Saturday, October 21, 2006

Activity and Spacial Cognition

I'm working on mastering several different theories of human development. Right now I'm focusing on the Environmental / Ecological Theories. One of the ones I've found pretty interesting is the whole idea that "an individual's mobilty affects the type of his or her experiences by modifying the frequency, expansiveness, pleasure, and purpose of the activity" (Cohen & Cohen, 1985 as quoted in R. Murray Thomas's "Recent Theories of Human Development, p. 87) Basically what this is saying is that if I WALK someplace I will notice things that are different than if I DRIVE there, and if I drive I will notice things different than if I ride as a passenger. If I ride a horse or a motorcycle or rollerskate someplace I will have an entirely different sort of experience. Then the theory goes on to explain things about how and why people perceive the connection between models or maps of territories and the actual places that those symbolic representations depict. It also addresses how people think and behave differently in settings experienced as crowded versus empty, quiet versus noisy, constricted versus expansive, and public versus personal. There is all this detailed technical stuff about how we all make sense of our environments, and then some discussion about whether or not reality is something tangible and concrete that can be deciphered by its component parts or the alternate view that reality is socially constructed...created by the definitions, interpretations and behavior-setting programs that are the patterns of action routinely performed within an environment.

Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH MY! Lots of stuff. My brain is full. I think I need a break for a hot cup of herbal tea and a toasted slice of zuccini bread.

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