Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Kurt Stemhagen


This dissertation synthesizes and analyzes an emblematic sample of three prevalent psychological approaches to organizational change and learning, giving particular attention to the conception of cognition and emotion. It also explores some of the philosophical and psychological assumptions undergirding these approaches. A web model depicting various epistemological influences is offered as a tool for exploring influences on the psychological research within and beyond this study. A second conceptual model is also offered as a tool for considering the hierarchical treatment and preferential placement of cognition over emotion theory and practice. The project draws on general philosophy, psychology, evolutionary theory, and multiple other disciplines in the effort to understand why cognition is afforded a hallowed place while emotion is treated as an unruly subject. Dewey’s experiential, evolutionary psychology of emotion is repositioned as an alternative to what might be considered a Jamesian depiction of the relationship between cognition and emotion. Some of the implications of Dewey’s pragmatic reading and application of Darwinian naturalism are explored to raise awareness of the way that various interests are served through the rigid classification of human experience. Finally, an organizational fable is offered to help connect the project to the genuine problems that the reader brings to the text.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

July 2009

Included in

Education Commons