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 [email protected]
a2 Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90024 [email protected]


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.