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Social Challenges and Actions for Thinking and Reasoning in the Digital Age


The ever-evolving digital technology is transforming us in unexpected ways. In the last few decades, almost any dimension of human life is being affected by these devices, from a global perspective (e.g., we can video chat immediately with someone being thousands of kilometers away) to the individual cognitive sphere. For instance, we no longer memorize telephone numbers or instructions to get to a given place; we just trust these artifacts and let them perform more and more actions we used to do by ourselves in the past. This new reality poses profound implications for human nature, particularly for cognitive architecture. There is a growing body of scientific literature highlighting the effects of digital technology over cognitive processes, such as attention, memory, or motivation. However, there is little evidence regarding to what extent technology is related with thinking and reasoning. Is the use of technology enhancing the way we think and reason, and thus making us smarter? Or is it the opposite, and they are taking away from us the cognitive effort we used to conduct ourselves, and thus making us cognitive lazier and brainless. Throughout this chapter, three goals are aimed, namely, (a) depicting the state of the art of the studies regarding the relationship between digital technology and cognition, especially possible changes in the way we think and reason; (b) reflecting about the future envisioned concerning how technology should be aligned with social needs (rather than social needs being deceived to meet the interests of giant companies behind technology design). In doing so, the normative way of thinking and reasoning will be discussed, that is, what is considered the right way to deploy them. Finally, (c) drawing some lines of action to raise awareness. Instead of waiting for a better technological design, specific actions at an individual level to take back control over technology can already be conducted. Social change is happening, it depends on us whether it will be the social change we wish, desire, and deserve, or not.


  • Social change
  • Thinking and reasoning
  • Digital technology
  • Cognitive processes

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Correspondence to Carlos de Aldama .

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© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

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de Aldama, C., García-Pérez, D. (2023). Social Challenges and Actions for Thinking and Reasoning in the Digital Age. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Global Social Change. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-87624-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-87624-1

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