3. Dynamic systems with multiple equilibrium
3.a) Expert systems
The human decision-making process' configuration is one of the most complex existing systems; it is influenced by innumerable variables that are by nature both structural and short-term or environmental.
Just like countries do not all have the same political system; each person has his or her own system of dynamic equilibrium for decision-making.
Within the structural variables we can cite:
- Differences in the systems of information and the perception of the external physical reality.
- Different endowments of capacities that influence the making of abstract constructions, in other words, in the development of expert systems and systems of control.
- Alternative evolutionary ways regarding the pondering of elements in the diverse decision-making processes.
- Resistance or response to pain or other changes.
The most relevant aspect of interest here is the direct executive nature of the decisions made. Depending on the circumstances or the context, the decision-making system uses one process or another -even if the change of process implies a change in the decision, although a person is conscious of the change, the new decision will normally be carried out. After all, this is why he/she made the decision.
It is worth pointing out that the change of operative in the process of decision-making occurs automatically, that is, without the control of the conscious person. In fact, the functioning of global dynamic system is probably too complex.
However, what we can do is control the main determining factors of the dynamic system so as to guarantee the appropriate functioning of the systems of control and to provide it the desired stability without overlooking the fact that flexibility is a good characteristic. This explains its existence and that the exceptions are necessary such as those that provoke the manifestation of emotions.
Among these determining factors we can point out the water and food the body has available. These are obvious, but are no less important for this reason! Everyone knows the beneficial effect of vitamins in fruit, and therefore... Maybe they have not been explained clearly enough.
Lack of sleep, sports, or physical exercise is also found within this category although they have a slower and more accumulative effect.
The awareness of our own emotional states and their influence on these decision-making processes will help us, if needed, to understand why there are changes in previously made decisions.
It is especially worth identifying states of anxiety and irritability because it is very possible that, the decision-making process is then found among what we have called forced systems due to vices of will.
One of the characteristics of the systems of dynamic equilibrium is that they are often systems with multiple equilibriums. That is, even with all their equal parameters, the equilibriums can be different according to the path followed to reach the equilibrium; in our case the equilibrium will be indicated by the decision made.
This characteristic is of considerable importance because it can produce emotions that can cause very dangerous situations when trying to leave a forced system; this could be the typical example of uncontrolled reactions produced by someone trying to stop consuming hard drugs.
A less dangerous but more common example is when someone tries to quit smoking tobacco, and a marked state of anxiety and irritability is produced with the emotional instability that accompanies it for many types of emotions.
In all of these examples, trying to control emotions by means of the main determining factors mentioned is the least that can be done to return the dynamic system to a normal path and to avoid producing emotions not planned or so artificially.
On the other hand, what seems dangerous is managing emotions which can alter its natural function.
Schizophrenia is probably the most well-known and common disorder of the decision-making system.
To some extent, all of us have a certain degree of schizophrenia, which, in my opinion, is good and natural. The problem appears when the degree of schizophrenia reaches the point in which it becomes serious and uncontrollable.
I would like to include a brief commentary in the sense that the main causes of schizophrenia in this type of the decision-making behaviour could be, independently of the known genetic or hereditary predisposition, wanting to understand things or aspects of life that are truly impossible to understand because they do not depend on logic, but rather wanting to understand one's own emotions, and especially those of others, or even more serious, wanting to understand the personal logic of another person.
Furthermore, on many occasions, the error consists in trying to solve a problem that is not a problem and that also does not depend on us. To give a simple and somewhat childlike example that is nonetheless repeated throughout life in a thousand and one forms:
"I have my hands behind my back and ask: which hand is the candy in? Then, the only thing I have to do is put the candy in the opposite hand than that stated in the answer".
That is, it's a brain game in which the person who thinks and responds never wins, it is a false dilemma, and we can force the intelligence as much as we want, but we will not obtain any satisfactory solution.
In an attempt to understand something that resists us, sometimes it is useful to try to place ourselves in different initial situations, with different prejudices or preconceptions, forcing our intelligence to examine different points of view or perspectives.
If we do so with sufficient intensity and time, what we are doing is damaging the brain’s normal decision-making process in the way that we change the development of the system and this does not only become an automatic process beyond our conscious control but it also tends to modify our genetic endowment related to these processes, given that, in my opinion, it is fairly flexible, allowing for the possible transmission of the problem to our descendents.
Logically, a person who is considered fairly intelligent will have the tendency to try to understand the mentioned situations and, therefore, there could be a certain statistical correlation between intelligence and schizophrenia. What is already proven is that there is a correlation between schizophrenia and low levels of intelligence.
Perhaps this effect would be greater in people with problems related to dyslexia, given that memory recreates different points of view for its operation, even if it is not flawed, it is limited and also as at least some genetic connotations.
As far as the genetics of schizophrenia, it is worth remembering that the concordance between identical or monozygotic twin brothers is 0.69 for schizophrenia, which shows us that they have a marked genetic character while in non-identical or dizygotic twin brothers it is 0.10.
This information contributes two ideas, the first that it seems that genetic information is not concentrated on just one chromosome and the second, that either the presence of various "genes" is necessary for the effective cognitive development of these processes or the carrier genes are not significant in the sense of being "dominant" or both at the same time.