Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Centre of Applied Research Technology

Seneca’s Error: The Intervening Effect of Emotions on Mental Model Preservation

Article

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 behaviour. 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.

Reference 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
Published by  Faculty of Technology 21 September 2011