On Using Fiction and Non-Fiction When Feeling Guilty

At the Vancouver Arts Club on Friday, I attended the emotion-inducing play, Angels in America Part 1: Millennium Approaches. (Its wikipedia page. One of the characters, Louis Ironson, is a Jewish homosexual consumed by anxiety and guilt. Today, I used this character to reflect upon imperfection, the emotions of guilt, and self-directed learning. I wondered in particular how one can use feelings of guilt and fiction/non-fiction to become more effective. This blog post touches briefly on this problem. Continue reading On Using Fiction and Non-Fiction When Feeling Guilty

Perturbance: Understanding Why Robots Will Have High-Order Emotions Matters to Psychology

Yesterday, Drs. Sylwia Hyniewska, Eva Hudlicka and I submitted a paper for the AISB-2017 Symposium on Computational Modelling of Emotion: Theory and Applications. The title of our paper is “Perturbance: Unifying research on emotion, intrusive mentation and other psychological phenomena with AI”. Continue reading Perturbance: Understanding Why Robots Will Have High-Order Emotions Matters to Psychology

Challenge and Workshop in 12th IEEE Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (FG 2017)

The name, CogZest, is a blend of “Cognition” and “Zest”, where “Zest” representing affect. Here, we believe that deep learning is not merely a matter of acquiring dry knowledge. It also means learning to perceive and act upon value in a well informed manner. As such, at CogZest we also read, research and publish about affect.

If you are particularly interested in emotion, we encourage you to consider attending the following challenges and workshops organized by Dr. Sylwia Hyniewska, an expert in affective science in general and perception of emotions from faces in particular. Continue reading Challenge and Workshop in 12th IEEE Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (FG 2017)

The Benefits of Corporate Romance: Left is Right for Me

As you might recall, at ISRE-2015 in Geneva, I presented a paper on romantic emotions (“limerence”), in the context of our affect regulation project. The thing about romance is that like other emotions it is a state characterized by a certain loss of control. Control of what? One’s thinking processes. Continue reading The Benefits of Corporate Romance: Left is Right for Me

Experiencing and Analyzing Emotions on a Perturbing Election Night

The U.S. election this evening provides me with a good opportunity to test my understanding of emotion and my emotion regulation practices, as will the future, particularly given the apparent results. Continue reading Experiencing and Analyzing Emotions on a Perturbing Election Night

AISB-2017 (Bath) Symposium: “Computational Modelling of Emotion: Theory and Applications”

At AISB 2017 (April, in Bath, England) there will be a symposium on Computational Modelling of Emotion: Theory and Applications. The symposium chairs are Dr. Dean Petters (Psychology) and Dr. David Moffatt (Computer Science).

Dr. Sylwia Hyniewska and I will submit a paper on emotion as perturbance, using insomnia and limerence as windows onto this phenomenon. Continue reading AISB-2017 (Bath) Symposium: “Computational Modelling of Emotion: Theory and Applications”

Mata Hari’s Emotions

According to Michel Aubé, if motivation involves managing resources, then emotion, a subset of motivation, involves managing commitments (human resources). Combine this idea with the fact that emotional episodes involve perturbance, where a cluster of affectively charged mental content, or motivators, tend to disrupt and maintain attention. Continue reading Mata Hari’s Emotions

Why Is A Christmas Story — The Musical — So Hilarious? Inside Jokes, The Mating Mind and Mental Spaces We’d Rather Not Explore

“You don’t mean to say that this charming, clever young lady has been so foolish as to accept you?”
Lord Caversham to Lord Goring in Oscar Wilde’s, An Ideal Husband

“Evolution is an examination with two papers. To succeed demands a pass in both.”
Steve Jones, Darwin’s Ghost (p. 76)

The Arts Club of Vancouver’s performance of A Christmas Story—The Musical had me in stiches. But why?

A Christmas Story—The Musical
Continue reading Why Is A Christmas Story — The Musical — So Hilarious? Inside Jokes, The Mating Mind and Mental Spaces We’d Rather Not Explore

Romantic Love (Limerence): A Workshop on Emotion

I’ve begun to offer a pair of workshops on emotion that focus primarily on romantic love, technically known as “limerence”. The first workshop is designed primarily to enhance participants’ understanding of their emotions, whereas the second is focused on “relating to” their emotions. This post is about the first workshop.

Why Understand Limerence (Romantic Love)?

So what does limerence have to do with cognitive productivity? As I argued at length in Cognitive Productivity, to learn effectively we must not merely develop dry, cognitive mechanisms and representations (the substrate of memory, skills, etc.). Otherwise, we will at most develop an “inert” storehouse of knowledge, as Alfred Whitehead put it. We must rather change ourselves affectively: develop inclinations, feelings, desires and tendencies to apply what we’ve learned. To this end, it helps to understand emotions.

Furthemore, emotions generally, and limerence in particular, can directly promote productivity and creativity. (Beethoven’s may have been fueled by his unrequited love. There are countless similar examples. Compare the reference to The Mating Mind below.) Emotions can also, of course, destroy our ability to focus.

Continue reading Romantic Love (Limerence): A Workshop on Emotion