Seneca’s error: the intervening effect of emotions on mental model preservation

Robert J. de Boer

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This paper aims to describe how we change our mind. As any human knows from his or her own experience, this does not always come naturally to us. This dissertation therefore aims to find fault in Seneca’s assertion: not only to err is human, but it is also human to persist in this mistake despite evidence to the contrary.
In this paper I will argue that changing one’s mind is regulated through emotions, building on Damasio’s thoughts that emotions are not a luxury, but essential to rational thinking and normal behavior. His landmark book “Descarte’s Error“ (Damasio and Sutherland 1996) inspired the title of the current work. This research has been triggered by my experience in industry, where I have been lucky enough to have collaborated with many talented, friendly and rather stubborn people for over 20 years.
de Boer, R.J. (2011), Seneca's Error: The Intervening Effect of Emotions on Mental Model Preservation , Symposium on Human Factors for Future Aviation, Schiphol Oost, The Netherlands
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventSymposium on Human Factors for Future Aviation 2011 - Schiphol Oost, Amsterdam
Duration: 1 Jan 20111 Jan 2011


ConferenceSymposium on Human Factors for Future Aviation 2011


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