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Foundations of cognitive psychology : core readings
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ISBN: 0262122472 0262621592 9786612099823 1282099825 026227826X 0585446539 9780262278263 9780585446530 9780262122474 9780262621595 Year: 2002 Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press,

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Scientists from many disciplines, including physics, chemistry, biology, and neuroscience, contribute to the study of cognition. Cognitive psychology, the science of the human mind and of how people process information, is at the core of empirical investigations into the nature of mind and thought. This anthology is based on the assumption that cognitive psychology is at heart empirical philosophy. Many of the core questions about thought, language, perception, memory, and knowledge of other people's minds were for centuries the domain of philosophy. The book begins with the philosophical foundations of inquiry into the nature of mind and thought, in particular the writings of Descartes, and then covers the principal topics of cognitive psychology including memory, attention, and decision making. The book organizes a daunting amount of information, underlining the essentials, while also introducing readers to the ambiguities and controversies of research. It is arranged thematically and includes many topics not typically taught in cognition courses, including human factors and ergonomics, evolutionary psychology, music cognition, and experimental design. The contributors include Daniel Dennett, Daniel Kahneman, Jay McClelland, Donald Norman, Michael Posner, Stephen Palmer, Eleanor Rosch, John Searle, Roger Shepard, and Anne Treisman.


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Honest signals : how they shape our world
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ISBN: 0262261049 0262281392 143566566X Year: 2008 Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press,

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How understanding the signaling within social networks can change the way we make decisions, work with others, and manage organizations.How can you know when someone is bluffing? Paying attention? Genuinely interested? The answer, writes Alex Pentland in Honest Signals, is that subtle patterns in how we interact with other people reveal our attitudes toward them. These unconscious social signals are not just a back channel or a complement to our conscious language; they form a separate communication network. Biologically based "honest signaling," evolved from ancient primate signaling mechanisms, offers an unmatched window into our intentions, goals, and values. If we understand this ancient channel of communication, Pentland claims, we can accurately predict the outcomes of situations ranging from job interviews to first dates.Pentland, an MIT professor, has used a specially designed digital sensor worn like an ID badge--a "sociometer"--to monitor and analyze the back-and-forth patterns of signaling among groups of people. He and his researchers found that this second channel of communication, revolving not around words but around social relations, profoundly influences major decisions in our lives--even though we are largely unaware of it. Pentland presents the scientific background necessary for understanding this form of communication, applies it to examples of group behavior in real organizations, and shows how by "reading" our social networks we can become more successful at pitching an idea, getting a job, or closing a deal. Using this "network intelligence" theory of social signaling, Pentland describes how we can harness the intelligence of our social network to become better managers, workers, and communicators.

Panpsychism in the West
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ISBN: 0262195224 0262693518 0262283735 1423726642 9780262283731 9781423726647 9780262693516 9780262195225 Year: 2005

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In Panpsychism in the West, the first comprehensive study of the subject, David Skrbina argues for the importance of panpsychism--the theory that mind exists, in some form, in all living and nonliving things--in consideration of the nature of consciousness and mind. Despite the recent advances in our knowledge of the brain and the increasing intricacy and sophistication of philosophical discussion, the nature of mind remains an enigma. Panpsychism, with its conception of mind as a general phenomenon of nature, uniquely links being and mind. More than a theory of mind, it is a meta-theory--a statement about theories of mind rather than a theory in itself. Panpsychism can parallel almost every current theory of mind; it simply holds that, no matter how one conceives of mind, such mind applies to all things. In addition, panpsychism is one of the most ancient and enduring concepts of philosophy, beginning with its pre-historical forms, animism and polytheism. Its adherents in the West have included important thinkers from the very beginning of Greek philosophy through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to the present.Skrbina argues that panpsychism is long overdue for detailed treatment, and with this book he proposes to add impetus to the discussion of panpsychism in serious philosophical inquiries. After a brief discussion of general issues surrounding philosophy of mind, he traces the panpsychist views of specific philosophers, from the ancient Greeks and early Renaissance naturalist philosophers through the likes of William James, Josiah Royce, and Charles Sanders Peirce--always with a strong emphasis on the original texts. In his concluding chapter, "A Panpsychist World View," Skrbina assesses panpsychist arguments and puts them in a larger context. By demonstrating that there is panpsychist thinking in many major philosophers, Skrbina offers a radical challenge to the modern worldview, based as it is on a mechanistic cosmos of dead, insensate matter. Panpsychism in the West will be the standard work on this topic for years to come.

Attachment and bonding : a new synthesis
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ISBN: 0262033488 0262528541 9786612097973 0262269961 1282097970 1423769872 9780262269964 9781423769873 9780262033480 9781282097971 6612097973 Year: 2005 Volume: *18 Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press in cooperation with Dahlem University Press,

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"In this Dahlem workshop report, scientists from different disciplines-including anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, and behavioral biology-come together to explore the concepts of attachment and bonding from diverse perspectives. In their studies they seek to understand the causes or the consequences of attachment and bonding in general and their different qualities in individual development in particular. They address such questions as biobehavioral processes in attachment and bonding; early social attachment and its influences on later patterns of behavior; bonding later in life; and adaptive and maladaptive (or pathological) outcomes."--Publisher's description.

Master passions
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ISBN: 0262280086 058544255X 0262263769 9780585442556 9780262280082 9780262134057 Year: 2002 Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press

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An exploration of the powerful role of anxiety, ambition, and envy in shaping both our individual lives and society as a whole. At the heart of the human experience lies anxiety caused by the realization that the world is unknown, forever eluding our control. And out of this anxiety arises the master passions of ambition and envy, which we repress to mask their power over our lives. Discussion of the role of the emotions in our lives is not new, but Mihnea Moldoveanu and Nitin Nohria go much further, showing how these passions shape not only our individual lives but our social and organizational culture as well. The master passions are not pretty, and so we cover them with the more socially acceptable faces of reason and morality. Moldoveanu and Nohria guide the reader in revealing the real impetus behind such actions as firing a friend, leaving a lover, or even pillaging your own people. Below the rational explanation, they show, often lies a willingness to hurt or even destroy others to fuel our own ambitions or quench the fires of envy. The authors offer intriguing thought experiments and examples from their own lives as they expose the power of the master passions. Deftly weaving ideas from psychology (Sigmund Freud), sociology (Max Weber), literature (William Shakespeare, Albert Camus), and philosophy (David Hume, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche) with the personal, they build a strong argument that society would be much healthier if we faced the deception and self-deception that pervade our lives.


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Joint attention : new developments in psychology, philosophy of mind, and social neuroscience
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ISBN: 0262016826 0262300621 0262303728 9780262303729 9780262016827 Year: 2011 Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press,

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Academic interest in the phenomenon of joint attention -- the capacity to attend to an object together with another creature -- has increased rapidly over the past two decades. Yet it isn't easy to spell out in detail what joint attention is, how it ought to be characterized, and what exactly its significance consists in. The writers for this volume address these and related questions by drawing on a variety of disciplines, including developmental and comparative psychology, philosophy of mind, and social neuroscience. The volume organizes their contributions along three main themes: definitional concerns, such as the question of whether or not joint attention should be understood as an irreducibly basic state of mind; processes and mechanisms obtaining on both the neural and behavioral levels; and the functional significance of joint attention, in particular the role it plays in comprehending spatial perspectives and understanding other minds. The collected papers present new work by leading researchers on one of the key issues in social cognition. They demonstrate that an adequate theory of joint attention is indispensable for a comprehensive account of mind.


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Cognitive search : evolution, algorithms, and the brain
Authors: --- ---
Year: 2012 Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : [Piscataqay, New Jersey] : MIT Press, IEEE Xplore,

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Over a century ago, William James proposed that people search through memory much as they rummage through a house looking for lost keys. We scour our environments for territory, food, mates, and information. We search for items in visual scenes, for historical facts, and for the best deals on Internet sites; we search for new friends to add to our social networks, and for solutions to novel problems. What we find is always governed by how we search and by the structure of the environment. This book explores how we search for resources in our minds and in the world. The authors examine the evolution and adaptive functions of search; the neural underpinnings of goal-searching mechanisms across species; psychological models of search in memory, decision making, and visual scenes; and applications of search behavior in highly complex environments such as the Internet. As the range of information, social contacts, and goods continues to expand, how well we are able to search and successfully find what we seek becomes increasingly important. At the same time, search offers cross-disciplinary insights to the scientific study of human cognition and its evolution. Combining perspectives from researchers across numerous domains, this book furthers our understanding of the relationship between search and the human mind.

Laws of seeing
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ISBN: 0262134675 9780262134675 9780262513364 9780262279710 0262279711 9781429477604 1429477601 0262513366 0262311704 1282098322 9786612098321 Year: 2006 Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press,

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"This classic 1936 work in vision science, written by a leading figure in Germany's Gestalt movement in psychology and appearing in English for the first time, addresses topics that remain of major interest to vision researchers today. Wolfgang Metzger's main argument, drawn from Gestalt theory, is that the objects we perceive in visual experience are not the objects themselves but perceptual effigies of those objects constructed by our brain according to natural rules." "Each chapter is accompanied by visual demonstrations of the phenomena described; the book includes 194 illustrations, drawn from visual science, art, and everyday experience, that invite readers to verify Metzger's observations for themselves. Today's researchers may find themselves pondering the intriguing question of what effect Metzger's theories might have had on vision research if Laws of Seeing and its treasure trove of perceptual observations had been available to the English-speaking world at the time of its writing."--Jacket.

The cognitive animal : empirical and theoretical perspectives on animal cognition
Authors: --- ---
ISBN: 0262025140 0262523221 0262268027 0585436878 9780262025140 9780262523226 Year: 2002 Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press,

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The fifty-seven original essays in this book provide a comprehensive overview of the interdisciplinary field of animal cognition. The contributors include cognitive ethologists, behavioral ecologists, experimental and developmental psychologists, behaviorists, philosophers, neuroscientists, computer scientists and modelers, field biologists, and others. The diversity of approaches is both philosophical and methodological, with contributors demonstrating various degrees of acceptance or disdain for such terms as "consciousness" and varying degrees of concern for laboratory experimentation versus naturalistic research. In addition to primates, particularly the nonhuman great apes, the animals discussed include antelopes, bees, dogs, dolphins, earthworms, fish, hyenas, parrots, prairie dogs, rats, ravens, sea lions, snakes, spiders, and squirrels. The topics include (but are not limited to) definitions of cognition, the role of anecdotes in the study of animal cognition, anthropomorphism, attention, perception, learning, memory, thinking, consciousness, intentionality, communication, planning, play, aggression, dominance, predation, recognition, assessment of self and others, social knowledge, empathy, conflict resolution, reproduction, parent-young interactions and caregiving, ecology, evolution, kin selection, and neuroethology.

Evolutionary psychology as maladapted psychology
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ISBN: 0262514214 0262182602 9780262182607 9786612099236 0262282372 128209923X 1435611144 0262261111 9780262282376 9781435611146 9780262514217 9781282099234 6612099232 9780262261111 Year: 2007 Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press,

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A philosopher subjects the claims of evolutionary psychology to the evidential and methodological requirements of evolutionary biology, concluding that evolutionary psychology's explanations amount to speculation disguised as results. Human beings, like other organisms, are the products of evolution. Like other organisms, we exhibit traits that are the product of natural selection. Our psychological capacities are evolved traits as much as are our gait and posture. This much few would dispute. Evolutionary psychology goes further than this, claiming that our psychological traits--including a wide variety of traits, from mate preference and jealousy to language and reason--can be understood as specific adaptations to ancestral Pleistocene conditions. In Evolutionary Psychology as Maladapted Psychology, Robert Richardson takes a critical look at evolutionary psychology by subjecting its ambitious and controversial claims to the same sorts of methodological and evidential constraints that are broadly accepted within evolutionary biology. The claims of evolutionary psychology may pass muster as psychology; but what are their evolutionary credentials? Richardson considers three ways adaptive hypotheses can be evaluated, using examples from the biological literature to illustrate what sorts of evidence and methodology would be necessary to establish specific evolutionary and adaptive explanations of human psychological traits. He shows that existing explanations within evolutionary psychology fall woefully short of accepted biological standards. The theories offered by evolutionary psychologists may identify traits that are, or were, beneficial to humans. But gauged by biological standards, there is inadequate evidence: evolutionary psychologists are largely silent on the evolutionary evidence relevant to assessing their claims, including such matters as variation in ancestral populations, heritability, and the advantage offered to our ancestors. As evolutionary claims they are unsubstantiated. Evolutionary psychology, Richardson concludes, may offer a program of research, but it lacks the kind of evidence that is generally expected within evolutionary biology. It is speculation rather than sound science--and we should treat its claims with skepticism.

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