Very simply, emotive learning is something that happens in the subconscious; it is the function that converts conscious, real-world, three-dimensional experience into feelings. An easy example: From the day a baby is born, it experiences the real world for what it is but it learns to have special feelings about its mother because of the role the mother plays in providing security, affection, bonding and other intimate behaviors. The baby has subconsciously created a set of feelings with which to relate to and understand their real-world mother.
Without emotive learning we would be incapable of interacting with the material world. Existentialism would not exist. Behaviors related to ethics, empathy, fairness, and being aware of threatening situations could not exist; the idea of ‘family’ could not exist.
There is a number called ‘Dunbar’s Number’ which states that a person can individually relate to approximately 150 people. This capability comes along with a genome that makes us a tribal creature. The brain is sensitive to the role of other people – especially if there is an expected alliance with them.
An experiment that will expose the constant focus of emotive learning is comparing how you think and feel when talking directly to another person and that the brain is constantly scanning behavior, environment and surrounding circumstances which in turn generate feelings about that person. On the other hand, talk to the same person using Facetime. There is a sensation that there is desired searching that is not available.
Feelings derived through emotive learning are the seed for experiencing empathy and, in conjunction with cultural feelings, compassion. Feelings derived through emotive learning are the source for any type of person-to-person bonding, respect, and familial (tribal) association.
In this century, many scientists who study social behavior have begun to write books and articles about the impact of automated communication and whether the blocked availability for emotive learning is contributing to the general consternation of these times. A simple commercial example is the kiosk for ordering food in a fast food restaurant rather than determining what to eat while talking to another person. There is no sense of common purpose when using the kiosk but when engaging another human there is a subtle sense of unity (AKA tribal identification).
A tragic example is the increase in teenage suicide because emotive learning is distorted brutally by social media with verbal and visual attacks on the limbic system.
Can a person be the product of emotive learning and at the same time be identified as a statistic in a database?
How does empathy fit into this scheme. One can have empathy simply by see, hearing about or reading about some terrible event (e.g., the killing in Memphis, the disenfranchisement of women in Afghanistan). It doesn’t seem to depend on live contact, but maybe it’s simply much stronger in live contact.