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date: 24 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

To navigate a dynamically changing social environment, we respond to the situated demands made upon us by flexibly adapting to these demands. At the same time, we actively structure our physical and social environment to reduce its complexity and release cognitive resources. This is achieved, in part, by making use of the knowledge and competencies that others have who provide scaffolds, and in part, by offloading tasks by creating knowledge structures in the environment such as street names. In effect, we rely on distributed knowledge. Obviously, the biological constitution of our bodies puts limits on how we structure and process the dynamic reality surrounding us; our knowledge is embodied. The important result of this adaptive negotiation processes is the emergent nature of social cognition, namely the situatedness of social cognition. This newly emerging dynamic perspective is referred to as socially situated cognition, which is the theme of this chapter.

Keywords: adaptive action, distributed knowledge, embodiment, emergence, scaffolds, situated cognition

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