The Interaction Between Thinking and Feeling
Thoughts and feelings work together to help us interpret our experiences, encode our world, make our decisions, and produce motivational states that lead to our actions. The current study explores this relationship by extending a model of core affect, a rudimentary component of emotion, to include aspects of cognition; including attention, memory, judgment, reasoning and decision making. Russell’s Circumplex Model suggests that emotional experiences can be fully ascribed into two underlying dimensions; Arousal (high versus low) and Valence (positive versus negative). We have advanced the model theoretically by adding a functional component to these underlying dimensions. Specifically, we posit that arousal is related to attentional source, while valence is related to memory processes. These additions are consistent with how the brain is organized and have led to several novel predictions. There are currently several projects examining aspects of the theory.