1st Edition

Alternatives to Cognition A New Look at Explaining Human Social Behavior

By Christina Lee Copyright 1998
    172 Pages
    by Psychology Press

    In this provocative book, Christina Lee takes a consciously critical approach to the apparently unchallenged principle that conscious thought is the cause of all human behavior. Without becoming polemical or destructive, she reconsiders a wide range of issues in mainstream American and European social psychology.

    Suitable for an international audience, the book deals with issues in mainstream American and European social psychology. It assumes some familiarity with contemporary social and applied psychology, and would be appropriate as a text or supplementary reading for senior undergraduate and postgraduate courses in social psychology and psychological theory, although it is also written with an academic research audience in mind. While it is written largely for psychologists, it would also be of interest to academics from other social-science disciplines with a general interest in explanations of individual social behavior.

    Contents: Preface. Cognitive Dominance: The Centrality of Cognitive Explanations in Social Psychology. Science and Explanation: Distinguishing Between Commonsense Description and Scientific Explanation. Setting Limits: Improving the Existing Cognitive Models. Thinking Makes It So: The Presumption That Cognition Causes Everything. Unconscious Cognition: Elaboration of Ideas to Shore Up a Failing Paradigm. Unseating Cognition: Behaving Independently of Conscious Thought. Rationality: The Essential Human Characteristic? The Politics of Cognition: On the Fatal Attractiveness of Cognitive Models. New Directions: Alternatives to a Monolithic Psychology of Cognition. References.


    Christina Lee

    "...book is valuable in identifying central issues that need to be addressed in understanding the relationships between biological, behavioral, and cultural processes..."
    Contemporary Psychology

    "...this book provides a good summary of some of the problems that exist in the use of cognitive models to explain social behaviour."
    Applied Cognitive Psychology