You are here

Social Cognition and Affect

15 January, 2016 - 09:15

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe important ways in which our affective states can influence our social cognition, both directly and indirectly, for example, through the operation of the affect heuristic.
  2. Outline mechanisms through which our social cognition can alter our affective states, for instance, through the mechanism of misattribution of arousal.
  3. Review the role that strategies, including cognitive reappraisal, can play in successful self-regulation.
  4. Explore the relationship between positive cognition, affect, and behaviors.
  5. Outline important findings in relation to our affective forecasting abilities.

This chapter is about social cognition, and so it should not be surprising that we have been focusing, so far, on cognitive phenomena, including schemas and heuristics, that affect our social judgments. In reality, though, these cognitive influences do not operate in isolation from our feelings, or affect. Indeed, researchers have long been interested in the complex ways in which our thoughts are shaped by our feelings, and vice versa (Oatley, Parrott, Smith, & Watts, 2011).