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Prof. Dietrich Dörner's Psi-Theory is about human action regulation, intention and behaviour. The theory describes a comprehensive model of the human brain, its cognitive processes, emotion and motivation. It is about the informational structure of an intelligent, motivated, emotional agent (called Psi) which is able to survive in arbitrary domains of reality. This agent is driven by several motives (need for food, water, the avoidance of pain, certainty, competence and affiliation). The cognitive processes are modulated by emotional states and processes.

The Psi-theory was verified by computer models and compared to actual human behaviour.


  • Dietrich Dörner: Bauplan für eine Seele. Rowohlt Taschenbuch, 2001, ISBN 3499611937 (German).
  • Dietrich Dörner: Die Mechanik des Seelenwagens. Eine neuronale Theorie der Handlungsregulation. Verlag Hans Huber, 2002, ISBN 345683814X (German).

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