chapter  5
29 Pages

Cognition, Concepts, and an Employee’s Theory of the World

WithDavid S. Palermo

A theory of the world is a conceptual structure used to interpret events, objects, and relations. Higgins discusses the possible biases involved in supervisors' evaluations of personnel and the potential problems with using questionnaires as evaluation instruments within the frameworks of the holistic and the elementistic approaches to social cognition. This chapter aims to provide a theory, from the perspective of a cognitive psychologist, that may provide a meaningful way to conceptualize personnel performance, measurement, and selection. The theory of a cognitive psychologist would, in contrast, lead to questions regarding meaning. Theory is a prerequisite to the understanding of behavior—whether it be that of the child or that of the employee in a working situation. Theory is the conceptual framework that allows us to relate one behavior to another by providing systems of classifications and relations. The chapter explains that the two points about conscious awareness and logical consistency distinguish the theories of individuals from theories in science.