Affect, Cognition, and Interpersonal Behavior: The Mediating Role of Processing Strategies

Authored by: Joseph P. Forgas

Handbook of Affect and Social Cognition

Print publication date:  November  2000
Online publication date:  November  2012

Print ISBN: 9780805832174
eBook ISBN: 9781410606181
Adobe ISBN: 9781135670061


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Affect infuses every aspect of social life. Feelings, moods, and emotions constitute a critical part of how we perceive and judge ourselves and others, and how we plan and execute interpersonal behaviors. This book bears eloquent testimony to the universality and importance of affective influences on social cognition. It is all the more surprising, then, to find that for most of the brief history of psychology as a scientific discipline, social cognition and behavior were studied as if affect was at best irrelevant, and at worst a source of bias and disruption. As Hilgard (1980) noted, one reason for this is probably the traditional division of psychology's subject matter into three fundamental “faculties of mind”—affect, cognition and conation—and the implicit assumption that these “faculties” can and should be studied independently of each other. Although cognition and conation have received intense attention in the past, affect has remained relatively neglected, as the introductory review in Chapter 1 suggests.

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