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Can Spatial Reasoning Support Social Reasoning? Seminar

Time:
16:00 - 17:00
Date:
17 October 2013
Venue:
Building 44 (Shackleton) Room 3035 University of Southampton Highfield Campus Southampton SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Allyson Marchi on 02380 599645 or email A.Marchi@soton.ac.uk .

Event details

I'll present the basic idea that reasoning about abstract social concepts may be supported by spatial reasoning, or, that social concepts might be cognitively handled as spatial metaphors, making them amenable to spatial reasoning.

I'll present the basic idea that reasoning about abstract social concepts may be supported by spatial reasoning, or, that social concepts might be cognitively handled as spatial metaphors, making them amenable to spatial reasoning. I'll draw on empirical studies in two domains of social reasoning: Status/power, using the metaphor of up/down and sequential ordering in space, as well as cognitive balance in sentiment relations (e.g., two friends dislike a third person), using the metaphor of spatial distance between social cliques.

In the domain of status/power I shall discuss alternatives in terms of linguistic markedness and the idea that it might not be status/power per se that is represented by a spatial metaphor, but, more generically, an abstract notion of "priority" that is spatially simulated. With respect to the domain of balance of sentiment patterns (liking/disliking) I will discuss the possibility that a mapping of "dislike" to spatial distance is fundamental to simulation in this case.

Speaker information

Dr Ulrich von Hecker, University of Cardiff. "I am interested in how we represent the social world around us. How do we create a comprehensive picture of our social group, our social networks, how do we perceive ourselves in the context of other people? How do we use analog dimensions, such as the up vs. down dimension, or spatial distance, to represent differences in social status, or friendship and affiliation relationships? I am also interested in attentional processes, and in the distinction between controlled and automatic processes in thinking and reasoning. I also study how different kinds of mood affect reasoning and memory. Other research helps to understand how social values get translated into action. This research is being undertaken in collaboration with colleagues in the Values in Action (ViA) Centre, at Cardiff University."

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