A Computational Model of Affect Theory: Simulations of Reducer/Augmenter and Learned Helplessness Phenomena

Michael Sean Davis

This paper outlines the initial results of an ongoing research effort to build and test a computational model that simulates key components of a theory of mind proposed by psychologist Silvan S. Tomkins in his four-volume series Affect, Imagery, Consciousness (1962, 1963, 1991, 1992). Tomkins’ model of the mind is able to account for an impressive range of motivational phenomena, including the crucial developmental link between cognition and emotion, how conflicting motives are resolved and decisions about moment-to-moment behavior are made, and how individuals can be motivated simultaneously by highly idiosyncratic goals that emerge from experience, as well as the complete array of innate, instinctual drives.

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