Richard W. Prather (Assistant Professor, University of Maryland)

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
PSH 101 & Zoom

Richard Prather

Reconstructing the Study of Human Cognition

While the modern approach studying human cognition begun during the Cognitive Revolution has been seemingly successful, it is not without concerns. I address several concerns with how human cognition is studied: (1) reliance on homogenous participant samples when trying to generalize behavior to real-world contexts; (2) focus on controlling for or ignoring "extraneous" variables; (3) assumption of a generic human actor instead of a focus on individual and contextual variation. I contend that these concerns are deeply connected and that the solution is a significant change in how we study human cognition, similar in scope to the Cognitive Revolution. We need to reconsider the assumption of cognitive universals and how that assumption is built into the norms of the discipline. I propose a framework for studying human cognition that includes a combination of methodological approaches and theoretical positions. These combined approaches (1) integrate human heterogeneity, (2) consider human behavior in context, (3) incorporate multiple levels of analysis and non-cognitive factors, (4) focus not only on averaged behavior but variation across individuals and context, (5) create theory that combines cognition and context.

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Meeting ID: 933 7323 0831
Passcode: 839751

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