In the following social psychology essay sample you can read information about one main trend of development of social psychology – embodied cognition. It allows you to easily make discoveries in areas in which you would not expect anything new. Do our motor skills help in the process of understanding the text? Does chewing gum help in memorizing new words? Can we feel any external object as part of our body? This all pertains to embodied cognition.
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How Has Embodied Cognition Been Applied in Social Psychology?
Thompson Ph. D. (2012) defines embodied cognition as a claim that the brain is not the only resource for us to generate behavior. Instead, the form of our behavior emerges from the real-time interaction between a nervous system in a body with particular capabilities and an environment that offers opportunities for behavior and information about those opportunities.
Thompson adds that the environment of an individual can change the job description of the brain. Instead of representing the knowledge about the world to use as simple output commands, the brain becomes part of a broader system that directly involves perception and action at the same time, which results in a simultaneous tasks a person does.
Psychologists are increasingly interested in embodiment based on the assumption that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are grounded in bodily interaction with the environment. We examine how embodiment is used in social psychology, and we explore the ways in which embodied approaches enrich traditional theories (Bargh et al. 2012).
Cummins explains this type of brain’s activity as mental representations, and cognitive psychologists treat these representations like a computer inside our heads but with a bit difference. She added that people have an excellent sense of perceptual information about their environment and tend to use this more than just mental words. Making humans not only think about abstract models that can turn out into ideas, but also processing information firsthand.
Perhaps the most important component of the theory of embodied cognition is the idea that our body is not simply controlled by our brain. Instead, our body might influence our thinking. In other words, our thinking does not simply come from the brain – the way that we experience the physical world through our bodies shapes our thinking. The environment is really important, here. The way we move our body, how we’re standing, or what we’re touching or holding can influence the way that we think about or evaluate a situation (Cummins, “Embodied Cognition: Definition, Theory & Experiments”. n.d.)
Bargh, John A., Meier, Brian P., Schnall, Simone, Schwarz, Norbert (2012). Embodiment in Social Psychology. USC Dornsife. Retrieved from https://dornsife.usc.edu/assets/sites/780/docs/12_topics_meier_et_al_embodiment.pdf
Cummins, E (n.d.). Embodied Cognition: Definition, Theory & Experiments. study.com. Retrieved from http://study.com/academy/lesson/embodied-cognition-definition-theory-experiments.html
Thompson, J (2012). Embodied Cognition: What It Is & Why It’s Important. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beyond-words/201202/embodied-cognition-what-it-is-why-its-important
Also, we advise you to check another psychology essay sample about bystander effect below ⇓