Structural Dynamics of Cognition: From Consistency Theories to Constraint Satisfaction

13 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2002

See all articles by Dan Simon

Dan Simon

University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Keith J. Holyoak

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Psychology

Date Written: 2002

Abstract

We first offer a brief review of the history of Cognitive Consistency Theories in social psychology. After promising beginnings as an outgrowth of Gestalt theory, early consistency theories failed to yield a general account of the mechanisms by which attitudes are formed and decisions are made. However, over the past decade the principles underlying consistency theories have been revived in the form of connectionist models of constraint satisfaction. We then review experimental work on complex legal decision making that illustrates how constraint-satisfaction mechanisms can cause coherence shifts, thereby transforming ambiguous imputs into coherent decisions.

Suggested Citation

Simon, Dan and Holyoak, Keith J., Structural Dynamics of Cognition: From Consistency Theories to Constraint Satisfaction (2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=318722 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.318722

Dan Simon (Contact Author)

University of Southern California Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
213-740-0168 (Phone)
213-740-5502 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://weblaw.usc.edu/faculty/contactInfo.cfm?detailID=307

Keith J. Holyoak

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Psychology ( email )

1285 Franz Hall
Box 951563
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563
United States
310-206-1646 (Phone)

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