Many of our thoughts and decisions occur without us being conscious of them taking place; connectionism attempts to reveal the internal hidden dynamics that drive the thoughts and actions of both individuals and groups. Connectionist modeling is a radically innovative approach to theorising in psychology, and more recently in the field of social psychology. The connectionist perspective interprets human cognition as a dynamic and adaptive system that learns from its own direct experiences or through indirect communication from others.
Social Connectionism offers an overview of the most recent theoretical developments of connectionist models in social psychology. The volume is divided into four sections, beginning with an introduction and overview of social connectionism. This is followed by chapters on causal attribution, person and group impression formation, and attitudes. Each chapter is followed by simulation exercises that can be carried out using the FIT simulation program; these guided exercises allow the reader to reproduce published results.
Social Connectionism will be invaluable to graduate students and researchers primarily in the field of social psychology, but also in cognitive psychology and connectionist modeling.
Table of Contents
Van Overwalle, Part I: Basics. Van Overwalle, Introduction and Overview. Vanhoomissen & Van Overwalle, Connectionist Basics. Van Overwalle & Vanhoomissen, Recurrent and Feedforward Connectionist Networks, and their Emergent Properties. Van Overwalle & Van Rooy, Part II: Causal Attribution. Van Overwalle & Van Rooy, When More Observations are Better Than Less: A Connectionist Account of the Acquisition of Causal Strength. Read & Montoya, An Autoassociative Model of Causal Reasoning and Causal Learning: Reply to Van Overwalle's (1998) Critique of Read and Marcus-Newhall (1993). Van Overwalle, When One Explanation is Enough: A Connectionist View on the Fundamental Attribution Bias. Van Overwalle, Part III: Person and Group Impression Formation. Smith & DeCoster, Knowledge Acquisition, Accessibility, and Use in Person Perception and Stereotyping: Simulation With a Recurrent Connectionist Network. Van Overwalle & Labiouse, A Recurrent Connectionist Model of Person Impression Formation. Van Rooy, Van Overwalle, Vanhoomissen, Labiouse & French, A Recurrent Connectionist Model of Group Biases. Queller & Smith, Subtyping Versus Bookkeeping in Stereotype Learning and Change: Connectionist Simulations and Empirical Findings. Van Overwalle, Part IV: Attitudes. Van Overwalle & Siebler, A Connectionist Model of Attitude Formation and Change. Appendix: FIT Manual
"An excellent and timely overview of one of the most important theoretical developments in social cognition in the past years" - Gerd Bohner, University of Bielefeld, Germany