chapter  13
19 Pages

Answering Questions from Cognitive Structures

WithFrank Restle

The hypothesis is that subjects may form quite different cognitive structures from exactly the same paragraph simply because of differences in what questions they expect. If the traditional interpretation of cognitive balance as an aspect of social perception is right, then there should be no cognitive distortion of the unemotional relation, “is similar to.” A number of experimenters have shown that F. Heider’s concept of “structural balance” has a significant relationship to learning and memory. A study by J. S. Picek, S. J. Sherman, and R. M. Shiffrin strongly suggested that cognitive balance is a cognitive property that subjects attribute to social structures of certain types, rather than an inescapable axiomatic property of human cognition. G. R. Potts had shown that a subject may establish an elaborate system for answering and minimizing his dependence on rote memory. In Potts’ experiments, such relations as “is smarter than” are expressed in the comparative form, and imply an ordering.