chapter  5
24 Pages

Representation and Expression

ByLois Bloom

The present-day cognitivist perspective in psychology was born with Miller, Galanter, and Pribram's (1960) now classic response to behaviorism: Plans and the Structure of Human Behavior. The problem addressed in that book was the task of describing "how actions are controlled by an organism's internal representation of its universe" such that "cognitive representation" is mapped into "the appropriate pattern of activity" (pp. 12-13, italics in original). Two aspects of cognitive representation were invoked by Miller et al. One was a mental plan for acting. The other was the individual's knowledge base. In short, what determines how we act is what we know and how we make use of what we know in a plan for acting.