Modeling the dynamics of action

Ashley D. Brown, William Revelle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Computational models of personality offer a means of bridging the gap between “bottom-up” neuroscience and contemporary individual difference researchers’ efforts to build “top-down” self-report questionnaires. Dynamic models like Atkinson and Birch’s Dynamics of Action model (1970), Read and colleagues’ Virtual Personalities model (Read & Miller, 2002; Read et al., 2010), and Revelle and Condon’s Cues-Tendencies-Actions (CTA) model (2015) generate the observable between-persons’ differences in behavior and effect on which self-report measures are based, from the unobservable within-persons differences on which modern personality theories are premised. Here, we focus on the “CTARST” model, which unites CTA and a reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST) simulation. CTARST has been used to simulate, in detail, data from three real-life studies that linked within- and between-person variability: Smillie, Cooper, Wilt, and Revelle (2012), Wilt, Bleidorn, and Revelle (2017), and Wilt, Funkhouser, and Revelle (2011). Results demonstrated that the CTARST model is able to usefully approximate actual data regarding psychological dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMeasuring and Modeling Persons and Situations
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9780128192009
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Affect
  • Computational modeling
  • Cues-Tendencies-Actions
  • Personality
  • Reinforcement sensitivity theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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