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THE LAW OF SELF-REFLEXION: A Possible Unified Explanation for the Three Different Psychological Phenomena

Lefebvre, Vladimir A. (2002) THE LAW OF SELF-REFLEXION: A Possible Unified Explanation for the Three Different Psychological Phenomena. [Journal (Paginated)]

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Abstract

The centuries-old philosophical idea that man has an image of the self containing an image of the self (of the second order) obtains a new life in the mathematical model of the subject possessing reflexion. One assumption underlying the model is that the subject tends to generate patterns of behavior such that some kind of similarity is established between the subject himself and his second order image of the self. We demonstrate that this model allows a single explanation for three diverse, experimentally observed phenomena: (a) the nonlinear relation between magnitude estimation and categorization of identical stimuli (Parducci, Stevens, Galanter), (b) the avoidance of the value of 0.5 in estimating stimuli equidistant from two samples on a psychological scale (Poulton, Simmonds), and (c) the formal correspondence between, on the one hand, frequency of choice for particular alternatives and, on the other, reinforcement rate, found in some experiments with animals and people (Herrnstein, Baum). The results obtained allow us to hypothesize that the reflexive metaphor represents a general principle for regulation of both human and animal behavior.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Additional Information:This paper might be of interest to psychophysicists, philosophers, researchers of animal behaviour, and those studying mental processes.
Keywords:law of self-reflexion, magnitude estimation, categorization, matching law, homunculus, mentality
Subjects:Psychology > Psychophysics
Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Psychology > Behavioral Analysis
ID Code:2927
Deposited By:Lefebvre, Vladimir A.
Deposited On:06 May 2003
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

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