From Desire Coherence and Belief Coherence to Emotions: A Constraint Satisfaction Model

Josef Nerb

Appraisal theory explains the elicitation of emotional reactions as a consequence of subjective evaluations based on personal needs, goals, desires, abilities, and beliefs. According to the appraisal approach, each emotion is caused by a characteristic pattern of appraisals, and different emotions are associated with different appraisals. This paper presents the DEBECO architecture, a computational framework for modeling the appraisal process. DEBECO is based upon three core coherence principles: belief coherence, desire coherence and belief-desire coherence. These three coherence mechanisms allow two elementary types of goals to be represented: approach and avoidance goals. By way of concrete simulation examples, it is shown how discrete emotions such as anger, pride, sadness, shame, surprise, relief and disappointment emerge out of these principles. The framework allows the integration of a variety of empirical findings about cognitive emotional congruence effects and shows how phenomena as diverse as reasoning, belief updating, or eliciting of emotional reactions can be subsumed under the same basic underlying


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