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Human Interactivity: Problem-Solving, Solution-Probing and Verbal Patterns in the Wild

  • Sune Vork Steffensen

Abstract

This chapter presents an interactivity-based approach to human problem-solving in the wild. It introduces the notion of ‘interactivity’, here defined as sense-saturated coordination that contributes to human action. On this view, interactivity is an ontological substrate that can be studied as interaction, as cognition, or as ecological niche production. While the chapter theoretically argues in favour of a unified, trans-disciplinary approach to interactivity, it turns its attention to the cognitive ecology of human problem-solving. It does so by presenting a method of Cognitive Event Analysis, that leads to a detailed analysis of how a problem in the wild is being solved. The analysis addresses the cognitive dynamics of how two persons in a work setting reach an insight into the nature of a problem. These dynamics include the spatial organisation of the workplace, the interbodily dynamics between the two participants (especially in relation to gaze and the manual handling of papers), and verbal patterns that prompt them to simulate how the problem appears to a third party. The chapter concludes that human problem-solving is far less linear and planned than assumed in much work on the topic. Rather that problem-solving, it appears as solution-probing in real-time. The cognitive trajectory to a viable solution is thus self-organised, unplanned, and on the edge of chaos.

Keywords

Transition Point Cognitive System Autobiographical Memory Problem Space Cognitive Event 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to the editors of this volume for the meticulous comments and suggestions, and not least their Zen-like patience. Likewise, Sarah Bro Pedersen (University of Southern Denmark) contributed with helpful suggestions, and Rasmus Nielsen (University of Southern Denmark) assisted in the interpretation of the spectrogram in Fig. 11.7. Emo Gotsbachner (University of Vienna) contributed with critical comments that sharpened my interpretation of the event pivot. Finally, I am indebted to Anne-Kathrine Brorsen who allowed me to use her data for the in-depth analysis, and not least indebted to Black and White for sharing their problem-solving with us.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Human Interactivity, Institute of Language and CommunicationUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark

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