Assessing Conversational Cognition Levels of Cognitive Theory and Associated Methodological Requirements

Vincent Waldron, DONALD J. CEGALA

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite the prominence of cognitively oriented research in interpersonal communication, relatively little is known about the interplay of cognitive and communicative processes during conversation. For interpersonal communication scholars or at least those interested in interaction, the study of cognition is most useful if it reveals how interactants produce, monitor, modify, and process messages while engaged in conversation. The failure to collect data about in‐process conversational cognition is partially due to excessive reliance on what have been identified as “implementation level” cognitive theories and models. Such theories are primarily concerned with specifying cognitive “architectures” and provide little guidance about how cognition is adapted to conversational tasks. However, a dearth of methodological creativity is also partially to blame for the lack of data about in‐process conversational cognition. On encountering the admittedly formidable methodological difficulties of collecting data about conversational cognition, researchers have tended to rely on traditional but inadequate methods, or worse, have simply ignored theoretical questions pertinent to cognition in‐process. This article suggests that claims about cognition can be made at four levels—biological, implementation, algorithmic, and rational—but that theoretical claims about conversational cognition can most usefully be pursued at the rational and algorithmic levels. In an effort to promote more research at these levels, criteria for studying conversational cognition are proposed, and promising methods are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)599-622
Number of pages24
JournalHuman Communication Research
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

cognitive theory
Cognition
cognition
Communication
interpersonal communication
conversation
Creativity
Research
creativity
Research Personnel
lack
interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Assessing Conversational Cognition Levels of Cognitive Theory and Associated Methodological Requirements. / Waldron, Vincent; CEGALA, DONALD J.

In: Human Communication Research, Vol. 18, No. 4, 01.01.1992, p. 599-622.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{4f5668607f5a488b9c2d72cce4a6fa31,
title = "Assessing Conversational Cognition Levels of Cognitive Theory and Associated Methodological Requirements",
abstract = "Despite the prominence of cognitively oriented research in interpersonal communication, relatively little is known about the interplay of cognitive and communicative processes during conversation. For interpersonal communication scholars or at least those interested in interaction, the study of cognition is most useful if it reveals how interactants produce, monitor, modify, and process messages while engaged in conversation. The failure to collect data about in‐process conversational cognition is partially due to excessive reliance on what have been identified as “implementation level” cognitive theories and models. Such theories are primarily concerned with specifying cognitive “architectures” and provide little guidance about how cognition is adapted to conversational tasks. However, a dearth of methodological creativity is also partially to blame for the lack of data about in‐process conversational cognition. On encountering the admittedly formidable methodological difficulties of collecting data about conversational cognition, researchers have tended to rely on traditional but inadequate methods, or worse, have simply ignored theoretical questions pertinent to cognition in‐process. This article suggests that claims about cognition can be made at four levels—biological, implementation, algorithmic, and rational—but that theoretical claims about conversational cognition can most usefully be pursued at the rational and algorithmic levels. In an effort to promote more research at these levels, criteria for studying conversational cognition are proposed, and promising methods are reviewed.",
author = "Vincent Waldron and CEGALA, {DONALD J.}",
year = "1992",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/j.1468-2958.1992.tb00573.x",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "18",
pages = "599--622",
journal = "Human Communication Research",
issn = "0360-3989",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Assessing Conversational Cognition Levels of Cognitive Theory and Associated Methodological Requirements

AU - Waldron, Vincent

AU - CEGALA, DONALD J.

PY - 1992/1/1

Y1 - 1992/1/1

N2 - Despite the prominence of cognitively oriented research in interpersonal communication, relatively little is known about the interplay of cognitive and communicative processes during conversation. For interpersonal communication scholars or at least those interested in interaction, the study of cognition is most useful if it reveals how interactants produce, monitor, modify, and process messages while engaged in conversation. The failure to collect data about in‐process conversational cognition is partially due to excessive reliance on what have been identified as “implementation level” cognitive theories and models. Such theories are primarily concerned with specifying cognitive “architectures” and provide little guidance about how cognition is adapted to conversational tasks. However, a dearth of methodological creativity is also partially to blame for the lack of data about in‐process conversational cognition. On encountering the admittedly formidable methodological difficulties of collecting data about conversational cognition, researchers have tended to rely on traditional but inadequate methods, or worse, have simply ignored theoretical questions pertinent to cognition in‐process. This article suggests that claims about cognition can be made at four levels—biological, implementation, algorithmic, and rational—but that theoretical claims about conversational cognition can most usefully be pursued at the rational and algorithmic levels. In an effort to promote more research at these levels, criteria for studying conversational cognition are proposed, and promising methods are reviewed.

AB - Despite the prominence of cognitively oriented research in interpersonal communication, relatively little is known about the interplay of cognitive and communicative processes during conversation. For interpersonal communication scholars or at least those interested in interaction, the study of cognition is most useful if it reveals how interactants produce, monitor, modify, and process messages while engaged in conversation. The failure to collect data about in‐process conversational cognition is partially due to excessive reliance on what have been identified as “implementation level” cognitive theories and models. Such theories are primarily concerned with specifying cognitive “architectures” and provide little guidance about how cognition is adapted to conversational tasks. However, a dearth of methodological creativity is also partially to blame for the lack of data about in‐process conversational cognition. On encountering the admittedly formidable methodological difficulties of collecting data about conversational cognition, researchers have tended to rely on traditional but inadequate methods, or worse, have simply ignored theoretical questions pertinent to cognition in‐process. This article suggests that claims about cognition can be made at four levels—biological, implementation, algorithmic, and rational—but that theoretical claims about conversational cognition can most usefully be pursued at the rational and algorithmic levels. In an effort to promote more research at these levels, criteria for studying conversational cognition are proposed, and promising methods are reviewed.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0000815926&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0000815926&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1468-2958.1992.tb00573.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1468-2958.1992.tb00573.x

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0000815926

VL - 18

SP - 599

EP - 622

JO - Human Communication Research

JF - Human Communication Research

SN - 0360-3989

IS - 4

ER -