A History for Macrocognition

Robert R. Hoffman, Michael D. Mcneese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This article presents a historical context for the current notion of macrocognition. The idea of macrocognition has precedents dating to the first decades of experimental psychology. The distinction between macrocognition and microcognition instantiates philosophical issues that contrast structuralism with functionalism (naturalism and holism). This is one of the thematic “pendulum swings” across the history of psychology. With regard to both experimentation and computational modeling, the issues that persist across history can be interpreted as cautionary tales, as constraints on methodologies, or as challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-110
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Computer Science Applications


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