On the Reciprocal Interaction Between Believing and Feeling: an Adaptive Agent Modelling Perspective

Z.A. Memon, J. Treur

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An agent's beliefs usually depend on informational or cognitive factors such as observation or received communication or reasoning, but also affective factors may play a role. In this paper, by adopting neurological theories on the role of emotions and feelings, an agent model is introduced incorporating the interaction between cognitive and affective factors in believing. The model describes how the strength of a belief may not only depend on information obtained, but also on the emotional responses on the belief. For feeling emotions a recursive body loop between preparations for emotional responses and feelings is assumed. The model introduces a second feedback loop for the interaction between feeling and belief. The strength of a belief and of the feeling both result from the converging dynamic pattern modelled by the combination of the two loops. For some specific cases it is described, for example, how for certain personal characteristics an optimistic world view is generated in the agent's beliefs, or, for other characteristics, a pessimistic world view. Moreover, the paper shows how such affective effects on beliefs can emerge and become stronger over time due to experiences obtained. It is shown how based on Hebbian learning a connection from feeling to belief can develop. As these connections affect the strenghts of future beliefs, in this way an effect of judgment 'by experience built up in the past' or 'by gut feeling' can be obtained. Some example simulation results and a mathematical analysis of the equilibria are presented. © 2010 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-394
Number of pages18
JournalCognitive Neurodynamics Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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