Event Cognition: An Ecological Perspective

Event Cognition: An Ecological Perspective

Event Cognition: An Ecological Perspective

Event Cognition: An Ecological Perspective

Excerpt

Received doctrine characterizes real-world phenomena as aggregates of combinable parts, perception as the process whereby people internalize these parts, and cognition as the method by which the parts are constructed into meaningful representations. People are thought, for example, to manipulate bundles of features or dimensions and then match a concatenated aggregate to a prior, mentally constructed generic schema or concept. How such mental constructions work and what criteria are used to select the appropriate combinations of parts remains obscure (see Introduction and chapter 5, this volume). Cognitive theories tend to bypass the actual structural order in the world and, with little explanation, assign the generation of order to mental processes.

In general, problems of order in psychology have been neglected in two related ways: on the one hand by the tendencies of those interested in perception to entertain static models, and on the other by the tendencies of those interested in learning and thinking to entertain models treating temporal order as an instance of mere succession or concatenation of responses. For K. S. Lashley, it was the latter set of issues that was of primary concern. In his classic paper on serial order in behavior, Lashley (1951) suggested that faith in reductive and associationistic accounts of temporal order was misplaced. Lashley observed that such accounts were devised under the assumption of a . . .

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