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[Heartlogic-dev] Re: putting it all together

From: Joshua N Pritikin
Subject: [Heartlogic-dev] Re: putting it all together
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2004 13:58:47 +0530
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.4i

On Thu, Mar 18, 2004 at 01:09:37AM -0600, William L. Jarrold wrote:
> On Thu, 11 Mar 2004, Joshua N Pritikin wrote:
> > On Tue, Mar 09, 2004 at 11:38:54PM -0600, William L. Jarrold wrote:
> > > Huh?  give, receive etc are actions.  Not affective reactions.  Right?
> >
> > These words _are_ affective actions.  What is ownership?  Recall the
> > central tenet of cognitive appraisal theory: that situations do not
> > have significance in of themselves, but only by virtue of an
> > individual's interpretation.
> Huh?  So, what is *not* an interpretation?  You are saying to own x
> is an interpretation?  Isn't vision intepretation?

Doesn't CAT (cognitive appraisal theory) prescribe a simple heuristic
which we can use as a guide?  I mean, if there isn't any intuition
behind CAT then we very well might end up testing just about any
hypothesis, such as whether vision is a cognitive interpretation.

> I think cog appraisal theorists (hey, I know, lets call them CATs!)
> will by definition posit that ownership is an affective interpretation.

You mean because they are thumping their own drum?  Sure, but we are
scientists and there should be some rationale behind it.

OK, perhaps I'm not an expert on CAT, but my intuition works like
this: Description is a cognitive interpretation if the description
becomes invalid when we change the #$mindReader or #$appraisingAgent.
Two examples, one positive and one negative:

1. Given this situation,

  Goal: Tracy wants a banana.
  Situation: Mommy gives Tracy an apple for lunch.

All of Tracy, Mommy, and a video camera can see that the apple is
round, red in color, and has a black stem.  Therefore, vision is
probably not a cognitive interpretation.  This isn't a proof, but it
certainly seems like a strong suggestion.

We can probably find counterexamples in the realm of imagination,
dreaming, or seeing through funny lens but I'm not sure if these
experiences are included in your vision category.  Perhaps another
counterexample is the vision of "an attractive girl."  However, I hope
that you mean "vision" as in geometric solids and so forth.

2. Let's compare two perspectives on the same situation:

2.A. How does Tracy feel about receiving an apple for lunch?
(#$mindreader = Tracy, #$appraisingAgent = Tracy) Sad, because she is
bratty and inflexible.

2.B. How does Mommy image Tracy will feel about receiving an apple for
lunch?  (#$mindreader = Mommy, #$appraisingAgent = Tracy) Happy,
because Tracy is hungry and won't care about the specific kind of

These two perspectives say something different about how Tracy will
feel depending on the #$mindreader.  Therefore, it seems likely that
this question is a relevant question for CAT.

OK, I am trying to be calm.  It's time for a parity check.  Are we on
the same page?  Do you mostly agree with the CAT heuristic which I am
proposing?  To review: "If some aspect of the description of a
situation varies according to the individuals' interpretation then
that aspect is likely relevant to CAT."

> > For example, consider land ownership.  What does it mean?  It means
> > that I have the cognition: "I own this land."  I am basically
> > unchanged. The land remains unchanged.  It is only because people are
> > mad to own land that we write down our cognitions on pieces of paper
> > and file them with a government registrar.
> Okay, if I am understanding you correctly, you are trying to define
> "primitives" such as buy, steal, give, marry, and hit.  Right?
> Specifically you are trying to define these primitives by the
> "combining hypothesis (CH)."  By CH, I am assuming that you mean the
> hypothesis that appraisals can be combined to form new (compound)
> appraisals....But this seems awefully circular.  Pathologically
> circular.  We've got atomic appraisals here somewhere, and these
> form compounds...And somewhere we've got a complex mix of these
> compounds and atoms over here...And some of the bits in that mix
> are special bits...Quite complex compounds that are really "primitives"
> such as "own", "buy", "steal".
> I'm getting baffled again.
> I hope you are you turing into a deconstructionist?  Or a communist?
> Yee gads. (-;

I'm not sure, but I suspect that you are objecting to the use of the
word "gives" in the original situation cue:

  Goal: Tracy wants a banana.
  Situation: Mommy gives Tracy an apple for lunch.

Are you complaining that #$gives is both a primitive and a complex
compound?  If so then the way to solve this apparent conflict is just
to rephrase the situation cue in language which is clearly not an

  Situation: Mommy has an apple.  Mommy places the apple near Tracy.

Doesn't this style of rephrasing remind you of Pennebaker's work?
Drat, where is that paper you sent me about writing a story describing
the movement of some geometric shapes?  Anyway, I updated the mock-up
to avoid problematic language.  Hopefully it doesn't read too poorly.

Time for another parity check (trying to be calm!).  Does my response
address your objection?  Do you agree that maybe "gives" might be an
affective action?

> >   http://openheartlogic.org/opine.cgi?leaf=mockup
> I read it.  Once.  It did not penetrate.  But, at least I finally
> responded.  Why don't you respond to my response and make sure the pointer
> appears in the response.  Hopefully I'll have a look again.

Done ..

> I'm still fearful that this is quite ungainly.  And that better
> bang for our effort would be put into making a working KM model on
> the website.

Sorry, I'm really quite enamored with the combining hypothesis (CH).
But I am trying to be flexible.  We almost have a web-ified Study #3.
I want to assist in integrating with large ontologies.  Josh has some
good ideas.  I want to run the KR model in real-time.  Yah, let's go
for it.  But let's do the CH also.  ;-)

> (And of course, I have to get you all the 12 surveys
> given to each of 12 groups in study 3 so that we get on with the
> $(*!Q$(*&_! replication).

OK, I'm waiting for the info.

> > Yah, basically.  There are nine categories of appraisal pairs which we
> > can map to affective actions.  The equivalent of valence reversal
> > would be to just map them the "wrong" way.
> Hrm.  To do a valid stat analysis, this may require HUGE numbers of
> subjects.  Might be a good exercise to fully grok the explanatuion of
> the statistical analysis that I did in my diss.  I took pains to make
> it understandable.  I need to do so myself.

Certainly I'm not proposing to do everything in one giant study.  Even
framing the question is taking quite a lot of effort.  My mantra is
"small steps."

A new cognitive theory of emotion, http://openheartlogic.org

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