COGNITIVE MAP 1)3)4)
"The mental image or representation made by human individuals and groups of their environment and their relationship to it" (LASZLO, 1993, p.315).
J.J. GIBSON, on the basis of the physio-psychology of visual perception, criticized this concept of a map "… supposed to exist in the mind" (1986, p.199). In his view, the understanding of the environment is a progressing process. This does not seem necessarily contradistinctive to the map model. While our perception is indeed sequential, revealing meaning as we go, this meaning was generally learnt and stored, i.e. mapped from previous experiences. We do not know what we are going to find out, but we are prepared to understand the meaning of the clues, as we are going on.
According to A. LASZLO, a cognitive map: "… involves not only the rational aspects of attitudes and behaviors, but also the value and belief components that shape human perception. As such, human cognitive maps signify the particular representations or images of social and physical reality formed in the brain" (Ibid).
He adds: "This map allows us to be consistent in our thoughts and actions. Factors of heredity (the fixed internal environment), behavior (characteristics unique to the individual), and social and physical environments (variables external to the individual) co-produce a general conception of the nature of the world and a particular configuration of value-principles that is more or less unique for each of us" (p.316).
And: "The individual cognitive map is shown to be the result of the effect of the environment on the behavior and the heredity of the individual, of behavior on changes in the environment and heredity, and of heredity on modifications in behavior and the character of the environment" (p.316).
Moreover: "To prioretize and preserve this information, cognitive maps must involve "values". Values are symbols that serve to record phenomena and that catalyze reactions to them. On an individual level, cognitive maps are conditioned by the values and beliefs that are dominant in society at the time. By internalizing values derived from cultural contexts, individual maps incorporate a certain amount of developmental leeway".(p.318).
In other words, the establishment of cognitive maps depends on values as templates leading to the construction of more or less stabilized algorithms for the organization of autopoietic behavior.
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- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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