Re: Cognition,constructionism & DOWN-UP

(no name) ((no email))
Tue, 20 Feb 1996 21:24:46 -0500 (EST)


You suggest that our processing must be "something faster" to explain
the ability to avoid the water from sloshing.

Faster than what???? If my reading of the literature is correct -- and
you can go all the way back to Neisser, 1967, for this one -- we build
"situation models" - from van Dijk and Kintsch (1983) -- we could say,
"anticipatory constructions" -- in 250 millisecond bursts!!! Is that fast
enough to regulate the water level in the glass. I would think so.

I repeat -- we need to discontinue using a concept of cognition which
is "bottom up" only, and we need to think of cognition as something other than
processing ala words and images.

One thing that Ken Gergen's attacks on "cognitions" has done -- it has
alerted us the the folly of believing that our verbalizations replicate the
complex process of ordering the inputs which impinge on our sensory systems.
There is far more going on than we can verbalize -- and I am sure
that I would have agreement from many of the cognitive scientists who speak of
"bottom-up:top-down" processing.

Bob N. called our attention to a recent publication edited by
Ted Sarbin -- I would recommend that we "refresh the screen" on the cognition
issue by going to a reference which Ted produced, with Taft and Bailey, all the
way back in 1960 -- CLINICAL INFERENCE AND COGNITIVE THEORY. This text, which
I studied about three years after I studied G. Kelly's text, allowed me to
believe that cognitive studies would provide a very useful supplement to

Consider this quote:

"A dimension, within, this framework, is a quantitative or qualitative
ordering of objects or coccurrences according to some singular unitary
principle (Stevens, 1957, Galanter, 1956; Shepard, 1958a and b) [p. 89,
Sarbin, Taft, and Bailey]. That should sound familiar -- but reconsider the
references -- Galanter -- of Pribram, Miller, and Galanter -- Roger Shepard.
These people turned out to be the star innovaters of the "cognitive revolution."
How would someone who takes the construct to be the basic element of our
discipline avoid taking advantage of what these people have provided by their
studies. That is, what could possibly be the objection to taking the work of
the cognitive scientists as supplementary to our effort to elaborate a
constructivist psychology???

But, it all comes down to what we take to be COGNITION.

Jim Mancuso