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Last updated on Tuesday, June 4, 2024.



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Representation in cognitive science refers to the mental models or symbols that individuals use to encode, store, and organize information about the world. These mental representations can take various forms, such as images, concepts, symbols, or language, and they play a crucial role in how we perceive, understand, and interact with our environment. By representing information in our minds, we are able to process, interpret, and make decisions based on this internal knowledge.

The Concept of Representation in Cognitive Science and Decision Sciences

Representation is a fundamental concept in both Cognitive Science and Decision Sciences, playing a crucial role in understanding how the mind processes information and makes decisions.

In Cognitive Science:

In Cognitive Science, representation refers to the mental abstraction or encoding of information from the external world. The mind takes in sensory inputs from the environment and transforms them into internal representations that can be manipulated, stored, and used for various cognitive tasks.

Example: When you see a cat, your brain creates a mental representation of a cat that includes its visual appearance, sounds it makes, and your past experiences with cats.

In Decision Sciences:

In Decision Sciences, representation plays a critical role in how people perceive and evaluate options before making a decision. Our choices are influenced not only by the objective attributes of the options but also by how these options are mentally represented.

Example: Consider a scenario where you are choosing between two job offers. Your decision may be affected by how you represent the benefits and drawbacks of each job in your mind.

Overall, the concept of representation is central to our understanding of cognition and decision-making processes. By studying how information is represented and processed in the mind, researchers in Cognitive Science and Decision Sciences aim to uncover the mechanisms underlying human thought and behavior.


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