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Hot Thought: Mechanisms and Applications of Emotional Cognition (Bradford Books) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – September 2006

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As Thagard illustrates in this wonderful book, hot cognition ('hot thought') is a hot topic in the burgeoning field of cognitive science... The vision is broad and deep, and the theories and supporting models tackle the role of emotion in mental mechanisms at levels ranging from the neuromolecular to the unabashedly social. Choice


This work offers a description of mental mechanisms that explain how emotions influence thought, from everyday decision making to scientific discovery and religious belief, and an analysis of when emotion can contribute to good reasoning. Contrary to standard assumptions, reasoning is often an emotional process. Emotions can have good effects, as when a scientist gets excited about a line of research and pursues it successfully despite criticism. But emotions can also distort reasoning, as when a juror ignores evidence of guilt just because the accused seems like a nice guy. In "Hot Thought", Paul Thagard describes the mental mechanisms - cognitive, neural, molecular, and social - that interact to produce different kinds of human thinking, from everyday decision making to legal reasoning, scientific discovery, and religious belief, and he discusses when and how thinking and reasoning should be emotional. Thagard argues that an understanding of emotional thinking needs to integrate the cognitive, neural, molecular, and social levels.

Many of the chapters employ computational models of various levels of thinking, including HOTCO (hot cognition) models and the more neurologically realistic GAGE model. Thagard uses these models to illuminate thinking in the domains of law, science, and religion, discussing such topics as the role of doubt and reasonable doubt in legal and other contexts, valuable emotional habits for successful scientists, and the emotional content of religious beliefs. Identifying and assessing the impact of emotion, Thagard argues, can suggest ways to improve the process of reasoning.

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A scientific approach to the impact of emotions on public, private and scientific thinking 15. Juni 2007
Von A. Alberto Sanchez - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This book is the first I know of that tries to examine the impact of emotions in decision making from the lay person to the scientist. It is not an easy reading like the money-making populist books on 'emotional intelligence' and similar, but it can be read by anyone wanting to learn about emotions impact in our lives using a scientific approach, because it uses simple language and it is very organized and methodical.

To me the scientific study of the impact of our emotions in our lives is important because:
1) Emotions appear to be biologically evolved algorithms for quick behavioral response to particular situations.
2) Emotions evolved before conscious step-by-step reasoning, as they can easily be observed in lower functioning animals.
3) And since their initial appearance emotions have continued to do most of the decision-making work of animals while the consciousness of the self and of the decision-making process gradually developed and grew as a percentage of the total decision-making process from one species to the next up in complexety, up to the human species, which is the one that seems to have the higher ratio of conscious to unconscious decision-making process.

However, current humans are still somewhere halfway toward being completely conscious of their decision-making process, and, like everything else we know, individual humans vary one from the other according to a bell-shaped curve of distribution from those who have the lowest ratio of conscious to unconscious decision making to those who have the highest ratio. In other words the decisions of humans are based on a mixture of the processing of data using unconscious learned memes plus genes-based hardwired neural-emotional-reflex-circuits mixed with a varying amount of conscious step-by-step process of reasoning. The ratio of both types of reasoning for each individual defines the individual as either more unconscious of the reasons behind his/her own decisions (sometimes called more emotional) or more conscious of the reasons behind his/her own decisions (sometimes called more rational).

Emotions allow for speedy decisions which are vital in many situations, but their evolutionary-programed behavioral patterns, which developed as the most effective responses to stereotypical environmental situations, are either less effective or not effective at all when dealing with significantly different situations and they lack the flexibility to adapt quickly enough to them. So, it is here, before novel situations, where conscious step-by-step processing/thinking of each situation particular gives an edge to those who can do that. It is unclear if our brains will ever be powerful enough to be capable of awareness of all the processes involved in each decision we make, as it unclear if this will ever be practical/useful for the survival of any species in the Universe.
4 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Awful awful awful 23. August 2011
Von Cyn E. Clarfield Esq - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Hi! Do you like feeling insulted by terrible authors' attempts to circumvent their readers with pretty words? do you enjoy wasting hours translating self-congratulating terminology, only to find out the meaning is absurdly simplistic and asinine? THEN THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU!

It ACTUALLY SAYS THIS: "the calculated valence of an element is like the expected utility of an action, with degrees of acceptability analogous to probabilities and valences analogous to utilities" WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!

Oh it means that when we make decisions, we attribute inferences to what we are considering based on our goals and we do this by considering previous experiences or learned information. Basically that when we consider things, we take things into consideration! WASNT THAT FUN?? :D

Please avoid this book. If you have to read it for class, I'm so so so sorry. :(
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