University of Oregon

Project Description

Mapping the Internal Structure of Cognitive Models

Project Abstract

George Lakoff (1987) has proposed the concept of an Idealized Cognitive Model (ICM) as a heuristic for understanding how knowledge is organized in the human mind. Lakoff argues that the concept of idealized cognitive models subsumes several related constructs such as scripts (Shank and Abelson, 1977), schemata (Rumelhart, 1975), and frames (Minsky 1975, Fillmore, 1982b).
What seems to be lacking in the linguistic literature, however, is a systematic attempt to account for the internal structure of cognitive models, and particularly to establish an empirically based protocol for discovering and mapping that structure. In this research I present a first step in establishing such a protocol � an empirically based methodology for discovering and mapping the internal structure of a cognitive model in a way that accounts for our intuitive judgments about the centrality values of its component parts and their relational structures, including the influences of such phenomena as semantic clustering and prototype effects.

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