October 7, 2008

Between Social and Cognitive Developments

Integral theory posits the underlying interconnection of all developmental processes. From cognition to culture, and ecosystems to brain function, humans exist within a continuum of life and dynamic process.

An essential task of all practical integral theorizing must also include rigorous attempts to better understand 'how' and in what way all these things hang together. That is, researchers and lay people interested in an integral approach must be comprehensive in their investigations, innovative in their interpretations, and selective in their associations - while remaining sensitive to different forms of validity and analytical complexity underlying all possible synthesis.

As a result, Integral Praxis seeks to promote the public understanding of mainstream empirical research and complex ideas through accessible and readable articles, interviews and blog posts, often presented by the experts in their own respective fields.

In the blog post below Chris Chatham looks at recent research on the relationship between cognitive development and social factors which might influence and impact such development. Understanding more about how people come to ‘know and ‘think’, and the factors which influence this can help all of us live more conscious and flexible lives:

From Developing Intelligence:

Social vs. Cognitive Development: Social Factors or Small Sample Sizes?

By Chris Chatham

My friend Geoff once said that "all cognition is social." Smugly, I reminded myself that the conclusions of cognitive psychologists are drawn on evidence where social cues are kept constant. But even in the absence of confounding social cues, perhaps the underlying cognitive processes themselves are caused by social factors.

A great example of this comes from today's issue of Science, in which Topal et al describe how a well known "cognitive" phenomenon - perseveration - may be dramatically influenced by social cues.

Read More: Here

Chris Chatham is a grad student at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His blog Developing Intelligence is updated daily and topics range from developmental psychology and computational cognitive neuroscience, to comparative psychology, psychometrics and artificial intelligence. His posts frequently deal with the most recent research in a his scientific field.

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