Rethinking Cognitive Mediation: Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy and the Perceptual Theory of Emotion


Empirical assessments and theoretical considerations raise questions about cognitive behavioral therapy’s fundamental theoretical tenet that psychological disturbances are mediated by consciously accessible cognitive structures. This paper considers this situation in light of emotion theory in philosophy. We argue that the “perceptual theory” of emotions, which underlines the parallels between emotions and sensory perceptions, suggests a conception of cognitive mediation that can accommodate the observed empirical anomalies and one that is consistent with the dual processing models dominant in cognitive psychology.