chapter  12
24 Pages

Bringing Order to Cognitive Structures

WithGeorge R. Potts

Individual sentences are transformed into their abstract linguistic deep structures. Since deep structures are unobservable, abstract, and drastically different in structure from the original sentences, they provided a prime candidate for filling the role of F. C. Bartlett’s schemata. Although Bartlett was on the right track when, in 1932, he argued that new information was actively incorporated into a set of organized cognitive structures called schemata, his arguments received little attention among experimental psychologists. For a long time, attempts to clarify the conception of a cognitive structure met with only limited success. One reasonable way to begin to specify the nature of the abstract representation of a linear ordering is by examining the actual reaction time profile of the 12 test sentences. It is clear that the reaction time profile for individual subjects matches closely the average profile obtained for a group of subjects.