McLeod, Susan. “Some Thoughts about Feelings”

McLeod, Susan. “Some Thoughts about Feelings: The Affective Domain and the Writing Process.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 38, no. 4, 1987, pp. 426–435. http://www.jstor.org/stable/357635.

To remember:

  •  But we have tended to ignore the affective domain in our research on and speculation about the writing process. This is partly due to our deep Western suspicion of the irrational, the related scientific suspicion of anything which cannot be observed and quantified (exemplified by B. F. Skinner), and the simple fact that we lack a complete theoretical perspective and common vocabulary with which to carry on a cogent academic discussion of affect (426).
  • Readers should understand …that while we might examine cognition and affect separately, we should think about these processes holistically, since that is how they operate (427).
  • What, then, are the areas in which we should look at the affective aspects of the writing process? The answer, of course, is all areas … (427).
  • As researchers and teachers, we need to know more about this state of emotional engagement with a writing task, a state which elsewhere has been termed “inspiration” (Northam) (428).
  • The notion of locus of control helps us see that their reluctance to revise might be related to something more fundamental- their belief that they have little control over the results of their efforts (429).
  • According to Mandler, emotional experience consists of two factors, one physiological, the other cognitive. When an emotion occurs, the autonomic nervous system is activated (the familiar “gut” response: a knot in the stomach, a quickened pulse, a heightened awareness of external stimuli). There is also a cognitive interpretation of this visceral arousal according to past experience or current situation; this interpretation makes sense of the physical agitation, evaluating the physiological evidence either positively or negatively (431).

To consume:

  • Brand, Alice G. “Hot Cognition: Emotion and Writing Behavior.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Detroit, MI, 17-19 Mar. 1983. ERIC ED 236 677.
  • Farmer, Mary. “Toward a New Description of Writing: A Working Paper.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. New Orleans, 13-15 Mar. 1986.
  • Skinner, B. F. Science and Human Behavior. New York: Macmillan, 1953.
  • Flower, Linda, and John Hayes. “The Dynamics of Composing: Making Plans and Juggling Constraints.” Cognitive Processes in Writing. Ed. Lee Gregg and Erwin Steinberg. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1980. 31-50.
  • ——–. “Plans that Guide the Composing Process.” Writing: The Nature, Development, and Teaching of Written Communication. Ed. Carl H. Frederiksen and Joseph F. Dominic. Vol. 2. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1981. 39-58.
  • Hayes, John, and Linda Flower. “Identifying the Organization of Writing Processes.” Cognitive Processes in Writing. Ed. Lee Gregg and Erwin Steinberg. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1980. 3-30
  • Mandler, George. “Helplessness: Theory and Research in Anxiety.” Anxiety: Current Trends in Theory and Research. Ed. C. D. Spielberger. Vol. III. New York: Academic Press, 1972. 359-74.
  • —-. Mind and Body: Psychology of Emotion and Stress. New York: Norton. 1984.
  • Perl, Sondra. “A Look at Basic Writers in the Process of Composing.” Basic Writing: Essays for Teachers, Researchers, and Administrators. Ed. Lawrence N. Kasden and Daniel R. Hoeber. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1980. 13-32
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