A Meaning Processing Approach to Cognition : What Matters? book cover
1st Edition

A Meaning Processing Approach to Cognition
What Matters?

ISBN 9780367404291
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
352 Pages 229 Color Illustrations

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USD $56.95

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Book Description

A cognitive psychologist and an industrial design engineer draw on their own experiences of cognition in the context of everyday life and work to explore how people attempt to find practical solutions for complex situations. The book approaches these issues by considering higher-order relations between humans and their ecologies such as satisfying, specifying, and affording. This approach is consistent with recent shifts in the worlds of technology and product design from the creation of physical objects to the creation of experiences.

Featuring a wealth of bespoke illustrations throughout, A Meaning Processing Approach to Cognition bridges the gap between controlled laboratory experiments and real-world experience, by questioning the metaphysical foundations of cognitive science and suggesting alternative directions to provide better insights for design and engineering.

An essential read for all students of Ecological Psychology or Cognitive Systems Design, this book takes the reader on a journey beyond the conventional dichotomy of mind and matter to explore what really matters.

Table of Contents



Praise for this book


The Metaphysics of Meaning

1 The Reality of Experience

2 Putting Things Into Perspective 

3 Can’t You Read the Signs?

4 What Matters?


The Dynamics of Circles 

5 Abduction 

6 Thinking in Circles 

7 Controlling

8 Observing


The Pragmatics of Problem Solving 

9 Muddling Through

10 Heuristics: Biases or Smart Instruments?

11 Deep Structure?

12 The Heart of the Matter?


Broadening the Perspective

13 Dynamics Matter

14 Social Dynamics

15 Putting Experience to Work

16 Closing the Circle




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Fred Voorhorst received his Ph.D. in Industrial Design Engineering from The Delft University of Technology in 1998.  He then took up a position as researcher at the ETH Zürich, before moving to industry where he worked in various sectors such as software, automotive, fashion, and financial, always linking product design, product development, and business development, and preferably exploring the boundaries of the impossible. Whenever possible he would grasp the opportunity to teach on product design in the tradition of ecological perception.

John Flach received his Ph.D. in Human Experimental Psychology from The Ohio State University in 1984. After more than 30 years teaching and supervising graduate research in universities, he recently joined Mile Two LLC as a Senior Cognitive Systems Engineer. John has written extensively about Cognitive Systems Engineering (CSE) and ecological approaches to human performance and design (including three co-authored books, three co-edited books, and more than 180 archival publications). After many years of talking and writing about CSE and Ecological Interface Design, he welcomes the opportunity to test what he has learned against the challenge of designing practical solutions to contemporary business problems. To learn more about John, check out his Perspicacity blog: https://blogs.wright.edu/learn/johnflach/author/w001jmf/ or his extended bio : http://psych-scholar.wright.edu/flach