Q.What is the role of  cognitive appraisal in  emotion? Answer with suitable studies and example. 10 marks

7 thoughts on “Motivation”

  1. Cognitions like perception,memories,interpretation are essential ingredients of emotions.

    According to stanley schachter and jerome singer we have two factor theory which says that emotions have 2 ingredients physical arousal and cognitive label.

    Role of cognition in emotion:

    • Providing support: whenever we see a stimulus for eg if we see a lion,we feel afraid but if that lion is inside a cage we feel relaxed because of cognition used ie interpretation.
    • Social role: If a person find another person in trouble he would try to help him but if that person is the person who helped him in his problematic period he would give more efforts to help him as his emotions are now impacted by cognition ie memory.
    •Life long impact:Sometimes we notice that parents shade their children eyes during some horrified scene while watching movie because children are vulnerable and this could have long life negative impact on their behaviour as it could remain in cognition forever.
    •Enhancing emotion:Memory has vital role in this for example if a person has an experience of dog bite then he/ she would feel more anxious whenever he see dog because of memory.

    Cognition affect our emotional behaviour in our day to day life we can notice its role everytime when we feel emotional even while expressing our emotions sometimes we start crying it also happens because of cognition.

    If cognition is not there we are not be able to perceive ,interpret and remember anything.

    So,overall we can say that cognition has vital role to play in emotions.It affect in both positive and negative way depending on situation and person.

  2. In cognitive appraisal theory, Richard Lazarus suggested that different emotions are elicited when situations are evaluated differently.
    Appraisal is broken into two categories i.e. primary and secondary appraisals
    In primary appraisal two aspects are evaluated i.e. motivational relevance and motivational congruence. (smith and kirby , 2009)
    1) When determining motivational relevance person evaluated importance of situation to her well being.More relevant the situation is,more Intense emotions they elicit.
    2) In case of motivational congruence person evaluates consistency of situation
    With her goals. Emotions are different depending on the congruence or incongruence of situation.
    In secondary appraisal people evaluate their resource and options for coping.
    1)one aspect is who should be held accountable. It determines how person cope with the emotion experienced.
    2) another aspect is coping potential which is either problem focused or emotion focused coping.
    Problem focused coping is person’s ability to change situation to make it more congruent with her goals.Thus persons belief about ability to perform problem focused coping influence emotion they experience in that situation.
    Now emotion focused coping refers to person’s ability to adjust to situation which is inconsistent with her goals. Percieved ability of person to perform emotion focused coping Influences emotions felt in the situation. (smith and kirby, 2009)
    3) Another aspect is future expectancy which refers to expectation of change in motivational congruence of situation. It also influence emotions elicited and coping strategies used.
    Ex.1) If person appraises situation as motivationally relevant and incongruent and holds someone else accountable, she will more likely be angry in this situation.
    2) If person appraise situation as motivationally relevant and congruent and holds someone else accountable then emotion will be of gratitude.
    In this way, cognitive appraisal plays very important role in feelings of emotions.

  3. Emotions refer to subjective feelings like happy, sad, anger etc..,
    Emotion has three components –
    1. Physiological arousal (change in heart rate, blood pressure etc,,)
    2. subjective experience (personal feeling of the emotion)
    3. overt expression (showing it out)

    As per two factor theory, cognitive appraisal plays an important role in influencing “subjective experience”.
    Emotion provoking event -> physiological arousal + perception of stimuli -> subjective experience
    Bear in woods -> increased heart rate + perception of proximal distance, danger -> fear
    Exercise -> increased heart rate + interpreting no harm in the environment -> no fear
    Research studies :
    Study by Schachter and singer : subjects injected with epinephrine that increased arousal and made them observe euphoric and angry behavior. The observation influenced one’s cognitive labeling and thus subjective experience.
    Field study by Dutton and Aron : male hikers were made to encounter an attractive research assistant either on solid ground or crossing suspension bridge above rocky gorge. Later, the hikers were asked to rate their attraction to the assistant. Hikers, who met the assisstant on the bridge rated high. This is because they attributed the increased arousal to the assistant.

    As per Lazarus cognitive appraisal theory, cognitive appraisal plays an active role in “both physiological arousal and subjective experience”. Even before physiological arousal, cognitive factors such as memory of the past influences emotion. It involves primary appraisal(evaluation of characteristics of stimuli) and secondary appraisal(evaluation of oneself like accountability, coping potential etc,.).
    Eg: A stimuli that is motivationally relevant but incongruent + holding some one else accountable -> anger
    Thus, above studies emphasize the active role of cognitive evaluation in emotion.

  4. What is the role of cognitive appraisal in emotion? Answer with suitable studies and example.

    Cognitive appraisal involves the expression of emotion after the evaluation of the event. It proposes that our evaluation of the event causes us to elicit emotional or effective response to an event. Laying emphasis on the thought over the physiological changes in the role of emotion – it dictates that our thoughts which causes to experience emotions and physiological changes. As proposed by Lazarus, In cognitive appraisal method – we try to classify the stimulus whether it is a threat or challenge (primary appraisal) and on how to deal with the stimulus (secondary appraisal).

    Event -> Evaluation/ Appraisal -> Emotion + Physiological changes

    e.g. Consider two kids who are studying psychology for UPSC. Both are good at concepts but one made it a habit of writing answers. On seeing tricky question paper, the kid who already has ‘experience’ with answering these kind of questions, might take it as ‘challenge’ and perform better and kid who hasn’t done the practice will start ‘panic’ and start ‘shivering’.

    In the above example, Although the external stimulus is same, it is the cognitive appraisal of the situation by the kids made them to elicit different emotions and undergo different physiological changes. Sometimes, it is even possible to elicit emotions without even having the physical stimulus in the environment (Think about your grief memories and observe your facial changes!)

    As human beings are cognitive in nature, it is imperative to say that cognitive appraisal plays a key role in explaining and understanding our day-to-day life emotions and also in mitigating negative emotions and psychological disorders.

    e.g. Consider a kid who is having anxiety issues. Even though he is good at concepts, he is unable to perform well as he developed a irrational fear for the ‘big’ exams. Now, his teacher identifies this and tells the kid it is just another exam and he indeed prepared well. The kid perception about the whole situation dramatically changes and his coginitive evaluation is more rational and performs well in the exams.

    Likewise, cognitive appraisal plays a key role in understanding several negative emotions like stress, depression, anger, disgust and also in curing several psychological disorders like PSTD ( post traumatic stress disorder) , Delusions etc..

  5. Cognitive appraisal is the appraisal or evaluation of a situation involving cognitive component ie, evaluation of how the situation will affect them after interpreting the various aspects of situation and then arriving at a conclusion based on that interpretation. It is usually done in situation where there is no obvious clues as to how to interpret the situation and then accordingly emotion and physiological arousal is there. Lazarus highy emphasised the role of of cognitive appraisal of events.

    In his research, Lazarus specifies 2 categories of appraisal-primary appraisal and secondary appraisal. Primary appraisal is done to understand the situation itself and its relevance to oneself and then accordingly it is classified as a threat or challenge. Eg- if it’s raining outside and it’s a holiday, the rain may not bother him, but if he has to go for outing with friends then it may be a concern for him and then he may classify the situation as stressful. Secondary appraisal is evaluation of the available coping resources and accordingly problem focussed coping or emotion focussed strategy may be there. Eg- in the above situation, outing can be called off and instead indoor meeting of friends may be arranged, hence bringing down the stressor.

    Cognitive appraisal varies from person to person according to the beliefs of the person and evaluation of the coping resources when under threat and accordingly quality and intensity of emotion is displayed and emotional reaction may there. Eg: exam is a stressful condition, but a person who is not well prepared for it may have more physiological arousal compared to one who is well prepared. But even if a person is well prepared he may become more aroused due to his belief such as he is not well prepared, he does not know anything etc.

  6. Early theories of emotion, such as
    James-Lange theory ( emotion-provoking event -> patterned visceral arousal -> corresponding emotional experience), and

    Cannon-Bard theory (emotion-provoking event -> simultaneous occurrence of unitary visceral arousal and subjective feeling of emotion) ,
    did not consider cognitive appraisal as a factor in our subjective emotional experience.

    Schachter and Singer’s Two-Factor theory was the first to emphasize the role of cognitive appraisal in emotion. It suggests that to what external factors we attribute our internal arousal causes us to experience different emotions. Male hikers on swaying bridge -> attributed arousal to female assistant -> feel attracted towards her (Dutton and Aron study).

    Later it was Lazarus who comprehensively elaborated the active role played by human beings in evaluating the emotion-provoking situation and their own coping abilities which determine the nature and intensity of their subjective emotional experiences. According to him, our cognitive appraisal process involves determining:
    – if the emotion-provoking situation is relevant to our well-being and needs (motivational relevance)
    – if it is consistent to our goals or not (motivational congruence)
    – do we have necessary and sufficient coping resources or not to deal with it
    – who we hold accountable for the situation, and
    – our future expectancy of the situation to become consistent.
    For e.g. death of a closed one just a day before an important examination (motivationally relevant and incongruent situation) causes a person anxiety or not, and to what level depends upon the evaluation of her coping ability.

    So from above, we can say that most of our emotional experiences are subjected to a large extent on our cognitive appraisal.

  7. Cognition is ability to know and understand and emotions are subjective feelings, which have basis in physiological changes and expressed in overt behaviour.

    Cognition plays strong role in evaluating the emotions and act in appropriate manner.
    The two factor theory states when an event occur the body is in state of arousal. This arousal in ambiguous to understand, hence we look at external world cues for such feelings. This mean whatever feelings are there we try to understand it through cognitive labels we select.
    Eg. when subjects were injected with adrenaline, they were subjected to two different environment which were aggressive and ecstatic. The subject in aggressive environment attributed their feelings to aggressive environment and felt similar emotion.

    Richard Lazarus gave cognitive appraisal theory which states we evaluate the situation and then have emotions related to that situation. Our past experience, perception, environmental factor, physiological arousal plays great role in it. For eg a person who had met accident might not be ready to drive any vehicle. Its understanding of past, arousal on thinking about situation prevents him to take on wheels. But with the help of reappraisal of cognition it will gain confidence back to ude the vehicle. with the changed view point is coping mechanism will help to use the vehicle again.

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