chapter  9
18 Pages

Independence and Interaction of Affect and Cognition f t B. Zajonc, Paula Pietromonaco and John Bargh

In part, this paper derives from a recent article (Zajonc, 1980) that reviewed theoretical and empirical evidence suggesting that cognition and affect are sepa­ rable, parallel, and partially independent systems. One of the purposes of exam­ ining the question of whether these two processes are independent is to enable us to better understand how they interact. Clearly, if affect always entails some form of cognitive processing then its influence on other cognitive processes would have to be studied in quite different ways than if it does not, and the problem of the affect-cognition interaction would be formulated in different terms. Of course, the previous paper did not claim that affect is independent of cognition under all circumstances and in all its manifestations. In many cases, perhaps even in most cases of affective reaction, cognition figures as an impor­ tant factor. There can be no pride, guilt, jealousy, or disappointment without some cognitive participation. But perhaps there can be fear or joy without it. And thus, the argument was that an affective reaction can occur without the participa­ tion of cognitive processes under some circumstances.