How does the mind work? How do human beings perceive and analyze the various aspects of the world around them? Are occasional misinterpretations inevitable, given the way the brain functions? In this book, a distinguished psychologist describes the most important and up-to-date explanations of our mental processes. Designed specifically for a general audience, the book is written in an accessible and lively style and draws on a wide range of familiar situations to illustrate the concepts it presents.
Anthony J. Sanford discusses such intriguing topics as memory, reasoning, learning, and problem solving. In each case, he describes the relevant theories and experiments of cognitive science and psychology and shows how they have increased our knowledge. Sanford explains, for example, that language, thinking, intuition, and judgment depend heavily on mental models (existing memory structures that can be used as analogies to understand a new situation). He considers mental models from two points of view: the first seeks to evaluate the processes underlying some of the variety of human understanding; the second examines limitations and errors in thought and imagination that occur as a natural by-product of normal human understanding.
Original, comprehensive, and fascinating, this book will be of interest to students, faculty, and lay people alike.
“This book is an excellent introduction to the structure of knowledge. It is very readable, clear, and illuminating without being highly technical.” –R.L. Gregory, University of Bristol