Reprint of article in Psychological Review, Vol. 62, No. 6, November, 1955.
This paper has been concerned with the question of how needs and attitudes influence cognitive processes. The attempt has been made to describe ways in which motivational processes alter cognitive ones in accordance with the nature of the material on which they act. It was suggested that needs and attitudes may act by pointing or sensitizing, organizing and reorganizing, selecting, supplying context, arousing relevant memory traces, arousing expectations, discouraging the desire to understand, obscuring differences, disturbing the recognition process, altering the physiognomic properties of experience, and animating or enlivening aspects of experience. In addition, strength of motivation may influence performance on perceptual or other cognitive tasks without producing actual cognitive change.