Presents a critical analysis of the theoretical foundations of cognitive psychology.
To answer the question of what cognitive psychology is, one must first understand its theoretical foundations—foundations that often receive little attention in modern textbooks. Michael Dawson seeks to address this oversight by exploring the essential principles that have established and guided this unique field of psychological study. Beginning with the basics of information processing, Dawson explores what experimental psychologists infer about these processes and considers what scientific explanations are required when we assume cognition is rule-governed symbol manipulation. From these foundations, psychologists can identify the architecture of cognition and better understand its role in debates about its true nature. What is Cognitive Science? asks questions that will engage both students and researchers, including: Do we need the computer metaphor? Must we assume thinking involves mental representations? Do machines—or people—or brains—actually think? What is the “cognitive” in “cognitive neuroscience” and where is the mind? By establishing cognitive psychology’s foundational assumptions in its early chapters, this book places the reader in a position to critically evaluate such questions.
About the Author:
Michael R. W. Dawson is professor of psychology at the University of Alberta. He is the author of Understanding Cognitive Science, Minds and Machines, Connectionism: A Hands-on Approach, and Mind, Body, World: Foundations of Cognitive Science.