Encountering the World: Toward an Ecological Psychology

Hardcover | August 1, 1996

byEdward S. Reed

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Encountering the World reorients modern psychology by finding a viable middle ground between the study of nerve cells and cultural analysis. The emerging field of ecological psychology focuses on the "human niche" and our uniquely evolved modes of action and interaction. Rejecting bothmechanistic cognitive science and reductionistic neuroscience, the author offers a new psychology that combines ecological and experimental methods to help us better understand the ways in which people and animals make their way through the world. The book provides a comprehensive treatment ofecological psychology and a unique synthesis of the work of Darwin, neural Darwinism, and modern ecologists with James Gibson's approach to perception. The author presents detailed discussions on communication, sociality, cognition, and language--topics often overlooked by ecological psychologists.Other issues covered include ecological approaches to animal behavior, neural mechanisms, perception, action, and interaction. Provocative and controversial, Encountering the World makes a significant contribution to the debate over the nature of psychology.

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From Our Editors

Encountering the World reorients modern psychology by finding a viable middle ground between the study of nerve cells and cultural analysis. The emerging field of ecological psychology focuses on the "human niche" and our uniquely evolved modes of action and interaction. Rejecting both mechanistic cognitive science and reductionistic n...

From the Publisher

Encountering the World reorients modern psychology by finding a viable middle ground between the study of nerve cells and cultural analysis. The emerging field of ecological psychology focuses on the "human niche" and our uniquely evolved modes of action and interaction. Rejecting bothmechanistic cognitive science and reductionistic ne...

From the Jacket

Encountering the World reorients modern psychology by finding a viable middle ground between the study of nerve cells and cultural analysis. The emerging field of ecological psychology focuses on the "human niche" and our uniquely evolved modes of action and interaction. Rejecting both mechanistic cognitive science and reductionistic n...

Edward S. Reed, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Psychology at Franklin and Marshall College. His research on ecological psychology has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Institute on Disabilities and Rehabilitation, and a Guggenheim fellowship.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 6.46 × 9.57 × 0.71 inPublished:August 1, 1996Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195073010

ISBN - 13:9780195073010

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Significance of the Psychological1. Regulation versus Construction2. An Evolutionary Psychology3. Affordances: A New Ecology for Psychology4. The Importance of Information5. Functional Systems and the Mechanisms of Behavior6. Varieties of Action Systems7. The Effort After Value and Meaning8. The Human Environment9. Becoming a Person10. The Daily Life of the Mind11. Entering the Linguistic Environment12. Streams of ThoughtEpilogue: The Significance of Ecological PsychologyReferencesIndex

From Our Editors

Encountering the World reorients modern psychology by finding a viable middle ground between the study of nerve cells and cultural analysis. The emerging field of ecological psychology focuses on the "human niche" and our uniquely evolved modes of action and interaction. Rejecting both mechanistic cognitive science and reductionistic neuroscience, the author offers a new psychology that combines ecological and experimental methods to help us better understand the ways in which people and animals make their way through the world. This book provides a comprehensive treatment of ecological psychology and a unique synthesis of the work of Darwin, neural Darwinism, and modern ecologists with James Gibson's approach to perception. The author presents detailed discussions on communication, sociality, cognition, and language - topics often overlooked by ecological psychologists. Other issues covered include ecological approaches to animal behavior, neural mechanisms, perception, action, and interaction. Provocative and controversial, Encountering the World makes a signifi

Editorial Reviews

"For those whose scientific focus is on complex systems, one of the more imposing challenges lies in understanding human behavior and cognition. . . . Ed Reed's . . . relatively slim volume is rich in conceptual development and offers a philosophically sound perspective on a comprehensiverange of psychological issues. . . . This treatment of psychology could support a venture into dynamical modeling of behavior and cognition. It is primarily a descriptive treatment that steers away from any discussion of how the nervous system accomplishes what it does. There is, however,explanatory value in the use of selectionist principles to account for the development of human capabilities (in phylogenetic time) and of behavioral organization (in ontogenetic time). . . . I believe that many readers of this journal will find this an insightful treatment and one they will be ableto integrate comfortably into their own perspective on organization of complex systems."--Complexity