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Cognitive approaches

Page history last edited by PBworks 18 years, 4 months ago



Social cognition is the name for both a branch of psychology that studies the cognitive processes involved in social interaction, and an umbrella term for the processes themselves.

It uses the tools and assumptions of cognitive psychology to study how people understand themselves and others in society and social situations.

Combining social cognition with distributed cognition is a useful approach for (re)designing social aspects of cognition by putting emphasis on the individual and their environment.

Cognition is a diffuse term and is used in radically different ways by different disciplines. In our case we refer to the use of awareness of objects on a screen that can be manipulated to represent Social Groups and through interaction in Focus Groups a consensus view of the relative significance of those groups.


This use of Visualisation and social interaction provides considerable insights and most notably, it allows members of Focus Groups to use both explicit knowledge and to exercise tacit understanding.

The Focus Groups used in Publigram Visualisation events view a system as a set of representations, and model the interchange of information between these representations.

In normal daily activity, these representations can be either in the mental space of the participants or external representations available in the environment and we use this phenomena in The Clarity Concept.


In examining the nature of the significance of Stakeholders, The Clarity Concept uses three metrix.


These are Influence, Importance and Attitude. The meaning of such metrix differ between evaluating Organisations and Issues and the approach to such definitions (although they are quite intuative) need to be understood by Focus Groups as they make decisions.


See also Visualisation and Focus Groups




Kirsh, D Metacognition, Distributed Cognition and Visual Design


Hutchins, E. (1995) Cognition in the Wild (ISBN 0262581469) (MIT Press).


Hutchins, E. (1995) "How a cockpit remembers its speeds". Cognitive Science, 19, 265-288.


Norman, D.A. (1993) "Things that make us smart" (Addison-Wesley).

Perry, M. (2003) "Distributed Cognition". In J.M. Carroll (Ed.) "HCI Models, Theories, and Frameworks: Toward an Interdisciplinary Science" (Morgan Kaufmann) 193-223.


Rogers, Y. and Scaife, M. (1997) 'Distributed Cognition'.


Zhang, J. & Norman, D.A. (1994) "Representations in Distributed Cognitive Tasks", Cognitive Science, 18, 87-122.

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