Encountering the World: Toward an Ecological Psychology

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Oxford University Press, 1996. aug. 29. - 224 oldal
Encountering the World reorients modern psychology by finding a viable middle ground between the study of nerve cells and cultural analysis. The emerging field of ecological psychology focuses on the "human niche" and our uniquely evolved modes of action and interaction. Rejecting both mechanistic cognitive science and reductionistic neuroscience, the author offers a new psychology that combines ecological and experimental methods to help us better understand the ways in which people and animals make their way through the world. The book provides a comprehensive treatment of ecological psychology and a unique synthesis of the work of Darwin, neural Darwinism, and modern ecologists with James Gibson's approach to perception. The author presents detailed discussions on communication, sociality, cognition, and language--topics often overlooked by ecological psychologists. Other issues covered include ecological approaches to animal behavior, neural mechanisms, perception, action, and interaction. Provocative and controversial, Encountering the World makes a significant contribution to the debate over the nature of psychology.

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21. oldal - ... and others close to the surface thus lined in recently dug ground. The walls of fresh burrows are often dotted with little globular pellets of voided earth, still soft and viscid; and these, as it appears, are spread out on all sides by the worm as it travels up or down its burrow. The lining thus formed becomes very compact and smooth when nearly dry, and closely fits the worm's body. The minute reflexed bristles which project in rows on all sides from the body, thus have excellent points of...
127. oldal - These bodies are subject to the laws of mechanics and yet not subject to the laws of mechanics, for they are not governed by these laws. They are so different from ordinary objects that infants learn almost immediately to distinguish them from plants and nonliving things. When touched they touch back, when struck they strike back; in short, they interact with the observer and with one another. Behavior affords behavior, and the whole subject matter of psychology and of the social sciences can be...
27. oldal - ... most kind letter has been a real cordial to me. I have felt better to-day than for three weeks, and have felt as yet no pain. Your plan seems an excellent one, and I will probably act upon it, unless I get very much better. Dr. Clark's kindness is unbounded to me, but he is too busy to come here. Once again, accept my cordial thanks, my dear old friend. I wish to God there were more automata * in the world like you.
127. oldal - ... p. 286). OTHER PERSONS AND ANIMALS The richest and most elaborate affordances of the environment are provided by other animals and, for us, other people. These are, of course, detached objects with topologically closed surfaces, but they change the shape of their surfaces while yet retaining the same fundamental shape. They move from place to place, changing the postures of their bodies, ingesting and emitting certain substances, and doing all this spontaneously, initiating their own movements,...
81. oldal - ... What might be a physiological or functional equivalent of the external information, if it cannot be anatomical? How could invariants get into the nervous system? The same incoming nerve fiber makes a different contribution to the pickup of information from one moment to the next. The pattern of the excited receptors is of no account; what counts is the external pattern that is temporarily occupied by excited receptors as the eyes roam over the world, or as the skin moves over an object. The individual...
15. oldal - But we may fancy that we see or feel what we in reality infer. A truth, or supposed truth, which is really the result of a very rapid inference, may seem to be apprehended intuitively. It has long been agreed by thinkers of the most opposite schools, that this mistake is actually made in so familiar an instance as that of the eyesight. There is nothing of which we appear to ourselves to be more directly conscious than the distance of an object from us. Yet it has long been ascertained...
7. oldal - THE PURPOSE OF THIS BOOK The purpose of this book is to provide a course of study which engages the reader in both the practice and the theory of marketing.
21. oldal - Had this not been effectually done, the sharp points would have prevented the retreat of the worms into their burrows; and these structures would have resembled traps armed with converging points of wire, rendering the ingress of an animal easy and its egress difficult or impossible.
112. oldal - ... subjective world," or the world of "consciousness." The behavior of observers depends on their perception of the environment, surely enough, but this does not mean that their behavior depends on a so-called private or subjective or conscious environment. The organism depends on its environment for its life, but the environment does not depend on the organism for its existence.
112. oldal - ... are not going to alter the fact of earth, air, and water — the lithosphere, the atmosphere, and the hydrosphere, together with the interfaces that separate them. For terrestrial animals like us, the earth and the sky are a basic structure on which all lesser structures depend. We cannot change it. We all fit into the substructures of the environment in our various ways, for we were all, in fact, formed by them. We were created by the world we live in.

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