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  1. vectra's Avatar
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    #1

    cognition vs knowledge

    Hello,

    I am just compiling word lists for my students on Headmagnet | Get stuff in your head and keep it there!.
    A very useful site to help students to keep a lot of words in their heads.
    The word I have just entered is 'cognition'.
    Here are the definitions I found and supplied:
    1. the act or process of knowing; perception.
    2. the product of such a process; something thus known, perceived, etc.
    3. knowledge.

    In the Hint section I gave this example:

    Television frequently causes a loss of cognition and general decrease in attention span when viewed too often, especially by children.

    The question is: will it be OK to change the word 'cognition' in the example sentence for the word 'knowledge'.
    Knowing my students, I am sure they will choose 'knowledge' for the simplicity's sake.

    Thank you for the time and help.

  2. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: cognition vs knowledge

    You can not substitute knowledge for cognition. Cognition means understanding, something quite distinct from knowledge.

    I would also strongly disagree with the statement about television and children. In my experience, watching television increases cognition in children enormously.

  3. vectra's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: cognition vs knowledge

    Hello Probus,

    I see eye to eye with you on the 'cognition-knowledge substitution' stuff.
    Cognition is much wider, and is closer to 'perception.
    As for the meaning of the example sentence - I borrowed it from one site; it was supplied by one of the participants of a contest how to use the word 'cognition' in a context.

    Thank you for your prompt reply.

  4. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: cognition vs knowledge

    Just a general comment.

    I don't know who your students are or what level but cognition is a fairly advanced word. I never hear it outside of the university.

  5. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: cognition vs knowledge

    I don't think cognition means knowledge or understanding, but the processes of the brain by which they are used, tested, and increased.

  6. vectra's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: cognition vs knowledge

    Hello,

    Thank you for your posts. I have been enlightened, but I will remove the word 'cognition' from the word list for my students. Too complicated. They are freshman year students majoring in international economics; they are diligent and most of them are hard-working, but such words might be too much for them.

  7. probus's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: cognition vs knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by 734477
    I don't think cognition means knowledge or understanding, but the processes of the brain by which they are used, tested, and increased.
    Thank you for instructing me konungursvi. But I think you did not consider adequately who was asking the question.

  8. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: cognition vs knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    Thank you for instructing me konungursvi. But I think you did not consider adequately who was asking the question.
    It does not matter who asks the question - we should give a correct answer, as konungursvia did, in my opinion.

  9. Khosro's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: cognition vs knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by vectra View Post
    Hello,

    Thank you for your posts. I have been enlightened, but I will remove the word 'cognition' from the word list for my students. Too complicated. They are freshman year students majoring in international economics; they are diligent and most of them are hard-working, but such words might be too much for them.
    It is not too complicated for a freshman majoring in international economics. international economics is much more complicated in my view!
    But first you should have answers to some questions:

    1- What is your criteria for choosing or not choosing a word for your list? Why cognition? Or why not cognition?

    2- What are your resources? Which dictionaries are creditable?

    3-What is your strategy for defining a word?

    Concerning the third question I think it useful to determine the contexts and fields in which this term is common. Wikipedia lists some of them:

    fields of linguistics, anesthesia, neurology, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, systemics, computer science and creed.

    Concerning the first question I may point to a field named "cognitive economics". It might be more interesting for an economics student to learn about "cognition" by means of "cognitive economy":

    "Therefore the central questions that confront economists in cognitive sceince are not only
    how human beings learn and meld beliefs and preferences to reach decisions and hence the
    choices that underlie economic theory but also how and why do they develop theories in the face
    of pure uncertainty, what makes those theories spread amongst a population or die out, and why
    do humans believe in them and act upon them?"

  10. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: cognition vs knowledge

    Cognitive economics would be a difficult concept for most English speaking first year students. Wouldn't they learn terminology for their field in their subject courses, not in an English language course?

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