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Source: acs.ist.psu.edu
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Article summary:

1. Emotion had almost been written off as a legitimate subject for theory and research until it began to revive in the 1960s and 1970s.

2. The functional relationships between cognition and emotion are bidirectional, with emotion being the result of appraisals of the significance of what has happened for personal well-being.

3. Without cognitive activity to guide us, we could not grasp the significance of what is happening in our adaptational encounters with the environment, nor could we choose among alternative values and courses of action.

Article analysis:

As a renowned psychologist, Richard S. Lazarus delves into the role of cognition in emotion and its implications for life-span developmental psychology. He argues that emotions are caused by cognitive activity, which generates meaning regardless of how this meaning is achieved. He distinguishes between knowledge and appraisal, with the latter being an evaluation of the significance of knowledge about what is happening for personal well-being. However, he acknowledges that there are difficulties in separating cognition, motivation, and emotion as they are interdependent and contain distinctive contents that make them all indispensable for understanding human adaptation and emotion.

One potential bias in Lazarus's article is his heavy reliance on cognitive mediation theory to explain the relationship between cognition and emotion. While this theory has been influential in social science research on emotions, it has also been criticized for oversimplifying complex emotional experiences and neglecting the role of physiological processes in shaping emotional responses.

Another potential bias is Lazarus's focus on individual differences in appraisals and their impact on emotional responses. While individual differences are undoubtedly important, they do not exist in a vacuum but are shaped by cultural norms and values. Thus, a more nuanced approach would consider both individual and cultural factors that influence appraisals and emotional responses.

Overall, while Lazarus provides valuable insights into the role of cognition in emotion, his article could benefit from a more balanced consideration of alternative theories and perspectives on emotions. Additionally, he could provide more evidence to support his claims about the necessary and sufficient role of cognition in emotion rather than relying solely on theoretical arguments.