Cognition = Acquisition + Organization

Optimal Communication and Learning

by L. Van Warren

This came to me this morning
after I spent 20 minutes staring at
"A Timeline of Mathematical History".

Cognition = Acquisition + Organization

Different people mentally organize
information they have received or "learned"
in these different ways:

Facial Organization
"This information came from that person."
"This is from them."

Spatial Organization
"This information came from that location."
"This information has that shape."
"This belongs there."

Temporal Organization
"This information was created, modified, or deleted at that time."
"This happened then."

Category Organization
"This information belongs in this category."
"This belongs with that."

We can then profile (categorize, ha!) people
by the degree to which they use
each of these methods in everyday life.

If a given individual is very strong
in one type of organization
and weak in others,
we should provide them
translation capability
to enable them
to communicate effectively
with other styles of organization.

We can then present the information
we want them to receive
in the organizational
strategy that they actually use. (prefs)

This makes it more likely that
the communication will be worthwhile.

The way people organize information
should be considered independent of
the way in which they acquire information.

From a sensory perspective,
people can acquire information:
visually as seen,
aurally as heard,
kinetically as moved,
tactilly as touched,
olfactorally as smelled,
tastily as tasted.

Associated with each one of these senses is an equivalent bit rate.
Note that present day devices make little use of the last four!

We can create a 2-D table by
forming the Cartesian product
of the 4 organizational styles
with the 6 acquisition styles.
This table has 24 cells.
Each cell is a location
in acquisition and organization space (spatial, ha!),
that has associated with it a signal strength.
The shape of signal strength in the ensemble of cells constitutes
that individual's signature in cognition space.

Communication = Modality + Cognition

From a device encounter perspective,
people can acquire information:
from movies, television, internet web browsers,
from radio, CD players, MP3 players,
from phones, fax machines, billboards,
from newspapers, brochures, handbills,
from books, magazines,
from in-person (facial, ha!) contact, around
15 categories, each with an associated bit rate.

We can create a 3-D table by crossing

4 organizational styles
6 acquisition styles
15 communication modalities.

This table has 360 cells.
The exact composition of the table
may vary with time (temporal, ha!).
The signal strength in the ensemble of cells (shape, ha!) constitutes
that individual's port to learning.

When an incoming signal
exactly matches
the organizational, acquisition and communication style
of the receiver,
then optimal communication has taken place.

For example, I rarely read a newspaper,
so any signal sent to me in that modality,
is unlikely to be received.

- Van

© 2001 L. Van Warren · All Rights Reserved