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Thread: Emotional Logic

  1. #1 Emotional Logic 
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    I recall that several years ago there was some literature that explained what was often assumed to be impulse was actually grounded in a stream of emotional logic. So when someone made a purchase and has the sense that "something just told me that I had to have it"; there was an emotional chain of logic that could explain why that was not just a random idea out of the blue.

    If anyone can steer me towards research on this I would be very grateful
    Thanks
    Keith


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  3. #2  
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    I don't know about the research, but I want to add my 2 bits. I've always theorized that our emotions are sort of an inexact probability calculator. Your "gut" is taking a lot of information together and sort of performing a statistical analysis on it.

    It might be that just mixing hormonal chemicals in the body and seeing what the resulting formula comes to -- IE. "how it feels" -- is, for some purposes a more reliable calculation than what the logical side of your brain was going to do anyway.


    Almost like putting weights on a scale, according to how strongly you believe each argument for vs. against something, and then letting the scale decide?


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    Forum Freshman Cynical Seductress's Avatar
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    1. With emotion, there is a subconscious, top-down list of logical facts and situational data being created. This is because emotion evolves with humans in the same way that instinct does. The only difference is the complexity resulting from a human's larger brain size, which allows for more information networking.

    2. There is a genus of moth, I don't remember which, that progresses through 7 distinct steps in making a cocoon. All moths can complete steps 1 - 7 repeatedly without fail. However, when placed in with a cocoon already completed up to step 3, for instance, the moth cannot continue it to completion. Instinct in all animals works like this; it is not rationally decided, and it cannot begin from an intermediate step.

    3. Intuition, or an emotional decision, is a thought process much like instinct, that is able to come to a conclusion, beginning from an intermediate step, or an intermediate set of data. This is one reason why it is viewed as being illogical; its rationale is incomplete. Another reason is that, like instinct, that rationale is hidden from your neurological thought process. This is because it incorporates the psychological impacts of hormones and chemical signals instead of relying solely on historical and situational facts.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynical Seductress
    1. With emotion, there is a subconscious, top-down list of logical facts and situational data being created. This is because emotion evolves with humans in the same way that instinct does. The only difference is the complexity resulting from a human's larger brain size, which allows for more information networking.

    2. There is a genus of moth, I don't remember which, that progresses through 7 distinct steps in making a cocoon. All moths can complete steps 1 - 7 repeatedly without fail. However, when placed in with a cocoon already completed up to step 3, for instance, the moth cannot continue it to completion. Instinct in all animals works like this; it is not rationally decided, and it cannot begin from an intermediate step.

    3. Intuition, or an emotional decision, is a thought process much like instinct, that is able to come to a conclusion, beginning from an intermediate step, or an intermediate set of data. This is one reason why it is viewed as being illogical; its rationale is incomplete. Another reason is that, like instinct, that rationale is hidden from your neurological thought process. This is because it incorporates the psychological impacts of hormones and chemical signals instead of relying solely on historical and situational facts.
    Emotions and instincts evolved in the same way ? Emotions are feelings produced by our brains and processed in our neo cortex. Instincts derive from our brain stem, and our sent to our spinal chord. These our two very different processes, and involve two very different kinds of evolution. Your instinct and emotions are not hidden from your neurological thought process. If you are feeling scared because someone on the road cut you off, that is very much a part of your thought process, and it is part of your instinctual need to feel scared, for your own survival.
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    Thank you very much for your responses. Here's some context that prompted the question.
    Advertising has a couple of 'common wisdoms'
    * 50% of advertising works, we just don't know which 50%.
    * Brand loyalty is about building an emotional bond with a customer

    New forms of interactive and mobile marketing rely very much on this notion of forming an emotional bond "in the moment" and my interest lies in identifying how these seemingly impulsive or arbitrary connections get made. Is it because there is a chain of emotional logic that links to past experience?
    I believe that there is some writing that combines thinking from Penfield, Berne, Erikson and others that provides an hypothesis that may be helpful.
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    A common theme of advertisement that is used, is social gratification. Alot of times when you see a McDonalds commercial for example, you see 3 or 4 teens or early 20's guys, or girls give or take, and there lounging around in a nice apartment in New york city on a comfortable couch, with several McDonalds bags, playing a video game. The tendency of McDonalds commercials, and most mainstream commercials is to bait us by associating there product with people who are well liked, sociable, and feel good, all of which we want in abundance.
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    Emotional wiring is only linked to past experience. It is impossible to make any assumption about the present, without first referring to our past experience. This process to us in daily life seems almost non-existent because it happens so quickly, and automatically that we dont need to think about it, but all of your emotions at this point in time, are determined by your past events.
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    Good points by all, especially AeDeAeMn0886. Emotions are part of our "operating system" for surviving in our social setting and life in general. As such it is largely, IMO, a means of acquiring experience by forging associations between a myriad of different environmental factors. By attaching one or several emotions to a single or different combinations of scenarios, we can more efficiently navigate through them. Then apart from this are others that more directly add to our ability to reproduce successfully, like love. Emotions then are instinctual, in that they are both originally and continuously formed and guided by genetically inbult mechanisms for interacting proactively with the world outside ourselves.
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  10. #9  
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    I've got to disagree with the metaphor "emotional wiring". By "wiring" I think we mean arrangements of neurons, innate or acquired. What i call "emotions" are non-structural. They're pervasive. A drug is effectively the same as an emotion. It does not have a shape. Instincts do. They are structural, like thoughts. Basically they are innate thoughts. Cynical Seductress gave an excellent illustration of instinct with the moth. Instincts are "wired".

    The reason emotions seem to carry content of their own, is that they correspond with particular neural structures through exclusive neurotransmitter mixes and frequencies. This is like how you can be pretty certain of some Bob Marley if you get a band to play reggae.
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  11. #10 Re: Emotional Logic 
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith southey
    I recall that several years ago there was some literature that explained what was often assumed to be impulse was actually grounded in a stream of emotional logic. So when someone made a purchase and has the sense that "something just told me that I had to have it"; there was an emotional chain of logic that could explain why that was not just a random idea out of the blue.

    If anyone can steer me towards research on this I would be very grateful
    Thanks
    Keith
    I'm guessing it has something to do with that old 'my heart felt like it' things. Or 'it was my gut instinct'. I believe there is more to it though. I remember in psychology that one method of laying out a shop was to place expensive items at the start of the shop so you'd want, but be unable to afford. So as you passed the cheaper items, the urge to buy is still there, yet you are only buying to satisfy that earlier want emotion. I suppose the impulse phenomea is there too.

    I for instance about 2 months ago bought a Nintendo Wii and all the accesories. It came to about £380. I had buyers guilt almost straight away. I wanted the thing to play together as a family. But the opportunity never arose and I ended up playing alone. I would have kept it but the emotion is definatley involved. I ended up selling it on eBay with the help of my brother and we fetched £240 for the lot. Suffice to say, GAME (where I got it from) offered me £109 for the lot. How weak is that?
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    Its ok 425 Chaotic Requisition, im sure you will survive after losing 140 euros or whatever currency that symbol represents. : )
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    I believe that these "gut feelings" and even the explanation of "supernatural abilities" arenít really 'supernatural' they're just super, natural. Everyone sees, hears, smells and feels things that our bodies don't tell our conscious minds. Which is a very good thing, otherwise we would be going insane noticing every little thing. These senses, as well as the emotions they bring, are processed but not brought to the conscious mind unless their considered 'important' enough to be moved to the 'front of the list' if you will. These emotional traps are often set by advertising agencies. For example, you may have heard of subliminal messages. If your subconscious mind picks up on a picture or a name of a brand of a particular product, you will be more inclined to pick up that product in the store not because you remember the product itself, but your subconscious picks it up the same way it did originally so the product seems familiar to you and, therefore, more appealing.
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    To the opposite effect one cannot be totally unconcious, and functional in society/environment as well. They would be asleep most likely. I dont know has there every been an unconcious person standing up ?
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    Yes, thats true. People in comas have been reported to wake up and recognize their nurses whom they had never met prior to the coma.
    I did a quick check on the internet about the standing up thing, I couldn't find anything about reported on that but I do recall a CSI episode on something similar but I wouldn't take their word on it.
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    1. Stop misspelling conscious.

    2. Yes, emotion and instinct evolve in similar ways - no battle. Their neural locations are absolutely irrelevant in considering their development.

    3. Yes, the situational and historical logic of both emotion and instinct are greatly hidden from the conscious thought process; are you KIDDING me? It's in the definition of both words.

    4. : )
    Humanity cheats Natural Selection because its inferiors are allowed to continue to exist. Inevitably, there will be no way to escape obesity, diabetes, stupidity, and hair loss. Do me a favor by killing yourself and your family.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynical Seductress
    1. Stop misspelling conscious.

    2. Yes, emotion and instinct evolve in similar ways - no battle. Their neural locations are absolutely irrelevant in considering their development.

    3. Yes, the situational and historical logic of both emotion and instinct are greatly hidden from the conscious thought process; are you KIDDING me? It's in the definition of both words.

    4. : )
    What are you trying to prove ? Whats your point ?
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  18. #17  
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    I find the work of Antonio Damasio in the area of how emotions influence decision-making enthralling:



    The somatic-marker hypothesis (SMH) proposes a mechanism by which emotional processes can guide (or bias) behavior, particularly decision-making. This hypothesis has been formulated by Antonio Damasio.





    Hypothesis

    Somatic markers are probably stored in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex; pictured.Real-life decision making usually involves assessment, by cognitive and emotional processes, of the incentive value of the various actions available in particular situations. However, often situations require decisions between many complex and conflicting alternatives, with a high degree of uncertainty and ambiguity. In such situations, cognitive processes may become overloaded and be unable to provide an informed option.

    In these cases (and others), somatic markers can aid the decision process. In the environment, reinforcing stimuli induce an associated physiological affective state. These types of associations are stored as somatic markers, possibly in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC; a subsection of the orbitomedial PFC)[3]. In future situations, these somatic-marker associations are reinstated physiologically and bias cognitive processing. In cases where complex and uncertain decisions need to be made, the somatic markers from all reward- and punishment-associated experiences with the relevant stimuli are summed to produce a net somatic state. This overall state is used to direct (or bias) the selection of the appropriate action.[4] This biasing process may occur covertly (unconsciously), via the brainstem and ventral striatum, or overtly (consciously), engaging higher cortical cognitive processing. Somatic markers are proposed to direct attention away from the most disadvantageous options, simplifying the decision process.

    The amygdala and OMPFC are essential components of this hypothesised mechanism and therefore damage to either structure will disrupt their proposed action in mediating the development and action of somatic markers. A major source of supporting evidence for this theory is provided by experiments using the Iowa gambling task.[5]


    Experiments
    In a quest to produce a simple neuropsychological tool that would adequately assess the obvious deficits in emotional processing, decision-making, and social skills of OMPFC lesioned individuals[2] Bechara et al. 1994[5] created the Iowa gambling task. Their aim was to produce "[a] task which simulates in real time, personal real-life decision-making relative to the way it factors uncertainty of premises and outcomes, as well as reward and punishment" (p. 8). The task measures a form of learning that has been defined as emotion-based learning. Studies using the Gambling Task have found deficits in various neurological (e.g. amygdala and OMPFC) and psychiatric populations (e.g. schizophrenia, mania, drug abusers), providing support for the SMH.
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  19. #18  
    Forum Freshman Cynical Seductress's Avatar
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    Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio again:
    "Emotion is what we call it when chemicals cause instinctive and automatic sets of reactions throughout the body, as necessary for its survival... During a fear reaction, the Amygdala triggers a complex sequence of events. When the reaction begins, neural networks are activated, and numerous chemicals are released. The most well known is adrenalin, or epinephrine. This causes the constriction of blood vessels, the exciting (or inhibiting) of the firing of nervous impulses, and the constriction of smooth muscle tissue. The result of this, and other, chemicals released during a potentially lethal experience, is increased heart rate and breathing, more metabolic sugar expenditure, and better distribution of oxygen."
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