thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle; philosophers such as Descartes, Locke, and Hume; and neuroscientists such as Broca and Lashley, as well as the influence of giants of psychology such as Sigmund Freud and William James.

Given its broad scope, cognitive-affective psychology is perhaps the most integrative of subdisciplines within the field of psychology. It arose from three major streams of influence—philosophy, neuroscience, and the larger field of psychology itself—and it also draws on disciplines as diverse as linguistics, computer sciences, and anthropology. The intersection of these and other fields results in complex and overlapping relationships that touch on virtually every other area of psychology as well as the other disciplines involved and most facets of daily life.

References

Broadbent, D. (1958). Perception and communication. New York, NY: Pergamon Press.

Chomsky, N. (1959). A review of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior. Language, 35(1), 26–58.

Neisser, U. (1967). Cognitive psychology. New York, NY: Meredith.

For this assessment, in 5–8 pages you will analyze some of the foundational building blocks of the field of cognitive and affective psychology, and you will identify how those elements impact your professional experience.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

Library Resources

The following e-books and articles are linked directly in this course:

  • Explain how the field of cognitive and affect psychology evolved into a recognized psychological discipline.
    • Analyze foundational disciplines, theories, and thinkers of cognitive and affective psychology.
  • Evaluate the theories and principles that pertain to the cognitive components of cognitive and affective psychology.
    • Evaluate the impact of foundational disciplines, theories, and thinkers on the cognitive components of the field.
  • Evaluate the theories and principles that pertain to the affective components of cognitive and affective psychology.
    • Evaluate the impact of foundational disciplines, theories, and thinkers on the affective components of the field.
  • Explain how the theories and principles of cognitive and affective psychology can be incorporated into professional practice.
    • Explain how theories of cognitive and affective psychology influence professional practice.
  • Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for members of the psychological professions.
    • Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for members of the psychological professions.
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