Kullervo Rainio

Cognitive Process and Behavior; A Conceptual Framework and Simulations.

Research Reports 1/2002, Department of Social Psychology, Helsinki University
by Kullervo Rainio
Professor emeritus of Social Psychology
Helsinki University


The aim of the book is to build a conceptual system which represents the psychological forces as probability vectors determining transitions in topological space. The conceptual system presented in the book is - in a way - a correction and a radical modernization of the classical framework by Kurt Lewin. Unlike in the Lewinian system, also the time variable is handled as a discrete one, i.e., as steps in time. The cognitive process is assumed to occur in the actual life space represented as a graph, the vertices of which indicate cognitive states. The cognitive transitions are determined by the probabilities of cognitive trials from state to state and by the probabilities of their success. Particular rules are given for making the decisions to act.

The book examines the cognitive processes from the holistic viewpoint.

The new conceptual system makes possible to derive stochastic models of cognitive processes to estimate the behavior. In Chapters 3 and 4 this has been done by simulating simple game situations. The simulation programs are given in detail, written in Turbo-Basic language. They are also available in files, in .bas or .exe -forms.

In Chapter 6 some philosophical consequences of the theory are discussed, particularly the psycho-physical problem and Eccles' trial to solve it. A formalization of the Eccles' theory is given. In Chapter 6.4., the occurrences in the macro-physical and quantum systems as well as in biosystems and cognitive systems are compared in terms of the given conceptual framework.

Keywords: balance, behavior, cognition, cognitive, Eccles, field, formal, force, games, graph, graph theory, group maze, Heider, holistic, hodological, learning, Lewin, life space, model, Monte Carlo method, probabilistic, psycho-physical, reality, simulation, stochastic, topological, vector.


The whole text available from http://ethesis.helsinki.fi/julkaisut/val/sosps/muut/rainio/
The author: e-mail: kullervo.rainio@pp.inet.fi
The simulation programs are available in .bas and/or in .exe files