Lisa Feldman-Barrett, who has promoted a psychological constructivism theory of affect, recently proposed the Embodied Predictive Interoception Coding (EPIC) model of affect, on the basis of the perspective of predictive coding. The theoretical framework of predictive coding argues that the brain creates inner models which can provide predictions for perception and motor movement, and that perception and behaviors are emerged from Bayesian computations rooted on the predictions. The EPIC model expands this perspective into interoception, which is perception of inner body states, and tries to explain phenomena of affect as integrative experiences based on interoception. This article introduces concepts of the EPIC model and examines the model by referencing to empirical findings.
Conceptual and methodological difficulties in emotion research are partially due to our tendency to take emotion as “natural kind” or “natural category.” Due to this, many past studies paid tremendous effort to segment and categorize types of emotions. To advance studies in emotion, I suggest that we should take affects as meta-cognition of emotions. We then should utilize four indexes including subjective, physiological, expressive, and communicative. Subjective index is based on introspective observation of the person who is experiencing the emotion by means of verbal or behavioral expression. Physiological index includes heart rate, skin conductance, or evoked brain activities. Expressive index includes facial or vocal expressions as well as bodily movement, anything that are measurable by means of remote sensors. Communicative index includes observers’ interpretation of the state of the subject. These four indexes are at different levels of measurements, but all of these could be defined operationally. In fruitful emotion studies, I suggest we should utilize at least two types of these indexes. Based on this framework, we introduce five studies including category and dimension of facial expressions, detection and control of anger, emotional dynamics in face-to-face communication, reinforcement learning measurement of emotional valence, contextual effects of emotion and its relation to language.
Computational models are becoming important tools in psychology. They offer a way to describe and investigate behaviors and physiology of living systems. However, it has yet been sufficiently discussed how they contribute to studies on emotion. In this paper, I discuss the role of the computational models in studies on emotion, introducing example studies. Emotions emerge as a construct that corresponds to variables or parameters of computational models during the processes of modeling behavioral or physiological data. Computational models also contribute to clarify the function of emotions in adaptive behaviors.
This article tries to outline the positioning of emotions in sociological action theories, and further explore possible development of explanation of social phenomena incorporating psychological generation mechanism of emotions, with relative deprivation theory as an example. In sociology, emotions, in particular negative emotions which would lead to social change, cannot be ignored as “live coals” which affects actor’s action tendency and prepares potential actions. As shown in the application of the Yitzhaki (1979) theory, micro-macro-theoretic models explaining macro state change via micro psychological generating mechanisms of emotions has great potential in predicting the dynamics of social change.
This article reviews the recent development of war studies with a focus on the rational choice and the psychological approaches. Scholars in international relations have been studying the origins of war. A traditional theory, Realism, emphasized power as the determinant of international outcomes. However, it did not explain how the distribution of power induces the onset of war. Rationalists connected the missing link by highlighting crisis bargaining as a key process and described the outset of war as a negotiation failure. Wars occur because of the uncertainty problem, the issue indivisibility problem, and the commitment problem. Psychologists applied prospect theory to international conflict behavior and explained how the possible loss of territories drives states to take the risk and escalate crisis bargaining to the onset of war. The latter approach shows more difficulties in reaching a peaceful settlement. Moreover, scholars start using experiments to examine which is more important to explain crisis behavior. Some studies detect the importance of psychological factors in crisis bargaining. We will develop the understanding of conflict behavior by examining the relative importance of the rational choice and the psychological approaches.