In 1955, Egon Brunswik presented a paper in which he argued that neglect of the environment and over emphasis of the organism was the major downfall of cognitive psychology. His critiques have largely been ignored and research is discussed that demonstrates the same organismic- asymmetry Brunswik detailed in 1955. This research is discussed in attribution terms since experimental psychologists make behavioral attributions. This organismic-asymmetry has resulted in a body of research that is guilty of the fundamental attribution error. Brunswik's (...) theory of representative design, proposed to address organismic-asymmetry, is discussed and contrasted with calls for ecological validity. Although calls for ecological validity are well intentioned, they lack any systematic theory of the environment and fall significantly short of Brunswik's ideal. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
This note brings together three phenomena leading to a tendency toward reductionism in cognitive psychology. They are the reification of cognitive processes into an entity called mind; the identification of the mind with the brain; and the congruence by analogy of the brain with the digital computer. Also indicated is the need to continue studying the effects upon behavior of variables other than brain function. 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Reviews the general orientation of cognitive psychology, some contemporary difficulties and problems noted by cognitive psychologists, and apparent commonalities between phenomenological and cognitive psychologies. It is argued that the problems of cognitive psychology are inevitable consequences of its natural scientific orientation, which is far more traditional than it is revolutionary. A phenomenologically based, human science approach to psychology is offered as a solution of fundamental disciplinary problems. 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
The aim of this paper is to analyze a philosophical question (neutrality vs. theory-ladenness of observation) taking into consideration the empirical results of Cognitive Psychology (theories of perception). This is an important debate because the objectivity of science is at stake. In the Philosophy of Science there are two main positions with regard to observation, those of C. Hempel and N. R. Hanson. In the Philosophy of Mind there are also two important contrasting positions, those of J. Fodor and (...) Paul M. Churchland. I will analyze the consequences of recent theories of perception and vision developed within Cognitive Science for classical epistemological theses about observation. (shrink)
"Cognitive psychology," "cognitive neuroscience," and "philosophy of mind" are names for three very different scientific fields, but they label aspects of the same scientific goal: to understand the nature of mental phenomena. Today, the three disciplines strongly overlap under the roof of the cognitive sciences. The book's purpose is to present views from the different disciplines on one of the central theories in cognitive science: the theory of mental models. Cognitive psychologists report their research on the representation and processing (...) of mental models in human memory. Cognitive neuroscientists demonstrate how the brain processes visual and spatial mental models and which neural processes underlie visual and spatial thinking. Philosophers report their ideas about the role of mental models in relation to perception, emotion, representation, and intentionality. The single articles have different and mutually complementing goals: to introduce new empirical methods and approaches, to report new experimental results, and to locate competing approaches for their interpretation in the cross-disciplinary debate. The book is strongly interdisciplinary in character. It is especially addressed to researchers in any field related to mental models theory as both a reference book and an overview of present research on the topic in other disciplines. However, it is also an ideal reader for a specialized graduate course. (shrink)
Cognitive therapies are often biased in their assessment of clinical problems by their emphasis on the role of verbally-mediated thought in shaping our emotions, and in stressing the influence of thought upon feeling. Alternatively, a more phenomenological appraisal of psychological dysfunction suggests that emotion and thinking are complementary processes which influence each other. Cognitive psychology developed out of information-processing models, whereas phenomenological psychology is rooted in a philosophical perspective which avoids the assumptions of positivist methodology. But, despite their (...) different origins, the two disciplines overlap and complement each other. This book, originally published in 1995, illustrates how feeling states are a crucial component of mental health problems and, if adequately differentiated, can result in a greater understanding of mental health. (shrink)
Psychology is in a preparadigmatic or pre-unified stage of scientific development. Two characteristics of psychology's status are: lack of cumulative scientific growth and experimental-theoretical overgeneralization. The reinforcer, as a construct in theories and as a critical element of behavioral change, has been a casualty of the separatism between such factions as radical behaviorism and cognitive psychology. In the end, psychology as a progressive science has been impeded, and psychological practitioners have been left to use intervention techniques (...) that are not the most effective or efficient. In order to improve upon this situation, unification is needed between radical behaviorism and cognitive psychology, among other disciplines. However, the issue of the reinforcer is only one of many areas where such unification should be pursued and attained. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
The phenomenological perspective described by M. Merleau-Ponty seems to be emerging in the context of contemporary developmental research, theories of communication, metaphor theory, and cognitive neuroscience. This emergence is not always accompanied by reference to Merleau-Ponty, however, or appropriate interpretation. On some cases, the emergence of the perspective seems rather inadvertent. The purpose of this essay is to ferret out some of the points which contemporary thinking has in common with Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology. Though it may appear that the examples chosen (...) for this essay might be scrutinized separately, the thread that ties them together is Merleau-Ponty's work. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
I offer support for the view that physicalist theories of cognition don't reduce to neurophysiological theories. On my view, the mind-brain relationship is to be explained in terms of evolutionary forces, some of which tug in the direction of a reductionistic mind-brain relationship, and some of which which tug in the opposite direction. This theory of forces makes possible an anti-reductionist account of the cognitive mind-brain relationship which avoids psychophysical anomalism. This theory thus also responds to the complaint which arguably (...) lies behind the Churchlands' strongest criticisms of anti-reductionism — namely the complaint that anti-reductionists fail to supply principled explanations for the character of the mind-brain relationship. While lending support to anti-reductionism, the view defended here also insures a permanent place for mind-brain reduction as an explanatory ideal analogous to Newtonian inertial motion or Aristotelian natural motion. (shrink)
Working memory limits are best defined in terms of the complexity of the relations that can be processed in parallel. Complexity is defined as the number of related dimensions or sources of variation. A unary relation has one argument and one source of variation; its argument can be instantiated in only one way at a time. A binary relation has two arguments, two sources of variation, and two instantiations, and so on. Dimensionality is related to the number of chunks, because (...) both attributes on dimensions and chunks are independent units of information of arbitrary size. Studies of working memory limits suggest that there is a soft limit corresponding to the parallel processing of one quaternary relation. More complex concepts are processed by or In segmentation, tasks are broken into components that do not exceed processing capacity and can be processed serially. In conceptual chunking, representations are to reduce their dimensionality and hence their processing load, but at the cost of making some relational information inaccessible. Neural net models of relational representations show that relations with more arguments have a higher computational cost that coincides with experimental findings on higher processing loads in humans. Relational complexity is related to processing load in reasoning and sentence comprehension and can distinguish between the capacities of higher species. The complexity of relations processed by children increases with age. Implications for neural net models and theories of cognition and cognitive development are discussed. (shrink)
Quite unexpectedly, cognitive psychologists find their field intimately connected to a whole new intellectual landscape that had previously seemed remote, unfamiliar, and all but irrelevant. Yet the proliferating connections tying together the cognitive and evolutionary communities promise to transform both fields, with each supplying necessary principles, methods, and a species of rigor that the other lacks. (Cosmides and Tooby, 1994, p. 85).
This paper considers the past and future of Psychology within Cognitive Science. In the history section, I focus on three questions: (a) how has the position of Psychology evolved within Cognitive Science, relative to the other disciplines that make up Cognitive Science; (b) how have particular Cognitive Science areas within Psychology waxed or waned; and (c) what have we gained and lost. After discussing what’s happened since the late 1970s, when the Society and the journal began, I (...) speculate about where the field is going. (shrink)
Classical symbolic computational models of cognition are at variance with the empirical findings in the cognitive psychology of memory and inference. Standard symbolic computers are well suited to remembering arbitrary lists of symbols and performing logical inferences. In contrast, human performance on such tasks is extremely limited. Standard models donot easily capture content addressable memory or context sensitive defeasible inference, which are natural and effortless for people. We argue that Connectionism provides a more natural framework in which to model (...) this behaviour. In addition to capturing the gross human performance profile, Connectionist systems seem well suited to accounting for the systematic patterns of errors observed in the human data. We take these arguments to counter Fodor and Pylyshyn's (1988) recent claim that Connectionism is, in principle, irrelevant to psychology. (shrink)
Concept representation is still an open problem in the field of ontology engineering and, more generally, of knowledge representation. In particular, the issue of representing “non classical” concepts, i.e. concepts that cannot be defined in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions, remains unresolved. In this paper we review empirical evidence from cognitive psychology, according to which concept representation is not a unitary phenomenon. On this basis, we sketch some proposals for concept representation, taking into account suggestions from psychological research. (...) In particular, it seems that human beings employ both prototype-based and exemplar-based representations in order to represent non classical concepts. We suggest that a similar, hybrid prototype-exemplar based approach could also prove useful in the field of knowledge representation technology. Finally, we propose conceptual spaces as a suitable framework for developing some aspects of this proposal. (shrink)
This article critically examines the views that psychology first came into existence as a discipline ca. 1879, that philosophy and psychology were estranged in the ensuing decades, that psychology finally became scientific through the influence of logical empiricism, and that it should now disappear in favor of cognitive science and neuroscience. It argues that psychology had a natural philosophical phase (from antiquity) that waxed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, that this psychology transformed into experimental (...)psychology ca. 1900, that philosophers and psychologists collaboratively discussed the subject matter and methods of psychology in the first two decades of the twentieth century, that the neobehaviorists were not substantively influenced by the Vienna Circle, that the study of perception and cognition in psychology did not disappear in the behaviorist period and so did not reemerge as a result of artificial intelligence, linguistics, and the computer analogy, that although some psychologists adopted the language-of-thought approach of traditional cognitive science, many did not, and that psychology will not go away because it contributes independently of cognitive science and neuroscience. (shrink)
It has recently been argued that the success of the connectionist program in cognitive science would threaten folk psychology. I articulate and defend a "minimalist" construal of folk psychology that comports well with empirical evidence on the folk understanding of belief and is compatible with even the most radical developments in cognitive science.
Psychology is the study of thinking, and cognitive science is the interdisciplinary investigation of mind and intelligence that also includes philosophy, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, linguistics, and anthropology. In these investigations, many philosophical issues arise concerning methods and central concepts. The Handbook of Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science contains 16 essays by leading philosophers of science that illuminate the nature of the theories and explanations used in the investigation of minds. Topics discussed include representation, mechanisms, reduction, perception, consciousness, (...) language, emotions, neuroscience, and evolutionary psychology. Key Features - Comprehensive coverage of philosophy of psychology and cognitive science - Distinguished contributors: leading philosophers in this area - Contributions closely tied to relevant scientific research. (shrink)
It is often assumed that cognitive science is built upon folk psychology, and that challenges to folk psychology are therefore challenges to cognitive science itself. We argue that, in practice, cognitive science and folk psychology treat entirely non-overlapping domains: cognitive science considers aspects of mental life which do not depend on general knowledge, whereas folk psychology considers aspects of mental life which do depend on general knowledge. We back up our argument on theoretical grounds, and also (...) illustrate the separation between cognitive scientific and folk psychological phenomena in a number of cognitive domains. We consider the methodological and theoretical significance of our arguments for cognitive science research. (shrink)
This article distinguishes between three projects in Ernest Becker's later work: his psychology of “religion,” his psychology of religion, and his psychology of Religion . The first is an analysis of culture and civilization as immortality projects, means by which to deny death. The second, which overlaps with the first, is a characterization of religion-as-practiced as a particularly effective immortality project vis-à-vis death anxiety. The third is less social scientific and more theological; Becker argues for a view (...) of God that is in the tradition of Søren Kierkegaard and Paul Tillich . Focusing on the second of these projects—as much has already been written on the first, and little can be said about the third—this article evaluates Becker's claims about religion-as-practiced in light of recent developments in social cognitive psychology. (shrink)
I argue that intentional psychology does not stand in need of vindication by a lower-level implementation theory from cognitive science, in particular the representational theory of mind (RTM), as most famously Jerry Fodor has argued. The stance of the paper is novel in that I claim this holds even if one, in line with Fodor, views intentional psychology as an empirical theory, and its theoretical posits as as real as those of other sciences. I consider four metaphysical arguments (...) for the idea that intentional psychological states, such as beliefs, must be seen as requiring in-the-head mental representations for us to be able to understand their characteristic causal powers and argue that none of them validly generate their desired conclusions. I go on to argue that RTM, or some computational version thereof, is not motivated by appeal to the nature of cognitive science research either. I conclude that intentional psychology, though an empirical theory, is autonomous from details of lower level mechanism in a way that renders RTM unwarranted. (shrink)
Pickering and Chater (P&C) maintain that folk psychology and cognitive science should neither compete nor cooperate. Each is an independent enterprise, with a distinct subject matter and characteristic modes of explanation. P&C''s case depends upon their characterizations of cognitive science and folk psychology. We question the basis for their characterizations, challenge both the coherence and the individual adequacy of their contrasts between the two, and show that they waver in their views about the scope of each. We conclude (...) that P&C do not so muchdiscover ascreate the gap they find between folk psychology and cognitive science. It is an artifact of their implausible and unmotivated attempt to demarcate the two areas, and of the excessively narrow accounts they give of each. (shrink)
This chapter takes a naturalized approach to the philosophy of science using evidence from cognitive psychology and from the history of science. It first describes the problem of the theory ladenness of perception. Then it provides a general top-down/bottom-up framework from cognitive psychology that is used to organize and evaluate the evidence for theory ladenness throughout the process of carrying out science (perception, attention, thinking, experimenting, memory, and communication). The chapter highlights both the facilitatory and inhibitory role of (...) theory in the scientific process. Both the historical record and the evidence from cognitive psychology suggest that the top-down factors have their greatest impact when the bottom-up information is weak or degraded. There is a short discussion of the normative implications of the material in the chapter for carrying out science. (shrink)
In a previous article we have shown that Kuhn's theory of concepts is independently supported by recent research in cognitive psychology. In this paper we propose a cognitive re-reading of Kuhn's cyclical model of scientific revolutions: all of the important features of the model may now be seen as consequences of a more fundamental account of the nature of concepts and their dynamics. We begin by examining incommensurability, the central theme of Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions, according to two (...) different cognitive models of concept representation. We provide new support for Kuhn 's mature views that incommensurability can be caused by changes in only a few concepts, that even incommensurable conceptual systems can be rationally compared, and that scientific change of the most radical sort—the type labeled revolutionary in earlier studies—does not have to occur holistically and abruptly, but can be achieved by a historically more plausible accumulation of smaller changes. We go on to suggest that the parallel accounts of concepts found in Kuhn and in cognitive science lead to a new understanding of the nature of normal science, of the transition from normal science to crisis, and of scientific revolutions. The same account enables us to understand how scientific communities split to create groups supporting new paradigms, and to resolve various outstanding problems. In particular, we can identify the kind of change needed to create a revolution rather precisely. This new analysis also suggests reasons for the unidirectionality of scientific change. (shrink)
Various proposals for generalizing event spaces for probability functions have been put forth in the mathematical, scientific, and philosophic literatures. In cognitive psychology such generalizations are used for explaining puzzling results in decision theory and for modeling the influence of context effects. This commentary discusses proposals for generalizing probability theory to event spaces that are not necessarily boolean algebras. Two prominent examples are quantum probability theory, which is based on the set of closed subspaces of a Hilbert space, and (...) topological probability theory, which is based on the set of open sets of a topology. Both have been applied to a variety of cognitive situations. This commentary focuses on how event space properties can influence probability concepts and impact cognitive modeling. (shrink)
Current computational psychology, especially as described by Fodor (1975, 1980, 1981), Pylyshyn (1980), and Stich (1983), is both a bold, promising program for cognitive science and an alternative to naturalistic psychology (Putnam 1975). Whereas naturalistic psychology depends on the general scientific framework to fix the meanings of general terms and, hence, the content of thoughts utilizing or expressed in those terms, computational cognitive theory banishes semantical considerations in psychological investigations, embracing methodological, not ontological, solipsism. I intend to (...) argue that computational psychology cannot individuate thoughts as it promises. For, semantics is fundamental in fixing an important subset of the computational relations that, according to the computational theory, are supposed both to obtain among thoughts and, thereby, to determine their identity conditions. If what I contend is correct, then contrary to what its advocates maintain, computational psychology is not preferable to naturalistic psychology as a research strategy in cognitive science. (shrink)
Reviews the book, Psychoanalysis: Freud’s cognitive psychology by Matthew Hugh Erdelyi . Few psychoanalytic clinicians or experimental psychologists ever bother to develop a historical or meta-theoretical perspective on their discipline, or pause to ponder the obstacles encountered and avenues taken or ignored en route to a synthesis between psychoanalytic, experimental and cognitive psychology. For those who have already pondered these issues somewhat, Erdelyi's book is a positive pleasure, full of penetrating insights, programmatic suggestions and astute historical reflections. For (...) those new to the area, it is the best available introduction to the field, grounded, as it is, in a fluent grasp of the various methods and models of unconscious mental processes in these increasingly convergent fields of inquiry. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Reviews the book, The mind's we: Contextualism in cognitive psychology by Diane Gillespie . In this text the author has both expanded on several of the key insights previously outlined in the critical literature and provided a congenial introductory text for the newcomer; a text to serve as a conceptual bridge between traditional cognitive psychological approaches and their newly emergent contextualist alternatives. As stated in her preface, Gillespie's purpose in preparing this book was to "bring together the work of (...) psychologists who are interested in telling the contextualist story of cognition" and to "reveal and strengthen their insights and perspectives" . Given the philosophical range and theoretical diversity of those interested in telling such a story, the task is certainly a formidable one, but it is nonetheless one that she accomplishes with a commendable degree of elegance. Gillespie clearly articulates the diverse work of a large number of psychological theorists into a coherent and meaningful account that will do much toward imposing order on a field that is, by its very nature, somewhat scattered and contentious. Each of the book's six chapters proceeds carefully through a detailed and representative historical and conceptual analysis of traditional mechanistic approaches to human cognition prior to advancing their contextualist critiques and alternatives. Through a systematic analysis of the manner in which this "contextualist story" has arisen within the mechanistic milieu of traditional scientific psychology, she is able to clarify both the implications and relative merits and liabilities of two, quite often antithetical, conceptualizations of human cognitive phenomena. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Drawing on the results of modem psychology and cognitive science we suggest that the traditional theory of concepts is no longer tenable, and that the alternative account proposed by Kuhn may now be seen to have independent empirical support quite apart from its success as part of an account of scientific change. We suggest that these mechanisms can also be understood as special cases of general cognitive structures revealed by cognitive science. Against this background, incommensurability is not an insurmountable (...) obstacle to accepting Kuhn's position, as many philosophers of science still believe. Rather it becomes a natural consequence of cognitive structures that appear in all human beings. (shrink)
is normative in the sense that it aims to make recommendations for improving human judgment; it aims to have a practical impact on morally and politically significant human decisions and actions; and it studies normative, rational judgment qua rational judgment. These nonstandard ways of understanding ACP as normative collectively suggest a new interpretation of the strong replacement thesis that does not call for replacing normative epistemic concepts, relations, and inquiries with descriptive, causal ones. Rather, it calls for recognizing that the (...) aims and normative inquiries of epistemology and normative psychology have become intermutual in nature. Key Words: Heuristics and biases • applied cognitive psychology • normative psychology • rationality • naturalized epistemology • Epistemics • Applied Naturalized Epistemology • strong replacement • strategic reliabilism • ameliorative psychology. (shrink)
Decompositional analysis is the process of constructing explanations of the characteristics of whole systems in terms of characteristics of parts of those whole systems. Cognitive psychology is an endeavour that develops explanations of the capacities of the human organism in terms of descriptions of the brain's functionally defined information-processing components. This paper details the nature of this explanatory strategy, known as functional analysis. Functional analysis is contrasted with two other varieties of decompositional analysis, namely, structural analysis and capacity analysis. (...) After an examination of these three varieties of analysis, there follows a consideration of a mistake to avoid when conducting decompositional analyses in psychology, and a possible limitation on their explanatory scope. (shrink)
"Dr. Rubin has brought cognitive psychology into a wholly unprecedented dialogue with studies in oral tradition. The result is a truly new perspective on memory and the processes of oral tradition." --John Miles Foley, University of Missouri.
The past three decades have witnessed a remarkable growth of research interest in the mind. This trend has been acclaimed as the ‘cognitive revolution’ in psychology. At the heart of this revolution lies the claim that the mind is a computational system. The purpose of this paper is both to elucidate this claim and to evaluate its implications for cognitive psychology. The nature and scope of cognitive psychology and cognitive science are outlined, the principal assumptions underlying the (...) information processing approach to cognition are summarised and the nature of artificial intelligence and its relationship to cognitive science are explored. The ‘computational metaphor’ of mind is examined and both the theoretical and methodological issues which it raises for cognitive psychology are considered. Finally, the nature and significance of ‘connectionism’—the latest paradigm in cognitive science—are briefly reviewed. (shrink)
Cognitive psychology and behaviorism are often held to be competing, mutually exclusive paradigms in contemporary psychology. The present paper argues that cognitive psychology is actually quite compatible with the most widely recognized version of behaviorism, here designated as mediational S–O–R neobehaviorism. The paper argues this case by suggesting that neobehaviorist theoretical terms have tended to be interpreted as "hypothetical constructs." Such an interpretation permits neobehaviorist theoretical terms to refer to a wide variety of nonbehavioral acts, states, mechanisms, (...) and processes, with extensive "surplus meaning." Consequently, an interpretation of neobehaviorist theoretical terms as hypothetical constructs can readily accommodate the kind of mental entities postulated by cognitive psychology. (shrink)