Cognitive Style Models

End Limiting Beliefs

8 Days to End Limiting Beliefs Program

Get Instant Access

construct of cognitive learning style may be defined as the relatively stable individual preferences for perceptual and conceptual organization and categorization of the external environment (cf., the early laws/principles of abstraction; Moore, 1910). The terms cognitive style and cognition have been introduced and reintroduced into the psychological literature over a period of time extending back to the German psychologists at the turn of the 20th century. Also, the Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) suggested one of the earliest classifications of cognitive styles and cognitive types in the early 1920s. Because cognitive style deals with qualitative, rather than quantitative, differences and dimensions, and is concerned with behavior and preference, it is largely value-free and resists pronouncements of moral judgment. A number of cognitive style models (or learning styles) formulated on a dimensional or continuum basis have been proposed, including the following factors: field independence versus field dependence; scanning versus focusing; broad versus narrow categorizing; leveling versus sharp ening; constricted versus flexible control; tolerance versus intolerance for ambiguity/incongruity; impulsive versus reflective responding; analytic versus nonanalytic conceptualizing styles; risk-taking versus cautious; perceptive versus receptive; systematic versus intuitive; convergence versus divergence; internal versus external locus of control; and cognitive complexity versus simplicity (cf., accentuation theory -one's tendency to exaggerate the extent of similarities between items located in the same category and to exaggerate dissimilarities of items located in different categories). In general, a person's cognitive style may be determined by the way she assesses her surroundings, seeks out meanings, and becomes informed (cf., synthetic effect/approach - a cognitive/perceptual effect or style in which the individual tends to make judgments based on an integrated whole, as distinguished from making judgments based on an analysis of the parts). In particular, a battery of tests concerning preferences for different ways of learning may be given to persons, and results can be interpreted to produce a "map" of the many ways each person seeks meaning, such as preferences for theoretical symbolic input, qualitative code input, modalities of inference, and cultural determinants. Thus, a cognitive map describes each person's cognitive style by relating score results on about two dozen aspects where the resultant map indicates a preferred or optimal learning environment. Cognitive style mapping is a diagnostic testing program useful for educational planning and may be used to identify and maximize an individual's strengths in a learning setting. Cognitive style is represented, theoretically, in observable behaviors where inconsistencies may occur in the choice of particular behaviors to be examined. Various measuring instruments have been developed to elicit specific behaviors for analyzing a person's cognitive style (e.g., "Myers-Briggs Type Indicator"), but it has been found that some measures of cognitive style do not correlate highly with other cognitive measures. The philosophy behind cognitive style models and cognitive style mapping in educational contexts is that individuals learn in diverse and unique ways, and no single educational method can serve everyone in an equal or optimal fashion. See also JUNG'S THEORY OF PERSONALITY; KELLY'S PERSONAL CONSTRUCT THEORY; LEARNING STYLE THEORY; PIA-GET'S THEORY OF DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES; TOLMAN'S THEORY; WIT-KIN'S PERCEPTION/PERSONALITY/ COGNITIVE STYLE THEORY. REFERENCES

Beare, J. I. (1906/1992). Greek theories of elementary cognition from Alcmae-on to Aristotle. Bristol, UK: Thoem-mes Press. Moore, T. (1910). The process of abstraction. University of California Publications in Psychology, 1, 73-197.

Jung, C. G. (1921/1976). Psychological types. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Bieri, J. (1955). Cognitive complexity-simpli-city and predictive behaviors. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 51, 263-268. Kagan, J., Moss, H., & Sigel, I. (1963). The psychological significance of styles of conceptualization. In J. Wright & J. Kagan (Eds.), Basic cognitive processes in children. Monograph of the Society for Research in Child Development. No. 28, 73-112. Bruner, J. (1964). The course of cognitive thought. American Psychologist, 19, 1-15.

Coop, R., & Sigel, I. (1971). Cognitive style: Implications for learning and instruction. Psychology in the Schools, 8, 152-161. Kreitler, H., & Kreitler, S. (1976). Cognitive orientation and behavior. New York: Springer. Entwistle, N. (1981). Styles of learning and teaching. New York: Wiley.

COGNITIVE THEORIES OF EMOTIONS. Cognitive theory of emotions is a general term for a relatively recent class of theories of emotion that view the cognitive interpretation and appraisal of emotional stimuli from both inside and outside the body to be the major event in emotions. Cognitive theories have a long history, however, going back to the early Greek philosophers. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) suggested that humans and animals can make sensory evaluations of things as being "good" or "bad" for them where the evaluation involves the arousal of emotions. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) agreed with Aristotle in his explanation of the arousal of emotions. Rene Descartes (1596-1650) asserted that all emotions are aroused directly through excitation of "animal spirits" or by arousal of innate reflex actions in combination with physiological changes that are necessary for the organism's survival. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) essentially shared Descartes' notion of emotions. Later, William James (1842-1910) and Carl Lange (1834-1900) reversed the classical, intuitive, or commonsense view that emotion produces bodily changes by arguing that bodily changes occur after the perception of the arousing event where one's sensation of the bodily changes is the emotion. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) conceived of emotions as an "affect change" of the twin drives of love and aggression, and fear as the reliving of the birth trauma. Alfred Adler (1870-1937) rejected Freud's concept of libido as the source of all motivation and accounted for human motivation and emotion in terms of a desire for power. Carl Jung (1875-1961) proposed that feelings are a kind of psychological function different from intellectual judgment that is somewhat similar in nature to the ideas of Aristotle and Aquinas. Jung's insistence on feeling as a rational judgment function makes him the first modern cognitive theorist of feeling; however, Jung did not connect the "feeling function" with emotion, which he viewed as an irrational phenomenon arising from the unconscious. With the appearance of the school of behaviorism, where internal concepts such as feeling and emotion were considered to be too mental-istic, the topic of emotion was either subordinated to motivation or almost completely lost in the stimulus-response paradigm of the behaviorists (cf., however, the current COPE model - a behavioral-cognitive strategy, standing for "control-organize-plan-execute," often used in sports psychology, for dealing with a performer's anxiety, which focuses on controlling emotions, organizing input, planning for the next action/response, and execution of the action/response). Between the 1920s and the 1950s, the topic of emotion seems to have been abandoned in psychology. By the 1950s and 1960s, however, theorists began to return to the intuitive idea that a situation must be interpreted in some way before it can instigate an emotion. Magda Arnold (1954) introduced the concept of appraisal into academic psychology where emotion was defined as a felt action tendency toward things that are intuitively appraised as good for oneself or away from things that are appraised as bad, and where a pattern of physiological changes is organized around particular types of approach or withdrawal. It is interesting to note how some of the early writers in psychology anticipated the modern notion of cognitive theory in emotions. For instance, Walter Pillsbury asserted that all emotions have an instinctive basis, and emotion may be defined as the conscious side of instinct. As used today, the cognitive theory of emotions is regarded, often, as a single theory (e.g., Leventhal & Tomarken, 1986; Frijda, 1988), even though a number of different investigators over many years have contributed various aspects and refinements to the theory. For example, M. Arnold, A. Ellis, R. Lazarus, S. Schachter, and J. Singer have been prominent in the development of the cognitive theory of emotions and collectively propose, in general, that there are two steps in the process of cognitive interpretation of an emotional episode: the interpretation and appraisal of stimuli from the external environment; and the interpretation and appraisal of stimuli from the internal auto-nomic arousal system. See also ABC THEORY; ACTIVATION/AROUSAL THE-ORY; ADLER'S THEORY OF PERSONALITY; ARNOLD'S THEORY OF EMOTIONS; EMOTIONS, THEORIES/LAWS OF; FREUD'S THEORY OF

PERSONALITY; JAMES-LANGE OR LANGE-JAMES THEORY OF EMOTIONS; JUNGS'S THEORY OF PERSONALITY; KELLY'S PERSONAL CONSTRUCT THEORY; LAZARUS' THEORY OF EMOTIONS; SCHA-CHTER-SINGER'S THEORY OF EMOTIONS; ZAJONC'S AROUSAL AND CONFLUENCE THEORIES. REFERENCES

Descartes, R. (1650). Les passions de l'ame. Paris: Loyson. Darwin, C. (1872). The expression of the emotions in man and animals. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

James, W. (1890). The principles of psychology. New York: Holt. Pillsbury, W. (1918). The essentials ofpsy-

chology. New York: Macmillan. Jung, C. G. (1921). Psychological types.

Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Adler, A. (1927). Practice and theory of individual psychology. New York: Humanities Press. Freud, S. (1933). New introductory lectures on psychoanalysis. In The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud. Vol. 22. London: Hogarth Press.

In R. McKeon (Ed.), The basic works of Aristotle. New York: Random House. Thomas Aquinas. (1951). Commentary of St. Thomas Aquinas. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Arnold, M. (1954). Feelings and emotions as dynamic factors in personality integration. In M. Arnold & J. Gasson (Eds.), The human person. New York: Ronald Press. Ellis, A. (1962). Reason and emotion in psychotherapy. New York: Lyle Stuart.

Emotion: Today's problem. Annual Review of Psychology, 37, 565-610.

Frijda, N. (1988). The laws of emotion. American Pychologist, 43, 349357.

Lazarus, R. (1991). Emotion and adaptation. New York: Oxford University Press.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Positive Thinking As The Key To Success

Positive Thinking As The Key To Success

Download this Guide and Discover How To Find And Monetize on Your Expertise And Strengths. Inside this special report, you'll discover: How positive thinking is one of the key factors in a successful life. Five ways and tools to help you stay positive. Use these to help you keep on track. Case studies that'll inspire you to stick to your dreams. Plus much, much more.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment