Dan Lee is a 24-year-old pre-med student, who is visiting the university counseling center because of challenges he is facing related to his acceptance to medical school. Some of the issues are emotional and some involve conflicts with loved ones. I will expand more upon this case in the pages to follow.
The Driving Force Of Dan’s Behavior
I see both cognition and emotion as the driving forces of Dan’s behavior as he struggles with earning admission to medical school. They both include multiple factors that are impacting Dan’s experience with getting into medical school.
According to Hutchison (2015), “Cognition can be defined as our conscious or preconscious thinking processes-the mental activities of which we are aware or can become aware with reflection.” (p. 118). Some of the cognitive forces involved in Dan’s behavior are his auditory processing disorder, rigid perspective on life, and perception that people are opposing him. Dan’s auditory processing disorder may make it more difficult for him to completely comprehend how others are expressing an idea or feeling to him. This could create issues for Dan if he misunderstands a person and responds incorrectly. Dan’s rigid perspective on life and high standards can cause him stress when people do not agree or do not obey his commands. He firmly holds his beliefs and he desires for other people to follow them also. Many times, when people disagree with Dan or do not do what he tells them to do, he perceives that they are opposing him. This perception produces unnecessary sadness, anxiety, and anger at times, when people may be innocently explaining their own beliefs to him.
Mulligan and Scherer explain that emotion is, “a feeling state charact...
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...n his life.
Attribution Theory: A Cognitive Perspective
Hutchison (2015) explains, “Attribution theory holds that our experience of emotion is based on conscious evaluations we make about physiological sensations in particular social settings” (p. 133). I observed in Dan’s case that he gets frustrated and anxious with school-related functions, but he is calm and happy with his church-related activities. Dan most likely feels out of place and anxious at school where he is surrounded by diverse people and situations. This could cause him to have negative emotions, such as frustration and sadness. He attends an Asian American church that upholds many of his same values and beliefs. Therefore, Dan may feel more secure in his church setting, which creates positive emotions. It is evident that Dan’s emotions are impacted by his environment and physiological sensations.
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