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Department of Cognitive Science

Seminar Abstract

Cognition in (social) context: A psychologically-grounded approach to the formation of collective memory

Speaker : Dr Alin Coman, Department of Psychology, Woodrow Wilson School , Princeton University.
Date : 5th of June 2018, 11:00AM until 12:00PM
Location : Australian Hearing Hub, 3.610, Macquarie University.

    Communication is a fundamental feature of creatures as social as humans. It helps us exchange information, jointly solve problems, and coordinate our actions. Using a social-interactionist approach I will show how communication allows for community-wide synchronization of memories. To illustrate this approach, I will start from a well-established cognitive phenomenon, then investigate how it is influenced by the social context in which it is manifested, and finally explore how dyadic-level influences facilitated by this cognitive phenomenon propagate in social networks to give rise to large-scale outcomes. Using this framework, we have mapped how the conversational remembering of past events leads to the formation of collective memories in social networks. This approach, I claim, could be applied more generally to bridge between micro-level cognitive processes and large-scale social outcomes.

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