Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Why not emotions as motivated behaviors?

George Ainslie a1 and John Monterosso a2
a1 Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Coatesville, PA 19320
a2 Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90024


Lewis's dynamic systems approach is a refreshing change from the reflexology of most neuroscience, but it could go a step further: It could include the expected rewardingness of an emotion in the recursive feedback loop that determines whether the emotion will occur. Two possible objections to such a model are discussed: that emotions are not deliberate, and that negative emotions should lose out as instrumental choices.