Bookmark and Share

1. Affective Domain


The affective domain (Krathwohl, Bloom, Masia, 1973) includes the manner in which we deal with things emotionally, such as feelings, values, appreciation, enthusiasms, motivations, and attitudes. The five major categories are listed from the simplest behavior to the most complex:


affective_domain.jpg

We can explain these categories as follows (Atherton, 2009; Clark, 2009).

Receiving Phenomena: Awareness, willingness to hear, selected attention.
Responding to Phenomena: Active participation on the part of the learners. Attends and reacts to a particular phenomenon. Learning outcomes may emphasize compliance in responding, willingness to respond, or satisfaction in responding (motivation).
Valuing: The worth or value a person attaches to a particular object, phenomenon, or behavior. This ranges from simple acceptance to the more complex state of commitment. Valuing is based on the internalization of a set of specified values, while clues to these values are expressed in the learner's overt behavior and are often identifiable.
Organising and Conceptualising: Organizes values into priorities by contrasting different values, resolving conflicts between them, and creating a unique value system. The emphasis is on comparing, relating, and synthesizing values.
Characterizing by Value of Value Concept (internalizing values): Has a value system that controls their behavior. The behavior is pervasive, consistent, predictable, and most importantly, characteristic of the learner. Instructional objectives are concerned with the student's general patterns of adjustment (personal, social, emotional).

2. Teaching Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Techniques


During my time at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences I've been involved in a number of projects to do with teaching cognitive behavioral therapy skills to children and adolescents. These projects have delivered CBT using sophisticated "games" and mobile phones. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a therapeutic process premised on the notion that changing the way that one thinks and behaves will result in a change in the way that one feels. To put it another way, how we think determines how we feel which in turn determines how we behave (Beck, 1979; Burns, p.xiii; Ellis, 1958). We can approach CBT from the perspective of teaching children and adolescents new ways to think and behave so that they feel differently and behave differently. In this case it might seem natural to start with the cognitive and psychomotor domains. After all, we want those we are trying to help to think differently and to behave differently. Starting with these domains would seem to be correct when we are dealing with specific and immediate problems (Burns, 1999, p.120) that need to be addressed with some urgency. I would note, however, that even in these cases there is a question of "transforming [a] new attitude into emotional conviction" (Burns, 1999, p.136) and that for this reason the affective domain has a part to play in a learning design for CBT.

However, it seems to me that in the longer term one would approach the teaching of CBT techniques starting with the affective domain. My reasons for saying this - and I am certainly not an expert and really have very limited knowledge around CBT techniques - is that ultimately we would want a person to have a new value system that was pervasive, consistent, predictable, and most importantly, characteristic of the patient (Burns, 1999, Ch.7). It seems to me that in the long run the therapeutic process needs to be about helping a person to create and maintain a healthy personal, social and emotional value system. It would be interesting to look at the various aspects of the affective domain in relation to the methods and aims of CBT. This might already have been done. I am not sure as I have yet to find the time to look at the literature.

In saying that a longer term strategy for teaching CBT techniques might start with the affective domain, I do not wish to devalue the cognitive domain or the psychomotor domain. In the shorter term the CBT process certainly involves the "patient" in acquiring new knowledge. For example, in CBT terms a patient must learn about which behaviors are adaptive (behaviors necessary for people to live independently and to function safely and appropriately in daily life) and which behaviors are maladaptive (behaviors that inhibit a person’s ability to adjust to particular situations). There is, therefore, an element of acquiring knowledge in the CBT process. We would want this knowledge to be understood and applied and, at the deepest level, we would want the individual to critically analyze the knowledge both in order to come to a judgement concerning its veracity and so that the knowledge was critically incorporated into the individuals existing conceptual schema.

Although knowledge is important - in the sense of acquiring knowledge that will facilitate the process of change for a person with maladaptive behaviour patterns - it still seems to me (amateur that I am) that the affective domain ought to guide our learning design in the longer term. It is the affective domain that results in internalized values or in a value system that controls behaviour. In the end, do we not want individuals with an internalized value system or an internal compass that guides them in their behaviour? I tend to answer this question with a "Yes" since the alternative that I envision involves a person in continually struggling with a shifting set of beliefs that guide their behaviour. I say again that I am not an expert, but I can conceive of a learning design for CBT that would put a focus on the affective domain as a means of creating change in the first instance and enduring value based change in the longer term. Perhaps this has all been done already. I look forward to finding out.

You will already have realized that there are no answers in this section; however, the discussion allows us to see the place that the affective domain might have in the learning process. It may be that I have accorded the domain too much value and that the cognitive must take precedence. Perhaps not. The point is, however, that we see again that the product of learning can be conceived of in a number of ways. Perhaps we see a change in beliefs that are held by the individual such that their behaviour changes with the result that their feelings change. Perhaps in the longer term we see a revised value system such that have witnessed a pattern of adjustment to the conditions of life.

3. Mapping Affective Processes to Cognitive Distortions


The following occurs to me; the affective domain consists of a set of five processes; receiving phenomena; responding to phenomena; valuing phenomena (objects, people, environment); organizing and conceptualizing values (what is important and why); and internalizing values such that one has a coherent, stable and adaptive value system (an internal compass that allows one to act appropriately at all times). Something might be going wrong at any one of these levels. For example, a person might not be willing to receive information; the person may not be responding appropriately; the person may not be valuing correctly; a person may have conflicting values; finally, a person may lack a coherent and stable value system such that their behaviour is erratic.

Looking at these issues from a teaching and learning perspective we would identify what needs to be learned, write learning outcomes and map out appropriate activities. These activities would consist of CBT techniques for dealing with short terms issues and for creating a coherent and stable value system in the longer term. With the table set out and the cells labeled I can see that each of the 10 distortions might occur in each of the six affective processes. it would not progress us very far if we were to simply fill in every cell in the table with an X to indicate that we need to direct our attention to writing learning outcomes to remove each cognitive distortion from each of the affective processes. We need to do a little bit better than that.

Let us imagine that we have a psychologist with us and the psychologist has let us know that certain cognitive distortions occur more frequently in the lower levels of the affective domain. For example, all or nothing thinking tends to occur when one is receiving information or news or praise or criticism and when one is responding to situations. Over generalization also tends to occur when receiving information etc. and when responding to situations The mental filter tends to be applied most often in the realm of valuing and in the process of organizing and conceptualizing. Discounting the positives and jumping to conclusions occurs most often when the individual is receiving information.

We might complete the entire table in this way but the point has been made; we can look at the affective process dimensions, match them against the cognitive distortions and seek to realise therapeutic aims that will address the identified issues.

x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThe Affective Process Dimension
Cognitive Distortions
1. Receiving
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
2. Responding
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
3. Valuing
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
4. Organizing and Conceptualising
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
5. Characterizing by Value
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
1. All or nothing thinking
Objective One
Objective One



2. Over generalization
Objective Two
Objective Two



3. Mental filter


Objective Three
Objective Three

4. Discounting the positives
Objective Four




5. Jumping to conclusions
Objective Four




6 Magnification or Minimization





7. Emotional Reasoning





8. Should statements





9. Labeling





10. Personalization and blame





Cognitive distortions from Burns, p.77

4. Creating a Learning Design for a Therapeutic Process


A learning design for teaching someone techniques to untwist their thinking might - fundamentally - consist of mapping techniques to particular affective processes. Whether or not this is the case, the point for our examination of the affective domain is that we can see how we might teach a person to deal more adequately with their values emotions etc and we would be able to state what the end product of the learning would look like.

x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThe Affective Process Dimension
TEN WAYS TO UNTWIST YOUR THINKING
1. Receiving
2. Responding
3. Valuing
4. Organizing
5. Characterizing
1. Identify the distortions
x
x



2. Examine the evidence
x
x



3. The double standard method
x
x



4.The experimental technique


x
x
x
5.Thinking in shades of gray


x


6.The survey method





7.Define terms





8.The semantic method





9.Re-attribution





10.Cost-Benefit Analysis






5. References


image_add_48.pngAtherton, J. S. (2005). Learning and Teaching: Bloom's Taxonomy. Retrieved 30th August, 2008, from http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/bloomtax.htm

books.gifBeck, A. T. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford Press.

books.gifBurns, D. D. (1999). The Feeling Good Handbook. Middlesex, England: Penguin Group.

image_add_48.pngClark, D. (2009). Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning Domains - The Three Types of Learning. Retrieved 28th September, 2009.
http://www.nwlink.com/~Donclark/hrd/bloom.html

image_warning_48.pngEllis, A. (1958). Rational psychotherapy. Journal of General Psychology, 59, 245-253.

books.gifKrathwohl, D. R., Bloom, B., & Masia, B. B. (1964). Taxonomy of educational objectives: Handbook II: Affective domain. New York: David McKay Co.