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Experimental Psychology (Russia)

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 2072-7593

ISSN (online): 2311-7036


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2008

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal


Emotional aspects of decision-making process: thermodynamic approach 2042

Pakhomov A.P.
PhD in Psychology, Cand. Sci. in Psychology, Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, Russia

Sudjin N.E.
MA in Psychology, Occupational Psychologist, Ministry of Absorption, Israel, Israel

The decision-making system including emotional component which often is a necessary condition to transfer a system from one state to another, is generally nonequilibrium and irreversible, and, therefore, thermodynamic laws apply to it. In the work, the mathematical model of decision choice, based on the principles of nonlinear dynamics and taking into account the instability of the motion and bifurcation, is offered. The thermodynamic component of decision-making process on the basis of vector transfer of energy induced by emotion at the given time is surveyed. At entropy impact, due to effect of emotion, on the closed system – the human brain, – initially arises chaos, then after fluctuations of possible alternatives which were going on – reactions of brain zones in reply to external influence, an order is forming and there is a choice of alternative, according to primary entrance conditions and state of the closed system. Thus, in system of environment – the human brain, through fluctuations is reached an order condition. Entropy calculation of probability of a choice of negative and positive emotions shows judgment possibility of existence of «the law of emotion conservation», confirmed by experimental data (Gimranov, Kurdyukova, 2005; Heller, 1993; Baumgartner et al., 2011). The works performed by above-mentioned researchers, show that at activation of the left-hand hemisphere not only increases positive, and at activation of the right one – a negative sign of emotion, but also there is a decrease in a significance of an emotional sign in a counter cerebral hemisphere. As separate areas of a brain differently react to emotions and components of limbic system polemize with each other, sometimes is noted the divergence in the choice process – the answer to this or that valence of emotion. Negative emotion can induce the useful decision, and positive to act as incentive of a losing choice. American neurobiologists B. Knutson and G. Loewenstein (Knutson et al., 2007) where executed a brilliant experiment as a result of which it was noted that in case of negative splash in an insula Reili suppressing positive reactions generated by nucleus accumbens (an important element of dopamine motivation scheme), the examinee always avoided the considerable monetary expenditure in spite of irresistible product. In case of manifestation of larger activity in nucleus accumbens than in insula Reili and frontal cerebral cortex, the goods for the examinee were necessary and faultless. Quite often the fear of loss (understanding that sensation of fear is peculiar to the negative emotions) protects from senseless losses and unjustified expenditure and leads, eventually, to the useful decision. The inverse phenomenon is observed also in case of impact on the individual of the positive emotions, which effect can has the same destructive result as the total absence of emotions. In cases when the brain of individual is saturated with dopamine causing pleasant feelings, gamblings, payment of purchases by credit cards, getting shares at stock-exchange become extremely attractive. Due to highest and blocking activity of dopamine neurons, the brain of the person is capable to make immanent mistakes which result in game bankruptcy, terrible debts on credit cards and wrong choice of shares. The broad list of researches is devoted to this subject. Here we will provide only some significant publications (e.g. Breiter et al., 2001; Cohen, 2005; Cohen et al., 2002; Montague, 2007; Montague, 2006; Montague et al., 2004; Montague et al., 2006; Post et al., 2008; Prelec, Simester, 2001; Schultz, 1998; Shiv et al., 2005). In current study the classification of external conditions from the standpoint of the thermodynamics, influencing decision-making process is also offered. It is considered the possible mechanism and the conflict of evolution of emotional decisions into rational memory.

Keywords: thermodynamics, nonlinear dynamics, decision-making, emotion, bifurcation, energy vector

Column: Cognitive Psychology

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