Talk Dec 3, 2018: The Scope of Psychology

On Monday, December 3rd, at 16:00, Dr Marek McGann of Mary Immaculate College, Limerick will present a talk of broad relevance to the cognitive science and psychology cohort.  All are welcome. The talk will take place in B1.08, on the first floor of the Computer Science building.

Title: The Scope of Psychology: Addressing the relationship between psychological phenomena of different temporal and physical scales.

Abstract: Mind-relevant phenomena occur at a number of different temporal and physical scales – from perception of events of milliseconds duration, to hours long rambling conversations, to prolonged collaborative endeavours of a community. Despite long decades of research and inter-disciplinary communication, however, we have few resources for systematically addressing the various relationships between these different phenomena and the range of scales involved. In this talk, I will argue that the failure to examine these considerations in some detail is likely responsible for problematic oversights, and incoherences, within and between various disciplines of cognitive science, using my own field of psychology as an example – particularly the somewhat fraught relationship that psychological science has with its use of averages to describe and explain individuals. Using the Skilled Intentional Framework developed by Erik Rietveld and colleagues, which integrates aspects of enactive and ecological approaches to cognitive science, I will outline one way in which we might conceptualise the relationships in question, and explore the structure of psychological or cognitive phenomena at multiple scales of activity.