Meaning (psychology)

Meaning (psychology)

Meaning is a concept used in psychology as well as in other fields such as philosophy, linguistics, semiotics and sociology. These multidisciplinary use of the term are not independent, but more or less overlapping. Within each of these fields there are different ways in which the term meaning is constructed and used and each of these constructions may match related constructions in other fields. At the deepest level are each construction associated with an epistemological position. The concept "meaning" is thus used differently in different epistemological traditions in each field. The logical positivists, for example, associated meaning with scientific verification.[1] The meaning of meaning is therefore understood differently in different schools of psychology (as well as in different schools of linguistics etc).


Cognitive psychology Jerome Bruner, one of the founding fathers of cognitive psychology wrote: "Very early on, ... emphasis began shifting from 'meaning' to 'information', from the construction of meaning to the processing of information. These are profoundly different matters. The key factor in the shift was the introduction of computation as the ruling metaphor and of computability as a necessary criterion of a good theoretical model. Information is indifferent with respect to meaning... (Bruner, 1990, p. 4).[3]

"German critical psychology provides a metatheoretical framework for research on both psychological and computational tasks. One important part of this is the logical-historical development of the meaning category. It is shown that meaning is nothing absolute but objective. Meaning is neither a property of things nor only present as an imagination of cognition. Thus, meanings cannot be "defined" or "assigned" as commonly thought. Meanings arise from societal production of use-value." (Meretz, 1999, p. 126)[4]

A similar understanding developed in Cultural Studies of Science: "Cultural studies thereby articulate dynamic, expressive conceptions of meaning, knowledge, and power, which contrast sharply with the standard approaches to these phenomena within philosophy and social theory (Rouse 1996,[5] 1999.[6] ). On such accounts, meaning is not a property of utterances or actions; the term `meaning' instead articulates the ways in which such performances inferentially draw upon and transform the field of prior performances in which they are situated." (Rouse, 2001, p. 3126)[7]

See also


  1. ^ Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2005). The verifiability theory of meaning.
  2. ^ Sellars, Wilfrid (1980). Behaviorism, language and meaning. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 61, 3-30.
  3. ^ Bruner, Jerome (1990). Acts of meaning. Harvard University Press.
  4. ^ Meretz, Stefan (1999). Meaning concepts used in psychology and computer sciences. In: Maiers, Wolfgang et al. Challenges to theoretical psychology North York, Ontario: Captus Press, Inc. (pp. 120-128).
  5. ^ Rouse J. (1996). Engaging Science: How to Understand its Practices Philosophically. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY
  6. ^ Rouse J. (1999). Understanding scientific practices. In: Biagioli M (ed.) The Science Studies Reader. Routledge, New York, pp. 442-456.
  7. ^ Rouse, J. (2001). Cultural Studies of Science. In: Smelser, N. J. & Baltes, P. B. (eds.) International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Amsterdam: Elsevier. (Pp. 3125-3127).

Sinha, C. (1988). Language and Representation. A socio-naturalistic approach to human development. New York: Harvester.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Meaning — may refer to: Meaning (linguistics), meaning which is communicated through the use of language Meaning (non linguistic), extra linguistic meaning (intentional communication without the use of language), and natural meaning, where no intentions… …   Wikipedia

  • Psychology — (from Greek gr. ψῡχή, psȳkhē , breath, life, soul ; and gr. λογία, logia ) is an academic and applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. Psychologists study such phenomena as perception, cognition, emotion …   Wikipedia

  • PSYCHOLOGY — PSYCHOLOGY, the science of the mind or of mental phenomena and activities. Psychological Concepts in the Bible Psychology has a long past, but only a short history (H. Ebbinghaus, Abriss der Psychologie, 1908). Nowhere is this aphorism better… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Psychology of Interest —     Psychology of Interest     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Psychology of Interest     (Lat. interest; Fr. intérêt; Germ. interesse). The mental state called interest has received much attention in recent psychological literature. This is largely… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • psychology — 1650s, study of the soul, probably coined mid 16c. in Germany by Melanchthon as Mod.L. psychologia, from Gk. psykhe breath, spirit, soul (see PSYCHE (Cf. psyche)) + logia study of (see LOGY (Cf. logy)). Meaning study of the mind first recorded… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Meaning of life — This article is about the philosophical concept. For other uses, see Meaning of life (disambiguation). Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? One of Post Impressionist Paul Gauguin s most famous paintings. The meaning of life… …   Wikipedia

  • Meaning (non-linguistic) — A non linguistic meaning is an actual or possible derivation from sentience, which is not associated with signs that have any original or primary intent of communication. It is a general term of art used to capture a number of different senses of …   Wikipedia

  • Psychology (The separation of) from philosophy — The separation of psychology from philosophy Studies in the sciences of mind 1815–1879 Edward S.Reed THE IMPOSSIBLE SCIENCE Traditional metaphysics The consensus of European opinion during and immediately after the Napoleonic era was that… …   History of philosophy

  • psychology — /suy kol euh jee/, n., pl. psychologies. 1. the science of the mind or of mental states and processes. 2. the science of human and animal behavior. 3. the sum or characteristics of the mental states and processes of a person or class of persons,… …   Universalium

  • Psychology of art — The psychology of art is an interdisciplinary field that studies the perception, cognition and characteristics of art and its production. For the use of art materials as a form of psychotherapy, see art therapy. The psychology of art is related… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”