Affective influence on behavior and cognition
Barajas, Mark S. Counseling and Psychological Services, University Health Services, University of California, Berkeley, California.
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Since at least the time of the ancient Greeks, humans have wondered about the nature of emotions and the role that they play in human life. Philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, Descartes, and Kant have considered the relationship between thinking and feeling in everyday human experience and have tried to better explain how emotional and rational processes influence behavior. Some thinkers have argued that emotion, or affect, clouds human thinking and is a liability to rational, logical thought, whereas others have suggested that affect is an essential and adaptive component of cognition that broadens and expands rational thought. Modern technological advances have afforded researchers from various disciplines, including medicine, psychology, and physiology, investigative opportunities to observe the interplay of affect and cognition in ways that the ancient Greeks may never have imagined. With more advanced technology and more sophisticated research designs, scholars have come closer to understanding the neural correlates of affect and the ways in which different affective states influence cognition. See also: Affective disorders; Behavior genetics; Developmental psychology; Emotion; Neurobiology; Psychology
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