Abstract for AISB 2000: How to Design a Functioning Mind

Abstract for the
Symposium on How to Design a Functioning Mind
17-18th April 2000
At the AISB'00 Convention

    Carl B. Frankel, Organizational Measurement and Engineering

    Rebecca D. Ray, San Francisco State University

TITLE: Emotion, intention and the control  architecture of adaptively
       competent  information processing.


        Using what information processing architecture does an
adaptively competent mind respond to changing circumstances,
achieving an adequately ordered and timely relationship to
circumstances' demands?  The components of an adaptively
competent mind--perceptual, interpretive, pragmatic, behavioral,
linguistic, learning, etc.--are organized around, deployed by and
typically operate in the service of a control architecture's
critical adaptive functions: (a) synchronization of behavior to
changing situational contingencies, (b) efficacy in avoidance of
harm and pursuit of benefit, (c) economy that restrains pursuit
of unlikely outcomes, (d) efficiency in use of processing
resources, (e) tenable stability of patterns of response despite
transient change, and (f) discernment of and flexibility in
response to enduring change.  Both biological and behavioral data
in the empirical psychological literature on affects suggest that
human minds accomplish this adaptive functionality by means of an
expectancy biased adaptive (feedforward) control architecture, in
which affects are control signals.  (diagram included.)

        In real-time, affects appraise circumstances': (a)
changing contingencies (fact of affect onset), (b) urgency
(intensity of affect and rate of onset), (c) category (discrete
affect type), (d) harm (intensity of negative valence), (e)
benefit (intensity of positive valence), and (f) uncertainty
(intensity of anxiety vs. confidence). Affective appraisals
priority-interrupt current activities, control selection of new
activities, and control settling on selected activities.

        Over time, affects are the basis for expectancies for the
practicable, which estimate: (a) maximum attainable opportunity
(best likely positive affect) and (b) minimum unavoidable risk
(minimum unavoidable negative affect).  Said affective
expectancies bound and bias behavior toward a range of
actuarially tenable positions in individuals' adaptive niches.

        Affects, like all processing control signals, have causal
force.  In a living system, the causal force of control signals
is observed and experienced to be motive force that compels
processing and behavior.  As control signals, affective
appraisals and expectancies organize and motivate behavior, and
thus automate and embody individuals' intentions.

        Affects are real-time control signals automating the
favorable regulation of future affects, and by proxy, adaptive
competence. Current affects automatically motivate behavior
toward future avoidance of what are expected to be avoidable
negative affects, worst affects first, and pursuit of what are
expected to be attainable positive affects.  When affects are an
adequately accurate appraisal of adaptive pressures that are not
excessively severe, using realized and expected affects favorably
to regulate future affects results in adequate adaptive
competence.  As pressures are understood--accurately or not--to
be more severe, coping, the direct repair of negative affects,
replaces adaptive problem solving.

        NB: In this proposal, different from others, data types
in the control processing chain from sensoria to decision making
do not get progressively more abstract.  Data abstractions are
content rich, recoverably hiding detailed contents in lower
levels.  As data abstraction develops over the lifespan, the
individual develops greater autonomy, because content-rich
abstractions preserve bandwidth, allowing the individual to
process the world in fewer distinctions, recovering and
processing less abstract details only as needed.  By contrast,
control signals in adaptive control are content-poor abstractions
that often irrecoverably eliminate the content from which they
are derived.  Even infants experience error (and harm and
benefit) from birth and respond differentially, long before
categories of harm and benefit are populated with a universe of
contents.  As problems, control processing and data abstraction
are orthogonal.


1. Carl B. Frankel

    Software Engineer specializing in object-oriented architectures
    for real-time embedded systems.
    Organizational Specialist, management development consulting.
    Psychologist Intern
    Kaiser Child and Adult Outpatient Psychiatry Clinics.

     Frankel, C. B. (1999).  Such order from confusion sprung:
Affect Regulation and Adaptive Competence.  Dissertation
presented to the faculty of Pacific Graduate School of
Psychology.  De facto chair: James J. Gross, Stanford University.
     Frankel, C. B., Ray, R. D. and Froming, W. J. (in
preparation).  Affect, self-regulation and adaptation.


Member, Berkeley Emotion Colloquy
     University of California, Berkeley
     Joseph J. Campos and Richard S. Lazarus, chairs.

2. Rebecca D. Ray


    Staff Researcher, Culture and Emotion Research Laboratory
    San Francisco State University, David Mastumoto, dir.
    Research Assistant, Stanford Psychophysiology Laboratory
    Stanford University, James J. Gross, dir.
    Research Assistant, Human Interaction Laboratory
    University of California, San Francisco, Paul Ekman, dir.
    Analyst, William M. Mercer Company


    Matsumoto, D., Kouznetsova, N., Ray, R., Ratzlaff, C., Biehl,
N., & Raroque, J. (1999). Psychological culture, physical health,
and subjective well being.  Journal of Gender, Culture and Health, 4,

    Ratzlaff, C., Matsumoto, D., Raroque, J., Ray, R. (In press)
Psychological Culture and Subjective Well Being.  In  E. Deiner (Ed.)
Culture and well being.

    Ratzlaff, R. & Ray, R. (In press) Test bank. In D. Matsumoto,
Culture and psychology 2nd edition.  Brooks/Cole Publishing:
Pacific Grove, CA.


    Ray, R., Ansari, L., Sterkowicz, S., Takeuchi, H., Tatani, H.,
Bernhard, R., and Matsumoto, D. (1999, August). A cross-nation look
at the values coaches hold:  A constructed measure.   Poster session
at the annual conference of the American Psychological Association,
Boston, MA.

    Ray, R., Takeuchi, H., Sterkowicz, S., Ansari, L., Tatani, H.,
Bernhard, R., and Matsumoto, D. (1999, June).  A cross-national look
at the values of coaches:  new frontiers for the Rokeach and
Allport-Vernon-Lindsey value surveys.  Poster session at the annual
conference of the American Psychological Society, Denver, CO.

    Consolacion, T., Ray, R., Uchida, H. , Amo, L. , Lee, J.,
Matsumoto, D., Yamada,  H., & Morishima, S. (1998, August)
Recognition of morphed facial expressions:  Comparison of United
States and Japan.   Poster session at the annual conference of
the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.

    Kooken, K., Ratzlaff, C., Ray, R. & Matsumoto, D. (1998, April)
Development and internal reliability of emotion-eliciting contextual
vignettes.  Poster session at the annual conference of the Western
Psychological Association, Albequerque, NM.