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Knowledge Needs and Information Extraction: Towards an Artificial Consciousness by Nicolas Turenne

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Chapter 6

Theories of Motivation in Psychology

6.1. Behavior and cognition

An individual has a certain number of dimensions which modulate his/her personality (LEW 35; VYG 35; MCF 03]. The theories of the ego reveal glimpses of some of these dimensions. In addition, psychology, as a major science, has been able to touch on dimensions of the personality focusing on capacities for learning and therefore attention and motivation as an open-ended question. Individual differences are marked, for instance, by dimensions such as hostility/empathy, the property of which may help to better understand aggressive or insensitive forms of psychology. Numerous hypotheses have been put forward, which it is our intention to explore in this chapter.

After 20 years of studies in the 1960s and 1970s in the wake of the behavioralist movement, developed in the 1930s and 1940s by – in particular – Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936), John Watson (1878-1958), Burrhus F. Skinner (1904-1990), Clark Hull (1884-1952) and Edward Tolman (1886-1959), the existentialist humanist movement, aimed at psychological development to improve a learner’s mental state, died down in the 1980s, ceding the stage to cognitive processes and the “information processing” view of human functioning. This cognitive revolution, as implied, was influenced by the technological advances and the advances of computational sciences, which have become a metaphorical signature of the movement. More than their humanist predecessors, the new wave of ...

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