Essay about To What Extent Does Cognition Control Emotion ?

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To what extent does cognition control emotion ? In everyday life there is a constant evidence of interaction between cognition and emotion. If we see something funny we laugh, if we fear we run or hide, if we are distressed we find it hard to concentrate. However we do not need to present any of the emotions to others, we can regulate them, think about situations and consequences and estimate the outcome. We are able to control our emotions. Ochsner and Gross(2005,p.242) argues that capacity to control emotion is important for human adaptation. The question is to what extent does cognition control emotion?
In the next paragraphs I will consider some theories, factors and evidence on cognitive controlling of emotion in terms of
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Returning to the main question of the essay, to what extent the cognition controls emotion, Lazarus with his findings give us an other evidence, that cognition can subjectively manipulate the way we response emotionally.

However Zajonc ( Yiend, Mackintosh,2005 ) argued against Lazarus ( Yiend, Mackintosh,2005 ) theories and opened up a primacy debate between cognition and emotion and their precedence. Zajonc( Yiend, Mackintosh,2005) says there is no need for appraisal from cognition before emotion. Emotion can arise directly and that experience of emotion always precede cognitive processing of that emotion. He found in his mere exposure study that people tend to prefer familiar things. Whilst subjects were engaged in an other task, Zajonc ( Yiend, Mackintosh,2005 ) showed them some items subliminally - without conscious awareness. According to his findings participants had no conscious recognition of displayed items but they had a preference to them. On the bases of the results he assumed that there is no need for cognitive appraisal to have affective experience. Strangely he implied that cognitive processing must be conscious only. He did not take in account at the time that even unconscious processing is a part of cognitive processes and by comparing preference judgement with affect or emotion was also rather a brave assumption. The debate between both Lazarus and Zajonc came to
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