The psychic system has the function to create a 'bridging' between the given
state of the organism within its context, and the desired state. The
way this relationship is established is decisive for survival, health and
well-being, and thus indirectly also for reproduction and in a broader
perspective, evolution of the species. At the core this task is
about problem-solving. Because conditions always change and vary, the
problem content is constantly changing and varying, and thus the required
solution shall have to be found anytime again. In the psychic
process therefore, crucial choices are made continuously - mostly
unconsciously - to succeed in making the best 'translation' of facts to aims.
This process constitutes Factor 6 in the Ten Factors Model.
The goal here is always to gather, organize and merge the necessary
'links' between two poles on the time axis:
(A) The initial condition. The starting point
for mental processes is formed by relevant sensory data (input of
sense data) which we may consider to be the 'basic premises'; and
(B) The outcome. The end point of mental processes is formed by
emotional and behavioral responses, (output, result) that
constitute, as it were, the 'final conclusion'.
A necessary component of the psychic process is the formation -
and constant updating - of a representation of the actual situation,
including the circumstances in the context of past, present and future,
therefore taking into account feelings and needs, goals and priorities,
resources and opportunities. The formation of this ad hoc
model takes place through various sub-processes including important
cognitive operations. Some of these operations are dependent on other, and
therefore they are organized in phases and sub-phases, and generally ordered
in time sequence.
Reconstruction of the current state (collection, interpretation, recognition).
This reconstruction takes place based on continuously incoming data.
This process consists of a number of sub-processes:
A. Information Collection. Gathering data from
immediate ('pure') experience of the material world: through sensory
observation (environment) and body sensations (internal state). B.
Selection and sorting. First filtering and
organizing of incoming data. Both collecting and selecting of new data
occur with aid of Factors 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the Ten Factors
Model. C. Association,
contrasting. (Retrospection, regression;
retrivation, retraction; facilitation, disinhibition or
excitation; reactivation, introjection,
mobilization). Initial assessment of the situation. By means of
comparing the current input with data already available in short- and
long-term memory. Through selective search processes in episodic
memory, associative recollection takes place with gradual activation of
previous similar occasional experiences and their implications.
This occurs using Factor 5 in the Ten Factors Model.
D. Substitution; assignment of meaning (interpretation),
recognition. Formation of an overall idea, or concept, of
the entire situation of the moment. By means of derivation from (1A, 1B,
and 1C) of the current state, or better, trend. This includes
current physical, emotional and intellectual needs of the organism
itself. This also takes place using Factors 5 and 7 in the Ten
The aim of this sub-process is to recover c.q. 'understand' how the current
situation could have arisen, and find out what circumstances might be
sufficient or necessary to change this situation. This also happens
using Factors 5 and 7 in the Ten Factors Model.
Reconstruction of pre-existing
condition(s). The first step is regression: search for
previous experiences which have led to similar results. By means of
retrieving general cause-effect rules from semantic memory, of
which (I) the conclusion-side, the obtained result or effect,
best matches the current situation or trend (1D); and (II) the
premisse-side, the condition or cause, best matches the most recent,
other known situations and events. From this follows a
representation (a submodel) of the previous state
(retrospective context). B. Substitution, explanation
(abduction). Derivation from (1D) and (2A) of
Determining the expected state (prediction, deduction).
Given the current situation or trend it is important to take upcoming
events into account. This also happens using Factors 5 and 7 in the
Ten Factors Model. Sub-processes are:
A. Anticipation. This process starts
with retrospection: search for previous experience of which similar
results preceded. By means of retrieving generial cause-effect
rules from semantic memory, of which (I) the premisse-side,
the condition or cause, best matches the current state or trend (1C, 1D) and
similar predecessors (2B); and (II) the conclusion-side, the
expected result or effect best matches other possible conditions in the
current context. B. Substitution; deduction:
prediction. Derivation from (1D), (2B) and (3A), By logical
deduction and / or creative imagination, from the expected effect
(externally: physical, social; and internally: bodyly, mental,
emotional). C. Substitution; construction:
exploration, preview. From the latter follows a
respresentatie (a submodel) of the expected state or trend
Determining the desired state c.q. target state; or desired change of course (evaluation, valuationappraisalmotivation).
The function of this process is to know in which direction must be thought and
acted from that point in time. Sub-processes are:
A. Review, valuation (appraisal)
Priority. Determining the desirability of preceding state
(2B), current state (1D) and expected state (3B); resulting in value
judgments and preferences. B. Emotional /
affective reaction. On the basis of adopted value judgments,
preferences, wishes and needs, matching physiological responses, are shaped
through lower brain centers, so that emotions are formed.
C. Motivation intension. Determining
wants, needs and goals (target state). From (4A) and (4B) follows
derivation of wants and needs, along the target state (consisting of
short and long-term goals). D. Integrating new information:
Reinterpretation. The current state (1D) is supplemented by
derived data of (2B), (3B), (4A), (4B) and (4C). E. Feedback to
information-gathering. The result of (4D) can be wholly or partially
added to the incoming information of sub-phase (1A).
Determining appropriate actions, devising plan of action.
The next step is determining appropriate actions helping as much as
possible to achieve the target state. The actions envisaged concern
tasks and subtasks. To further effectiveness, it is useful to be
able to respond in a given situation in an orderly and efficient manner
In time and space. The tasks and subtasks are therefore arranged into a
Action Plan, or 'ad hoc strategy'. This also happens with
aid of Factors of 5, 6, and 9 in the Ten Factors Model.
deduction pf required changes and
processes. Determining conditions that are conducive, necessary and
sufficient as possible. By means of retrieving general cause-effect
rules from semantic memory, of which (I) the conclusion-side,
the obtained result or effect, best matches the desired state (4C); and
(II) the premisse-side, the supposed condition or cause, best matches
the current situation or trend (1D). B. Calculation of
required actions. Determining possible and necessary
processing operations. By means of derivation on the basis of (5A)
of may be necessary or helpful conditions steps, or choices, For the
realization of the target state; in the form of additional cognitive
operations and / or emotional reactions, and / or motor actions. For the
same (sub) goal can, of course, various alternative approaches or
strategies may be used. C. Reaction Planning.
Construction of an Action Plan or 'ad hoc strategy'. By
means of arranging necessary operations and / or actions selected (5B) into a
more or less coherent Action Plan. D. Testing for
sufficient conditions. It is important to estimate
in advance whether the intended purpose will indeed be realized according to
the plan. Therefore the Action Plan needs to be tested for
effectivity, in other words, whether, and to what extent, it will
provide sufficient conditions fulfilling the intended purpose or
solution. E. Deriving results to-be-expected.
The next step is a preventive check, which may give reason to
adjust the plan and / or goal. Part of a preventive check is deriving
results to-be-expected of actions planned (5B, 5C) with respect to
targets (4C). This takes place through an internal feedback
loop, or, in higher brain areas, a 'thought
experiment'. The expected effects can be external:
physical, social; and internal: bodily, emotional. By means of
retrieving general cause-effect rules From semantic memory, of which
(I) the premisse-side, the condition or cause, best matches
planned actions and / or operations (5B, 5C); and (II) the
conclusion-side, the consequence or effect to be expected, best
matches other possible conditions in the current context. F.
Adjusting body chemistry and physiology to Action Plan.
To increase chances of success optimal settings are searched for the physical
and psychological state to execute the plan. The activated information is
tracked back, to the extent of correction signals, towards 'lower',
subcortical systems and mechanisms for a more detailed updating of
processes that are of importance for preparation (preparatory) and
execution (participatory). This may for example concern the specific
observation channel, the global activation ratio, balancing external and / or
internal orientation, the level of alertness, the direction of attention and
other necessary processes for selection and organization. These
changes occur partly using Factors 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9 in the Ten Factors
Model. G. Fine-tuning of Action Plan to
(changed) body condition. Integrating newly incoming compatible
information into the Action Plan. H. Testing and
Correcting. Final checks, and possible adjustments of Action
Plan. When new data has become known, components of the Action Plan could
yet be tested in accordance with the expected results (5E) and targets (4C),
and adjusted if necessary. H. Conclusion, decision.
Finally, a decision is made about action in time and situation given specific
context properties. If the anticipated outcomes (5E) sufficiently match
the desired outcomes (4C), this leadsto execution of the Action Plan.
Initiating the next necessary step according to Action Plan.
The initiating of the next (necessary) action, embedded in the context of time
and location, And mental and motor sub-goals. This too happens with
the aid of Factors 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10 in the Ten Factors
Conclusions on similarities and differences across time and contexts (generalization, induction).
In every part of the above processes possibilities exist to infer and / or
update general rules as guidelines (induction,
generalization). This also happens With the aid of Factors of 5
and 6 in the Ten Factors Model.
Adjustments of memory contents (LTM acquisition, conditioning, learning / training).
In addition, for each of the above processes the possibility exists of
storage learning experiences into memory. This is done by adding
changes in the short-term model - newly acquired, processed or formed mental
contents - in particular into the episodic and semantic
memory-content. This is useful to complement and customize the Long
Term Model (acquisition); Memory connections are thus
adapted by means of conditioning, or learning effect:
A. Classical conditioning. Association
of simultaneously, or at least shortly after each other, occurring
stimuli or conditions. B. Operant conditioning.
Association of endogenous vegetative, motor, emotional or cortical incentives
(personal conduct); with their subjective, conscious or unconscious outcome
or appreciation. When a mode of behavior is followed by 'reward'
(incentive) or 'punishment' (adversive), then this creates
strengthening (positive reinforcement, facilitation),
respectively weakening (negative reinforcement, inhibition)
of that behavior. C. Modification.
1. Elaboration. New connections are
formed. 2. Re-afference. (confirmation,
habituation, routinization, 'streamlining'). Capacities and
abilities that are already available, may with each new application be
further revised, refined or affirmed. 3. Activation
learning. Existing connections are strengthened. 4.
De-facilitation. Pre-existing connections which are not
used will degenerate, decay or literally be 'forgotten'