The Development of Cognitive-Affective Psychology

Cognitive-Affective Psychology

According to Robert J. Sternberg, cognitive-effective psychology describes a contribution to personality development proposed by Walter Michael and Yuichi Shoda in the year 1995.  The two psychologists traced and linked the cognitive-effective psychology to the cognitive psychology development which was a developed since the times of ancient Greeks. Since 387 BCE, psychologists such as Plato and his student Aristotle are known to have been the founders of the human mind (Sternberg, & Sternberg, 2012). Plato argued that cognitive psychology describes the mental processes such as language use, memory perception, solving of problems creativity and the way an individual think.

In 1637, Rene Descartes continued the development of cognitive psychology when he asserted that human beings are born with innate ideas that the ideas that the mind and the body are two distinct substances. Since then, throughout the nineteenth century, other philosophers such as George Barkley and John Locke describes the rational empiricism, while Immanuel Kant described the human nativism. According to Shoda, et all. (2013), with the philosophical debate progressing to the late eighteenth century, cognitive development become a critical time of human behavior changes. During this period, two discoveries took place that would later play vital roles cognitive-effective psychology that was the brainchild of Paul Broca who discovered a part of the brain responsible for language production. On the other hand, Carl Wernicke discovered the brain part which he argued was capable of broad language development.

In the early twentieth century, there emerged three main influences that arose and inspired to shape cognitive psychology. First was the development of warfare technology during the world war one and later the world war two, during which the greater understanding of human performance come to importance. Donald Broadbent, a psychologist integrated concept of human performance to solve the problems of how best a trained soldier could use new technology in warfare (Resick et all., 2013). Secondly was the development in the computer science that would lead to parallels drawn between the human thought and computational functionality of computers which later opened new areas of psychological views. Noam Chomsky (1959), criticized human behaviorism, and empiricism more generally by initiating what would then get referred to as cognitive revolution.

When Walter Michael and Yuichi Shoda (1995) come up with cognitive-personality psychology, they designed various cognitive efficient units to describe cognitive development which includes; encoding social strategies, developing competencies and self-regulatory strategies, human expectancies and beliefs, individual goals and values to provide behavior consistency, and lastly the individual active responses.

Later in the early twenty-first century, George Mandler (2002) describes cognitive psychology in an article of a journal of the history of behavioral science. George argued out that the cognitive-effective processing theory provides a comprehensive view that accounts for both the variability of human behavior and his stability regarding personality systems that generates it. Consequently, he stated that rather dichotomizing personality research into the study of the character of the theory to allow the search of both structure and undercurrents.

Current psychologists argued that dialectic in the history of cognitive psychology is between structuralism and functionalism (Sternberg, & Sternberg, 2012). Structuralism seeks to understand the structures of the human mind and its perceptions into their constituent components such as affection, attention, memory and others. Additionally, functionalism seeks to understand the activities an individual does and some of the reasons he or she is doing them thus the key factor in understanding the human mind and behavior.


Resick, C. J., Giberson, T. R., Dickson, M. W., Wynne, K. T., & Bajdo, L. M. (2013). Person-Organization Fit, Organizational Citizenship, and Social-Cognitive Motivational Mechanisms. A. Kristof-Brown, y J. Billsberry, Organizational Fit: Key Issues and New Directions, 99-123.

Sternberg, R. J., & Sternberg, K. (2012). Cognitive psychology (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning

Shod, Y., Wilson, N. L., Chen, J., Gilmore, A. K., & Smith, R. E. (2013). Cognitive‐Affective Processing System Analysis of Intra‐Individual Dynamics in Collaborative Therapeutic Assessment: Translating Basic Theory and Research Into Clinical Applications. Journal of personality81(6), 554-568.

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