The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Distributed cognition

Distributed cognition is a school of psychology developed in the 1990s by Edwin Hutchins. Using insights from sociology and the psychology of Vygotsky (cf activity theory) it emphasises the social aspects of cognition.

Distributed cognition views a system as a set of representations, and models the interchange of information between these representations. These representations can be either in the mental space of the participants or external representations available in the environment.

Further reading

  • Edwin Hutchins (1994) Cognition in the Wild (ISBN 0262581469) (MIT Press).
  • Nardi, B.A. (1996). Studying context: a comparison of Activity Theory, Situated Action models, and Distributed Cognition. In B. A. Nardi (Ed.), Context and consciousness: Activity Theory and Human-Computer Interaction, Cambridge and London (ISBN 0262140586) (MIT Press) 69-103.
  • Yvonne Rogers and Mike Scaife (1997) 'Distributed Cognition'.
Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13