Two Sides of Appraisal: Implementing Appraisal and Its Consequences within a Cognitive Architecture

Eva Hudlicka

Appraisal processes provide an affective assessment of an agent’s current situation, in light of its needs and goals. This paper describes a computational model of the appraisal process, implemented within the broader context of a cognitive agent architecture. A particular focus here is on modeling the interacting influences of states and traits on perception and cognition, including their effects on the appraisal process itself. These effects are modeled by manipulating a series of architecture parameters, such as the speed and processing capacity of the individual modules. The paper presents results of an evaluation experiment modeling the behavior of three types of agents: normal, anxious, and aggressive. The appraisal model generated different affective appraisals of the same set of external circumstances for the different agent types, resulting in distinct emotions, and eventually leading to observable differences in behavior. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of some of the issues encountered during the appraisal model development.

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