Unifying Cognitive Processing, Appraisal and Emotion
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I will explore the integration of cognitive processing with appraisal and emotion in a computational model. On the cognitive processing side, I borrow Allen Newell's characterization in which he identified the critical cognitive functions that a human must be capable of in order to perform a task in the world. On the emotion side, I present a prevailing theory of emotion called Appraisal Theory that claims that a person is continually relating the events he perceives to his goals, and appraises the relationship along a number of dimensions, such as expectedness, goal conduciveness, causality, and so on. The appraisal results in an emotional response, followed by feelings which summarize the import of a situation. A person copes with these feelings, taking various internal and external actions to fix or protect those aspects of the situation that led to the emotion. I will argue that appraisal and emotion are evolution's solution to the general problem of how to allow a person to behave adaptively in the world.