S-R of Emotion (o))

[From Rick Marken (981030.1340)]


I experience these emotions whether I am controlling the
perception or not.

Bruce Gregory (981030.1120 EDT)--

So perhaps an S-R interpretation [of emotion] _is_ appropriate.

Yes. I think it is, just as an S-R interpretation of perception
is appropriate. Actually, emotions _are_ perceptions. They may
even be controlled perceptions, though, in my experience, they
are not controlled very well.

The S-R part works like this: A perception is (I believe) a
response (via a neural network that constitutes a perceptual
function) to variables in the external world (the world on
the other side of our senses). It works like this:

external world -->sensory --->|perceptual| --> perception
variables activity | function |

Where the arrows indicate causal relationships. The external world
variables are a cause ("stimulus") of variations in a perception
(the "response").

The same, I think, happens with emotions. But in the case of
emotional perceptions the ultimate cause (stimulus) of emotion
is an internal, physiological variable, rather than an external
world variable:

physiological -->sensory --->|perceptual| --> emotion
variables activity | function |

You imagine a disturbance and observe your imagined response.

You would also have to imagine what the disturbance is a
disturbance _to_. And once you have imagined _that_ then you
have imagined a perceptual variable that might be under control.

You don't really need to imagine your response to this disturbance
(you can't know how you would respond because how you respond
depends on how you affect the controlled variable via the external
feedback path between you and that variable; since you are doing
this in imagination there is no such feedback path so you can't
really know how to respond -- the most effective response, for
example, might actually be doing nothing). All you really need to
do is what I said in an earlier post; imagine how you would _feel_
if the possible controlled perception were actually affected by
the disturbance. For example, you imgine how you would feel if
your perception of decency were disturbed by blather from a

If the new perception of decency causes (in the S-R sense described
above) you grief then that perception is probably one that you
control. Note that you don't have to imagine how you would respond
to this disturbance (possible responses are arguing, leaving,
laughing, etc); all you have to do is imagine how you would feel
if a particular perception (like the perception of decency) were
influenced by a disturbance (like blather from a Republican, a
Skinnerean, a post-modernist, or whatever).

But "introspection" is not part of the PCT model. Or is it?

Yes. It's the conscious part. See the B:CP discussion of
awareness and volition.




Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: rmarken@earthlink.net

[From Bruce Gregory (981030.1645)]

Rick Marken (981030.1340)

Thanks. I much appreciate your thoughtful and informative response.

Bruce Gregory