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Cognitive Processes and the Regulation of Emotional Responses

How can cognitive processes influence the regulation of emotional responses. Explain the influence of appraisal on emotional responses. Provide an example of a conscious cognitive process and an example of an unconscious cognitive process. Explain how each influence emotion.

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In many ways, cognition theories of emotion have everything to do with appraisal.

It is a fairly simple theory in that it posits a human being being affected by events in the world. Our emotion derives from our appraisal of the situation at several levels. This is a simple, cause and effect model.

1. We experience something. We initially appraise it as good or bad (or somewhere in between).
2. After this, we connect our reaction to the coping mechanisms (or defense mechanisms) we have to work with. So something can be bad, but "we can handle it." Of course, we might not be able to - it might just be too overwhelming.
3. The first two levels then interact. Appraisal looks at one's resources, the resources are used on the appraisal.

Like in the SPAARS model we looked at in your last assignment, these need not be purely conscious states.
There are some in the field that stress that our appraisal mechanisms are based on broader states of mind over which we have no knowledge or control.

In other words, if we have a generally pessimistic mindset, we appraise situations often in the worst possible way. We might associate one experience with a bunch of similar, bad ones, which just "confirms" our generally negative state of mind.

Now, the "pure" cognitive theory generally ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines the cognitive processes and the regulations of emotional responses.