Computational Representational Theory

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The computational representational theory of the mind (CRUM) is a theory devised to model the complexities of the human mind in cognitive science. Human thought processes have been simplified by thinking about abstract thought processes in terms of concrete computational procedures (Thagard, 11). CRUM theory surmises that thinking is the result of the application of operations to mental representations (Thagard, 11). Recent literature suggests our emotions are intrinsically tied to cognitive processes (Dalgleish and Power, 1999). Emotions are influential factors that affect mental representations such as concepts, analogies and imagery in cognitive science. This essay will emphasize how emotions are an integral component of mental representations…show more content…
James theorized “emotions are perceptions of bodily states” (Oatley, 20). In contrast, Frijda believed emotions were: “not a state, but a whole body process from encoding to action” (Oatley, 22). Three core concepts are thought to accompany emotions. The first is that our emotions occupy our conscious. Secondly, they have the power to induce changes in physiological states. Lastly, they are expressed using body language and non verbal clues such as tone of voice (Oatley, 21). Emotions are additionally reported to be composed of action readiness and phenomenological tone. Action readiness is described as being ready to engage in action, whereas phenomenological tone characterizes each emotion as having a distinct feel in consciousness (Oatley, 21). A fully developed emotion can be characterized as a state of mind triggered by a particular situational outcome. The emotion prepares the individual for a particular reaction and instills a sense of awareness of the phenomenological tone. Additionally, physiological reactions, conscious awareness and expression typically accompany emotions, ultimately leading the individual to engage in a course of action influenced by a combination of these factors (Oatley,…show more content…
Therefore, according to Oatley, a series of actions which accomplishes a goal is a plan, and the influential aspects of emotion on the mind can be determined by looking at a course of action (Oatley, 28). If I studied hard for an exam, but didn’t do well, I may become angry, because I was unable to achieve my goal to ace the exam. Thus, our state of emotion may be intrinsically tied to planning and achieving certain goals. To understand emotions, it is imperative to analyze how subgoals are present in hierarchies and when combined, accomplish a goal via the completion of a series of actions. Furthermore, modeling situations that relied solely on knowledge and computation were rarely able to predict outcomes in reality (Oatley, 31). Oatley suggested these differences arise due to the current CRUM models’ ability to devise technical plans, but inability to account for emotions which are intrinsically tied to cognition (Oatley, 31). The importance of emotions in mental representations and procedures will be discussed throughout the remainder of the
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