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Unread September 26th, 2006, 10:24 PM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 271
Default Re: Relationship with mother leaves its mark on the brain

Todd,

Added to above post: It seems to me that a possible source for misunderstanding of my premise lies with the insistence of many to view emotions as feelings - changes in our mental and body state that we become aware of. The distinction is crucial.

Of the thousands of small and large behavior decisions a typical human would make in a day I'm sure that only a very small number of those would be accompanied by feelings - an awareness of (some) of the emotions occuring within us at the time those decisions are made.

The emotions that mediate our decisions are experienced without our awareness of them in almost all cases. Those (usually subconscious) emotions represent the (emotional) strength of the beliefs that we consult in a behavior choice transaction.

Beliefs are not just the obviously emotional relationships that we accept about the universe - like politics, religion and morals. These include all those useful things that we believe to be true - and an emotional tag that represents how strongly we believe it to be true. We adjust those tags as time goes by to keep our belief system in good working order. I think this adjustment occurs subconsciously according to how frequently we use that belief successfully to mediate decisions - and how important that belief is to our survival.

Note that the results of immediate intellectual conclusions, not just stored beliefs, are also temporary "beliefs" by this definition.

To the extent that we are not ideological about the contents of the various belief compartments in our minds - we are free to use reason to edit our beliefs and tune them up to objective reality.

But we are not Vulcans and I expect that even the best scientists' minds will contain some beliefs that are there for non-rational reasons.

Margaret

Last edited by Margaret McGhee; September 27th, 2006 at 10:05 AM.
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