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Agent Personality Model
polydad
The idea is that a human mind is a collection of intelligent agents, acting in committee. We call someone well-integrated if their committee works well, hands off to each other as appropriate, and generally gets the job of operating the body done properly. If someone has a quarrelsome committee, we call them a multiple personality because we're never sure which agent is going to be in charge or whether they will hand off authority correctly when it's the turn of a different agent. (An orderly transition involved briefing your relief on what is going on and what they should be doing.)

This is probably too dense a description and I'll need to unpack it further, but it's an okay first pass. Thoughts, opinions, rebuttals?


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It certainly has merit, though I'm not sure about then relating it down to MPS. Frankly, sounds more like it would be schizophrenia.

If someone has a quarrelsome committee, we call them a multiple personality because we're never sure which agent is going to be in charge or whether they will hand off authority correctly when it's the turn of a different agent.

Some multiples have that sort of problem, others don't. An outside observer may not be sure who's who (and our culture strongly supports looking like an un-committee), but internally it's often quite clear. I know that I'm not Quincy, for example, and when she's running the body it's a very distinctive experience.

We're not a particularly fractious group - indeed, if you live with anyone for fifteen or twenty years, the rough edges of the relationship tend to get worn off. For all that, we're no more 'integrated' now than we were as angsty teenagers. (Additionally, you seem to be using "integration" differently from the same word in mainstream psychology, whose definition is essentially glomming people together until they're under the illusion that they're one person. In groups of multiples who haven't been convinced that they're ill, it's not uncommon for that sort of "integration" to be seen as murder.)

I don't think that an individual in a multiple system is equivalent to a single agent, either. I'm quite capable of being internally conflicted on my own! Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that most peoples' agents don't leave the impression of differing priorities, goals, and basic outlook on life on their shared memories. Or have the option of keeping secrets from one another. Or believe in different (and even wholely contradictory) religions, or actively despise one anothers' musical tastes, and so on.

Cheers,
- Kathru

correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that most peoples' agents don't leave the impression of differing priorities, goals, and basic outlook on life on their shared memories. Or have the option of keeping secrets from one another. Or believe in different (and even wholely contradictory) religions, or actively despise one anothers' musical tastes, and so on.


this would be wrong. In several with MPD, especially in those who have been harmed as a child, there are profiles descriptive of being *Protectors*. the protectors of the system can and do keep memories hidden from the other personalities so as not to add more trauma.


When Kathru referred to most people, s/he was referring to non-multiple-personality folks, unlike herself. She was disputing Joel's suggeted equivalence, and I think you misunderstood.

gotcha *smiles*

i have a tendancy to misunderstand at times. i too have MPD so was speaking in the terms of one who has it and experiences contradictory aspects of the personalities within.

thank you for explaining the veiwpoint i was inable to see.

I can see how that 'most people' was a little vague. Suppose it's what I get for replying before sleep.

barking_iguana, thanks for clearing that up for me.

vanillastwist, misunderstandings happen. No problem. :)

Cheers,
- Kathru

Hi Dvd,

I'm Joel's partner, Laura. . .I just friended you, as I'd like to get to know you better.

Hoping you're cool with that,

L

Sure. I even added you back so you can read my rare private posts. (I'll probably post such an update about my life this weekend.) I don't usually talk about myslef much on LJ, so if there's anything you want to know, you may have to ask.

I don't "quarrelsome" is the right word. Corporations have shown that you can have quarrelsome groups of people that nonetheless get the job done well, and non-quarrelsome groups that still work at odds with each other. I think the issue is simply one of integration: Do the agents work together as a team (usually invisibly), or do they work separate, either to the same goals or to conflicting ones?

Recommended reading

Oh, good, homework. I like homework; thank you. I'll post about it when I'm done with it.

best,

Joel

"Turtles all the way down"

But how then do the agents in those subcommittees think and function? Do they have their own set of agents?

Re: "Turtles all the way down"

A very good, and very complex, question. I might have an answer for you in four or five years, or possibly not. If you know of a good introductory text to neural networks you could recommend, or one on self-programming systems, it would be much appreciated.

best,

Joel

(Deleted comment)
My thanks for the homework; last I was up on Marvin's work was when I was hanging out in his office in '91.

best,

Joel

Can you point me in the direction of anything newer than Society of Mind, which I had as required reading for a class in '89?

(Deleted comment)
Thanks. I've added that book to a wishlist.

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