An "Everything But" Framework for Modeling Emotion

Mark Coulson

The approach outlined here assumes that modeling and simulating emotion should arise from a specification of the underlying contexts which determine action, and not emotional experiences or the labels we provide for them. This paper is an attempt to outline these contexts, describe the variables which each necessitates, and show how formal models capable of predicting behavior may be produced. As such, the approach borrows heavily from William James’ definition of emotion as the experience of bodily change, although it expands on this by including all those other things whose outputs or representations contribute to emotion. In so doing, it co-opts a range of existing theories and findings from psychology and neuroscience in outlining that which must be specified in order to model an agent’s behavior. While the existence of emotion as phenomenal experience is not questioned, it is argued that the concept of emotion has no role to play in the explanation or simulation of behavior.

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