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WIREs Cogn Sci
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Situated cognition

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Following the cognitive revolution, when knowing and learning have come to be theorized in terms of representations stored and processed in the mind, empirical and theoretical developments in very different scholarly disciplines have led to the emergence of the situated cognition hypothesis, which consists of a set of interlocking theses: cognition is embodied, fundamentally social, distributed, enacted, and often works without representations. We trace the historical origins of this hypothesis and discuss the evidential support this hypothesis receives from empirical and modeling studies. We distinguish the question of where cognition is located from the question of what cognition is, because the confounding of the two questions leads to misunderstandings in the sometimes‐ardent debates concerning the situated cognition hypothesis. We conclude with recommendations for interdisciplinary approaches to the nature of cognition. WIREs Cogn Sci 2013, 4:463–478. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1242 This article is categorized under: Psychology > Theory and Methods
The number of citations to the topic‐initiating article by Brown et al. (in Google) and to the key term ‘situated cognition’. Source: Thomson Reuters Web of Science.
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Different units of analysis lead to different ways of conceptualizing the nature of cognition. (a) Classical representation approach. (b) A nontransactional interpretation of the situated cognition approach. (c) Transactional, dialectical approach, where time is not external, but is integrated with the units of analysis.
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