2-system approach with several decision-making processes
Perception as a preliminary step to decision-making and action is traditionally seen as a serial process that is processed in the brain (1-system approach). The acquisition and processing of information from the environment (external) and the body (internal) as well as recognition lead to an evaluation and allow a targeted action.
What led to the discovery of a 2-system approach as well as emotive-cognitive cycles
In 1884, William James was the first to cast doubt on this sequence, followed independently by the work of Carl Lange in 1885. The following question emerged at the time: “Do we run away from the bear because we are afraid, or are we afraid because we run away?
Like the James-Lange Theory, Herbert S. Simon’s theses on limited rationality from 1960 also call for a second system that is not subject to cognitive limitations and reaches the measured speeds.
The countless books and widely debated insights on the question of “head or gut?” encouraged Graf to continue to pursue the path to the 2-system approach. This included the Vedic scripts with indications that emotions are directly connected to the senses. Also the experiments on blind sight by Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran (1993) and Beatrix de Gelder (2003) could only be explained with a 2-system approach with emotive cycles.
The works of Luc Ciompi (1982) and Joseph LeDoux (1998) as well as António Rosa Damásio (1995) also gave clear indications and descriptions for a 2-system approach with emotive circles. In addition to these works, Graf describes a 2-system approach with emotive-cognitive cycles, the KiE trilogy, from which the human decision-making process and all human behavior and thinking can be derived.
The KiE trilogy with emotive-cognitive cycles
People have two decision systems, an emotional and a cognitive system. The cognitive system can be located in the neo-cortex. The emotional system can only partially be located in the evolutionarily older subcortical area. The amygdala, responsible for the processing of the basic emotion of fear, can still be easily located because it can operate on its own. The other individual basic emotions also work in emotive cycles, as LeDoux had proved. According to Damásio, the social basic emotions interact with the prefrontal cortex, which is assigned to the evolutionarily younger neo-cortex. The thalamus takes over the doppler function and transmits the sensory stimulus brought together from all sensory organs to both systems. The feedback of cognitive sensory processing has been well described by David Eagleman (2017) and the body feedback is another cycle within the KiE trilogy.
Both systems work partly in parallel as well as largely autonomously and come to distinct decisions and movements at different points in time.
With one and the same sensory stimulus, the faster emotional system initiates a “movement” with the logic of emotions that are not accessible to the conscious mind. The slower parallel processing creates a time window in which the intuition can be recognized as a result of the emotion system.
The 2-system approach allows purely emotive cycles without cognition being activated, such as automated movements – the so-called autopilot – as well as affective reactions.
The inseparability of the emotion and cognitive systems allows for a variety of emotive-cognitive processes that produce arbitrary human behavior and thinking. The coherent world view is initiated from the emotive cycle and brought together with the cognitive cycle. This neurological process happens so fast that one could rather speak of “we are thought”. The coherent world view is rarely true, but always correct in the sense that the results from the emotion and cognitive system are brought together into a coherent world view.
The emotive-cognitive cycles go beyond the internal decision-making processes when the effect as external stimulus initiates a new internal cycle.
The KiE trilogy – Differentiation to 2-system approaches with serial processes
The 2-system approach with System1 and System2, coined by Keith Stanovich and Richard West (2000) as well as Daniel Kahneman (2011), confirms the KiE trilogy in parts, as do Fritz Strack and Roland Deutsch (2004).
In contrast to these approaches, however, the KiE trilogy is based on cyclical creation processes in which the emotion system acts first, as Benjamin Libet proved in 1983. The emotion system is a system of movement and operates with the logic of emotions. It moves us to numerous automated movements without the involvement of the cognitive system, the so-called autopilot guides us safely through life. The emotion system can communicate with the intuition by impulse. It can motivate the later cognition system to create a coherent world view on the basis of the logic of emotions and the cognitive logic.
For this reason, the term cognitive bias is unfortunate because the emotion system acts first and sometimes the cognitive cycle is not reached. The cognitive system can shape the emotion system in certain situations, but the charactaristic “lazy” system2 is misleading because the earlier emotion system can dominate the creation process with a coherent world view. Gerd Gigerenzer describes the intuitive abilities wonderfully and in detail. However, he still assigns cognitive abilities to the gut feeling when he assumes heuristics and rules as inner logic. With this he explains the high speed of intuition, but in fact it is the logic of emotion that is at work.
The Ki-E trilogy assumes that thoughts are a creation process in emotive-cognitive cycles and therefore the emotion system does not produce thoughts in the cognitive sense.
KiE research means bringing together different and contradictory things into a coherent unity, just as the emotive-cognitive cycles of the KiE trilogy in the coherent world view demand.
You can find more information in the book by Richard Graf:
Chapter 3 “How people function – the KiE concept”
Richard Graf „Die neue Entscheidungskultur“ – Mit gemeinsam getragenen Entscheidungen zum Erfolg, Hanser Verlag 2018
“The emotional system is the origin and end of all thinking. New thinking with conscious emotion logic extends both human and artificial intelligence.”
Richard Graf, 27. Januar 2020