Cognition, Information Processing, and Psychophysics
The plan for this volume emerged during the international Leipzig conference commemorating the centenary of the death of Gustav Fechner. The contributors suggested that while many features of modern psychological theory were anticipated by Fechner, many new theoretical approaches owe much more to him than often is realized. As such, they decided to honor Fechner by evaluating his own contribution to the founding of psychology and psychoanalysis, by deepening the foundations of psychological theories of consciousness, perception, and choice, and by using the analysis of time to create a new appreciation of constraints that bind mental processes together.
Thus, this volume spans an extraordinary range of psychological topics, from hermeneutics to the time-quantum basis for mental processes, in a way that would both amaze and delight Fechner. Moreover, the international reach of his pioneering ideas can be seen from the current locations of the contributors. The span from Japan to the United States to Holland to Germany and to Israel provides a global measure of Fechner's scientific legacy.
Table of Contents
Contents: Part I:Foundations and Epistemology. E. Scheerer, Fechner's Inner Psychophysics: Its Historical Fate and Present Status. L.E. Marks, Freud and Fechner, Desire and Energy, Hermeneutics and Psychophysics. G. Mandler, Toward a Theory of Consciousness. A. Ben-Ze'ev, Cognitive Development: Two Paradigms. C. van Leeuwen, Drawing Inferences from Representation Structure: In Defense of a Formal Theory of Representations. J.T. Townsend, On the Proper Scales for Reaction Time. Part II:Experimental Themes: Perspectives and Critical Analyses. W.K. Estes, Mental Psychophysics of Categorization and Decision. S.E. Palmer, Reference Frames in the Perception of Spatial Structure. P. Petzold, Context Effects in Judgments of Attributes: An Information-Integration Approach. A. Parducci, Elaborations Upon Psychophysical Contexts for Judgment: Implications of Cognitive Models. S. Imai, Fundamentals of Cognitive Judgments of Pattern. D. Algom, Psychophysical Analysis of Pain: A Functional Perspective. H-G. Geissler, New Magical Numbers in Mental Activity: On a Taxonomic System for Critical Time Periods.
"In summary, this collection of articles is impressive on several dimensions. First, the volume is truly international in nature, exposing the reader to viewpoints, theories, and programmatic research in cognition from around the world. Second, it provides a critical examination of the philosophical underpinnings of cognitive psychology and where the discipline is heading....these articles offer several examples of successful theoretical approaches that demonstrate clear progress."