The scientific study of emotion faces a potentially serious problem: after over a hundred years of psychological study, we lack consensus regarding the very definition of emotion. We propose that part of the problem may be the tendency to define emotion in contrast to cognition, rather than viewing both “emotion” and “cognition” as being comprised of more elemental processes. We argue that considering emotion as a type of cognition (viewed broadly as information processing) may provide an understanding of the mechanisms underlying domains that are traditionally thought to be qualitatively distinct.