The Evolution and Function of Cognition: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Evolution and Function of Cognition

1st Edition

By Felix E. Goodson

Psychology Press

392 pages

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pub: 2002-08-01
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Appropriate as a textbook for graduate courses, The Evolution and Function of Cognition provides a systematic and progressively inclusive integration of the facts and principles of cognitive psychology. It includes contributions of information processing and reaction, and emphasizes historical continuity. In addition, the book shows how evolutionary psychology fits in with the mainstream of thought in psychological theory.

The Evolution and Function of Cognition will benefit scholars and researchers interested in the general topics of evolutionary psychology and cognitive science.


"The book begins with a presentation of a modern view of evolutionary theory, as it applies to behavior. Its structure then follows a proposed evolutionary sequence that starts with sensory mechanisms and moves through perception, memory, apperception (i.e. interpreting current inputs in the light of stored information), higher-level cognitive processes, and language. Readers with a good background in the study of cognitive and behavioral mechanisms will find Goodson's novel presentation intriguing."


"This slim volume elegantly encapsules the historical continuity of contemporary ideation; interrelating the many facets of mainstream psychology using evolution as the binding force of amalgamation….Goodson set himself the formidable task of bringing psychology into the evolutionary synthesis, and he does so gracefully, with an enviable richness of scholarship."

Contemporary Psychology APA REVIEW OF BOOKS

"Goodson essentially builds up the human mind from scratch, literally constructing it step by step from the primeval slime. He builds principles upon principles in a way no longer seen in contemporary psychology, rivaled only by the axiomatic systems of Hull and Spence in the 1950s. Prediction is risky, but I suspect that this book might become to evolutionary psychology what Euclid was to geometry…. Goodson takes us on a personal journey of discovery that includes many tangents and historical allusions, delving into detail where delightful discoveries are made and inspiring insights are revealed, and then returning us to the main narrative without missing a step. The book is written more in the style of the traditional humanities than that of the contemporary 'hard' sciences…. Pedagogically, this book is an excellent exercise in higher-level thinking about psychology, evolutionary and otherwise, and in the training of the mind to more complex and sophisticated modes of thought."

Aurelio Jose Figueredo

University of Arizona, From the Foreword

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword. Prologue. Background. Foundations. Overview. Sensory Input. Perceptual Structuring. Learning-Memory. Apperception. Reaction. Language. Epilogue.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology